In this episode of the short lived Minority Report, the new non-precrime precrime system is tested and they spend a lot of time talking about legal stuff... and then ignoring the ramifications of same.
One common practice in TV shows, especially ones which are struggling to find an audience, is they will acknowledge a flaw in their plot, characters or situations... and then continue as if the flaw wasn’t there. It’s called “hanging a lantern”. It’s an head feint towards contrition, but they don’t really want to do anything about it... for whatever reason whether it be laziness, incompetence or ineptitude.
In this episode of Minority Report, they do this a lot. They introduce the new Hawkeye crime prevention system which is in no way like precrime (except it is); when Vega comments that they better have good lawyers, this is dismissed. Problem is, precrime’s failure resulted in the hiring of an awful lot of lawyers to defend the non-criminals who were halo’ed without committing any crime.
Precrime, remember, was a failure and is dismissed as such, and yet it is still claimed that it saved thousands of lives... but it’s dismissed as a failure.
In addition, when Hawkeye flags someone, they lose a bunch of rights. Again, for doing nothing, a computer system is saying they are less than people. You know that sort of thing? Three fifths of one. The ACLU, or the Minority Report equivalent would have a field day with that one.
That all said, this is something which is understandable, from a writers room point of view. These first episodes are being used to smooth out some problems with the initial concept (which surprisingly no one spotted before hand). They can’t have Vega stop crimes because then there’s no crime for them to convict the would-be criminals of. So far, Vega has killed two would-be criminals. She can’t keep doing that or she’ll be taken off the streets.
So, the invention of Hawkeye is understandable. It being Dash into the mix, it allows relationships to be formed between Dash and Vega’s work colleagues, bringing Dash and Vega closer. Not in a “they’ll hump” closer, just a good friendly working relationship closer.
Hawkeye does fix some problems in the story... and opens the door to others.
Another piece of legalized they dance around is in the final scene with the Shrink. He asks for a lawyer twice (possibly three times). He’s rather emphatic about it and yet they do not get him one. The law... as it stands, states that as soon as a person has invoked their right to counsel, they can no longer be questioned.
In addition to this addition, they put the Shrink under a futuristic polygraph machine, which they say is inadmissable, but the scenes ends with the suggestion that its’ not. Also, evading a question isn’t a bad thing. Unless they’ve changed the constitution, the 5th amendment still allows for a person to not give evidence against themselves and that polygraph machine would qualify.
Except the legalize, the episode had problems with its’ own world mechanics. Once again, a “red ball” crime of passion was given days to resolve, but the real kicker was the final crime; there was no real intent behind the “murder”. It was a suicide; pure and simple. A perfect crime, perhaps. By the new rules of this episode, a girl would be criminally responsible for the suicide of her ex-lover.
Questionable storytelling, papering over the cracks allowing others to appear. Not long’s left for this formulaic show. Enjoy it while you can.