Recap: Perception



by Veruca Salt

We begin in Paris, where Daniel exiled himself. He looks happy with his cellist girlfriend, Miranda, who chooses to forego “working off the pastry” to practice her cello. Well, alrighty then. She suggests he channel his energy into his writing, kisses him sloppily, and leaves. Her seat is immediately taken by a blond guy, Special Agent Drexler, who tells Daniel his lecture at the Sorbonne was arranged by the FBI. I’m sure this pleases Daniel to no end, because he loves the government meddling in his life. A delegation of Chinese scientists are visiting the Sorbonne. One of the members, Dr. Sung, will be attending Daniel’s lecture. Daniel’s job is to keep the pen the Chinese scientist offers him to sign the book. Of course, the FBI won’t say what the pen is for, because why spoil all of the fun?

I’m instantly suspicious this is one of Daniel’s hallucinations, until Nathalie points it out. Then I’m sure it’s not, but he’ll think it is, because of course, she’s really his subconscious talking to him. Daniel tries to call Kate at six a.m. to verify Drexler, but she’s too busy…yeccch. BRAIN BLEACH! She’s in the shower with the cheating ex-hubby, Donnie, working off her pastry.

Back at home Lewicki is trying to convince Haley that he’s happy Daniel is gone, but he’s not fooling anyone. His comment that Daniel doesn’t want a research position, and unless the chancellor will let Daniel teach again, there’s no way he’s coming back, seems to give Haley an idea.

That idea is to fake an op-ed piece Daniel is going to run about the Americans with Disabilities Act and how he was discriminated against because of his disability. The chancellor points out the whole “shove it up you’re a**” comment in regards to the research position offer, but when Haley brings up the fake lawsuit Daniel is filing, the chancellor freaks and says Daniel can have his job back if he apologizes.

Lewicki and I agree, there’s no WAY Daniel is going to apologize. Haley thinks he’s up to the task of convincing Daniel. Lewicki is good, but he’s not Gandalf.

Daniel, unaware of all of this, is in Paris being mocked by a mime. Drexler comes to see him and says he’s allowed to tell Daniel more about the mission. Dr. Sung is a Neuropharmacologist who’s developed a smart pill that can withstand the rigors of double-blind testing.  The Chinese want to use the drug for military purposes, but Sung wants it for everyone. If Daniel agrees to help, he’s guaranteed to be included in the clinical trials. This being one of Daniel’s fantasies, he immediately assumes it’s a hallucination, until Miranda comes up and asks who he was talking to. Daniel chases Drexler down, who was walking slower than a snail down those steps.

Daniel’s mission, should he decide to accept it, is to go to Notre Dame and put it under a loose, dark cobblestone. What could go wrong?

Done with his conversation, Daniel turns around to see Miranda talking with a man who winds up being Serge, the French Minister of Culture. He’s apologizing for some kind of accident but says everything will be taken care of in time for their little trip that Miranda denies she’s going on. She introduces the man to Daniel, who says Miranda has said nothing about him. As Gerard DeparDON’T walks away with Miranda’s cello, she tells Daniel that when Serge had come over to say hi to Miranda, he’d knocked over her cello and damaged the fingerboard. But Daniel is more interested in the “trip” that was mentioned. Turns out, Miranda was supposed to be involved in some sort of “cultural exchange,” but when Daniel came along, she bowed out.  She says after waiting so long to be with Daniel, she wasn’t about to jet off to the Middle East and leave him in the most romantic city in the world. He says he could have gone with her, but the visas would have taken months to get. She’s been chasing her career for twenty years, and now she’s putting her relationship first.

Daniel is at the Sorbonne giving a speech about how tourists get all discombobulated when their vision of Paris they see in the movies is so different from the reality. Then that guy from the Chinese delegation walks in, and Daniel is momentarily distracted but gets right back into it and says the name for this confusion is called “Paris Syndrome.”

Afterward, the scientist comes to get his books signed and doesn’t look suspicious AT ALL while doing it. Daniel acts equally as nonchalant about the whole thing. That the two bodyguards don’t pick up on any weirdness, means they are the worst at their jobs.

Daniel finds the cobblestone and puts the pen underneath it. The mime is there and mocks him again. I’m sure now everything will go smoothly, he’ll get into the clinical trials, and…well, let’s see what happens!

Daniel calls Lewicki, who tries some fake cheerfulness to convince Daniel to call the chancellor. But Daniel’s BS detector is on at full-force, and he knows this is code for “Apologize to the pompous a**,” which is so not happening. Not only that, but he doesn’t even want the job any more, what with him being in the most beautiful city in the world with a woman who adores him.  He’s living the dream. Then he hangs up.

That’s when some Chinese guys pull up in a laundry van, kidnap Daniel, threaten him to get the pen back to them within twenty-four hours, take his passport, and throw him out of the van into some trash bags. Then he comes home to find his place trashed. Yep, this is all going like clockwork.

Daniel immediately calls Miranda to tell her not to come home and to go to the American embassy. As he’s about to leave, he remembers he doesn’t have his passport and calls Kate. He tells her to call Drexler and tell him about the passport and for him to clear the way at the embassy. When Kate asks if he’s in trouble, and he gives her the thugs/laundry van/need their pen back story, she’s understandably shaken up.

Back at home, Haley can’t believe Daniel doesn’t want to come back and is convinced it’s because he doesn’t want to grovel. His solution is to make Daniel think the chancellor is begging him to come back. He does this by telling the chancellor Daniel wants a raise and more money for research. This backfires in a big way. The chancellor sees this as a shakedown, rescinds the offer, and says they’ll weather the bad publicity. And if Daniel sues, the chancellor will countersue for defamation.

At the embassy, things are going from bad to worse, as Agent Drexler is clearly a woman. She wants to find the fake Drexler, because impersonating an FBI agent is a crime. Then Daniel talks about being a courier. About the smart pill. About the trashed apartment. The real Agent Drexler tells Miranda she’s going to have someone accompany her back to the apartment, so Miranda can assess the damage, while she and Daniel retrace his steps to see if they can find Fake Drexler.

Kate, meanwhile, is going to Paris, because Daniel is either involved in a conspiracy the FBI knows nothing about, or he’s cracking up. Donnie says if she’s worried about Daniel, so is he, and he’s going with her.

Back in Paris, things are sliding downhill at a rapid rate. The loose stone is gone and replaced with a stone like all the others. Then Daniel sees the mime and races up to him and begs him to talk. Only one problem. The mime is a hallucination.

Daniel goes to the head of the department (where he gave his lecture) at the Sorbonne, only to be told there was no official Chinese delegation. Drexler gets a call and guess what? Miranda’s apartment is spotless. Drexler tells Daniel she knew he did great work with the Chicago field office, which is why she took his claims seriously, but now, not so much. She recommends him seeing a doctor, and I don’t think she means the kind with the stethoscope.

Back at the apartment, Miranda agrees, as does Nathalie, of course. When Daniel points out that “Miranda” also saw Drexler, Miranda assumes he’s talking to Nathalie. Daniel says how improbable it is that he came up with the name Drexler, since he never knew she existed. Then the phone rings, and Daniel dives for it. It’s Dr. Sung, who says he got away from his handlers and wants to meet with Daniel. He tells Daniel not to trust anyone, even those closest to him, so Daniel hangs up the phone and asks Miranda if she’s a part of all of this. She begs him not to go anywhere and to see a doctor, but he leaves. Of course, Dr. Sung is totally dead by the time Daniel finds him.

Daniel goes to the French authorities, who buy his story…not. They think, in order to come up with real evidence, he found a random Chinese person and killed him. Dr. Sung is Dr. Lang, who is a migrant worker.

Back at home, Lewicki thinks the first rule of academia is “Don’t have sex with your students,” but Haley corrects him that it’s “Publish or perish.” He wants Lewicki to go to the newspaper and say Daniel wants the article published.

Kate arrives at Miranda’s, and Miranda tells her about them finding Daniel with a dead body. Kate assures Miranda they’ll get him out, but Donnie’s pleas to the jerky French cop fall on deaf ears, since he doesn’t exactly practice law in France. Kate tries to appeal to him on a “we’re both cops” level and how Daniel is so “fragile,” so questioning him for hours, etc., is not so good for Daniel’s mental health. In what is the theme for this episode, it backfires, because now the cop can get a psychiatric hold on Daniel.  As Kate is trying to convince the jerky cop Daniel is incapable of violence, jerky cop gets a call saying to release him.

Once Daniel is released, he doesn’t even say “Hi” to Kate before he starts talking about getting hold of the forensic evidence. Kate and Donnie say they’re taking him home, where he finds Miranda has packed her bags. She’s taking off for Berlin with Serge. She’s going on that tour. It turns out, she had been sleeping with Serge but broke it off with him when Daniel came back. Also, he was the one who got Daniel out of prison, due to his connections. She’s leaving with Serge because of Daniel’s symptoms, like talking to people who aren’t there, and his paranoia. She’s not strong enough to deal with it. She thinks it’s easier if she just leaves.

A humiliated Daniel comes out to greet Kate and Donnie. Oddly enough, Donnie is the one who doesn’t think Daniel dreamed the whole thing up. Kate suggests doing what Daniel does best: solve the puzzle. The first stop is to go to Lang’s building. They find out Lang had been in the building for about a year. He was working a factory job and sending money back to his family in Shangai, but he wound up losing it gambling. Donnie thinks this might be the reason for a suicide (wasn’t he shot in the stomach???), but the landlord says she saw him a few days ago, and he looked happy. He’d been offered a job for easy money.

Real Drexler shows up to shut down their unauthorized investigation. Basically, Kate has been ordered back, and if Daniel isn’t on the flight with her, she gets to revoke his security clearance. As Daniel starts to point out that he can’t leave without a passport, Real Drexler hands him one.

Back at home “Daniel’s” article has hit the press, and it’s a really bad time for the ol’ chancellor. He’s getting phone calls, and the students are ready to stage a protest. The chancellor talks about fixing it right now, aka calling Daniel, but Haley has decided to push his luck and say Daniel’s price has gone up.

As Daniel, Kate, and Donnie prepare to leave and are hailing a taxi, Daniel sees a mime and desperately tries to figure out what he’s trying to tell him. Of course, this mime is not a hallucination, but Daniel figures out the hallucination mime was trying to tell him the performance was real. Everyone heads for the train station.

Daniel catches up to Miranda and Serge at the station. He tells Miranda he thinks all of it was real people putting on a performance to make Daniel look crazy. After claiming Sung/Lang was killed so Daniel would seem more dangerous to Miranda, she asks who would do that, and Daniel points to Serge. He says Serge did it, so Miranda would want to leave Daniel and go on tour. Serge says Daniel is ill, but Kate points out he’s also usually right. Serge tries to say how he got Daniel out of jail, but Donnie says it was only after he and Kate arrived. He knew Miranda wouldn’t leave if Daniel was in jail or the “nuthouse,” so he got Daniel out of jail, knowing Donnie and Kate would take care of him.

Daniel sees Hallucination Mime playing the cello. Epiphany number two. Serge needed Miranda’s cello, since he couldn’t get another cellist, because, as Miranda told Daniel, it takes months to get the visas. Daniel said nothing would look suspicious about Miranda carrying her cello across the border. When Donnie wonders what he’d be smuggling, Daniel fights Serge for the cello and smashes it to the ground. Miranda is understandably devastated, and at first it seems like nothing is in there, so Serge gets the police to come and restrain Daniel. But Kate finds some technology-looking stuff. Basically, Kate accuses him of smuggling advanced technology into a country that was developing a nuclear device. Daniel says who better to coordinate a fake espionage scheme than a real spy?

For some reason, based on Kate’s say-so without her displaying any badge, etc., the police believe they should be arresting Serge and release Daniel. Serge tries to get away but only goes about three steps.

Daniel apologizes to Miranda about her cello, but she says she was going to get a new one anyway. She apologizes to him and says she should have believed him. Long story short, one day the breakdown will be for real, and it’s clear she can’t handle it.

Kate finds out from Real Drexler that Serge was an Iranian double agent. Apparently, she can just share that with anybody.

Lewicki calls on Kate’s phone. Good news! Daniel got a thirty-five percent raise, new grant money, and a parking spot. Daniel is hung up on the parking spot. Lewicki begs him to come back. Daniel says to make the chancellor squirm then accept. Lewicki is excited and basically wants to bro-out with Daniel when he comes back, but he’s talking to dead air.

Daniel says he’s going back to the hotel, and Donnie says there’s nothing worse than losing the girl you know in your heart you’re meant to be with. Of course, he’s not talking about Daniel. He proposes to Kate as she hyperventilates. We don’t hear her answer.


Daniel is back home. He’s at the piano singing “I Love Paris” as Nathalie looks on. Serge is being taken away as Fake Drexler looks on. Kate and Donnie are kissing, so we can assume the answer is yes. Miranda walks alone through Paris. Haley walks into the class Daniel is teaching and nods to Lewicki…

And Daniel finishes singing his song, all alone on his piano bench.

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