“Alienation” is episode one of season two of Perception. Daniel is lecturing on love, and how it rewires the brain. People get distracted, thinking about that special someone all the time – and he throws a ball of paper at a distracted student. He says that people build up a simulation in their mind of how someone they are in love with behaves. So, do we fall in love with another person? Or our idea of whom they are?
Afterwards, Daniel tells Lewicki to cancel his meetings for he has a lunch. This is a euphemism – although Caroline says she does enjoy their lunches. She has bought him a present. No, not a replica of the monolith from 2001. A smartphone. Daniel doesn’t even know what an app is. Caroline agrees that it’s so she can keep tabs on Daniel. She’s worried if he has a problem with his meds, because last week she caught him talking to himself. Daniel says he hasn’t got a problem – and Natalie calls him a liar. This could be awkward, dating the real person your imaginary girlfriend was based on, with said imaginary friend still around. Daniel tells Natalie that he’s worried telling Caroline he’s off his meds will scare her off.
Donnie is complimenting Kate. She realises he wants something. It’s his grandmother’s birthday on Saturday and he wants her to come. Kate realises he hasn’t told his grandmother he’s getting divorced. She isn’t going to pretend they are happily married. Donnie says he has the divorce papers but, you know, with his heavy caseload he might not get around to signing them. So, Kate agrees to go.
Another agent tells her there’s a case that’s perfect for her and the nutty professor. It’s an abduction case, she tells Daniel. A wife claims that she hasn’t seen her husband for a week. Because he’s been abducted by aliens. The FBI are obligated to look in case there’s a real crime. Daniel tells Kate, perfectly seriously, that she’s jumping to conclusions. Maybe he was abducted. The government has been whitewashing aliens for decades, and they could have the chance to blow open the biggest coverup in American history. He’s actually winding her up.
The doorbell of the house plays the tune snippet from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Ellen Resnick says her husband went away on a business trip and hasn’t been seen since. Only, it turns out, her husband, Preston, is right there. According to Ellen, he isn’t – it’s his alien replacement.
Preston says to Kate that his wife was fine and didn’t start the alien nonsense until he returned home. Daniel speaks to the wife, who realised last night after her husband returned that he was an alien. Preston writes science fiction. His latest novel? Alien abductions. According to Ellen, the alien looks like her husband, but he raped her.
To be continued…