Coded is the first episode which gives one of the Dubois kids a decent storyline, with Ariel receiving the visions this week. I thought it was particularly neat how Ariel's visions were in the form of a fairytale narrated by Allison, as it's something she probably experiences every night. I also loved the gothic look of all her visions, mixed in with the animation. I was also impressed by Sofia Vassilieva, who manages to put across a decent performance with such a large amount to do. Considering her pre-Coded scenes had basically consisted of Ariel yelling at Bridgette, it must have made a welcome change for her.
One successful element of this episode was in Joe's reaction to Ariel's powers. Subtle and understated, all he wants is to have his kids stay out of Allison's extra-curricular activities and not experience the pain she goes through every night, yet is realizing that it may be something that he can't control.
The main case was pretty nasty. The way the brother kept referring to Sara as a "present" was undeniably creepy and the idea that she's been locked up for so long is majorly ick-worthy. I also thought the actress playing Sara was excellent, and she's obviously a master at "scared face", since her expressions throughout the episode perfectly put across the fact that she was being held captive by some insane child molester.
An impressive episode which surprisingly succeeds despite resting entirely on the shoulders of a 12-year-old actor. Coded isn't a masterpiece, but it's a strong enough episode to warrant re-watching.
Director: Bill Norton
Writer: Moira Kirland