Season 1 Episode 1

The Ferguson Syndrome

Aired Unknown Jan 27, 2003 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
46 votes

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Episode Summary

The Ferguson Syndrome
Paul Callan works as an investigator of miracles for the Archdiocese of Boston. Growing weary of his job and the tests it places on his faith, he takes a leave of absence and travels to Arizona to work on an Indian Reservation. While there, Father Calero calls him and asks him to investigate a young boy, Tommy Ferguson, who supposedly has the power to heal others. Skeptical at first, Paul meets with Tommy and witnesses his abilities. He discovers that the young boy is dying, and that every time he heals another, his own health deteriorates. He also learns that his path and Tommy's are somehow inexorably linked. When Paul is in a potentially fatal car crash, Tommy uses his power for the last time, and gives his own life to save Paul. As Tommy heals him, Paul sees the words, "God Is Now Here" written in his own blood. His faith renewed, Paul returns to the church but the Monsignor dismisses his findings, causing him to resign. Paul is then approached by a stranger named Alva Keel who tells him that he is not alone in his experience. There have been 6 others who witnessed hemography, but they instead saw the words, "God is Nowhere." Keel urges Paul come to work with him at Sodalitas Quaerito, an organization devoted to searching for the truth.moreless

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  • Paul Callen is a priest who investigates miracles. When he decides to take a leave due to a question of faith, he investigates a young boy. Tommy's powers push Paul to the edge.moreless

    In this first episode of the show Miracles, we are introduced to Paul Callen, an orphan who became a catholic priest. He currently works special assignments to prove or disprove miracles. He begins to question his faith, since he has never seen anything to reassure his faith. While working in the desert, his old confidant Father 'Poppi' Calero calls him with a request to check out a young boy not far from him. Paul assents and meets with Tommy Ferguson. It turns out that Tommy can heal people, but for every heal he does, he becomes sicker himself. As Tommy's father continues to push him, his mother tries to take him away. Paul sees this and pursues them during a rain storm. Not paying attention to the road, Paul goes onto some train tracks and is hit by a train. Seeing this, Tommy's mom goes for help. Tommy ends up going to check on Paul. As Tommy tries to help, Paul sees written in blood the words "God is now here" as well as a dark figure looming behind Tommy. Despite Paul's pleas not too, Tommy uses his power to save Paul and he dies in the process. Reporting his findings that a true miracle had happened, the monsignor sees no scientific proof and Paul quits in a huff. Seeing Poppi on the way out, he becomes flustered when Poppi claims he never called Paul. Later, Paul sits contemplating the events in a diner and is confronted by Alva Keel, a freelance miracle investigator who had seen 16 other people who had seen blood writing before. Theirs, though, all said "God is nowhere." Alva says something big is coming and gives Paul his card as an invitation to come visit him. The episode ends when Alva's assistant answers the door for Paul and he enters their office.

    This was a very good beginning for the show, though nothing is really revealed about Alva's organization. I really like how the show felt more like a mini-movie in tone and cinematography then an pilot episode. I really like the characters of Paul and Alva. Paul is a priest, but he has to question his faith because he is very unsure. I also like Alva, though little of him is shown here, because of his demeanor that he wants to know what is going on. I am hoping that the following episodes continue to same acting and cinematography as this one.moreless
  • A wonderful start to the series

    This was a great pilot episode. Containing the supernatural suspense similar to that of ‘The X-Files’ and the horror of ‘The Exorcist’, this episode was like a roller-coaster ride. I found some of the scenes like the bodies falling out of the caskets Paul’s vision of Tommy in the bus quite scary. Skeet Ulrich was surprisingly good, considering I’ve only seen him play negative roles in ‘Scream’ and ‘As Good as it gets’. Jacob Smith also acted well as the young Tommy. Tommy is also a very important character because he makes a huge impact in Paul’s life in some way, recurring in future episodes. We don’t see the rest of Sodalitas Quaerito in this episode because they come only towards the end. All in all, this was a great start to the short lived series.moreless
  • One of the best pilots. Ever.

    I was very fortunate to see the trailer for Miracles when I did. I was at my grandmother's house, it was the day of the premiere, and I saw a preview to that night's new lineup - Veritas: The Quest and Miracles. Both looked incredible to me, and that night I made sure I tuned in to ABC, which wasn't a channel I regularly watched before then.

    I was impressed enough with Veritas: The Quest, but was simply blown out of the water when Miracles came on. And this, ladies and gentlemen, was the one I was really waiting for. The previews had been simply fascinating and exciting, and wonderfully dark.

    Skeet Ulrich, who I immediately recognized as being from Scream and The Craft, surprised me in his role. I was so used to him playing a jerk it was nice seeing him playing such a deep character.

    Skeet Ulrich plays Paul Callan, a man who works as an investigator of the Catholic church. His job? To document supposed miracles and determine whether or not they are genuine. After a while of seeing endless cases with scientific explanations, his faith in God begins to waver. He takes a sabbatical and goes to Arizona to help build houses on an Indian Reservation. He gets a call from Father Calero, the priest who raised him, and is sent to investigate Tommy Ferguson, a young boy with the power to heal.

    The pilot has very little action, but it is full of suspense and emotion, which makes it more enjoyable and thought-provoking than an action thriller. The actors and actresses in this series are simply fantastic, and very believable. You can feel the parents' distress over their son, Tommy, who has a life-threatening disease, which worsens each time he uses his gift to heal someone. His mother asks Paul why God would allow him to heal everyone but himself, but Paul must admit he does not know the answer.

    At the end, Tommy saves Paul's life, who is inches from death after having a nasty run-in with a train. While Tommy heals him, Paul's blood forms the words "God is Now Here" in the broken glass. Now that is interesting...

    Tommy dies after saving Paul's life, leaving Paul feeling rather depressed. At a cafe he is approached by Alva Keel, who has been following him for a while. He knows about the writing in his blood. Alva tells Paul that six other people have witnessed this phenomenon, called hemography. The only difference is that their messages read "God is Nowhere". The mysterious Alva reveals that he once did what Paul did, but broke away from the Church after a while to research parallel lines of supernatural happenings. He asks Paul to join his organization, SQ. (I'm not even going to try actually spelling it out.)

    This pilot was certainly one of the best pilots ever produced. It was not afraid to push the limits of what you expect to see. It is better than The X-Files, which is a great show. It's dark, smart, spellbinding, and one of the best things ABC ever did.

    The show is canceled now, but when you watch this series, and realize that this show has SO much to offer, it's very sad to see that it died so early. I'm sure that part of the greatness comes from David Greenwalt, who previously worked on the hit WB series Angel, which is spun-off from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


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