Profiler

Season 1 Episode 1

Insight

0
Aired Saturday 10:00 PM Sep 21, 1996 on NBC
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
42 votes
3

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Episode Summary

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Insight
AIRED:
Dr. Sam Waters, a brilliant female forensic psychologist with a unique gift for understanding the criminal mind, was a forensic psychologist with a special skill which enabled her to "think" in pictures and visualize a crime through the eyes of both the victim and the killer, until "Jack," an admiring serial slayer, murdered her husband three years ago, leaving her devastated. Guilt-ridden, Sam retired and retreated with her young daughter, Chloe, to live an anonymous life at a friend's in the country. She is coaxed out of self-imposed isolation by her old friend Bailey Malone, head of the FBI Investigative Support Unit, to assist in solving a baffling spate of weekend serial killings that have claimed the lives of several single women in Atlanta, GA.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • it's wonderfull beginning

    9.0
    yes i want to see it because it's remind me some good moments of my teen's life It's funny, that sometimes shows in your formative years sticks with you throughout your life

    The band has played the Tupelo before, and he described it as the perfect intimate venue.



    The English Beat has gone through different musical incarnates since their inception in the '80s as it now returns again to New England.



    "We've played at the Tupelo a lot of times over the last few years," he added. (The success of the band proves triumphant, as it's added two more appearances in May.)moreless
  • Hooked before the show even started

    9.3
    I watched the movie "When the Bough Breaks" and loved it. I heard Ally Walker was going to play a profiler on TV and knew I had to watch the series. I was not disappointed at all. Not only was her character much more deep but the addition of Jack of All Trades added such an intriguing element I was eagerly awaiting each episode to see what he was up to next. The pilot episode also did a good job of setting up the supporting cast and gave a us a great leading man in Bailey Malone -- the one person who would always be there for Sam and do whatever he could for her. John Grant -- the cocksure detective and his partner Nathan -- the loyal do-gooder. There is George -- the every effecient if not always legal techie and of course Grace -- who I think is the one character the audience relates to the most because she seems the most normal even though she is the medical examiner. Even though Jack of All Trades is the ultimate serial killer, the writers did a good job of laying out a case that would pull Sam out of hididng because the killer wasn't your sterotypical serial killer. All in all a great pilot that had me hooked from the get go.moreless
  • 3 of 5 serrated knives

    5.0
    Watching Insight, I think Profiler was greenlighted more because of its future promise and the creator’s previous work than the strength of the episode, which overall is surprisingly weak. This episode established many of the show’s future strengths and problems – problems that the show would struggle for three seasons to resolve before finally retooling for season four. Everything that was unsatisfactory with Profiler is present in this episode – but some of the show’s strengths come through in spades.



    Having created Jack of all trades the serial killer who haunts Sam, the show needed to do something with him. Jack would remain a presence in the show for three seasons, frustratingly slowing down the show’s progress, adding little by way of tension. In this episode, Jack remains, thankfully, mostly unseen. Profiler – even in this episode – falls into the trap of presenting serial killers are geniuses, capable of all sorts skills beyond the ken and ability of normal humans. Having created such a character, Profiler would struggle through Ally Walker’s time as Sam to successfully manage Jack as a character.



    At the time the show was in production, it was widely known that NBC executives weren’t happy with Ally Walker as the star. Re-watching Insight gives clear evidence why – as Ally plays her and as she was written, Sam Waters is a surprisingly weak, vulnerable and overly emotional character. When we first see Sam, it’s clear she has been wallowing in her grief and solitude. Sam’s back story is portrayed in a decent sequence narrated by Bailey Malone – but the sepia toned images in flash back are overkill. As an audience we’re supposed to understand that Sam is the best profiler in the business, that she has the skills to comprehend the minds of killers – at the same time, we’re supposed to believe she’s so traumatized that she has completely cut herself off from the world – isolating herself at her friend’s farm, not watching TV or reading newspapers, too terrified to return to work. She is supposedly so fragile and vulnerable she cannot even use her real name when she returns to the FBI, she needs her friend to protect her from Bailey. She also requires extraordinary protections from her boss before she’ll work for the FBI but she’s so good at her job that the FBI will do extraordinary things to get her back. This character schizophrenia would haunt the series for the rest of Sam’s presence – she is simultaneously the best in her field and so terrified she can’t function. Bailey even says Sam is no danger from Jack – the world is more interesting for him with her in it; apparently Sam’s fears are motivated by her fears for those around her. It is an unsatisfying characterization. I think the network’s dissatisfaction with the actress was actually misplaced dissatisfaction with her character.



    The supporting characters – with the exception of Robert Davi’s Bailey Malone – are poorly drawn. They unfortunately blend into a drab suited background for Walker.



    This episode finally resolves the mystery in the most unsatisfactory way possible – Sam accidentally finds the killer and apprehends her. The killer’s motivation is explained away in a sentence or two and that’s that. What could have and should have been more compelling was drained of energy.



    The series great strength is Sam’s ability as a profiler and the ways in which the series uses actual detecting. In this episode, Sam and the VCTF team look for and identify the commonalities between the victims. Sam follows this lead intelligently and uncovers the identity of more potential victims. She sets out to protect those victims – which is where she stumbles across the killer. The team actually investigates



    Stylistically, Profiler is still finding itself in this episode. The moody look of the FBI office contrasts too much with the sunny happy farm to which Sam retreated.

    Summary: Surprisingly weak for a pilot episode, but with lots of promise. Overall, not a bad episode, but not a standout either. A promising episode - promising both problems and good stuff to come.moreless
Ally Walker

Ally Walker

Dr. Samantha "Sam" Waters

Caitlin Wachs

Caitlin Wachs

Chloe Waters

Erica Gimpel

Erica Gimpel

Angel Brown

Julian McMahon

Julian McMahon

Det. John Grant

Michael Whaley

Michael Whaley

Det. Nathan Brubaker

Peter Frechette

Peter Frechette

George Fraley

Carol Martin

Carol Martin

Catherine Windser

Guest Star

Melissa McBride

Melissa McBride

Walker Young

Guest Star

Joe Washington

Joe Washington

TV Reporter

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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