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The Irrational Review Season 1 Episode 3 The Barnum Effect The Irrational Review Season 1 Episode 3 The Barnum Effect

The Irrational

The Irrational Review – The Barnum Effect (103)

THE IRRATIONAL -- "The Barnum Effect" Episode 103 -- Pictured: (l-r) Brian King as Jace Richards, Maahra Hill as Marisa, Jesse L. Martin as Alec Mercer -- (Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)



When the FBI can’t figure out the “why” in an investigation, it seems common practice to loop in Alec for clarity, which honestly, makes you wonder whether the FBI is even capable of doing anything without his help at this point. 

On The Irrational Season 1 Episode 3, Alec and his interns, Phoebe and Rizwan, basically steered the investigation and made a break in the case, which doesn’t actually look good for the agents “officially” tasked with solving it. 

The series makes the FBI look incompetent while trying to loop Alec into these high-level situations and make a case for his expertise to be utilized, and it’s kind of silly. 

Jace’s tactics to get Owen to talk—their one and only suspect—didn’t even yield results. In fact, his harsh approach spooked Owen and made him shut down when Alec simply observed via body language and determined that he definitely had something he wanted to say, he simply didn’t feel comfortable with the intimidation tactics. Instead of getting the subject to talk, Owen forced him into silence. And then all it took was Alec to make himself seem trustworthy for Owen to confess to everything. 

The series would be so much stronger if they didn’t dumb down the FBI to make Alec look like a hero—it’s not necessary as his unique expertise and input come in handy naturally. He should be an asset, lending a hand, assisting, and helping to steer the investigation in the right direction, but instead, he’s doing all the heavy work and the course correcting all while trying to prove himself and his theories. 

Alec’s experiment about hearing what we want to hear, and thus, seeing the reality that we want, was interesting, not to mention the explanation to the viral “dress” meme from years prior—did you see gold or blue?—but it’s a human behavior the FBI should be aware of. And in this day and age, there should be a system through which they can run the black box recording to get a more accurate transcription of what was said. Why are relying on a college class to help solve a huge airline tragedy?

The Irrational is a fun concept, but you really have to suspend your disbelief to buy what they are selling, especially in the third episode. I’m a firm believer that you either hook or sink your show by the fourth episode, but I’ll be quite honest that they aren’t making a case for it right now, and that’s saying a lot as someone who loves a good plane crash storyline. 

Having Marisa as part of the FBI also doesn’t do the storyline any favors. This was the writers’ way of keeping her as a constant in Alec’s life, unfortunately, it’s a formula for disaster as Alec and Marisa haven’t really worked through many of their issues, nor are they on the same page. They’re on friendly terms, sure, but Alec was under the impression that she was interested in getting back together, clearly misreading the signs as she’s already moved on with her co-worker Jace. 

None of that weighed into the investigation, however, which speaks to Alec’s determination to prioritize the case over his own feelings, but it was Marisa’s hot and cold attitude toward him that was offputting. Why loop in your ex-husband and ask him to consult on a case if you’re only going to shut him down at every turn? From the eye-rolling to the sighs to Marisa dismissing his findings, it was as if she didn’t want him involved even after asking for his help in the first place.

With how much work Alec puts into each investigation, it would make more sense for Alec to be an FBI agent rather than a college professor, though the gig is helpful as he can run his little theories and experiments on his students. 

His interns played a crucial role in the storyline as Rizwani witnessed the crash (and then struggled to sit with those feelings, trying to repress them as best he could and pretend that he was okay because he didn’t think they were valid since he wasn’t a victim of the actual crash), all while Phoebe reached out to the late pilot’s brother, Roy, to ask him for help recreating the flight path to figure out what may have gone wrong. Again, with all of the resources at their disposal, why didn’t the FBI think of this first?

At about the same time, Owen confessed to a firmware update that caused another crash while Roy realized why his brother disabled Atmos and opted for a manual override. Turns out, it was an NTSB coverup, and Dale, the NTSB officer who responded to the crash, put the whole scheme in motion. 

This case wasn’t as predictable or straightforward as the others, and it was genuinely interesting to see why the immediate go-to suggestion was pilot suicide—he wasn’t alive to defend himself and it fit their operating theory, allowing them to provide a certain answer during uncertain times. It’s crazy to think that if not for Alec and his interns, the FBI likely would’ve just let the pilot take the fall and closed the case. I’m actually not surprised they haven’t solved the bombing case if this is their best work. 

Little time was spent on the logo that Alec recalled from the night of the bombing, though it’s surely coming down the line as Marisa informed him that the case was officially reopened after he provided them with a sketch of the logo, which they tied to JoJo’s dry cleaners, currently out of business. Marisa promised to contact someone who can put her in touch with the late business owner’s daughter, so hopefully, more time will be spent figuring out the big mystery of Alec’s past while he works the in-the-moment cases.

I want this show to work, I really do. Done right, it has so much potential to be fun and unique, but only three episodes in, it’s already becoming a bit stale by sticking to the expected formula. I’m hoping they can find a way to shake things up before this series meets its doom… though I do feel like time may be running out.

What did you think of the episode? Are you liking the formulaic approach?

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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

The Irrational

The Irrational Review Season 1 Episode 10 – Bombshell



The Irrational Review Season 1 Episode 10 - Bombshell

On The Irrational Season 1 Episode 10, fans learn just how far Matthias is willing to go to keep his identity a secret. 

The episode focuses largely on Wes Banning, the initial bombing suspect who flubbed his parole after a visit from Matthias, after he took Alec Mercer and his assistants hostage.

Turns out, Wes didn’t just believe he was a victim, he was, in part, one. While he played a role in the church bombing 20 years ago–and contributed to other bombings when he fell on hard times—he also wasn’t given much choice if he wanted to protect his daughter, Dahlia. 

All of his actions have been to keep her safe and sound from Matthias’ threats, which allows us and Alec to see him in a new light. He’s not the soulless psychopath he’s been made out to be. 

And after realizing that Matthias, the real orchestrator of the church bombing, wanted him dead, he escaped from prison and showed up at Alec’s door asking for help. 

Alec didn’t just dismiss him—he does what he’s skilled at and gets him talking, learning plenty about Wes’ life and even bonding with the man who left him with permanent burns. 

Eventually, the plot takes quite a turn when Matthias calls Alec’s office, using Wes’ cloned voice, and threatens his daughter yet again if Wes doesn’t blow himself up.

Where one person sees no option—or things in black and white—Alec always sees the shade of gray, and realizes that there’s another way. With the help of Rizwan and Phoebe, they are able to pinpoint Dahlia’s location and get to her mere moments before Matthias arrives. 

You might be wondering how they managed to get out of the building surrounded by the FBI—as Alec’s perceptive sister realized that everyone’s phones were turned off and knew they were in danger—but Alec had a plan for that as well.

Wes made the bombs go off in the office, allowing them to escape without notice, while Rizwan and Phoebe fled to safety. 

It wasn’t as easy convincing Dahlia that she was in danger, especially as she’d seen the news and knew her dad was a wanted man, but Alec was eventually able to reason with her, and she allowed them inside. 

There wasn’t much time, but Wes was able to apologize to his daughter for not being in her life, and even had a tender moment with her daughter, his granddaughter, before taking a bullet for Dahlia and dying moments after he told her she was his “one good thing.”

The Irrational Review Season 1 Episode 10 - Bombshell

THE IRRATIONAL — “Bombshell” Episode 110 — Pictured: (l-r) Jesse L. Martin as Alec Mercer, Ben Cotton as Wes Banning — (Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

The moment had to be very shocking to her, but thankfully, Alec was on hand to provide some clarity behind her father’s disappearing actions all these years—and in the end, Wes made amends and got closure with the only person who’s ever mattered, proving that he’s only ever cared about her and protected her. 

As for Matthias, he’s very trying to tie up old ends and loose ends, all while seemingly silencing any new theories that may arise. It’s evident that he’s aware of the FBI’s investigation into him, and the fact that Jace ended up unconscious (possibly dead) on Marisa’s living room floor isn’t a coincidence—it means that he got too close to the truth and took him out before he could tell her what he found in the critical break in the case. 

That, however, means that Matthias may be hiding in plain sight. Or he’s got them all bugged somehow. The man (or woman, let’s be honest) is skilled, but Marisa’s determination just shot through the roof now that he’s targeted not one but two men that she’s ever loved.

What do you think Matthias’ deal is? Who is it? And what are they actually covering up? What happened the night of the bombing?

Did you enjoy Wes’ redemption arc? And we all have to agree that there’s no denying that Kylie’s calling is in law enforcement, right?

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The Irrational

Is ‘The Irrational’ on Today?



The Irrational Season 1 Episode 1 Recap Pilot

If you’re looking to solve a new case of the week with Alec Mercer on The Irrational, you’ll have to be a bit more patient.

The Irrational Season 1 Episode 7, which aired on Nov 6, 2023, was the last one audiences will see in a while—and there’s a perfectly reasonable, even rational, explanation for it: there are no episodes left to air.

The former episode was the last scheduled episode to air on NBC, as the start of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, both of which have, officially concluded, halted production. That means they were only able to film 7 episodes of the season.

Now that production has been cleared, The Irrational will pick up filming once again and will air its final four episodes starting Monday, Jan. 29, 2024. So sadly, fans will not be getting any news episodes through the remainder of 2023, however, the good news is that 2024 is just around the corner. 

The Irrational, starring Jesse L. Martin, scored an NBC series order at the end of 2022. 

While you’re waiting for new episodes about the behavioral psychologist who takes on cases—and helps the CIA (along with his ex-wife) solve crimes—all while dealing with past trauma from a bombing decades prior, you can catch up via our recaps and reviews right here on CraveYouTV.

You can also check out another NBC series that’s also been filling the gap amid the strikes, Found, with reviews here. 

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The Irrational

The Irrational Review Season 1 Episode 7 – The Real Deal



The Irrational Review Season 1 Episode 7 The Real Deal

The Irrational Season 1 Episode 7 attempted to pull off double duty as not only was Alec on a first date with Rose, but he was also using the 24-hour date to test a new romance theory just as the whole outing doubled as a murder investigation connected to one of her clients. That’s just how things go when you’re with Alec, and you have to be ready to roll with the punches, which Rose definitely was. 

But if that all feels like a lot for viewers, well, it’s because it is. The plot of the “case of the week” was just a bit too complex to follow—and I’m not a fan of getting invested in the story only for it to bear no merit on the outcome (looking at you, Mr. Z!).

There were too many players featured and a handful of twists as Alec and Rose debated whether or not the Cézanne paintings were real or a forgery. Then, at the end of the day, none of it even mattered because Rose and Alec, who witnessed the murder of Henry, an art dealer, found out that the motive behind the death was love. 

Their investigation revealed that Henry destroyed the final Cézanne created by Bridget, the artist behind the forgeries, after he spoke with them because he realized that people were onto their scheme and didn’t want to leave any evidence behind, however, Evan, the forgery appraiser, killed Henry in a fit of rage because he was in love with Bridget, who died of cancer, and was upset to see the only thing left of her destroyed so carelessly.

While murder mysteries are rarely ever cut and dry, it was a roundabout way of getting to the suspect.

There was also Rose’s client, Blair, who connected to the scheme through her ex-husband Carson but wasn’t completely crucial to the overall story aside from kickstarting the investigation by reporting her Orchard painting as a fake.

Seeing her move on from her ex, who admitted that he was cheating on her, however, coincided with Alec’s grand first date, the first since his divorce. 

There’s something to be said for finally concluding that it’s time to move on, and, in Alec’s case, he was accepting that things with Marisa were officially over. 

Rose, however, is such a good fit into his life—she’s basically the female version of Alec. The former M6 agent whose cover was blown now works as a crisis management expert, so she’s go-with-the-flow, good at reading people, and thrives on the action. 

She’s also a good addition to his life—not only because they had great chemistry and they complement each other far better than Marisa and Alec—but because she can exist without always being involved. They are both established in their respective careers, so they can date without becoming co-dependent. 

Moving on is a huge deal for Alec. At the end of the episode, there was a moment where it was clear Alec didn’t think he’d ever feel like this about anyone ever again after his divorce, but now he’s realizing that he simply needed to do it on his own terms after grieving and mourning his previous relationship. 

He wasn’t ready for his next chapter until he was ready, so I hope Marisa doesn’t screw it up or make him have second thoughts. 

Rose’s next client took her on a trip to Paris, but they both agreed to another date when she got back.

For Marisa, the news that Alec was once again dating was a hard pill to swallow, despite having moved on with Jace. I don’t think she’s ever faced her feelings, simply repressing them instead because she initiated the divorce and knew that they needed to move on. However, she never confronted how it would feel to have Alec move on while still playing a critical role in her life as a friend. 

Marisa and Kylie hung out for the first time since the divorce, and while the “A” word was not allowed, it was established that they had a tight relationship before Alec and Marisa split. It was nice to see them get back to it, proving that once family means always family, no matter the external circumstances. They still cared a lot about each other and could have a relationship even if Alec wasn’t the middle ground as much anymore. 

The bombing was not mentioned, so there wasn’t anything on that front, though I read it’s supposed to be a storyline that’s wrapped up by the end of the first season.

Phoebe and Rizwan conducted a control experiment that helped Alec and Rose solve the case, but other than that, they are two characters that I’ve found myself completely indifferent about. The story exists with or without them. 

What did you think about the episode? Do you like Rose for Alec? Are you enjoying the cases of the week? 

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