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On NBC's 'InBetween,' She Sees Dead People – Haven't We Seen This Before?
May 29, 2019  | By David Hinckley

Turns out zombies aren’t the only people who can be dead but not quite gone.

InBetween, an NBC series that premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET, prominently features the spirits and sometimes bodies of the deceased.

They appear to us courtesy of Cassie Bedford (Harriet Dyer, top), who has the ability to speak with these departed souls, or sometimes just catch a glimpse of some critical moment at the end of their lives. In at least one case, a deceased girl sits in a room with several other people and talks to Cassie while remaining invisible to everyone else. 

Cassie isn’t the first TV character who can commune with the dead, nor is she the first whose conversations seem to disproportionately involve people who died in unjust or gruesome ways.

By coincidence, perhaps, Cassie’s foster dad, Tom Hackett (Paul Blackthorne,) is a Seattle detective, and while he doesn’t want to expose Cassie to excessive risk, he finds her skillset useful in solving some of the crimes that got these folks killed in the first place.

Because of the fact Cassie doesn’t fit the usual profile for police informants, Tom prefers to keep her role on the down-low.  

As we join the story, he has acquired a partner, Damien Asante (Justin Cornwell), and as Tom feared, Damien initially doubts Cassie’s visions have any real significance.

Thankfully for the plotlines of the show, it doesn’t take Damien long to buy that they do, or to find himself intrigued by this mysterious woman whose day job is tending bar.

The most recent other television character who helps solve crimes by getting into the minds of the dead is, of course, Rose McIver’s Liv on iZombie, and it must be said up front that Liv is a whole lot more fun.

Or, rather, iZombie is a whole lot more fun. Cassie is lively and fun, too, albeit a bit haunted, but death in InBetween feels more visceral. That’s probably an inevitable consequence of serial killers who torture their victims or relatives who abuse young children.

Purely as a dramatic device, making death seem more personal and more wrenching raises the stakes, and InBetween has Tom and Damien doing classic TV-style detective work to identify and hunt down the people about whom Cassie has passed along fragmented clues.

InBetween behaves like a procedural with a supernatural element, and as procedurals go, it falls somewhere in the middle.

The most memorable element of the first episode is an incredibly irritating song that provides a crucial clue toward finding the killer. Viewers will work feverishly to get it out of their heads.

Dyer makes Cassie lively, with a nice hint of attitude and an underlying uneasiness about the effect of her unsolicited skill on her own life.  

While the rest of the cast is professional, and there are indications the characters have some potentially interesting backstories, nothing in the script makes them immediately stand out. While a romance might provide a spark, InBetween is placing its make-or-break bet on our ongoing fascination with Cassie’s skill.

Trouble is, we’ve seen so many characters with a superpower lately that Cassie’s simply may not stand out enough.

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