Move swiftly past the info dump at the start of the episode – which is more likely to be offputting than appealing – and you’re in a more entertaining hour than you might expect from a series with such a blatantly religious premise. Vera finally discovers what her power is, and it’s one that we’ve not yet seen in the Marvel universe (although Benedict Cumberbatch is likely to be displaying it when he becomes Dr Strange in the coming months). The introduction of that is very nicely played: we think it’s one thing, but turns out to be very different indeed.
Each of the group has their own plotline to follow – it’s Raul’s turn to be tempted, and he learns very quickly not to trust the Man (who is becoming more and more like Stephen King’s Andre Linoge by the week). Rose and Erin try to determine whether it’s a visiting dignitary or a US senator who’s the horseman… not helped when they realise the Man is checking them both too. Vera and Alan try to find out more about the meteor and meet one of Vera’s old flames (her missing son’s father) before the piece of rock they appropriated is stolen – and taken to a secret government base. And as for Peter, his past catches up with him rather quicker than he expected.
There’s still some too heavy-handed symbolism in this – the Last Supper grill where they all meet, for example – but it’s becoming easier to get caught up in their quest, particularly since the producers are throwing a number of curveballs at both sides. Some more shades of grey will certainly help maintain interest.
Verdict: Almost despite itself, The Messengers is drawing the audience in. 7/10