One episode was provided for review purposes prior to broadcast.
If Supernatural and Smallville had a brief affair, their love child would be the pilot episode of The Messengers. Between the plain-clothed Lucifer-esque character spinning his own agenda and the other worldly imagery, it certainly appears to be a marriage between some of the more interesting parts of both long-lived (living) shows.
“Awakening” serves primarily as a meet-and-greet type episode, not unlike the format viewers would expect to see from any series debut. With promos for the latest CW show giving potential fans a fairly accurate portrayal of what they can look forward to on this Friday’s premiere, it’s the details more than the high points that are what sets this show apart from the rest of the network’s existing lineup.
The Messengers spends the bulk of its first episode establishing the timeline for whatever is going to happen next. Within the first minute or so, viewers are confronted with an initial conflict that presumably will play a substantial role in future episodes. Although the details remain extremely vague all the way through (in respect to pretty much everything that happens), the location of this incident becomes the point where all of the main characters will eventually come together.
Over the course of the next forty minutes, five unrelated people are struck by some kind of supernatural element, the catalyst of which is a meteor striking Earth that the government has a strong desire to keep under wraps. Before the episode concludes, we already see movement from all the characters toward Houston, where the antagonist is awaiting their arrival.
There’s an overarching angels versus demons theme that is framing the show, which may end up boiling down to a more basic good versus evil narrative at some point – most likely depending on whether The Messengers manages to make it through its first season. The gossamer wings that appear in the reflections of the five chosen ones are a little on the hokey side, but are clearly meant to send a message (no pun intended) that these characters are essentially the good guys. In contrast, the latest imagining of the devil, simply a man with no name, played by Diogo Morgado, arrives in a ball of flames. If you’re looking for another sign that he represents the evil faction, there’s also the fact that he attempts to coerce one of the “angels” to kill someone for him – clearly not a glowing endorsement about his character.