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Peacock Show Explores Science and Faith

The Pitch: As the headline here suggests, this show is tricky, premise-wise. Let’s start with this — explaining the titular Mrs. Davis, which is a mobile app-based artificial intelligence which, in its 10 years of existence, has totally transformed the world into a place of harmony, as people complete “quests” assigned by the algorithm to earn their “wings.”

While the world has come to embrace Mrs. Davis, she’s not universally adored — with her most dominant enemy being Simone (Betty Gilpin), a nun who spends her free time revealing the secrets of magicians who use their talents to manipulate others. So Simone’s got a quest of her own: to destroy Mrs. Davis.

She’s not alone, as her childhood sweetheart Wiley (Jake McDorman) is also anti-A.I., and has his own little resistance movement to assist her. But at the end of the day, it comes down to Simone diving deep into the difference between fact and fiction, religion and belief, and right and wrong — with her own faith in God at the center of it.

Reach Out and Touch Faith: There’s a lot to unpack about Tara Hernandez and Damon Lindelof’s supernatural religious romantic dramedy, because as you might expect from that description, it is a lot. Science, faith, Knights Templar, Super Bowl commercials, magic, Hawaiian Shaved Ice and more are all flavors to be found in the stew being served up by the series, and ninety percent of the time, it’s all remarkably coherent, blended together for a singular world view just slightly askew of our own.

All of this wildness is rendered with concise elegance by directors Owen Harris (Black Mirror) and Alethea Jones (Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies), who seem to relish executing a nuanced discussion of what it means to pray as much as they enjoy a frenzied motorcycle chase. There are a number of amusing tangents… Well, actually, they seem like tangents, coming out of nowhere like they do, but by the time the episode (or season) is over, their meaning becomes clear. An idle prayer leads to a field full of pianos, as one example.

While Lindelof has made it explicitly clear that he is not the showrunner of Mrs. Davis, it’s not hard to find his stamp all over this — for example, would you believe that someone steps inside an arcane device at one point? And that there is a complicated diving-style suit also involved? Yet there’s something quite singular about his voice combined with his co-creator, one which leads to a narrative seeped in the complicated bond that exists between mother and daughter — whether that mother be a Mother Superior, or an artificial intelligence, or just the woman who raised you, whose approval you’ll always yearn for.

Mrs. Davis (Peacock)

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