The biggest problem is how much the show is clear about. There is no subtlety to be found within the script. When a teacher confronts Peter and mentions his parents, Peter doesn’t hint around his past. Instead, he tells the teacher to contact “a group foster home, where I live,” placing such a laughable emphasis on “live,” as if it wasn’t already clear enough. But the most egregious, and unintentionally funny, lack of elegance comes when The Messengers goes all in on explaining that this will be an angels vs. demons series: The mysterious strangers have wings — actual wings — show up in their mirrored reflections, while the devilish man known, of course, as “The Man” (Diogo Morgado) literally crashes to Earth in a ball of fire. At one point, as we watch our main characters, a narration actually explains, “Nothing is random. Nothing is a coincidence. Everything is happening for a reason,” and it’s impossible not to roll your eyes.
The Messengers isn’t entirely without potential. It may be worth watching a few more episodes in hopes that it will simultaneously rein in its overwritten script and intensify the mysterious elements — and, above all, find a way to introduce some originality into a tired premise. For now, The Messengers — which is stuck in the dead zone of Friday nights — is more reminiscent of the old, shrug-worthy version of The CW than the heartening resurgence we’re currently witnessing.