The Irrational – Episode 3 “Barnum Effect” Recap & Review

Barnum Effect

Irrational episode 3 starts with Alec and Kylie playing tarot cards, and she feels Tower is one of the creepiest cards. Alec reminds her of the Barnum effect as he prepares to meet with Marisa. Kylie pulls a fool card and says she foresees a romantic disaster. However, Alec insists that the meeting is about the logo. Upon his arrival, Alec greets Jace, thanking him for guest lecturing. 

At the FBI, Alec meets Marisa, who tells him they found a company that matches the logo, and the case will be officially reopened. On the other hand, Rizwan is chauffeuring a customer while talking about Alec’s work. But the passenger seems bored and uses an app to tell Rizwan to be silent not long before they witness a plane crash into a nearby tower. 

Meanwhile, Alec is shown a logo on Jojo’s Dry Cleaners van three miles from a Methodist church. After confirming the logo, Alec discovers Jojo’s hasn’t been in business for eight years. The firm’s owner passed on, and the daughter relocated to Iowa. Rizwan goes to the scene, and so does Marisa. Alec learns about the crash in a news report and calls Marisa, who is currently at the site. 

Marisa learns that the plane crashed deliberately, considering that the pilot was highly experienced with clean records. However, he didn’t follow protocol after take-off. At the scene, Alec is introduced to Dale, who is the leading investigator, and Owen. It’s established that the pilot changed the course to hit the bridge since the plane had no mechanical failure.  

The investigation begins as they look for a black box to know what transpired in the cockpit. Miraculously, 25 passengers survived the crash. This makes Alec suspicious if the pilot really intended to kill himself and others. Later, he tells Phoebe that the US has experienced zero commercial plane crashes for the last decade. Rizwan confirms he witnessed the crash. 

Alec is perplexed that NTSB is ignoring critical facts that would help them unravel the mystery behind the crash. He also requests that Marisa allow him access to the pilot’s home. On the other hand, Marisa discloses to Jace that she’s yet to tell him, but she wanted to until the crash interruption. 

Every plane flying out of DC usually has prominent members on it. In particular, this plane had 34 notable World Women in Leadership Association members. In the meantime, Rizwan, Phoebe, and Alec rummage through the pilot’s home and find fresh produce in the fridge. They suspect that the pilot was planning to come home. As the search continues, they find a man in bed, whom they learn is Luca’s brother called Rory. 

Rory is confident that Lucas didn’t commit suicide. Although recently divorced, he was dedicated to seeing it work until his ex-wife left. Being a pilot means being away from your loved ones, which can strain relationships and marriages. 

At the office, Jace explains to Alec that Lucas had signed up for a Mastery Select class about two weeks ago. These classes teach men to stay attractive to women, which Marisa feels is ideal for divorcees. 

“I took the black pill.” This is what is heard in the black box. Caitlin discloses that she’s never felt threatened by her husband, but their marriage was a lie. One man is doubtful if Lucas could be a member of Black Pill. Marisa says it was Lucas’s voice, while Alec isn’t convinced that Lucas could commit a mass murder. At this moment, Marisa also discloses that she’s dating Jace. 

Back at home, Alec discovers that Kylie breached Mastery Select’s database only to realize Lucas left the classes after his second lesson. Upon learning that the forum was a scam, they spammed his email, and that’s why he deleted all his emails. Alec is back to the lecture to lead students with an experiment. 

Dale insists they can’t be sure what the pilot meant in the recorded voice. Alec feels that hundreds of lives could be at risk. Emma secretly hands Alec something before leaving: a card with an address. We also learn that Rory is a pilot. 

When the pilot hit a wind shear, it triggered ATMOS, and Lucas shut it off. Rory wants to rerun the simulator to understand what transpired clearly. Rizwan panics, although he doesn’t want Alec to know. Phoebe informs Alec that Rory found some significant irregularities and would like to talk to NTSB personnel. 

Rory needs protection, or he might go on a mission, too. Rory reveals that ATMOS could have made the place nosedive on the ground, forcing Lucas to switch to manual. He also says that his brother was also trying a water landing. 

Marisa confirms that they found Emma hiding at a friend’s house. Alec confirms that the FBI is coming to dig deep into the investigation. 

Alec assures Rizwan that whatever he’s feeling is normal. A news report shows that six senior executive members of Hollette Aviation were apprehended. Lucas is vindicated, and Rory wants to honour his brother. However, Alec feels he has already honoured him by blowing the NTSB cover-up. 

The Episode Review

Alec and Marisa are still working on the cold case together, and hopefully they find out the truth. The bombing greatly affected Alec, and it is clear he struggles with survivor’s guilt. I hope they find the answers quickly, as this storyline starts feeling dragged. It would be better if we get one episode dedicated to these two solving this long mystery and be done with it.

On the other hand,  Rizwan and Phoebe are getting close, and it is nice to witness their friendship bloom. Rizwan was scared, but Phoebe helped him and proved a good colleague. Overall, this episode seemed slightly blunt as we could predict the ending. There were twists and turns, but mainly, the episode focused on proving the pilot was innocent. 

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