Reviews > Television

Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye

Television | Original series on PAX-TV network has something for the whole family

Issue: "2004 Election: GOP's encore," Aug. 28, 2004

One of the top shows for families, according to the Parents Television Council, is Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye, an original series on the positive-values network PAX-TV. Another series from the Christian television team of Gary and Dale Alan Johnson, the show is based on the real-life career of Sue Thomas, an FBI agent who is deaf.

The role is played by Deanna Bray, a deaf actress. One theme of the program is how well deaf people can function in the "hearing world." Both the real and the fictional Sue Thomas got her start as a fingerprint analyst, but the agency discovered that her ability to read lips is priceless when it comes to long-distance surveillance. Agent Thomas can read the bad guys' lips through her binoculars, which means undercover agents do not have to risk their lives if their "wires" are discovered.

Sue Thomas is a cop show, so sometimes people get killed, but there is no blood and little violence to speak of. There is no cynicism in the FBI team, no "gritty realism" as is common on the new breed of cop shows. Typically, Sue Thomas has two plots: a crime story (such as trying to catch an al-Qaeda arms dealer) and a personal story of one of the regular characters (a husband has trouble coming to terms with his wife's pregnancy).

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The show has "sweet" moments (the husband buying a pair of booties for the new baby) and some tear-jerking moments (after all that, the wife has a miscarriage). It has forensic moments (deducing the location of the bad guys' hideout by calculating the length of a car ride) and police moments (breaking in on the terrorists). It also has sweet police moments (catching a fleeing arms merchant by realizing that he must pick up his daughter at school; he won't fight arrest because it might embarrass her, so they don't cuff him to embarrass him).

Now in its third season, Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye does not have as many overt statements of faith as does the Johnson brothers' other show for Pax, Doc. But it is unrelentingly positive. With its relationship plots, its inspiring role model, and just enough gunplay to spice things up, the show has something for the whole family.

Gene Edward Veith
Gene Edward Veith

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