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Series / The Messengers

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The Messengers is a series which aired on The CW produced by, among other people, Carl Binder and Trey Callaway. The series was cancelled before its first season completed. However all first season episodes were broadcasted.

Several people have been tasked with averting the apocalypse after a mysterious object enters the Earth's atmosphere and crash-lands, causing them to momentarily die before they return to life.

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This series provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parent:
    • The Devil describes his Father as one though how true this is is ambiguous.
    • Joshua's father beat him when he was a child, controls everything in his life, has an affair with his daughter-in-law, blackmails her and nearly kills her when she refuses to cooperate. Father of the year indeed.
  • Accidental Murder: Peter accidentally kills his bully by fighting back without yet knowing he had Super Strength
  • A God Am I: The Devil proclaims this at the end of "A House Divided".
  • All Asians Know Martial Arts: Koa Lin does, and uses her skills to fight Raul.
  • Angel Unaware: Vera, Erin, Joshua, Peter and Raul. They themselves don't know what this at first.
  • The Anti-Christ: Amy, Erin's daughter.
  • Archangel Michael: The Man reveals that Vera's son Michael is the incarnation of him.
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  • Astral Projection: Vera's ability, referred to by Rose as "spirit walking".
  • Attempted Rape: Koa Lin is nearly raped by a man in a casino after she's caught cheating at cards. She uses her ability to assume his form and beat him up.
  • Big Bad: The Devil.
  • Black Dude Dies First: A black woman is the first person to die. However, this is later subverted when the pilot shows that she's still alive, albeit in a coma. Later she's revived and becomes the leader of the Messengers.
  • Cast from Hit Points: If Erin uses her healing powers too much it will cause her own health and body to deteriorate.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: The Man points out to the heroes that the Apocalypse could have been prevented earlier if Vera killed Rose as he asked her. For once, he seems to be honest.
  • Church of Saint Genericus: The evangelist, Joshua Silburn Junior, starts out as the youthful "face" of an evangelist TV show; aside from the interaction of the show's premise with his religion, he could be a leader of any relatively mainstream Christian church.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Peter's girlfriend, Alice. Also, the scientist, Vera.
  • Dead Star Walking: Jamie Bamber as Vincent Plowman. If you've followed his career, this shouldn't surprise you at all.
  • The Devil: He falls to earth in the pilot, taking the form of a man with dark hair and a slight accent up to the usual tricks.
  • Deus ex Machina: Just when things look hopeless in "Houston, We Have A Problem", the final collective sacrifice of the Messengers is enough to cause God to stop the unleashing of the fifth seal and performing a number of miracles along the way (such as healing Alex and reviving the Messengers).
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Halfway through the season, the Messengers appear to have stopped one of the Horsemen. Of course that couldn't last.
  • Disappeared Dad: Vera was a single mother prior to her son being kidnapped. It turns out that his father was her ex, Leo, whom she had been about to tell she was pregnant when he'd told her he had Huntington's Disease, which is hereditary, then broke up with her. After that she didn't tell him. He isn't pleased to find out she kept this from him later when Vera reveals that he's a father.
  • Domestic Abuse: Joshua's father is abusive to his wife, and Joshua has him arrested for this. Erin's husband grew increasingly paranoid and controlling once their daughter Amy was born, to the point that he wouldn't even let them leave the house. She left with Amy, but he tracked them down. It doesn't help that he's a police officer.
  • Driven to Suicide: Peter's mother, due to having him taken away at birth because he was born out of wedlock, which caused her to fall into deep depression.
  • Eternal Recurrence: It is hinted that the events of the series do not depict the first-ever kick-off to the final apocalypse, and "A House Divided" fleshes this out when an older woman comes across Joshua and informs him she had to help her fellow Messengers stave off the Apocalypse about a generation before.
    Secretary Cindy Richards: We will not make the same mistake as those who came before us.
    The Man: They almost made it all the way to the seventh seal.
    Cindy Richards: (scoffs} "Almost" is for amateurs. This time, we're taking a different approach.
  • Evil All Along: Rose.
  • Fanservice: Vera wearing only a towel in Path to Paradise
  • Fainting Seer: Joshua's power, visions, cause him to have what looks to others to be a seizure.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: The Senator herself (whether she was shot or the Afghan Prime Minister was shot) stood to gain personally and politically regardless of the outcome of the energy conference.
  • Hollywood Atheist: This is averted with Vera, who as an atheist initially doubts the things she's told at the start of the series but comes to believe when shown incontrovertible evidence, and is not shown as wrong for doubting earlier or otherwise portrayed poorly.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The Messengers must find them in order to avoid the Apocalypse. Satan is also looking for them.
  • Hot Scientist: Vera is an astronomer and she's very attractive.
  • I Have Many Names: The Devil says this at one point.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Satan nearly goads Peter into killing himself (helped by the fact he has a long history of depression, and attempted it in the past). He's only stopped by the arrival of Rose to visit him.
  • It Gets Easier: The Devil outright invokes this when he reveals that Rose used to kill terminally ill patients before she killed a woman out of jealousy.
  • Left Hanging: The series ends with the defeat of the Horsemen but leaves potential plotlines for a second season (mostly Amy being the Antichrist and Michael an Archangel).
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Vera finally reveals to Leo Travers, her ex, that he's her son's father in "A House Divided." He's unsurprisingly upset at her not telling him sooner. In the same episode, we also learn that Raul is Nadia's father-he had an affair with her mother, his brother's wife.
  • Meaningful Echo: "A true leader takes action." Mark repeats the words of his brother he just killed.
  • Mercy Kill: Rose started out euthanizing a mortally wounded soldier at his request. Then she moved on to killing terminally ill or elderly patients without their permission. Notably though, it's only when she deliberately murdered her lover's wife in jealousy and hate that she jumped off the slippery slope, becoming the Horseman of Death.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: The five main characters of the series who apparently died, then awoke again, can be seen to have wings when they are viewed in a reflective surface or through a camera, even if the character him/herself is not aware of it. Vera's wings, however, also appear when she's confronting The Man face to face, and she sees her own for the first time in the bar mirror.
  • Missing Child: Vera's son Michael, who has been missing for seven years.
  • Modesty Towel: Vera is wearing one in Path to Paradise when Alan tracks her down to her hotel room at Houston.
  • The Mole: Rose never was a Messenger, she was the Horseman of Death.
  • Moral Event Horizon: invoked Used as a plot point. The Horsemen become Horsemen by committing an irredeemably evil sin. Once that happens, there's no turning back for them.
  • Mundane Utility: Zahir Zakaria uses his power to recharge his cellphone.
  • Oh, Crap!: The look on Vera's face when Leo says he has Huntington's Disease, and that he broke up with her because of that since it's hereditary, while he knew she wanted to have children... which heavily implies he's the father of her son. Confirmed later in Metamorphosis. It turns out that she was just about to tell him about her being pregnant too.
  • Omniglot: Rose speaks every language, and slipped some Icelandic in to show it.
    Rose: Treystu Guði. ("Trust in God")
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Man's (Satan's) eyes glow red from time to time, indicating that he is the Big Bad. Also, the Horsemen have red wings and red eyes.
  • Remote yet Vulnerable: Vera leaves her body behind when using her Astral Projection powers, and if she doesn't come back in six minutes, she dies.
  • Saving the World: The premise of the series; the "angels" are told they are responsible for averting the Apocalypse and Rapture.
  • Satan: He shows up in the pilot, masquerading as a human being.
  • Shifting the Burden of Proof: When Vera questions if Joshua's visions are trustworthy given his apparent mental issues, Rose retorts "You're the scientist. Go prove they aren't."
  • Shoot the Hostage: Raul takes one of his two partners hostage when he finds out they want to kill him. The other doesn't care and tries to kill them both.
  • Skepticism Failure: Vera is initially an atheist who doesn't believe in angels, God, or the Devil. Of course, given that she's been turned into an angel herself on a Mission from God who's had conversations with the Devil by the end of the pilot, she doesn't seem to have much trouble finally accepting it by "Path to Paradise", in which she learns of her own supernatural ability as well.
  • Super Strength: Peter, a rather ordinary-seeming teenager, has this ability.
  • Swiss Army Tears: Erin heals her daughter with her tears, and in a later episode, her tears heal Raul's arm injury.
  • Telepathy: Raul Garcia has the ability to read minds when the target is under stress or heightened tension.
  • There Are No Coincidences: Both Satan and Rose assert this. This is demonstrated when all six main characters, on two separate occasions, all happen to converge on the same location. The first time they all meet at a hospital's chapel, and the second is when they all end up at a dive bar. And before that, there were all present at the hospital when Rose became the Horseman of Death.
  • Undercover as Lovers: Vera and Alan pose as a couple in Metamorphosis.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: This is Koa Lin's ability, and she can apparently acquire knowledge from the people she's impersonated as well (learning martial arts through doubling a man when he had attempted to rape her, for instance).
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Death Becomes Her" reveals that Rose is in fact the first Horseman, the one of Death.
    • "Spark of Hope" reveals that the Messengers must stop not only the Horsemen but also the Antichrist, and Erin's daughter Amy may eventually grow up to either become a Horseman or the Antichrist. In addition, Eliza is killed by the Devil when she won't cooperate in deciphering her book.
    • "Houston, We Have A Problem" reveals that Amy is, in fact, the Antichrist, and that Vera's son Michael is an archangel.
  • Who's Your Daddy?: Joshua's pregnant wife cheated on him with his father. The latter announces the news: "Whether the baby’s your son or your brother, he’s still family."
    • In "Deus Ex Machina" Joshua's wife tells him that the baby is his father's-it was even confirmed by a DNA test.
  • Working with the Ex: Vera finds herself having to work with her ex-boyfriend, Leo Travers, who left her years before.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One:
    • In "Deus Ex Machina", it looks like Vera successfully talks sense to Leland and has stopped the apocalypse in the process. Then Rose bails Leland out to help him break his seal by killing innocents.
    • And then in "Harvest", it turns out to have not mattered which Plowman brother was stopped, as the other one would become a Horseman anyway due to committing an irredeemable act.

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