I have to preface my recap by saying that I have never watched this show before in my life. I prepared for this writing by reading Alex's previous recaps and reading some other websites, but I apologize in advance if I make any mistakes. I'm learning!
The credits set up the premise of the show: Michael Wiseman falls in front of a subway, and his brain is rescued by a secret government agency and put into an artificially created man. He gets to continue to live in this super body, but he can't contact anyone from his former life upon penalty of death.
The opening vignette is a total rip-off of The Twilight Zone. Some text on the screen informs us that the setting is Coney Island. There is a voice-over talking about fear: "Fear is a contrary companion. You stay, he goes. You talk, he steals your voice." The voice-over continues talking about the nature of fear as we see a woman climbing a giant metal tower. A crowd has gathered to watch, and numerous emergency vehicles and personnel are on the scene as well. A guy runs out of the crowd towards the tower, but he is restrained by two fireman, and he yells out that the woman is scared to death of heights. The woman is still climbing, and they show a shot from her point of view to accentuate how high up she really is. She doesn't look very scared. In fact, she is smiling, and she lets her feet dangle so that she is hanging from her hands. Then, she lets her hands go and drops, smiling all the time. People in the crowd cover their eyes, and the man (the woman's husband?) is restrained by firemen. The voice-over concludes, "You can always smell fear. Always." So, this episode is about people's fears and how to overcome them. Keep that in mind, because you'll only be reminded of it, oh, about a thousand times in the next hour.
A man is lying on a couch in a therapist's office. He tells us that he is forty-eight years old, and that he keeps thinking about how many opportunities he has missed in his life, instead of the success he has achieved. He doesn't want to get out of bed in the morning, because he thinks nothing will ever be new again. Then he goes out and buys a convertible sports car, and he feels a lot better. Actually, he says he's thinking about running away and starting over. The therapist says, "This is really still about that woman, that Lisa, isn't it?" The guy on the couch snaps and says that if the therapist has a professional opinion, she should just state it instead of phrasing it like a question. He's a lawyer, and he doesn't ask his clients if they did anything illegal. What an ass. The therapist must agree with me, because she proceeds to rip him a new one, telling him he is scared, frightened and unhappy, and that he won't take a risk because of fear. (See how it ties into the show's theme?) She finishes up by calling him a "cowardly little man" who won't try to save his marriage because it's difficult and won't try end it because it's painful. She adds an afterthought, "And I think it's pathetic." Wow, that was probably really unprofessional but she kicked ass. The guy says, "We covered a lot of ground there, huh?"