Play ball! Let’s talk about what happened at the end of the ‘Pitch’ pilot

I expressed most of my opinions about Fox's Pitch in this morning's piece, but there is one specific part of the pilot I didn't want to get into until after you had seen it, so spoilers (for this and for the pilot of This Is Us, which we discussed on Tuesday night) coming up just as soon as I keep the $700 million receipt…

As I alluded to this morning, Dan Fogelman clearly had absent fathers on his mind this pilot season. The This Is Us pilot not only involves one of the characters tracking down the biological father who abandoned him as a baby, but reveals at the end that one of its story arcs takes place 36 years in the past, and that Milo Ventimiglia is father (presumably dead in 2016, based on the interactions of two of the siblings) to the main characters living in the present. Pitch, meanwhile, does its own head fake, where we think we're watching Ginny Baker be berated by the father who's trying to live out his failed dreams through her, when in fact he died in a 2010 car crash, and that all their conversations existed only in Ginny's mind as she struggles through the burden of the life he pushed her into.

While I liked the Pitch pilot as a whole more than This Is Us, I found this twist less successful, and not just because I watched it second. TV has a few too many Tyler Durden-esque voices inside main characters' heads at this moment in time, and the Pitch pilot didn't get nearly as much emotional mileage out of the revelation as This Is Us did, in part because this one required more immediate thought as to what we had actually seen earlier. The This Is Us twist also seems to suggest a structure for that show going forward, whereas if Ginny keeps imagining her dad, Pitch risks becoming Dexter with less lumberjacking and more discussion of balks and the infield fly rule. (For what it's worth, Michael Beach is not a regular Pitch castmember, but Fogelman has said we'll continue to see Bill Baker, at least in flashbacks; it's unclear whether the Ghost Dad of it all stops here.)

So, several important questions to ask here, for those of you who watched:

1)Did you see this twist coming?

2)Did you like the twist, or would you rather the show avoided going Mr. Robot meets Sixth Sense?

3)Ghost Dad aside, how did you feel about the pilot as a whole?

4)If I had not told you in advance that the catcher was being played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar, would you have recognized him under that beard and the extra muscle?

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