The Whispers “X Marks the Spot” recap: Parents just don’t understand …

LILY RABE, KYLE HARRISON BREITKOPF Lori Acken
THE WHISPERS - We love to play games with our children. But what happens when someone else starts to play with them, too? Someone we don't know. Can't see. Can't hear. In "The Whispers," someone or something - is manipulating the ones we love most to commit the unthinkable. In the country's center of political power, Washington D.C., several kids have been talking about their imaginary friend, Drill. What the parents don't know is that this friend is not as imaginary as they think. And when the mysterious games Drill convinces them to play turn dangerous, FBI child specialist Claire Bennigan is called in to investigate. What is it that Drill wants, and why does he - or it - only communicate with children? As the clock counts down, a suspenseful race will begin to save not only their families, but the world. Before it's too late. ABC's "The Whispers" premieres MONDAY, JUNE 1 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET), on ABC. (ABC/Kelsey McNeal) LILY RABE, KYLE HARRISON BREITKOPF

“Parents just don’t understand.”

It’s not just a Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince hit, but a line that can accurately describe the paranormal drama The Whispers on ABC.

The debut episode “X Marks the Spot” begins with young Harper talking to what is believed to be her imaginary friend Drill (what happened to names like Bob?). The six-year-old calls her mom up to a tree house after following instructions from Drill; the mom falls through the wooden floor.

The strange case introduces us to FBI child specialist Claire Bennigan, who is going through her own issues. Son Henry is deaf and her husband Sean was believed to have died in a plane crash a few months prior. This is what we are led to believe anyway until…defense department operative Wes Lawrence — who we find had an extramarital affair with Bennigan — discovers the crash site in the Sahara and comes to the conclusion Sean may be alive.

Meanwhile Bennigan with partner Jessup Rollins look similar mysterious instances with a child and an instance where Drill appears. Bennigan finds a character drawing of a person of interest done with a description from one of the parents resembles her husband.

Lawrence’s daughter Minx also starts talking to this imaginary persona. Lena, her mom, starts getting suspicious when Minx causes a friend to flee a playground in fear and because the little girl knows personal details including her dad’s affair. Kids know all. Listen and watch your children carefully. Don’t buy creepy toys that light up and night lights like the ones found in Minx’s room and throughout the house. Good parenting tips on this show.

Cut to a tattooed and bearded John Doe, who is in a hospital. He appears to be the only adult who can have some level of understanding to Drill. Towards the end of the episode, viewers find out Doe is really Claire’s hubby! Their son Henry begins talking to Drill after he begins to miraculously hear again.

LILY RABE, KYLE HARRISON BREITKOPF
Lily Rabe and Harrison Breitkopf as Claire and Henry in ABC’s “The Whispers” (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

The pilot really set the tone and groundwork for what’s to come for the rest of the season. I love Lily Rabe, who plays Claire. She is no stranger to out-there projects, having “American Horror Story” on her resume. The same could be said for her co-star and onscreen husband Sean, played by Milo Ventimiglia of “Heroes” fame. This project has executive producer Steven Spielberg all over it (children, sci-fi, mystery, possible aliens).

The stars of this show could easily be the children, who are really at the center of this story. This particular network selection has the right amount of creepiness and mystery to keep viewers hooked. I know after the last scene I needed cartoons before I went to sleep.

The_Whispers_Cast
ABC’s “The Whispers” star Lily Rabe as Claire Bennigan, Barry Sloane as Wes Lawrence, Milo Ventimiglia as John Doe, Derek Webster as Jessup Rollins, Kristen Connolly as Lena Lawrence, Kylie Rogers as Minx Lawrence, and Kyle Harrison Breitkopf as Henry Bennigan.

The Whispers airs Monday nights at 10/9CT on ABC
Follow Scott Fishman on Twitter @smFISHMAN