The Crossing Season 1 Episode 4: The Face of Oblivion Recap

104_the-crossing_photo02Alliances shift and more secrets are revealed in this episode of The Crossing, but Nestor can still be counted on to keep the town of Port Canaan running and Marshall calm, while his boss deals with the crisis of the day. Unfortunately, Nestor’s counterpart at Camp Tomanowas, Emma’s assistant Bryce, has faded into the background, and the operations run by the Department of Homeland Security are a mess. The villains are running amok at every level, from the Undersecretary, who was no doubt appointed by the president himself, down to the riffraff among the survivors. Emma’s dealing with the truth on her own within DHS, and the burden grows larger by the hour.

Episode 4 picks up not long after the end of episode 3, with Jude using his GPS to track Oliver’s cell phone while Reece takes Oliver on the run. Presumably Jude called Nestor to handle the Apex hunter’s body and the investigation into his murder, before Jude took off after Reece and Oliver.

Reece calls Jude from Oliver’s phone to make her demands. Jude gets the festivities started by threatening to hurt her should anything happen to Oliver. She’d laugh in his face if he were in front of her, but he’s not, so she settles for pointing out that he’s already led her into a trap and left her for dead while assuring her that he could be trusted. Anything he says to her is beyond meaningless.

But Jude didn’t mean for her to get shot at so we’re possibly supposed to forgive him for the rest- Except he did mean to turn her over to Emma, and he didn’t search for her, or send anyone else to search for her, after things went wrong. Instead, he forgot about her and his promises to her like she was a drunken one night stand. So, while it’s never ok to involve kids in violent disputes, Jude can’t claim any moral high ground here, either. Reece is a desperate parent. He should understand that.

Reece wants to exchange Oliver for Leah, tomorrow. If Jude cooperates, no one will get hurt. He can’t involve anyone else. Jude wants to talk to Oliver, to make sure he’s ok. Oliver is in a separate car from the one that Reece has been hotwiring as she’s been talking. He tells Jude that he’s fine. Jude tells Oliver that the murder case is going to take some time, so he wants Oliver to stay with Reece for a while. Reece takes back the phone and says she’ll call again in 4 hours with a location for the exchange.

Jude finishes off with another threat, to make sure he doesn’t leave his masculinity behind on the phone. He was on the Fugitive Apprehension Team in Oakland for 5 years and had a high clearance rate, so he can find Reece anywhere on earth if she hurts Oliver. She hangs up on him.

He’s still the worst investigator ever. She’s only injured people when they came after her. She’s had one motive from the start, and has been very clear about it. He’s the one who’s unpredictable and doesn’t have follow through. If Leah dies, I don’t think Reece will care about her own future at all. The issue then will be a matter of if she’ll quietly give up, or fly into a rage.

Jude catches up to Oliver’s phone a minute after they hang up, but he’s too late. Reece left the phone behind in the original car, while she and Oliver escaped in the new car.

Paul approaches another refugee, who’s good at drawing, and asks if she’d draw something for him. He has the reference points of a particular face from his past all marked out, and he needs someone to draw the face.

Caleb sits in the camp chapel, praying and fidgeting with his Alpha-Zulu wrist tattoo. Luke enters the chapel and looks around. He makes comments about the chapel and the religion it represents as if he’s looking at something from the distant past.

Then he asks Caleb why Caleb keeps his Alpha-Zulu print covered when he should be proud of it? Caleb says that he doesn’t need the reminder. Luke says, “Of what? Killing Apex, breaking off collaborators? I wish I had your memories.” Caleb replies that, no, Luke really doesn’t. Luke changes the subject to ask if Caleb has seen Hannah. Caleb hasn’t. Luke leaves, kicking a bible across the room as she goes.

Hannah, meanwhile, is showing why she’s survived this long, and turning butter knives into shivs.

Marshall and a friend discuss Hannah. Marshall doesn’t know what it is about her, but he can’t stop thinking about her. He’s surmised that she’s one of the Thorn Beach refugees. Between them, he and his friend pool the rumors and information they’ve collected and figure out that the survivors must be housed at Camp Tomanowas. Two more locals who should have been hired as Sheriff instead of Jude.


Jude rushes up to the camp and is stopped at the gate by tough guy Agent Greg. Jude demands to see Emma, but Greg turns him town, saying she’s not available. She’s not picking up her phone, either. Jude pretends to leave, but drives his car through the entrance gate instead. Emma apparently was available, just not at Jude’s beck and call, because she shows up within seconds after he’s stopped. Once he tells her that Reece is alive and has kidnapped Oliver, Emma forgives everything.

Jude finally tells Emma that Reece is Leah’s mother. Reece wants her back, and Emma can’t involve anyone else. We waste a minute on the deceptive type of writing that this show loves, where people speak in half sentences and partial truths, in order to prolong the drama, rather than just telling someone everything at once like any normal person would do.

So Emma says that Jude can’t take Leah, but doesn’t say why, and Jude has a giant hissy fit, instead of doing the logical thing and asking why. In real life, the other Homeland Security agents would have already called down to Port Canaan and Jude would be fired, while federal charges against him were being filed. Instead, Emma drags out the explanation that Leah is highly contagious and dying, while Jude puts on a show of yelling at her and pounding on things. He’s demanding favors and being a jerk at the same time, as usual.

Reece drives Oliver out to a deserted stretch of river so they can go fishing like Jude promised. Oliver notices that Reece didn’t bring any poles, so she goes over to a couple of nearby fishermen to appropriate one of their poles. It’s not clear if she would have been willing to pay for the pole, since she tells the men she “needs” one of their poles, and they sexually proposition her in response. She takes their fishing gear forcibly, and they limp back to their car. Oliver is as observant as his dad and doesn’t notice.

Paul flags down Agent Greg and asks for help finding the woman he had the other refugee draw. Paul says that the woman he’s looking for will pay Greg for his help once they find her. Paul shows Greg the drawing and asks if there’s a facial recognition database they can use.


Emma introduces Jude to Dr Forbin, who tells him that Leah won’t live for more than 48 hours. Jude explains the Reece/Oliver situation to Dr Forbin. Greg calls Emma outside to discuss the Paul situation.

Hannah finishes sharpening her butter knives, then tapes them together to make a large double-edged blade.

Jude thinks that Leah should be with her mom when she passes, but Dr Forbin won’t release her, even if she’s wearing a hazmat suit. Jude takes out a knife and threatens to slash the isolation tent, exposing both himself and Dr Forbin to Leah’s illness, if Dr Forbin doesn’t help him.

Emma asks Paul about the drawing. At first he won’t talk and Emma threatens him with isolation. Then he admits that the woman is his wife, who came with an earlier group.

When Emma returns to Leah’s isolation tent, Jude and Dr Forbin are gone. Emma calls Jude to complain, but Jude tells her that she owes him the help. Dr Forbin takes the phone and explains that she’s going to Leah’s mother of her own free will, because Reece’s Apex blood kept Leah alive for years. Maybe Dr Forbin can use Reece’s blood to treat Leah now.


Oliver teaches Reece to fish, and she’s unnaturally good at it. She checks in with Jude, who lies and says that he has Leah. He tells Dr Forbin that he lied because Reece is unpredictable.

Hannah takes her knife to Luke’s cabin and attempts to attack him, but finds Caleb inside instead. Caleb stops her, and questions her about what’s going on between her and Luke. She refuses to say at first, but Caleb figures out that Luke threatened Hannah. He tells Hannah that she could have gone to him or someone else for help, but she says that she couldn’t. They go back and forth until she admits that she worked with Apex:

Hannah: It was just a couple times. I gave them information.

Caleb: You’re a collaborator.

Hannah: They caught my dad on a salvage run. Brought him to the house. They cut his hand off in front of me, made me watch. They said his head was next. What was I supposed to do? I’ve seen your arm. I know what you did to people like me. So go ahead. Do it. I’m tired of running and lying and don’t even know why I have to anymore, because I did what I had to, to survive.

Caleb [moves to stand closer to her]: We all did. Luke know about this? He put his hands on you?

Hannah: I wasn’t gonna let it get that far.

Caleb takes her knife away, clearly deciding that he’ll protect her, which is sweet and all. But, he can’t be with her 24/7, or predict who else among the refugees will hear she was a collaborator and decide to make her a target. She needs to be able to protect herself, maybe with a less conspicuous knife, or a taser and pepper spray. The guards certainly won’t protect her. Roy already proved that they aren’t interested in getting that involved.

Emma begins to scan Paul’s drawing so that it can be sent up the official chain of command and run through the facial recognition database. Then she remembers what’s been happening lately with Lindauer and pulls the plug on the official search. Instead, she calls a friend and has them do the search off the books. After the fiasco with Reece and Jude, Emma’s going to pre-investigate this one on her own before making it official and opening it up to Lindauer’s attempts at a cover up.

As they drive toward the area Jude expects to meet Reece in, Dr Forbin questions him about Reece. She’s trying to find out about the scientific advances that led to Reece being immune to Mantle’s Disease, while humans are all susceptible. He answers in as few words as possible, probably because he’s busy pouting and he thinks she’s being gossipy. He’s not smart enough to realize that she’s a scientist conducting an investigation into a possible pandemic with one of the few available eye witnesses to a potential source for a cure.

Dr Forbin says that she was told Apex have enhanced strength, healing, and sensory capabilities. Jude confirms that Reece has those attributes. Dr Forbin says it would be like looking into the future of human evolution. Jude stops her and says that Reece isn’t the future of human evolution. She was made for fighting and she’s dangerous.

Look in the mirror, buddy.

Reece texts the exact location for the exchange, the place where Jude is going to show up having lied to her again.

Marshall is still moping about Hannah, while his nameless friend tries to talk him into forgetting her. The friend reminds Marshall that he already has a sorta girlfriend, Claire, and he only spent 2 hours with Hannah. Marshall doesn’t care. He can’t explain why, but he knows that Hannah is his density destiny, and Claire isn’t really his girlfriend. More like a friend with benefits, or a girl he goes out with when he wants to have fun. He can’t help it if all that dating and talking and sex made her think they were a thing.

Marshall can’t figure out how to communicate with Hannah when she’ locked up tight in Camp Guantanamo, but then he notices someone flying a drone and inspiration strikes. He and his friend get a drone, or maybe buy that drone, tape a burner phone addressed to Hannah onto it, and send the drone flying near the camp. Their efforts are thwarted when a hawk flies into the drone and knocks off the phone. Someone from the camp finds the phone, which still has its Hannah label, but all we’re shown are their feet.

Luke returns to his own cabin to find Caleb waiting for him. Caleb politely orders Luke to leave Hannah alone. Luke tells Caleb that Hannah was a collaborator, but Caleb says, “We all did things we thought we had to do.” Luke tells Caleb that the Apex killed his entire family. He can’t stand the thought of someone who helped his family’s murderers walking around free. Caleb says that Hannah will be allowed to walk around free and he’ll take care of Luke permanently if Luke ever touches her.

Luke: I got a question. Who made you king of the camp?

Caleb: I did. [Roughly puts Luke in a choke hold.] I could end this right here. Believe me. I’ve done it so many times that I’ve lost count.

Luke: Okay.

Caleb drops him on the floor and walks out. Outside, Caleb takes a moment to gather himself. He looks sad, like this wasn’t the way he intended to spend his new life.

Jude and Dr Forbin arrive at an empty warehouse to meet Reece. Jude finally has to explain to Reece that Leah is dying, so he couldn’t bring her, and brought her doctor in her place. Dr Forbin explains that it’s Mantle’s Disease and that she’s heard that Reece has already treated Leah for the illness. The doctor proposes that she trade places with Oliver, so she can help Reece create Leah’s treatment. Once they have the treatment, she’ll take it back to Leah. Reece agrees.


During this confrontation, Oliver was already waiting for Jude back at Jude’s house. Reece was never going to hurt him, no matter what happened at the warehouse. Oliver assumed that Reece is Jude’s girlfriend, and Jude had Reece watch Oliver to get them comfortable with each other. Clearly Reece never did anything to make Oliver feel threatened.

During their not-date, Marshall’s not-girlfriend Claire tells him about her plans to move to Europe. She wants him to come with her so they can not-be-together on a second continent.

Mid-date, Marshall gets a call from the phone he sent to Hannah, but Caleb has the phone. Caleb wants to know who’s on the other end.

Jude and Oliver have high-low time before bed, where they share the best and worst parts of their day. Oliver’s high was going fishing, and his low was being away from Jude all day. That was also Jude’s low. Oliver tells Jude that he should find a better girlfriend than Reece. She didn’t even know how to fish. This conversation is Jude’s high, and Oliver’s new high.


Jude calls Emma to let her know that he got Oliver back, and to tell her that he traded Dr Forbin for Oliver. Emma doesn’t want to talk about anything important on the phone. She just wants to know if Sophie is safe, and Jude thinks she is. Emma says that she’ll stop by Jude’s office in the morning to discuss the details.

Emma’s friend found a hit on her facial recognition search for Dr Greta Pryor, a molecular biologist who has done work in synthetic biology. Emma stops by the woman’s house to question her about Paul. Dr Pryor immediately recognizes a photo of Paul as her long lost husband, who fell in with a cult many years ago and ran off with them. She weaves a believable story about an ordinary guy, who falls prey to an unscrupulous group, that makes him think he’s on the road to enlightenment and becoming unique.

She offers to show Emma old pamphlets from the cult, and letters Paul sent her. While Dr Pryor is out of the room to retrieve the pamphlets and letters, Emma gets up to look around. Dr Pryor has a large, beautiful home, obviously having done well for herself in her husband’s absence. Emma is drawn to the framed photos on one wall, and notices that Lindauer is in one, a photo from a birthday party in which Dr Pryor is holding a baby.

Before Emma can react, she shot in the right shoulder from behind. Dr Pryor went to get her gun instead of her old papers. Emma collapses on the floor, bleeding and in shock, as Dr Pryor stoically watches.


This episode is directed by Tara Nicole Weyr, the series’ first female writer or director.

Pryor having a child and also being a molecular biologist are probably as important as the fact that she knows Lindauer. We already knew she came in an earlier wave of time travelers, probably with Lindauer. But we don’t know who the baby is (or how old the photo is- the child could be 10 years old by now). Is it Paul’s baby? Is it a baby she genetically engineered in the future or the present with certain characteristics, like immunity to Mantle’s, or the ability to keep up with an Apex? Did she steal an Apex baby to raise as her own and turn into a weapon against the others when they rise up? Or to use for cloning more? Is it just an innocent normal child who she had with her new replacement husband after she came to this century, who’ll start arguments and cause people to choose sides?

And what is a molecular biologist from the future doing in this century? Trying to cure Mantle’s, or to prevent the Apex from ever being created? Is she the woman Lindauer reports to, who told him the refugees would need to be disposed of?

Dr Greta Pryor’s CV (If that’s her real name):


Jude’s character would have been better served by casting an actor like Alex O’Loughlin of Hawaii Five-0, who can play emotional restraint but still let his heart show through. As played by Steve Zahn, Jude seems too immature and volatile to be a seasoned cop and an experienced, responsible dad. It’s possible the same writing could allow the character to come across as determined and heartfelt, but misguided, if he was acted and directed differently. I’m not having issues with the way the other male characters are written or acted, so I tend to think the issue is Steve Zahn’s acting choices. While he’s great in most things, he’s just miscast here.

Marshall’s friend, played by Toby Hemingway, and Paul’s wife, played by Melinda McGraw, are both left as nameless characters on IMDB, just like Alpha-Zulu Apex hunter. We already know that Paul’s wife came from the future in a previous migration. Her name, Greta Pryor, is on her CV, but is never said by the characters. Does this mean that Marshall’s friend is one of them as well, and he’s monitoring Marshall, then reporting back to Lindauer or Pryor? Who else has a monitor?

Score- Reece turned out to be more than trustworthy during both meetings. Jude lied and was overly hostile to Reece both times. Jude has a similar relationship with Emma, rudely having her escorted out of the police station without giving her a chance, then driving through a closed gate to get her attention.

Sophie wins for professionalism and kindness at all times, but she’s only had to deal with Jude for one afternoon, and they needed something from each other. It was to their mutual benefit to get Sophie and Reece working on a treatment for the disease. That flimsy plastic tent will only keep the world ending disease contained for so long. Sooner or later a vaccine and cure will be essential.

No matter where you go, there you are. Everyone from the future has brought their problems with them, instead of escaping to a new life, like they’d hoped. It’s only getting worse, the longer they’re all held together at the camp. They’d have a chance at a fresh start if they could disappear into the countryside, but what would be the fun in that?

With a phone and a contact from Port Canaan, Caleb now has access to information about the outside world, and potentially a way for himself, Rebecca, and Hannah to escape the camp. They can also ask Marshall to research certain things, to try to figure out why they’re being detained in isolation with no contact with the outside world, release date, or plan for the future. At the very least, somebody needs to hire them a top notch immigration lawyer.

Fun Fact: Rob Campbell, who plays Paul, played Krzysztof, the guitar player in Hedwig’s band the Angry Inch, in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the movie.


Images courtesy of ABC.

3 thoughts on “The Crossing Season 1 Episode 4: The Face of Oblivion Recap

  1. Hi Metacrone, thanks for another great recap. I wish others would leave some comments here so there could be some discussion. That’d be fun. I was seriously hoping that Caleb would strangle Luke while he had him in that choke hold, or maybe snap his neck, but no, he let him go. Bummer. I suspect we’re going to see more trouble from ol’ Luke in future episodes.

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  2. I have one problem regarding realism here. I cannot understand how twenty or so people from the first wave (10 years ago) could obtain the high level jobs that they did. Someone from the group mentioned Identity theft. Unless the First wave people were identical twins to the people that they replaced, I cannot understand how this would be possible. You arrive ten years ago and become Under Secretary of Homeland Security! How is this possible? What type of clearance procedures were conducted?


    1. Hand-wavy TV clearance procedures, clearly, that are nothing like the extensive background checks that are actually done. The show has been vague about the way the original group constructed identities, but there was some allusion to them using historical records to quickly build reputations in their fields. I think they might have also shown something about the standard identity replacement technique of stealing the identity of someone who died as an infant, but that could have been a different show. They certainly don’t have anything like the infrastructure that was systematically put in place on Travelers to quickly settle new arrivals into their new lives. I’m enjoying the mythology of The Crossing, and the plot is picking up, but much of the present day stuff doesn’t hold up to close scrutiny. I don’t think a disease as contagious as Mantle’s is supposed to be would have been contained by that plastic tent, either. It would require CDC level quarantine.


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