Major progress is made in solving the mysteries of The Crossing in episode 5, though the characters don’t necessarily realize the implications of their actions. Jude finally starts doing some things right, while Emma is MIA. But Emma left a trail of breadcrumbs for Jude, so he and Nestor are on the case for reals. Leah takes a turn for the worse, while Sophie and Reece race to make the treatment that will bring her Mantle’s Disease under control. Marshall struggles with his tragic memories and his goals in life, instinctively knowing that he has a connection to the refugees. The migrants from the first wave gather to make some decisions, and face some hard truths. The show’s theory of time is called into question again. Can it be changed, or are they living in a fixed universe?
The episode begins with Marshall reliving the car accident that killed his mother ten years ago. He’s having a nightmare in which the family is driving home from dinner at a restaurant. Dad’s at the wheel and Mom’s riding shotgun. They’re driving on the edge of a hill, happily playing a car game, when suddenly there are a couple dozen people standing in the road. The car swerves to miss the people and drives over the side of the hill, crashing and rolling as it hits bottom. In the present day, Marshall wakes up.
Marshall goes to see Nestor at the police station the next morning, to tell Nestor that he’s remembered that there were people in the road the night of the accident. Nestor assumes Marshall’s there because he’s in trouble again, but listens to his story. Marshall has always drawn a blank on the accident, but the memory returned with the dream. The people appeared out of nowhere. Nestor says that Marshall’s dad has been telling the same story for ten years. Every bartender in town knows it. Marshall is probably just letting his dad’s crazy get to him. Nestor was the first one on the scene, and they searched the whole area. There was no one around. Nestor repeats the official explanation that Marshall’s dad was drunk from dinner and driving too fast. Marshall walks out.
Ten years ago, Marshall and his dad regained consciousness right after the crash to find his mom dead or dying. Lindauer and Apex hunter/Beaumont had followed the car down the hillside, but decided not to help because they were afraid revealing themselves would blow their mission. Emma’s shooter, Eve, was up on the side of the road being sick from the effects of the time jump. Or from morning sickness, tough call. She asks Lindauer if they made it to the right time. He tells her that the car had a sticker reading 2008. She says that’s close enough. Apex Hunter/Beaumont hustles everyone away from the scene.
Sophie and Reece debate the semantics of their operation while semi breaking into a lab. Reece also wants Sophie to call for updates on Leah every ten minutes. After having no contact for days, she needs to hover for a while, especially with Leah in dire condition.
Emma doesn’t show up for her morning meeting with Jude. Nestor drops off the file on Beaumont’s murder and tells Jude that there’s a Fed waiting for him in the conference room, but it’s not Emma. It’s Agent Bryce, who’s looking for Emma. She’s been missing since the night before.
Eve returns to her house to find an angry Lindauer waiting for her. They argue about her shooting Emma, then Eve changes the subject to Paul. Lindauer didn’t know Paul was her husband. Eve swears she didn’t reveal anything to Paul before she made the time jump, but now she wants to know how he is.
Lindauer and Eve seem close, both in the present day and in the flashbacks, even though Eve has two other husbands. They are partners in
crime leading the group and close friends, at the very least.
Then they go inside, where a dozen or so people are waiting. It’s an emergency meeting of the 1st migration club. The group sees the second arrival as a sign of failure, since it proves that they haven’t stopped Apex like they’d hoped. Eve sees it as a second chance to get it right. But they need a bigger plan this time.
Flashing back to two years after the migration, Lindauer has positioned himself as a data analyst and used his knowledge of the future to prevent a key terrorist attack. A grateful politician offers him the job at Homeland Security that Lindauer’s been angling for. Lindauer meets Eve on his way out of the building. She’s now a venture capitalist, raising the financing for their projects. She doesn’t feel like her work is as important as what the others are doing, but Lindauer reassures her that money and influence are very important. Then he brings up her new husband and baby. She says that the baby isn’t so new. Aaron’s already walking. Her husband and child remind her of what she’s working so hard for.
Jude visits Emma’s hotel room to check on her. Her work laptop is in the room, along with her ID badge. The hotel manager tells Jude that Emma used the public computer in the lobby a lot, which is very odd for someone who works in government security. Jude takes the computer back to the station with him.
Marshall meets his friend for breakfast and tells him about the phone call with Caleb. Caleb just asked him the usual dad questions about his intentions with Hannah. Marshall’s dad, Gerry, comes over to their table, so the friend leaves, but tells Marshall not to answer the phone again.
Gerry says that Nestor called him. He gives Marshall some money and encourages him to leave town and all of its bad memories behind, so that he can start fresh somewhere else. Marshall tells his dad that he remembers the accident now, and that it wasn’t his dad’s fault, but his dad’s too far gone to accept what Marshall’s saying. He tells Marshall to let the whole thing go instead of pursuing something that will ruin his life.
Sophie needs to extract a sample of Reece’s bone marrow to use in the serum, since that’s where the highest concentration of antibodies is. Reece says that she usually only has to treat Leah every couple of years. The Mantle’s came back more quickly than usual this time. Sophie is taking her time preparing for the procedure and begins asking questions about Apex, so Reece grabs the scalpel and needle and does the procedure herself. This just brings up more questions from Sophie. Finally, Reece grabs Sophie by the neck and tells her to stop asking questions. Once Leah is cured, Sophie is to forget anything she’s learned about Reece. Good luck with that.
In 2011, three years after the 1st Migration, Jake has developed a detailed plan to stop the creation of Apex. The group will assassinate 27 individuals who are in some way key to the rise of Apex. Though they all value human life, these 27 deaths will prevent millions of deaths later on. One by one, the group goes through with the assassinations. Lindauer’s target has a child with him, so Lindauer holds off on the kill.
At the police station, Jude’s computer expert discovers that Emma was using an online public file storage site that’s easy to hack. The computer guy says it’s as if she wanted someone to find what she was working on. No, really? 🤦🏻♀️🤦🏻♀️🤦🏻♀️ Jude is shocked to hear this. Gee, it’s not like she kept asking him to let her tell him what she was working on, or like she told him there was no one else she could trust.
Leaving all of that information on a public computer, or even sharing it with Jude when she’d been specifically ordered not to, was highly illegal. It shows how desperate Emma had become, and how certain she was that she’d uncovered a dangerous conspiracy.
Computer Guy: One folder is full of research about Port Canaan. Online newspaper articles, police blotters, weather reports, maps, mostly from around ten years ago.
Jude: Well that’s very specific.
CG: The other is a series of memos- personal observations and recollections. Some of them contain transcripts of interviews. One is a profile of a Homeland Security Agent named Lindauer.
Jude asks for a print out of everything. Once he’s looked over the print outs a bit, Jude calls Nestor in and tells him everything about the case. Finally.
The nurses at the refugee camp discuss Leah’s fading chances of recovery. There’s another girl in the infirmary who aspirated a lot of sea water and is still unconscious. The nurses agree she’d be better off at a real hospital with better facilities, but none of the refugees are allowed to leave.
While Sophie and Reece wait for the treatment to go through one of its processing steps, Sophie asks how Leah ended up with Reece, since they aren’t biologically related. Sophie explains that she was also adopted, after she was abandoned by her birth mother at 6 months old. Reece gives her the edited version of the story.
Then Sophie’s phone buzzes. It’s a nurse telling Sophie that Leah has taken a turn for the worse, with a temperature of 104 degrees, labored breathing, and swelling in the brain. Sophie instructs the nurse to give Leah more of the same medicine she’s been getting. Reece panics, thinking this was a trick to keep her occupied until Leah died. Sophie promises that she’ll heal Leah. She sympathizes with Reece and her devotion to her daughter. Sophie wants to give Leah the life she deserves.
Nestor takes a few minutes to pout over Jude keeping secrets from him, and to reel over time travelers living in Port Canaan, then gets down to work like the professional that he is. First, for everyone that’s gotten a little lost along the way, he summarizes the facts we know so far:
Nestor: Those refugees are not from Russia. They’re from the future. 200 years in the future. And one of them is a, like a, ninja mercenary that they call Apex, who kidnapped Oliver. And Agent Ren, who apparently has gone missing, she believes that there were other future people who came earlier, 10 years ago, to Port Canaan. And her boss, Mr Lindauer, knew about it and he’s covering it up.
Reading the whole thing at once, including the part about the kidnapped child and the violent mercenary on the loose, I realized that it is an enormous amount that Jude kept from his deputy, who is also trying to keep the town safe. Jude realizes this and apologizes to Nestor.
Next Nestor summarizes their characters up to this point: I know this place is small potatoes to you, Jude, but I’m good at my job. I notice things in a way that other people don’t.
Exactly. Nestor notices everything and keeps the town running, while Jude has been thinking he’s too good for someplace like Port Canaan, wallowing in his depression over whatever happened in Oakland and assuming that this job was so easy he didn’t have to actually pay attention to it. Maybe, now that Nestor’s pointed it out in the nicest way possible and there’s a big case to solve, Jude will get his head back in the game. Emma needs to be rescued, and that’s the sort of thing Jude likes doing.
Then they get down to the business of examining the evidence. This is the best case Nestor’s ever had. I mean, time travel. Seriously. Theories start pouring out of his head so fast you know he’s a scifi fanboy. He quickly realizes they need to talk to Marshall.
Flashback to 2016, 2 years ago and 8 years after arrival. The 1st wavers mission is complete. One member questions whether they’ve really changed the future, but Jake shuts her down, insisting that his plan was infallible. Now they can all live out their lives in the luxury of the 21st century. Eve whispers to Lindauer, who hadn’t been able to kill his target, that Beaumont had done it for him. The target only lived a few extra months, so it shouldn’t make a difference.
Marshall stands on the side of the road and stares down at the crash site where his mother died. His incredibly sweet and patient not-girlfriend, Claire, pulls up and gets out to talk. Marshall says that he used to lie in bed imagining ways his family could have avoided being in that spot on that night. Anything to change the outcome of that night. Claire responds that maybe what happened would have happened no matter what. Maybe fate can’t be avoided. Marshall hates that idea.
Claire needs to leave for LA tonight because her friend’s tortoises will bust out of their cage if no one is their to take care of them. She figures she’ll ask Marshall to come with her one more time, even though she knows he’s blowing her off. She’s been seeing the signs. Marshall shocks her and says he’ll go. They agree to go pack and meet up in an hour.
Reece and Sophie have finished making the serum for Leah’s treatment. Reece collects all of the trash to bag up and take with her. She doesn’t want any DNA samples left behind for others to use in experiments. Before they can leave the lab, a guard finds them. Reece attacks and disables him, then sends Sophie to Leah with the treatment. Before Sophie leaves, Reece tells her that her mother left her because she was sick. She can hear that Sophie has an abnormal heart beat. That also explains the scar on Sophie’s chest that we saw in her first episode.
Leah is in critical condition by the time Sophie gives the serum to her. She heals miraculously fast. Sophie and the nurse are shocked. Sophie has an extra vial of the serum, and wonders what other miracles it could induce.
Hannah calls Marshall just as he’s about to leave his trailer, all packed for LA. She says that Caleb gave her the phone after she told him about Marshall and how sweet he is. Marshall asks why they’re being kept at the camp. Hannah says that it’s complicated, and she’ll tell him when she can. Marshall tries to convince her to trust him, but there are people outside of her cabin, so she has to go. She can’t be caught with a contraband phone. Before Marshall can leave to meet Claire, Nestor comes to get him to tell his story about the people in the road to Jude.
The 1st Wavers have another argument about what they should do next. Jake throws out fast and furious accusations, blaming the failure of the plan on everyone else. Eve finally cuts the argument off by saying that the mistake they made was being too timid. They need a bigger, bolder plan to prevent Apex from ever coming into existence.
Jake tries to back out of the group. He likes the life he has now and doesn’t want to risk losing it for another plan that might not work and won’t affect his life anyway. The others stop him at gun point. Anyone who knows about them is a risk. They can’t let him leave and risk that he’ll expose their plan. When given the choice between death or the group, he’ll stay in the group.
Eve asks the rest of the group if they’re in or out. It’s understood that if the answer is out, they’ll kill you on the spot.
Marshall tells Jude and Nestor what he now remembers about the car accident. Then he notices a photo of Beaumont on Jude’s desk and says that Beaumont was at the crash site. Beaumont was one of the people who saw his mother dying and refused to help.
Eve reveals her new plan to stop Apex. They’ll capture Reece and remove DNA samples from her so that they can learn how to identify and kill everyone with the Apex genetic markers. Lindauer is shocked at the enormity of this plan. He asks if she understands how many people will have to die, and why she’s now willing to go this far. Eve says that coming to the 21st century and seeing the world that was lost changed her. It’s shown her that they have to do whatever it takes to avoid the future they came from, no matter the cost. Then she asks Lindauer, “In or out?”
Back at the camp, the nurse brings a doctor in to look at the little girl who aspirated sea water. The nurse thinks she’s developed a rash and is worried she’s caught Mantle’s from Leah. The doctor says it’s not a Mantle’s rash. It’s a brand. Someone burned a brand into this little girl’s skin. They are both shocked at the abuse, and wonder where the detainees are from.
Two theories of time were indirectly brought up this episode. The 1st wavers are operating on the assumption that time can be rewritten, but they don’t seem to be worried that their own existences will be affected when that happens. That suggests they believe in a multiverse with shifting timelines. They are now outside of their original timeline, and no longer affected by it. Claire brought up a fixed timeline in which the same events will repeat despite attempts to alter them.
So far, we can’t tell if the characters are caught in a recurring time loop where the jump back from the future paradoxically causes the events they were trying to prevent, or if this is the first time through this version of the timeline. But Hannah’s locket, with its photo of Marshall, seems to be a hint that this has happened before. She was given specific instructions to find him because he would help her, which suggests that her ancestors already knew she was part of the 21st century timeline and passed down the story and message to her through the generations.
The time machine itself seems to be imprecise, since both jumps had uncertain destinations. The 1st wave weren’t sure what year they’d end up in and the 2nd wave ended up in the water. Was the machine destroyed between jumps, as Eve and Lindauer ordered, and rebuilt by someone else in between? Or was the original machine damaged and/or operated by someone who didn’t fully understand it, since the results were so tragic? You’d think the machine would have been improved in ten years, unless it took years for someone to rebuild it and figure out how it works.
Eve’s baby could conceivably be Paul’s. They left Aaron’s birthdate ambiguous, but with a birthday close enough to the time of the jump that she could have been barely pregnant and not even have known it yet. It’s better storywise if Paul gets to fight for the baby he never knew he had.
There were kids in the 1st Migration, so the first wavers could be any age and planted anywhere. I’m very suspicious of Marshall’s blond friend, who keeps discouraging him from having contact with Hannah. The group could have planted a neighbor family to keep an eye on Marshall, since he was a witness to their arrival.
Was the delay in killing Lindauer’s target what made the difference in the failure of the 1st wavers’ plan? Did he make alternate connections during the time that the rest of his original connections were disappearing, allowing the Apex program to move forward?
Or is Sophie the new creator of Apex, since she has an off the books sample of Apex genetic material and the technical expertise to experiment on it? The 1st Wavers won’t realize that her sample needs to be destroyed, along with Reece and the rest of the pre-Apex population, for their plan to succeed. If the group does become genocidal, Sophie or the people who come after her might develop Apex as a defense against the genocide. The Apex hatred of humans may have started out as self defense.
Sophie also has Reece’s goodwill, should she want to find a way to completely cure Leah. Maybe Leah is the first Apex, or her cure leads to the development of Apex. Leah’s Apex military partner sounded like Apex has the cure, they just withhold it. Sophie may develop a vaccine, then work toward passing the immunity from mother to child. Gene therapy would end up involved somewhere along the way.
The 1st Wavers have lost their main enforcer now that Beaumont is dead. The group will likely continue to splinter unless someone equally intimidating steps up. Jake will go behind their backs to betray them, instead of quietly leaving, as he wanted. Beaumont also kept things under control, and was a tiebreaker between Eve and Lindauer. Now there’s no third strong voice to break the tie when they disagree.
Lindauer seems like he’s going to quietly switch sides/become a double agent. He has to pretend to go along with Eve’s plan, but he can feed Emma and others information to help them bring Eve down.
Once Emma is rescued, of course. We didn’t see a body this week, so I refuse to believe she’s dead. That bullet hit the right side of her chest. Future medicine could keep her alive.
It sounds like Eve is suggesting genocide based on DNA testing. How does she plan to accomplish the genetic testing, and then how will she target so many people? By targeting the people with the Apex marker, she could end up being the very person who stimulates the development of Mantle’s Disease and Apex. Both could be a way to fight back against the genocide that’s will happen to the Apex forebears.
It’s kind of chilling, when you realize that the Golden State Killer was caught using a DNA service. What other purposes could our DNA be used for? We all give it freely in the form of blood samples all the time. How rich has Eve made the group of 1st wavers? Rich enough to own Ancestry.com and to bribe hospitals and labs all over the world so that they can track down everyone with the marker? All they need is the DNA of one family member, then they can use public records to find their relatives and kill them, too. The DNA services will happily show you how to trace people this way, or do it for you. Digitalized records and the internet have made tracing genealogy simple.
What did you all think of this episode? Do you think the rest of the 1st wavers will ultimately go along with Eve’s plan? Now that Jude’s not distracted by Oliver, and Nestor’s up to speed, will they become the dream investigative team that I want them to be? Will we ever see the time machine? Who do you think will rescue Emma, Lindauer or Jude? Let’s talk conspiracy theories in the comments!
Images courtesy of ABC.