Well, that all went much better than I thought it would. For once, we were given a reasonable amount of closure on a “cancelled without warning” scifi show. There was a clear set up for season 2, if it had happened, but everyone either got to a good stopping point on camera, or it’s not hard to imagine one for them. That’s really all you can ask for from showrunners working for a network like ABC.
These Are the Names is Part 2 of the series finale. It’s framed by Jude’s testimony in front of a task force investigating events at Camp Tamanowas, which are explained by extended flashbacks to two weeks prior to Jude’s testimony. Lindauer was pretending to prepare to transfer the refugees to detention facilities, but actually preparing for a mass murder. Before Jude testifies, he oversleeps and has a nightmare that Apex have taken over. In the dream, they come to his house to enslave and brand Oliver the way Rachel and Naomi were enslaved and branded in the future.
By the time Jude testifies, the camp has been burned to the ground, the detainees have disappeared, and the only evidence that the task force has been able to find to explain what happened consists of contradictory depositions from a few guards and Paul’s video that claims the refugees were part of a suicide cult. The investigator starts by asking Jude if he knows where the detainees are, to which he answers, “No.”
Flashing back to the camp 2 weeks prior, Lindauer gives the refugees a comforting speech explaining the process of moving them to a new facility, then releasing them into the wild as soon as possible. He apologizes for any discomfort they’ve experienced, and slips in a mention that they’ll all need to be vaccinated for their own protection.
He doesn’t mention that the vaccine will kill them.
After Lindauer’s speech, Thomas approaches him and asks if Lindauer plans to honor their deal. Thomas wants to be relocated to Los Angeles. For the first time ever in dealings between the two of them, Lindauer is friendly and cooperative. He doesn’t try to work an angle. He simply agrees to what Thomas asks for. Then Roy calls Lindauer away to deal with an emergency, leaving Thomas spooked.
Nestor has driven his police SUV straight through the camp’s front gate at full speed. He’s looking for Marshall, who never came home the night before. While Lindauer and Nestor hash out whether the feds have the right to hold Marshall, Reece slips unnoticed from the back of the truck and into the woods. Lindauer gives in and releases Marshall, which gives Roy a chance for some payback, both by punching Marshall and by slipping a note into his pocket.
Caleb gathers the refugees to let them in on the plan. As some of the more skittish campers wonder whether Caleb is right or if they should just do what Lindauer says, Thomas hobbles over and tells them to follow Caleb. From Lindauer’s behavior he can tell the feds have no intention of letting them go.
Caleb and Roy meet in the forest and wait for Reece to join them. She dramatically drops from the top of a tall tree, landing on her feet, like a cat, to stand between them. When they introduce themselves, Caleb and Reece have a moment, because she’s Apex and he’s Alpha-Zulu. They agree that they both just want to get everyone out safely and can put their differences aside.
Roy asks about the plan. Reece tells him that Caleb will be in charge of the Commons (refugees), Roy will disable the electric fence, and she’ll take care of the guards. Caleb offers to help with the guards, but Reece brushes him off. Later, when she’s actually fighting the guards, Caleb helps her anyway. Then she throws a guard’s radio due east over the fence to Jude, who’s outside waiting for it.
Jude removes the radio’s tracking device, moves on, and contacts Lindauer to ask if he’s checked the children recently. Lindauer and his men follow the trail of
breadcrumbs clothing and gear to a shed, where the children guards are locked inside. Lindauer finally figures out that something’s wrong and orders the guards to search the camp, because a breakout attempt is in progress. Roy makes sure to take cabin #7, Naomi’s cabin, which he only pretends to search. When the full camp search comes up empty, Lindauer sends the guards in search of Jude and the missing radio. Roy stares at cabin #7, but nobody notices because it’s TV.
Inside the cabin, Leah begins reading the writing on Naomi’s walls and says that the same name is repeated throughout the writings. Since she’s the daughter of an Apex, she can read Apex, unlike the others. Hannah shushes her, because there are about 40 people crammed into a tiny cabin who have to stay still and silent for hours. At that moment Thomas, always the drama king and weakest link, has a panic attack. Hannah and Caleb rush to calm him down.
Because it’s TV, that’s the end of Leah’s reading of Naomi’s words. She must sit and twiddle her thumbs until they leave the cabin, whereas in real life someone would encourage her to read, if only to keep the little kid quiet and relatively occupied.
In a better written show, someone, somewhere along the way, would have thought to find a way to take photos of the writing and get Reece to translate. Marshall could just as easily have slipped a disposable phone into Roy’s pocket, had it been a priority, or asked Roy to take the photos himself in the note. You’d think Caleb might want to know what it said, given Rebecca and Rachel’s situation. Lindauer may have already taken photos and had Rachel translate the entire thing.
After dark, Jude, Nestor and Marshall meet up outside the electric fence to wait for the next stage of the plan. Marshall brought the transportation necessary to get the refugees away from the camp once they’re outside the fence. They’re waiting on Roy to shut down the electricity so that Caleb can bring the refugees out through the forest. Jude tells Marshall to keep the bus warm.
Roy goes to the utility shed to sabotage the fence’s power source. As soon as he finishes, he’s discovered by Doyle. He claims to have just discovered the sabotage when he came to check why the power was out on the fence, but Doyle doesn’t believe him. She calls for maintenance to repair the power supply.
Jude and Nestor cut a large hole in the fence as soon as the power is down. Jude goes inside to get the campers from the cabin, while Nestor waits to help them find the right spot to slip through. Reece is waiting outside the cabin when Leah comes out. They have a happy reunion, then Jude leaves Reece in charge of getting everyone to the fence while he moves on to the next part of the plan.
Marshall and Nestor help the campers through the fence. One man slips on the snowy, icy trail. Hannah stops to help him walk. Marshall goes inside the fence to help them. A puddle develops under the hole in the fence, and everyone steps in it as they climb through. It’s like a game of musical chairs, waiting to see who will be the one with their foot in the water and upper body touching the fence when the electricity comes back on.
Not all that surprisingly, it’s Hannah. She’s frozen in place being electrocuted. Nestor stops Marshall from going to her, because whoever touches her will also be electrocuted. Reece barrels into Hannah from the side and knocks her away from the fence. Finally, Marshall goes to her.
Doyle takes Roy to the interrogation cabin. Lindauer meets them there, accusations at the ready. Roy denies everything. Doyle quickly moves to beating him for answers. Jude makes his way to the interrogation cabin, as well. He’s outside the room that they’re using, and hears Roy saying that he knows the refugees haven’t done anything wrong. He knows every single one of them by name, and all they want is a good home and a better life. Lindauer says that there are things at play that Roy can’t possibly understand.
Jude jumps through the doorway, gun out, but Doyle points her gun at Roy just as quickly. Jude surrenders his gun to Lindauer, but tries to convince Lindauer to do the right thing. Lindauer shoots Doyle. They watch her bleed out, then he shoots her again to be sure she’s dead.
Another woman of color murdered, while Eve survives. Despite being the out of control evil mastermind, despite all of the chances Lindauer had to kill her or tell Jude, Nestor or Reece that she’s the one in charge, she’s still just fine. Diana had to be the one to out her, and they have nothing they can legally use against her.
Well, except her confession to Lindauer that she murdered Paul. And the fact that Lindauer saw Emma’s body in her living room, and probably helped move it. And his witness to her complicity in the entire assassination plot from their early years in the 21st century. Other than that, there’s no way to bring Eve down.
Lindauer releases Roy, because this white guy also gets to survive, unlike Beaumont, Doyle, Emma and Bryce. Roy has a love triangle to theoretically continue.
Roy doesn’t want to leave Jude alone with Lindauer, but Jude knows that the patriarchy and his contract as star will protect him.
They have a philosophical discussion about acceptable losses and the ends justifying the means in the face of an oncoming apocalypse. It’s a subject this show has only begun to explore, and it’s been approaching the subject from a direction that no other show has currently been using, with the time travelers coming from a future where they’ve been subjugated, nearly wiped out and enslaved not by aliens, but by the next evolution of the human race and a plague that only affects Homo sapiens. The relationship between Apex and humans has clearly always been more symbiotic and complex than either side wants to admit, and humans undoubtedly bear some of the blame for driving Apex to destroy us. Unfortunately, the discussion stops here.
Lindauer: How far would you go for peace? What would you be willing to sacrifice to stop evil? How many lives? How many lives before the evil is you? You don’t know what it’s like to confront those questions.
Jude: I know what it’s like to sacrifice for what you think is right, and then what it’s like to regret that. You don’t want to hurt those people out there.
Lindauer: I am those people. And yes, they deserve to live.
He instructs Jude to open the backpack that Jude brought with him. It’s concealing the EMP device, which is meant to erase any electronically stored evidence identifying the refugees and showing they were ever at the camp. Lindauer concedes that it’s a smart plan, but it doesn’t take into account the personal records that he keeps. Jude says that why he was going after Lindauer next.
Jude: So what happens now?
Flash forward to the task force hearing. The investigator says that all peripheral records of the camp have vanished, if they were ever kept at all. The investigator wonders if Lindauer intended for the refugees to be invisible all along. Lindauer disappeared the night of the fire, as well. Jude says that he didn’t know Lindauer well enough to know where he might have gone.
Jude is released from testifying and heads to a secluded barn in the country where Marshall, Hannah and Caleb are living in an RV inside a barn. He gives them the good news that the government confirmed that they don’t have any information on the refugees. He hands Caleb and Hannah envelopes with their new documentation inside. Now they can truly begin their new lives.
Hannah wants to go with Marshall to inform the rest of the refugees, but she’s still recovering from being electrocuted. He makes her promise to stay with him and not overdo it.
Caleb asks about Rebecca. Jude does have a small lead on the guard who helped them escape. Jude gives Caleb a note from Lindauer to help him along with one facet of his recovery.
Jude leaves the barn just as Reece and Leah pull up in their own pick up truck. Before they leave town, Reece thought that Leah should tell Jude that Leah saw his name written over and over within the history written on Naomi’s walls. Leah can’t remember any other part of it.
Jude has a new mystery to solve.
Lindauer gave Caleb a photo of his daughter Rachel and a note telling Caleb where to find her. Caleb goes to Rachel’s college and finds her talking to friends. They have a tearful reunion.
Lindauer stands by a river somewhere, probably far from Seattle. He rejects a call from Eve, looks at Rachel’s photo one last time, then pulls out his phone’s sim card, crushes it, and throws it, and the phone, into the water. Then he walks away.
Jake gives Eve a report on the task force’s interview with Jude. She’s not happy. She was hoping he’d give away the refugees locations. While they’re talking, she receives a message informing her that her people have located Sophie in a hospital in Eugene. She tells Jake to take care of it.
Roy is now working for Jude at the police station, but he wants to maintain some boundaries, so he still calls Jude “Sheriff”. Jude and Nestor plan to keep searching for Naomi and her cult. He needs to know what she knows about the future. Roy brings a box of evidence into the evidence room, and we get a good look at the time travel detector, but it doesn’t do anything. Not sure why they didn’t edit that bit out.
Eve’s hit man approaches Sophie, who’s asleep in her hospital bed, to inject a toxin into her IV. Sophie snaps awake and crushes his arm before killing him. She puts on a bathrobe and leaves the hospital. We see her walking down the street, fully healed, healthy, and impervious to the cold. She’s the first Apex, and Eve just tried to have her killed.
Nestor used to play poker, but had to choose between that and his beard. Whenever he had a good hand, he’d stroke his beard, and it became a tell. He chose the beard and gave up poker. Still my hero.
Roy desperately wants to maintain some professionalism at his new job, which I’m guessing would have lasted about 2 episodes into season 2 before Nestor and Marshall pulled him into some kind of scheme.
Jude will hire Caleb, for sure, as soon as he gets settled.
Marshall and Hannah will start some sort of slightly offbeat business, like owning their own food truck or becoming private detectives. Or giving hot air balloon rides.
Rebecca may well have bought into Naomi’s doomsday cult completely and transferred her loyalty and love for Rachel to Naomi. She may stay with Naomi even after she finds out that Rachel is with Caleb, reasoning that Rachel has one parent, so Naomi needs her more. I have a feeling that Rebecca won’t be able to bring herself to trust Caleb or Rachel not to hurt her again, and they are too tied to memories of a painful past.
Thomas will somehow become a criminal informant.
Reece and Leah will stick around Seattle long enough to try to stop Sophie. Then they’ll move to Alaska, where Reece will become one of the most sought after guides into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She’ll be known for occasionally wrestling bears, but no one will be able to catch her on film actually doing it.
Eve will rise high in the federal government and Republican party, eventually becoming a cabinet member.
Lindauer will quietly work behind the scenes to try to slow Eve down, but he’ll continue to be unsuccessful, because he doesn’t have the guts to stand up to her in the open. He will also eventually do internet and computer work for Jude’s team.
Sophie is the wild card. She’s healed herself, and started out wanting to heal the world. Now, she’s had a hit man try to kill her, had Jude be oblivious to her condition, had Reece choose to let her die over letting her be cured and trusting her to do the right thing, had Lindauer screw her over multiple times, and had the torture doctor use her as a hostage to negotiate a trade for Reece, who he, along with everyone else, considered more valuable. That’s a powerful message they’ve sent to her, over and over, this season. As a doctor who wanted to do the right thing, she was nothing but a pawn, while Reese, the Apex, was valued, even catered to. (Yes, Reece was tortured. As an Apex, she bounced right back. Sophie was literally left to die by multiple characters who didn’t care and told her so. If you don’t think that’s equal to torture, you have no heart.)
Let me ask Lindauer’s question. Which would you choose? I am very, very certain that the show didn’t mean to show the difference between life as a healthy person and life as a person with an invisible disability so clearly, but that’s what they did. They showed society valuing Reece, her health and her strength in every way possible, even though they considered her an enemy that they wanted to be rid of. She was respected, feared, loved as a mother, sought after as a working partner, and sought after as a friend. Meanwhile, Sophie, an expert doctor who only wanted to help in any and every way she could, was lied to, forgotten, verbally and physically abused, told she was weak, and told she should die/ that she wasn’t worth saving, yet she still soldiered on, determined to reach her goals.
Sophie is my hero, too, along with Nestor. At some point, you have to say, “enough,” and stop letting people take advantage of your good will. The other characters, even Jude, were all more selfish and aggressive than her, all season long. Except Emma, who died, and Nestor, who is nearly perfect. When the season started, Sophie would have created specific treatments using Reece’s genetics, and tried to keep them safe for Homo sapiens. Now, I believe she’s done with humans. She’s turned herself into Apex, and she’ll keep creating more Apex, because Eve won’t stop trying to kill her. It’s possible that Reece won’t either. Sophie will need an Apex army of her own to protect herself.
Jude and his group won’t help Sophie, and they may also turn on her. Jude certainly showed no loyalty or sympathy toward her when she was human, despite the risks she took to help him get Oliver back from Reece and all of the other ways she sacrificed for others during the season, right up to making sure Reece got out of Eve and Lindauer’s hands. She was treated as a disposable woman by every other character in this series, except her colleague, Dr Spencer, and the other disposable woman, Emma Ren. A little Apex rampaging on behalf of Emma wouldn’t be a bad thing.
If the human race dies in that timeline because everyone treated Sophie horribly when she was dying, maybe that’s karma. It shows what kind of world it really is. The war hasn’t started yet. They can still find ways to foster peaceful coexistence with Sophie and her Apex. But, in such a misogynistic world, I doubt that either Sophie or Reece will be given any chance to become allies to humans rather than enemies.
Yes, I am in a rather nihilistic mood tonight.
While this show dropped the ball in many ways on its initial promise of focus on the female characters (RIP my beloved Agent Emma Ren 😫) and fell into the typical trap of giving the most power to the white men and the most violence and suffering to the women/people of color, it did have many female characters in a large variety of roles, and people of color, as well, though they weren’t as well represented and died more often.
They were, however, ridiculously backwards with the background and minor characters, with all of the HS agents being male once Emma died, and all of Leah’s nurses being female. The default was male at Jude police station, which doesn’t surprise me at all, but I hope someone brings a lawsuit against him soon. There were some women among the first migration in the living room scenes, but when it came time to do the dirty work, and hold Reece hostage, for example, or try to murder her in the forest, any background actor was likely to be male.
As far as I can remember, Diana and Grace, the lesbian couple who helped build the time travel machine and orchestrated the 1st and 2nd migrations, were the only LGBTQ representation. Grace didn’t have any lines and only appeared in a few shots. Diana appeared in 3 episodes.
With the lack of women living in the region, you’d think there’d be a few gay men around.
I do give the show credit for making the relationship between Reece and Leah one of the focal points of the show, and continuing to maintain the importance of that relationship from the opening of the pilot through the denouement of the finale. In this culture we are bombarded by messages telling us that father-son and brother-brother bonds are some of the most special and meaningful possible. We are generally told that mother-daughter and sister-sister bonds are either toxic or irrelevant. Women’s bonds with men are traditionally their only important roles. I applaud any media that illustrates a healthy, ongoing relationship between mothers, daughters, and sisters who are devoted to each other and don’t let other relationships come between them.
The exploration of Rebecca’s continuing grief over the loss of Rachel, and her attempt to use Naomi as a subsitute daughter was also interesting, but it would have been more effective if Naomi weren’t so obviously using Rebecca, and if it weren’t being implied that Rebecca was emotionally unstable because of her grief.
It would have been even better if they’d turned the trope on its head and had Caleb join the cult, while Rebecca was reunited with her own daughter. Caleb has a need to save and take care of people that would have justified him being drawn to an ex-slave who was alone in the world, especially since his marriage was crumbling. Naomi could have been a prophet who attracted followers without being a con artist, and Caleb could have felt that she needed his protection from potential psychos in the crowds and others who’d try to take advantage of her.
I really wouldn’t mind seeing this show get picked up by someone else someday and continued/rebooted. It has a great open-ended concept, has no zombies, vampires, or superheroes (not that I don’t love all three, it was just nice to see something different for a change!), and the Chekov’s time travel detector never even got used. (Maybe they edited those sections out and shot a few extra scenes, once they knew they were cancelled.) If there were a new incarnation of The Crossing, I’d just like to see the characters treated more equally according to race and gender.
They can air it on my fantasy Back from the Dead scifi streaming network, along with the reincarnations of Flash Forward, Jericho, In the Flesh and Revolution. Anything I missed that y’all want to add? I hear The Sarah Connor Chronicles were good. We can probably also add Reverie to the list in a few weeks.
Images courtesy of ABC.