After watching episode 8 of The Passage, I don’t think any of us are that girl anymore. The suspense is ratcheting up for the season finale and the emotional lines have been drawn in the sand. Well-meaning people and people motivated by the darker sides of their nature have all made mistakes in the run up to the end of this episode. We’re going into the finale with an orange-eyed Amy, almost all of the important characters trapped on level 4B, and the virals’ cell doors wide open.
Most of the regular and featured characters will either become familiars or resistance fighters, so the blood bath among the main cast shouldn’t be too bad. But there are still many questions about how the cast will be divided between familiars and fighters.
There have been clues floating around all season, and more were given tonight.
The episode begins in Amy’s psychic apartment, where she’s reading a Wrinkle in Time and ignoring Tim Fanning. Fanning is trying to get her attention by flattering the detailed construction of the apartment. She gives in and talks to him, telling him that Carter helped build her new psychic home. From there, Fanning tries to manipulate Amy into becoming one of his followers, but it’s not that easy to draw her in. She asks him for honesty, but he talks in circles.
Out in the real world, Amy has developed the high fever and other flu-like symptoms that precede the turn into a viral. Guilder orders her moved to Level 4B. Sykes argues that she’s close to a treatment, now that she’s decided to treat the virus like it’s HIV, but Guilder basically tells her she’s delusional. She’s thought she was close to a cure with every single patient.
Shauna appears to Richards to remind him that choosing her is choosing life, and there isn’t much time left.
A minute later, Guilder and Martinez are somehow alone on the grand staircase, after the hallway was bustling moments before. Guilder explains to Martinez that he’ll get his new best friend an appointment as the Project NOAH head of security, because the rest of the staff are useless. Then Martinez moves on, and most of the Project NOAH staff appear at the bottom of the stairs. Guilder thanks them for their service, then fires them all, including Sykes and Richards. He encourages them all to have a party before they leave,
so the virals can get buzzed from their first human blood meal.
Richards’ passcard has been deactivated, so he and Nichole are locked out of the labs and 4B. (Nichole’s was deactivated in episode 7.)
Fanning continues to chat Amy up, because he really, really wants to be her friend. But he can’t maintain a nonthreatening attitude with anyone for more than a minute, now that Elizabeth is gone. Before long, he’s looming over her, telling her that the end is near and she’s going to need him. When he finally leaves, he promises that he won’t be far away.
Amy wakes up in one of the cells on 4B, with her arms chained to the bed. She’s in full view of the other virals, who she’s never seen before in real life, including Shauna and Fanning. Surprise!
Carter confronts Fanning to stop him from pushing Amy to turn. He hates what he’s turned into, and he won’t let Fanning do that to Amy. Fanning head butts Carter and tells him how it’s going to be. Amy will turn, she and Carter will both feed, and then they’ll all be able to escape from their cages, because that’s how Fanning has ordered the world.
Outside of that structure, he doesn’t care what Carter does. And he needs Carter to stop blaming him for what Amy’s becoming, because he didn’t create her, the geniuses at Project NOAH did. But they need their 12th, and she’s it. Fanning dismisses Carter, saying he wants to be left alone to grieve.
Richards, Brad, Sykes and Lila force Guilder to hand over his passcard and tablet, then they take Guilder down to 4B with them. Richards stays on the ground floor, but tells Brad and Sykes to make sure the virals are all still in their cages, and to check with their own eyes.
Richards remembers when Shauna escaped from her room 4 months earlier, before she turned. She was already having nightmares of Fanning. Richards found her running toward the perimeter fence, and had to tell her that there was no way she was going to escape the heavily fortified grounds. Once he had her calmed down again, he asked her if she wanted to go out for a bite to eat.
In the present day, Richards discovers that Grey has full security clearance. Brad has Guilder do the retina scan to get them into the secure areas of 4B. Sykes and Lila get right to work in the lab, while Brad locks Guilder and the guards in a conference room.
Brad joins Amy in her cell. He wants to take her to the lab, but she won’t let him remove her restraints. She’s afraid she’ll turn and become dangerous to the others.
Lacy catches a ride to Telluride with a truck driver who just happens to be going exactly where Lacey needs to go. She senses divine intervention at work.
The non-senior staff at Project NOAH has quit working and joined the party. They’ve completely forgotten that there are monsters in the basement, thus making themselves available as food for the monsters. Richards hasn’t forgotten the truth, and peels a couple of people away to help him find dangerous escapee, Lawrence Grey.
They don’t take Richards’ urgency seriously at first, because Grey is just a janitor. But he’s a janitor who’s had access to level 4B all along, giving him more power than almost anyone in the compound. When they find Grey on the monitors, he’s carrying a mop into the communications hub. He takes the mop handle and smashes the communications systems, cutting Project Noah off from the world.
The mop is mightier than the sword.
Richards pulls Grey away, but it’s too late. Grey says that he was only doing what he was told to do by Fanning so that he can change the world. They each have a job to do. Grey asks Richards what Babcock asked him to do.
I’m going to guess that he was supposed to get certain people down on 4B. Mission accomplished. Brad for Amy, Guilder for Martinez, Sykes for Shauna, Lila for…? Carter? Fanning? Is she Fanning’s replacement for Elizabeth, an enticement/threat to keep Carter in line, or a reward for one of the others for a job well done?
In a flashback, Richards and Shauna go out to the aptly named Mountainside Diner. He gets pancakes and she gets both fajitas and a burger. She makes guesses about his past, so he tells her the truth. His father is a federal judge, Third Circuit, Court of Appeals. His sister works in the Justice Department and his brother is a brain surgeon. He’s the black sheep of the family, with a degree in creative writing.
Shauna teases him a bit, but says she’d read his poetry.
Sykes has given up on stopping the virus from replicating. Instead, she’s thinking of the target cells in the body as locks and the viral cells as keys. She wants to alter the target cells in the body so that the virus can’t act on them. That wouldn’t cure Amy, but it would stop her from turning.
Amy seeks out Fanning and asks him to explain what’s happening to her. He says that she’s turning, but he thinks she turn out more like Babcock than him. Amy says that she can feel the feelings of everyone around her in Project NOAH. Right now, she can feel that The Agent is scared. Fanning explains that they are cursed to feel too much, and it doesn’t go away. He says that the feelings don’t have to all be bad stuff. There’s good stuff, too. He folds up his newspaper and walks away. She follows.
Richards confronts Guilder about Grey’s security clearance. Guilder denies having given Grey clearance. Plus, he’s unable to override the security system because of the new protocols put in place by his buddy from DC, Martinez. Richards takes Grey with him to find the mysterious Martinez, since he still needs a set of authorised retinas.
Amy wakes up again and throws up a molar along with some blood. She asks what it means, but all Brad will say is that she’s going to be fine and he’s not afraid of her. But she’s afraid of herself and what’s happening to her.
Fanning takes Amy for a psychic walk in the viral woods to show her that she doesn’t have to give up everything that’s good in life to be a viral. He might as well have big pointy ears on, he sounds so much like the Big Bad Wolf. She tells him that she doesn’t want to hurt people the way that Winston did, and she especially doesn’t want to hurt The Agent.
Fanning insists that she doesn’t have to hurt Brad. Each viral gets to keep one person with them forever. Brad could be her choice. Amy doesn’t know whether to believe him or not. He suggests they enjoy the day, and gives her a bike.
Lila collects blood from Amy which they’ll use to test the latest anti-viral. If it works, then they’ll use the new anti-viral on Amy. Brad tells Sykes that Amy lost a tooth. Sykes responds that Amy is beginning to turn. All they can do is keep working on the antiviral.
Back at the Mountainside Diner with Richards and Shauna, she gets him to admit that he’s considered quitting Project NOAH a few times, because it’s eating away at his humanity. (No kidding.) They have a bit of a moment where they admit they like each other, and she says she can see through the military demeanor that he uses as his armor. Richards tells her that his father was an abusive drunk, and she says that she can identify with that.
Richards realizes that Shauna has barely told him anything about herself, and asks her what her story is. Instead of telling him about herself, she suggests they run away together. He doesn’t go for it. She knew it was a stupid idea, but she had to try. His security team arrives to take her back to Project NOAH. Richards tells her he didn’t have a choice. She replies that there’s always a choice. Always.
In the present day, Richards is still dragging Grey along with him. He asks one of his men if he knows anything about Martinez. The security guy says he’s met Martinez’s uniformed support team, but nobody’s met Martinez. He mentions that sometimes CIA guys are like ghosts, who are right there, but you never notice them. Richards looks at Shauna’s avatar pretending to join in with the party in the next room, and figures out what’s going on.
He takes Grey back to the 4B conference room and picks up Guilder. He drags Guilder to the cell holding viral #2, Julio Martinez. As expected, the serial rapist and murderer was inside Guilder’s mind all along, pretending to be a security consultant. He conned Guilder into giving the virals complete control of the compound’s security system, firing the staff, and allowing Grey to destroy the communications system.
The humans might as well be on an island full of hungry, angry lions.
Richards restrains Guilder’s hands behind his back and leaves him on the floor in front of Martinez’s cell. Martinez is very interested in everything that’s going on.
Richards fills Brad in on everything, including his conclusion that the virals are trying to escape. He orders all non-essential personnel to evacuate and handpicks the security team that stays behind. Then, to buy them some time, he sends knockout gas into the cells of all of the virals except for Amy, and gives Grey’s pass to Brad. Richards heads upstairs and leaves Brad in charge of 4B.
Shauna joins Richards on the elevator. She gives him the choice, again, to either stay with her or die, and says this is his last chance. He tries to appeal to her better nature, but she turns to her manipulative side, saying that he made her what she is, as if she weren’t already a murderer before she came to Project NOAH.
Richards refuses to help her, and tells her that none of the virals will escape. Shauna is certain that they will, because of Grey, Guilder, and Richards’ help. When he denies helping her, she lists some of the things he’s done for her, like staying her execution, killing Paulson and lying to Sykes about his dreams.
He kisses her and tells her that he does care about her, but he cares about the human version of her, who’s gone, not the monster she’s become. If he gets the chance, he’ll kill her.
When he gets out of the elevator, he issues orders to his top security team members to put armed guards at every entrance and at the elevator. He orders them to shoot to kill if they see a viral.
Grey is zip tied to a chair in the conference room. He works his hands free using friction and blood.
Sykes latest attempt at an anti-viral works at blocking the virus from reaching Amy’s cells, but Amy’s fever spikes while she’s preparing the dose. Lila leaves the lab to get ice packs to cool Amy down until she can be treated with the anti-viral. Sykes finishes preparing Amy’s dose, and tries to take it to her, but discovers that the lab door is locked. Grey has locked her in. Sykes screams at him in frustration.
Grey runs into Lila in the hall with the ice packs. He knocks her out with a blow to the head using a flashlight. Then he tells her he’s sorry.
I’m starting to feel like we’re playing the viral vampire version of Clue.
Grey spots Guilder on the floor and relieves him of his security key. Guilder begs to Grey to cut his restraints, but Grey refuses, and says he’ll be free soon enough. He tells Guilder not to blame himself, because none of them have had a choice about helping the virals. Guilder chews the scenery as Grey walks away from him, screaming that Grey “will kill us all!”
Amy rides her bike down the path in the woods until she reaches a tunnel. Fanning tells her that the tunnel is something wonderful and rare. Amy is tired and sick. Fanning isn’t surprised, and explains that she needs to go through the tunnel. When she reaches the other side, she’ll be healthy again, and one of them.
Brad radios to Sykes that Amy’s fading, but Sykes still can’t get out of the lab. She tells him that Amy will reach a point where she has to make the choice to either die or become a viral. Brad can help her through that terrible choice.
Amy rides into the tunnel.
Brad: “I know we made a promise to each other. You don’t leave me and I don’t leave you. But if you come to a fork in the road, you can break your promise to me. If you have to, you can let go. I love you, kid, no matter what.”
Amy reaches the midpoint in the tunnel. She gets off her bike, in tears, uncertain of what to do. She takes out the matches her mother gave her to light her way and lights one. She recites Brad’s rule: “What are we not gonna do? Panic.” Then she remembers telling her mom that everyone says she’s special, but she feels like she’s a monster. Her mother says, “I know who you are. You’re like the sun.” The Agent tells her, “Your life is important. You are important. You’re wicked smart, and you’re strong and funny and fast and tough. And you can do anything you want with your life. That is not my opinion. That is a fact.”
Amy remembers that she was able to blow Winston away from The Agent with her scream. She puts the match down and picks up her bike. She’s still exhausted, but now she’s determined. She takes one last look in each direction down the tunnel, then rides as fast as she can toward life.
She rides out into the sunshine, past Fanning as he yells at her. Instead of dying or turning, she wakes up and sits up. She tells Brad that they have to go, now. The other virals all wake up at the same moment that she does.
Grey has taken the two security keys necessary to open the cell doors to the control room. He puts both in their slots and turns the keys, unlocking every cell door and releasing all of the virals.
Brad grabs Amy and Guilder and gets them to another corridor, behind security doors. The doors close just as Fanning reaches them. He waits on the other side, trying to get to his twelfth. Brad stands on his side with his gun pointed at the door. Amy turns away from the door and closes her eyes. When she opens them, they’ve turned viral orange.
OMG, I’ve cried every time I’ve watched Brad tell Amy it’s okay to let go, and I’m still crying. Can’t we clone one of him for every household? He can bring his amazingly plucky daughter with him, no problem. Amy just looked at death and vampirism, told them both no thank you, then kept right on riding back to life, through sheer force of will and the beliefs that her parents gave her. What a heroine.
Fanning mentions the world-building in Amy’s book, and is impressed with how well-crafted her apartment is. He has the creation of new places on his mind as he prepares to end the old world and begin a world designed by himself.
Currently, Fanning sees Amy as his savior, since for some reason he needs twelve virals to break out of the compound. Amy is his only option for the twelfth at the moment. But Amy is strong-willed, so far even stronger than Fanning. She’s the first person to test his assertion that they have to choose either death or becoming like him. We don’t know exactly what she’s becoming, but some kind of change is continuing within her body after she rides away from the viral/death tunnel and back into life.
So far, we’ve seen Elizabeth and Rachel choose death over facing their demons. Carter was manipulated into choosing the devil over death and he hates himself for it. It didn’t occur to him that he could find out if there was a third way, . Shauna has been at the crossroads with death many times, and made some interesting choices, such as sending her abusers to the devil, bargaining with her jailers every chance she got, in the hopes that she’d never have to face the devil, and becoming the devil’s second in command once she turned.
Elizabeth and Rachel left this world on their own terms. Shauna is a survivor who seeks to make herself useful to the people in power. Amy is also a survivor, who’s able to draw strong people in need of family to her.
Where was Lear during this entire episode? Did he go somewhere to bury Elizabeth? Or was he just getting drunk in his room or in a bar in Telluride?
In this episode, Amy needs more people who aren’t Fanning or Shauna to talk to her about what’s happening to her. Everyone, including Carter, is tiptoeing around her, like they’ll upset her if they tell her the truth, when, if anyone knows the truth and understands the reality of death and illness, it’s her. She’s already lost her mother to an insidious disease, seen what the virals look like, and she knows what Winston did. She needs the adults around her to help her understand what’s happening and reassure her that she won’t become a bad person. Carter could help her with this.
There’s no reason why Sykes, Richards and Lear don’t have a viral’s first blood meal ready when they turn. After 12 experiments, they know how this will go. What happened with Carter was totally unnecessary. They should have a protocol in place to empty the room at a certain point and then make blood available in something less dehumanizing than a trough.
Shauna tells Clark that he always has a choice. She continues to offer him the choice of becoming her familiar or dying with the humans, but she’s also using him to do her bidding without his consent or understanding of what he’s doing. Will she eventually overpower his mind so thoroughly that he thinks he’s chosen her of his own free will?
Also check out my post The Women of The Passage: Character Analysis, a closer look at the important female characters from this season.
For Book Readers:
I was ridiculously excited to watch Grey and Lila finally meet. I really want them to become besties in this version, but I don’t want Grey to be tied up for 100 years, this time. Just let him keep following Lila around, carrying her bags or her train or something. I love both actors, and they had some great chemistry, even in that brief interaction.
I know I’ve said this before, but I don’t think they could have cast Guilder more perfectly, and James Le Gros gets better at playing him every week. Martinez was the best looking viral we’ve seen, terribly predatory, like a hawk, and yet he looked like he was taking the name of everyone who disrespected his familiar. He’s very intriguing. Onward to the Homeland!
I wish they would have given us more time in psychic space with Grey and Fanning, leading up to Grey’s big role in the break out, but maybe they wanted the amount of control Fanning has over Grey to be a surprise if you haven’t read the books.
Henry Ian Cusick must have had to film an episode of The 100 this week or something. It was so weird to have so many intensely important events happening and with Jonas MIA. But I guess he does somehow miss most of the break out in the book, too, so that he can survive intact. Justin Cronin wasn’t the greatest at keeping track of all of his chess pieces and having them move logically.
Please, Liz Heldens, dispense with the endless, pointless cross-country treks.
Images courtesy of Fox.