It’s the end of the world as we know it, and the virals are doing just fine. Episode 10, Last Lesson, is the denouement to the season, showing what the world looks like after the virals’ breakout, leading up to the time jump book readers have been clamoring for all season.
My episode 9 recap is HERE.
This episode picks up moments after episode 9 ends, since the two episodes are meant to be viewed as a two hour finale. Lacey picks her way through the compound, putting down anyone who’s turning into a viral with a single shot to the head.
All of those shots fired by the professional security force, and no one could figure out to shoot the virals in the head but wise, no-nonsense Sister Lacey. Never send a man to do a woman’s job. 😉
Amy’s voiceover: “When the new world began, everyone had to live with the choices they had made, and their terrible consequences, but there were moments of grace.”
As Lacey makes her way inside the former hotel that served as Project NOAH’s HQ, Jonas sits at the bottom of the grand staircase with a gun in his hand, trying to build up the nerve to do the obvious. Lacey spots him and demands to know his identity. She suspects he’s the one responsible for the entire mess. Jonas tells her his name and accepts responsibility for the end of the world.
Lacey quotes Colossians 1:13-14 to him: “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, whom he loves, in whom we have redemption, forgiveness of sin.”
Lacey: “You know your new testament. My name is Lacey Antoine, and I’m here to tell you, you don’t get to die today. Dying is for the innocent. You have work to do. The sin has been committed. Now, your redemption can begin.”
She takes the gun from his hand.
30 days later, Amy, Brad and Lila are living as a family in a cabin in the deep woods of Oregon. Brad is giving Amy survivalist training. At dinner he notes that Amy is getting her appetite back, but she’s actually spitting her food into her napkin. Lila suggests a supply run. Amy says she’s tired and stays home while Brad and Lila go out.
They listen to the radio on the drive:
“We’re hearing now that another great American city has been lost. The president has ordered US military to abandon the Houston perimeter after a night of heavy losses when Army and National Guard units were overwhelmed by a large force of infected persons moving into the city. This is the fourth major city to fall since the outbreak began. Gasoline remains scarce…”
Lila asks how long they’re going to wait at the cabin for the CDC to pick up the cure. Brad wants to wait for as long as it takes, because traveling is too dangerous. Lila thinks they have a responsibility to at least try to get the cure to the CDC themselves, since it’s been 3 weeks and it doesn’t look like anyone is coming.
They reach a boarded up convenience store, where Lila stays outside to siphon gas while Brad checks inside. A viral throws a body off the roof over the gas pumps, then has a face off with Lila. It doesn’t attack her, but goes straight for Brad when he runs outside.
Brad shoots the viral down. Another man runs out of the store and says that he thought the virals only came out at night. “Why won’t these bloodsuckers stick to the rules?”
The guy, Brian, brings them inside to show them the map he’s been creating as he learns more about the virals. There are 10 hotspots across the country. The Pacific Northwest is quiet. Brad asks if Vegas is a hotspot, but Brian says there’s no activity reported in Nevada.
On the drive home Brad explains to Lila that each inmate has gone back to their hometown. He knows where they’re all from because he had to learn their stories as part of recruiting them for Project NOAH. Shauna is from Las Vegas, so he’s surprised it’s not a hotspot.
Richards is running a refugee center in Las Vegas and appears to be in perfect health. He helps a mother and daughter, then collects a hardened criminal for Shauna. So far, she’s sticking to her diet.
Lacey and Jonas arrive at the
World Health Organization Global Health Federation Outpost in Fairfax, Virginia, having traveled across the country with a National Guard convoy. The intake officer, Patrick, suggests that Jonas should be in jail, but Lacey tells him that Jonas is the one who can fix this. Jonas says that the only known cure was put into a car headed for the CDC. Patrick says that it could be anywhere by now, since things below South Carolina are getting pretty crazy.
Jonas isn’t sure how long it will take him to reverse engineer a cure from scratch, using the blood of a dead viral. Patrick loses patience with him, emphasizing that their relationships with the rest of the world are in crisis, in addition to the viral crisis at home. “No one leaves until we find a solution.”
While Clark is driving Shauna’s take out to her, Jonas calls him to check in. Neither of them have heard from Brad, who maybe took his instructions to keep Amy safe a little too seriously. Clark is rethinking his life choices, specifically the choice of life as a familiar over death, so he’s cranky about the lost cure, Nichole’s death, and Jonas’ inability to whip up a new batch of the cure on demand.
Nevermind the billions of people who are dying. Clark wants to break up with his girlfriend, and he can’t do it until Jonas recreates the cure. He hangs up on Jonas, ’cause he needs Jonas to get back to work.
Shauna’s made her home at a bar on the outskirts of town. Clark pulls into the parking lot and pops the trunk so that she can come outside and eat in the car. She looks nearly human, dressed in boots, a black cocktail dress, with her hair combed. Her orange eyes and red viral veins only show up when she eats.
Lila and Brad are now such a happy couple that they have gauzy, slow-mo sex, which I feel certain will result in pregnancy if The Passage gets a season 2. Afterward, Lila gently breaks the news that the CDC would have been there by now if they were coming, so she’s going to hitch a ride with Doctors Without Borders to the CDC headquarters in Atlanta.
The cure is in her blood, so she can leave the pure antidote with Brad and Amy, and let the government reverse engineer it from her. She doesn’t want to leave them, but the lives and happiness of the two of them aren’t important during tragic times like these. Brad’s overprotective streak can’t imagine how she’ll survive without him, even with her viral strength and endurance, but he lets her go.
Jonas goes to the morgue to extract blood and tissue samples from a viral corpse to use to reverse engineer the cure. Fanning can’t pass up the opportunity to flaunt his success. He lets Jonas know that he has eyes and ears everywhere that there is a viral, and he knows what’s inside the mind of everyone who turns. Jonas isn’t impressed, so Fanning moves on to threatening to kill him once he completes a cure, noting that Sykes died as soon as she found hers.
Jonas emphatically reminds Fanning that he doesn’t care if he dies. Fanning promises to continue to make Jonas suffer for Elizabeth’s death. He whines about how much he suffered when he felt her die, so much more than Jonas could have felt, in Fanning’s estimation.
Jonas is over Fanning’s narcissism and dismisses him, saying he has work to do.
Brad is teaching Amy to shoot a bow and arrow as part of her survival skills. She doesn’t like it and can’t get the hang of it. They argue over why she even has to bother with it, but Brad tells her that he needs to prepare her. He doesn’t know what he’s preparing her for, he just knows that she has an important role to play and he won’t be around forever to take care of her. He’s trying to get her ready, so she’ll be as safe as possible.
Amy picks up the bow and arrow to try again. She says, “I love you, too, Agent.” This time, she hits the target.
That evening, Brad braids Amy’s hair for the first time. They sit by the fire and talk as he works. She tells him about the vision she had when Fanning grabbed her in the woods:
Amy: “Pop quiz- What if I told you I saw the future”
Brad: “I’d say keep talking.”
Amy: “When Fanning grabbed me, I saw something. I saw the future. It was bad. Fanning was dying and I saved him. And I don’t know why. I think that’s why he didn’t kill me.”
Brad: “Are you worried that you’ll become like him?”
Amy: “Maybe. I’m scared, Agent.”
Brad: “When I’m scared, I gather facts. So, fact- You have a good heart. Fanning does not. Fact- You’re the bravest person I know. He is not. And all the training we’ve done is to help you feel prepared for whatever comes next. That’s what we’ve been doing. That and braiding hair.”
He finishes her braids. Amy stands up. She’s grown about six inches taller since the beginning of the season.
Amy: “Okay, how do I look?”
Brad: “Like a bad-ss.”
Clark brings Shauna her next meal, and this time it’s a lively one, with a little adrenaline to spice up the flavor. But Shauna doesn’t appear at the bar door, so Clark goes inside, where they have it out, pouring out the regrets and frustrations from their relationship and their previous lives.
When Clark judges her, he feels to Shauna like every other disapproving man in her life, and she rebels. Clark is reacting to feeling like he once again has no choices, just like it was at Project NOAH and in the military. They each feel like the other is trying to control them.
He regrets letting her save him, because now they’re blood linked forever and he’s complicit in the viral horror. She’s jealous that although she saved him with her blood, his life with the virus is so much more human than hers. Yet he still resents her and treats her badly. She feels like he’s bringing her so little food that he’s purposely starving her. He sees his role not as helping her, but as keeping her in check. To him, she’s still a monster. She thought they’d have a cooperative relationship.
The story of women’s lives.
Shawna reminds him that he turned her into what she is. She was human before, and she didn’t ask for this. She takes the car keys, saying she’ll eat the guy in the trunk, but after that, she’ll find her own food.
Amy calls her other dad, Fanning, for a talk about blood. She’s getting to that age where she’s worried about embarrassing, uncontrollable bleeding and it doesn’t seem appropriate to her to talk to Brad about it. If it were me, I’d go to Shauna, but Amy seems to have a weird bond with Fanning. He might be blocking her access to the others to make sure she has to talk to him.
When Fanning appears, she asks him how many people he’s killed. He gleefully estimates that he’s up to about 1,000, after he went a little wild in Nebraska. He knows that Amy’s hungry for blood, too, and only pretending to eat normal food in front of Brad. He wants her to give in to her “true nature” as quickly as possible, but Amy says that she won’t ever kill anyone. Fanning decides to test her. He brings their neighbor Bob in, and scratches him to infect him with the virus.
Amy wakes up and peers out the window. She sees Fanning standing outside, watching, like the creeper that he is. He’s been using the grooming techniques of a sexual predator since Amy came online with the hive mind. He’s maneuvered her where he wants her, emotionally isolated, ashamed, and desensitized to the
sexual murderous, bloodsucking behavior that he wants her to believe is inevitable.
When Amy asked Fanning what kind of person he was before he became a viral, he didn’t actually answer her question. He told her that he attained his abilities to kill and manipulate through the virus. But did he? Elizabeth seemed to think he was a terrible person before the whole thing started, and she wasn’t the type to be petty. I have a feeling that he was always involved in questionable interests, and the virus simply honed his instincts.
The way he’s trying to force her into becoming like him is remarkably similar to a predator trying to force a child into other adult activities, whether it’s sex, drugs or a life of crime. He’s trying to get her so enmeshed with an immoral lifestyle that she’ll never be able to get herself out of it, by getting her to grow up too soon and convincing her that this is who she’s meant to be, so this future is inevitable. Watching a middle-aged man coerce a little girl this way is especially horrifying. He might as well be luring her into a life of drug addiction and prostitution, while telling her he’s better than the people who abused her.
Jonas and Lacey are bedded down next to each other in one of the halls at the Global Health Federation. The halls are lined with other people camping out in the facility. Jonas tells her to feel free to move to another spot, where there’s more room to spread out. Lacey scoffs at him, and asks if he’s still thinking about killing himself. When he says yes, she’s tells him that they’re going to be like Bert and Ernie as long as he feels that way. Jonas wants to be Bert. 🙃
While they drink shots of Savage Fowl whiskey (even in the apocalypse, Lacey knows a guy), Jonas tells her that he’s making progress on Nichole’s formula, but without human trials he won’t know what the side effects are. Patrick Bagosian wants to start giving it to the public without testing it, but that’s too close to Project NOAH for Jonas and Lacey.
Bagosian plans to have Jonas join a conference call with a special UN Council to convince them that the anti-viral is ready. Lacey asks which countries are on the council. Jonas lists China, Russia, France, India, the UK- the countries armed with nuclear bombs. They agree that this is going exactly the way that Fanning wanted it to.
Lacey quotes part of Genesis 4:9 to Jonas- “And God said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel, thy brother?’ And he said, ‘I know not.” Jonas interrupts and tells her to stop with the bible quotes. He’s not up for living in a biblical allegory. She continues, “You and Fanning are tied, I’m just saying. It’s not over until it’s over.”
In the morning, Carla and Brian knock on the cabin door, then tell Brad that they found neighbor Bob’s abandoned truck down the road. Amy comes in and says that she can tell that Bob’s outside and he’s bleeding. Brad asks how she knows, and she says she just knows.
This is information Brad doesn’t want, on multiple levels, since it means Bob’s infected and the virus has enough of a hold on Amy that she can sense blood from a distance. Everyone goes outside and finds Bob in the yard with a bleeding neck. He wants Brad to put him down.
Brad takes him into the woods while Carla and Brian take Amy back into the cabin. Amy knows this is a terrible idea, but it all happens too fast for her to figure out how to stop it. Bob turns before he and Brad get to the woods. As he’s turning, he tells Brad that the turn feels amazingly great. Brad shoots Bob, but not before he gets bitten.
Why didn’t Brad kill Bob when he started talking about how great it felt to turn, even if it meant shooting from behind? Has he still not figured out that he has to hit the head or the heart for an instant kill, just like you have to with a human? I’ve overlooked a lot of plot holes and stupid decisions in this show without complaint, but this one was too much. Brad barely knows Bob. The Agent wouldn’t hesitate to shoot him.
And are we really supposed to believe that Carla and Brian are quicker to kill potential virals than former Marine and Special Federal Agent Brad Wolgast, who also has his beloved child to protect? Why didn’t they just have Bob jump off the roof and take him unawares when Brad went outside to look for him? The virals in the books prefer to attack from above. This would have been a good time to introduce the idea that they can jump so high it’s almost like flying.
While he prepares Jonas for the conference call, Bagosian gives us some insight into how hard the US is working to cover up its responsibility for the viral outbreak: “Under no circumstances are you to mention Project NOAH or anything that occurred there. This call is about your anti-viral and its imminent delivery.”
Jonas reminds him that they’re nowhere near ready for mass production, since the anti-viral hasn’t been tested. Bagosian reiterates that he’s only to discuss its imminent delivery.
China, Russia, India, the UK, Canada, and Israel call in. They get right to the point. They’re worried about the level of contagion, and that it will reach their countries at any time. They don’t have time for obvious American lies. Jonas tries to assure them that they’ll get the vaccine soon, but he doesn’t have much to work with.
The Chinese representative informs them that he knows the CDC is gone, and that they were the only US government agency capable of distributing a vaccine in a timely manner. Jonas and Lacey are shocked to hear that the CDC is gone and ask Bagosian if it’s true. He doesn’t answer Jonas, which is as good as a yes. Instead, he tries to convince the UN representatives that he can still make his plan work.
They are done with the US, sensing that most of what they’re hearing are lies and cover ups. The British representative is the last to sign off. She tells him, “Your allies are growing impatient, and your enemies are discussing military solutions.”
Then she hangs up on him, too. Jona realizes, “They’re gonna bomb us.”
Meanwhile, back in Sin City, panic has broken out in Clark’s refugee center. He’s told that the virals have reached Vegas. Clark slips out of the center, just as the doors are barricaded shut. He goes to Shauna’s bar, gun in hand, ready to put an end to her reign of terror. Except she’s laying on a couch, taking a nap, without a spot of blood on her.
She wakes up as he approaches and tells him to do it. It was Martinez who led the bloodbath in their city. She’s been dry since the last time he fed her, but he should get it over with anyway. “Shoot me. Take us both out. Our ghosts can have a fight on the way down to H–l.”
He pulls the gun away from her chest. He’s never loved this bloodsucking drama queen more than in that moment. Now he’s confused again. He didn’t know they’d be so closely mentally linked, that he’d always feel he’s in two places at once.
Shauna asks if that’s really a bad thing. He doesn’t know anymore, he just wants things to be right. He puts the gun down and they try a little familiar on viral action.
The cabin is in chaos, as Amy examines Brad’s wound while shielding him from Carla and Brian’s guns. Bob got a good grip on him. Carla and Brian are panicking, shouting for Amy to move aside, before Brad turns. Brad says to Amy, “Last lesson. Sometimes, the right thing is the hardest thing in the world to do, okay? I’m sorry.”
Brian drags Amy behind him. Brad gives Brian permission to shoot him in the head, then prepares himself. Amy growls and goes feral. Her eyes go orange, she bares her teeth and she jumps on Brian. Brad watches in shock and horror as Amy kills both neighbors.
As Lacey and Jonas prepare to evacuate before the bombs hit Virginia, Lacey hurries Jonas along, telling him that the president and the cabinet have already been evacuated, following nuclear protocol. He’s prepping his arm for the experimental anti-viral, figuring that the only way to test it is to give it to himself. He reminds Lacey that, “Dying is for the innocent,” as she once told him. “If Fanning is going to survive this, then I’m going to survive it, too. I’m not going to let him win.”
I guess Lacey’s been successful in getting him past his suicidal phase.
Amy takes out the last dose of Nichole’s cure and gives it to Brad, who’s unconscious. She writes a note for The Agent that says, “I’m sorry,” which she leaves in her copy of A Wrinkle in Time.
Amy’s voiceover: “I don’t regret what I did. I can live with my choice. The CDC wasn’t coming. Whose life is more important than yours? No one’s. I only regret running away. I thought you would look at me and see a monster. I should have thanked you at least. You taught me everything, Agent. You taught me what it meant to have a family. You taught me how to take care of myself, how to pay attention. How to be ready.”
Brad wakes up and looks for Amy, but she’s gone. Amy has taken a backpack with her with the things she’ll need to survive, and her bow and arrows. She watches the bombs fly overhead. Cities are destroyed and turn into skeletal ruins. Time passes.
Palm Desert- 97 Years Later
Despite the nearly 100 year time jump, Amy looks only a little older, but she looks wiser and more self-assured. She still carries her bow and arrows.
It night, and raining lightly. Amy walks across a rock shelf toward a group of virals eating a deer. On a hill in the distance, bright spotlights are stationed at regular intervals. They sweep across the rock where Amy walks.
The virals run from Amy when she gets too close, but one stops, then turns to attack. Amy calmly kills it with an arrow as it runs toward her. When its dead, she puts her hand on its chest and tells it to, “Be free.”
Then she continues walking toward the lights on the hill, where there are still people, and she hopes to find The Agent waiting for her.
“You taught me how to not panic. I have been alone for so long. I have searched for you everywhere. I think if you were dead, I would know it. So, I choose to believe you are alive. It’s their world now. Humanity is almost gone. But there is a place where people have managed to stay alive. Maybe I’ll find you here. Maybe then I’ll be home.”
What a powerful ending! The 97 year time jump gave me chills. That whole sequence might have been the most well done part of the season. The music added so much to the feel of the scene, as did the camera work, lighting and editing. I need a season 2 of The Passage, to find out where they’re going to go with these stories.
Sister Lacey comes to Jonas like an archangel as he sits like an old testament patriarch in the Project NOAH HQ, waiting for the end of the world to catch up to him. But then she quotes the new testament’s message of hope to him, and practically hypnotizes him into rejoining the fight. She said in an earlier episode that her calling was Amy, but it appears that her mission is to help Amy’s cause by keeping Jonas on track.
Elizabeth was Jonas’ conscience and voice of reason, but she wasn’t strong enough to keep him from eventually giving in to his worst instincts. Lacey, as bodyguard, handler, and whatever else they might become to each other, seems like she can give him a run for his money. He needs someone who can keep him from getting so caught up in his rivalry with Fanning that he forgets his real goal. Fanning is going to be harassing him every step of the way, especially if the cure allows Fanning to see everything in Jonas’ head.
Does Jonas know that Nichole’s cure was successful because she changed tactics and treated the virus like a retrovirus such as HIV (or did she say HIB)?
I keep thinking Brad and Lila should be able to overnight Jonas a sample of Amy or Lila’s blood. The breakdown of civilization is so inconvenient.
Neither Jonas nor Sykes were around Amy long enough to know that she’s started to crave blood. I suspect Lila was craving blood, too, and that was one of her reasons for leaving. Like Amy, she didn’t want Brad to see her that way. She left at a point when they’d both have good final memories of each other.
Lila pointed out that the viral at the gas station didn’t see her as food, then she drove away on a cross-country trip with a car load of viral food. That almost guarantees that she’ll end up alone, with her companions all turned into virals or dead, somewhere in the middle of the country, possibly pregnant. Book readers will know what I’m thinking of here.
Everyone in North America is from Fanning’s bloodline, as he told Amy. Since Lila was bitten by Carter, she’s also part of his bloodline, and could end up as his familiar. She might have left Brad and Amy because she felt him calling her. Carter will have gone back to Houston and be causing the Texas hotspot. Hitching a ride from Oregon, in the direction of Georgia, would work out just as well for someone who wants to go to Texas. Lila can hop out in Kansas and head south.
I wonder if Fanning can use telepathy to listen to and locate Lila the way he can with the other virals. If there’s a season 2, I need more details about the extent of each type of viral’s telepathy and other powers. So far we have the alpha viral, Fanning; Amy, who is unique, still mostly human and nearly as powerful as Fanning; and 10 more top-tier virals who range between Fanning’s transition to inhuman monster and Amy’s retention of her humanity. Each one of the twelve can make a familiar, but we haven’t seen how. Richards is Shauna’s familiar. Grey is Fanning’s familiar in the books.
Then there are the basic drones who are made with a simple bite. If victims don’t die, they turn into viral vampires. In the books, each of the Twelve original virals has his own hoard of viral drones made from their bloodline and drones lose almost all of their memories and individualism. It seems that’s also the case in the show, since Shauna told Clark he’d still be him, if she turned him into a familiar instead of a drone.
With Genesis 4: 9, Lacey quotes a verse from God’s accusation of Cain for Abel’s murder. The entire conversation is even more interesting:
The cure and Amy’s version of the virus might be slowing the effects of the virus down, rather than stopping them completely. Jonas is the first person to give himself the cure in the form of a vaccine, rather than in combination with a full-blown infection. I hope the show goes back to give us the details on his reaction to the shot and the rest of his research.
He won’t be able to mass produce a vaccine, but he could produce small batches, unless the process is dependent on high-tech equipment lost in the bombing. Rudimentary vaccines have been around for hundreds of years, so hopefully Jonas can figure something out. He has his own blood to start with, which presumably has a very attenuated version of the virus. Simple infection with his blood, Amy’s, Lila’s or Brad’s might be enough, in the same way that people used to be purposely infected with cowpox through a scratch so they wouldn’t get smallpox. He could probably save Lacey that way.
I hate the thought of Amy wandering alone for 100 years, but I’m excited to see First Colony. I hope they adapt the books in such a way that we see some of the other locations from the books in season 2, instead of waiting until they were revealed in the books. Surely Brad, Jonas and Lacey will be living in a human community, or two separate communities. Clark and Shauna will have a little set up in Vegas, and Martinez and Guilder will do the same somewhere. Once Clark decided he was all in as Shauna’s familiar, they’d drive Martinez out of her territory and make it a safe zone with criminals given the death penalty via Shauna.
Images courtesy of Fox.