Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 2: Annihilator Recap

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In episode 2 of Prodigal Son we learn that the chemistry between Malcolm and Edrisa is real and he really needs this job to help keep him sane. We also learn that though sane might be a relative term where Malcolm and his family are concerned, that’s what makes him really good at what he does. He’s trying to solve a mystery within himself while he’s solving murders and the answers could save him or end him. Dear old Dad is no help whatsoever, but it’s fun to watch him torment his son, who can’t quite stay away.

Did I say fun? I meant creepy as H*ll. This was a freaky episode, with snakes and poison and Michael Sheen doing his best Chucky impression. Poor Malcom actually had to get tucked into bed at the end, it was so distressing. Thankfully, it wasn’t by either of his parents, at least not in the present day. They only tuck him into bed in his night terrors.

OMG, did they kill Kenny at the end of 9-1-1?

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Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 1: Pilot Recap/Review

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Hey kids, how about we check out Fox’s new crime drama/psychological thriller, Prodigal Son? It stars Jesus and the angel Aziraphale as the titular prodigal son and his serial killer father, so how can we go wrong?

Tom Payne, who played the character nicknamed Jesus on The Walking Dead, stars as Malcolm Bright, an unstable but brilliant criminal profiler who changed his last name to distance himself from his father’s notoriety. Michael Sheen, who played the angel Aziraphale in Good Omens, plays his father, Dr Martin Whitly, AKA The Surgeon, a notorious serial killer.

The Surgeon was arrested and imprisoned when Malcolm was a child. For many years after, the two worked together during Malcolm’s regular visits in an attempt to understand the minds of serial killers, at first in order to answer Malcolm’s questions about his father and himself. Later, their work continued as part of Malcolm’s college education.

Five minutes in, it’s clear that Prodigal Son with be depending heavily on Michael Sheen’s ability to smile insanely and Tom Payne’s wild yet sympathetic blue eyes to sell their characters and the storylines. The show has put the TV series House, Mindhunter, Hannibal and American Horror Story all together in a blender and added a its own talented cast.

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The Passage Season 1 Episode 8: You Are Not That Girl Anymore Recap

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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.

Recap

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.

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The Women of The Passage: Character Analysis

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One of the main themes of The Passage, both the TV series and the book trilogy, could be summed up in the title of S1 Ep8 of the series: You Are Not That Girl Anymore. The major female characters of The Passage have all grown this season and had an impact on the main arc of the story.

The future relies on Amy Bellafonte and how she weathers the virus and her relationship with the other virals. It’s Dr Nichole Sykes’ commitment to Jonas Lear’s vision that made Project NOAH what it is, and she is still an important part of the evolving nature of the virus and virals. Dr Lila Wolgast has provided emotional, medical and logistical support for Brad, Amy, Richards, Sykes and Lacey at key moments. Shauna Babcock is Fanning’s second in command. Lacey Antoine rescued Brad and Amy and gave them a hideout from Richards’ pursuit. Elizabeth Lear was the catalyst for the entire endeavor. She was both Jonas’ excuse for pursuing the Bolivian rumors until the end of the world and the voice of reason in his head telling him he was going too far.


Shauna Babcock

Though there are a few female inmates who have become virals, Shauna Babcock is the only one we’ve seen communicate with humans and whose backstory we’ve been given in detail. Shauna has lived a complicated life, and has created a complicated web of relationships within Project NOAH. Manipulation is her specialty, making it difficult to tell when she’s being sincere and when she’s using someone.

In the story she told Clark, she’s a victim with a tragic backstory who finally snapped. Shauna was regularly raped by her stepfather from the ages of 8-16, until she was old enough to stand up to him and make him stop.

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The Passage Season 1 Episode 6: I Want to Know What You Taste Like Recap

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In episode 6 of The Passage, I Want to Know What You Taste Like, Winston escapes and tastes quite a few people. Amy learns to use her telepathy and family connection well enough to track him.

It turns out to be Richards who was bold enough to have Lila kidnapped while she was praying in church. Since he’s having her brought to the compound, she joins the team that’s hunting for Winston. She’s just in time, because Brad is not okay with his replacement little girl growing up so quickly and working with the dark side, meaning Horace Guilder. Lila becomes Brad’s new/old handler, in order to help keep the peace.

Jonas and Elizabeth have a loving reunion, but also face the truth about her condition. Sykes remembers the friendship she and Babcock developed before Babcock turned into a semicomatose vampire without the ability to speak. Babcock resents that Sykes didn’t maintain their friendship after it appeared that Babcock was braindead.

It seems to me that etiquette would require the one with the telepathy to make the first move in that situation.

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The Passage Season 1 Episode 5: How You Gonna Outrun the End of the World? Recap

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This week on The Passage episode 4, How You Gonna Outrun the End of the World?, the virals begin to show what they’re really capable of; Amy discloses that she’s developed more abilities than she’s been letting on; we learn more about the backstory shared by Jonas, Tim and Elizabeth; Dr Pet finally goes too far; and Lacey returns to her roots. This fast-paced episode moves the show from having the virals under control to watching the lab fall to chaos and violence.

Episode 4 opens with the arrival at Project NOAH of an infamous book character named Horace Guilder. He’s the long time Deputy Director of the Department of Defense, now cross-promoted to be the Deputy Director of Special Weapons. Special Weapons is the kind of department that kills you as soon as you’ve outlived your usefulness, because they don’t want their secrets getting out. It’s clear that the other characters, like Wolgast and Richards, found Guilder deplorable even before this promotion.

Guilder asks Clark what’s been going on this week, because his reports show the place turning into a mess, with Paulson, the med tech that Carter attacked when he flipped, and Simpson, dead. Wolgast tells Amy that Guilder is famous for avoiding blame and taking credit, so they’ll need to be careful what they say near him.

Brad suggests that it’s time to make their escape. They’ve both noticed that the kitchen staff keep the kitchen door propped open so that they can get outside to smoke. The staff must have disabled the alarm on the door. Brad and Amy can use the kitchen door, then run to a nearby drainage tunnel, which they can crawl through to exit the property.

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The Passage Season 1 Episode 4: Whose Blood Is That? Recap

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Things are starting to get real at Project NOAH. The fourth episode of The Passage, Whose Blood Is That?, shows us the transition from human to viral vampire, as Carter flips to his new form. It also shows the insidiousness, and brilliance, of the virals’ psychological invasion of the humans stationed at the Project NOAH facility.

The humans are scientists and members of the military, who don’t believe that dreams can hurt them or that vampires are real. It’s important that they each appear to be in control of themselves to their colleagues. Scientific and military cultures dictate that they maintain those facades until the very end, no matter what’s actually going on inside them. They are the perfect group of people on which to use internal psychological warfare.

We often think of murderers as rough, violent thugs, but the reality is that many appear to be normal people in their day to day lives. Serial killers, in particular, can be narcissistic chameleons with a talent for manipulation, which they use to lure in their victims. Eleven of the thirteen recipients of Fanning’s blood are the perpetrators of multiple murders, predators in their human lives. Prior to developing their viral predatory instincts, they’d already developed the human version of those instincts and learned the ways of their prey, us.

Now, they have moved beyond being merely narcissistic, ruthless psychopaths, to become ruthless, efficient predators of humans and mammals. They are a telepathic tribe of killers who are bent on revenge and domination and who crave the blood of their prey and enemies. They are led by an evil genius with an axe to grind, and they can convert people to their cause through dreams and visions, without ever speaking directly to them.

The end of the world as we know it is almost upon us.

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The Passage Season 1 Episode 3: That Never Should Have Happened to You Recap

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The Passage and Deadly Class are tied for my favorite new shows of the season, and episode 3 of The Passage, That Never Should Have Happened to You, has only made me more excited about it. The way showrunner Liz Heldon and her team are perfectly balancing plot, character and world-building remind me of SYFY and Amazon’s The Expanse, one of the highest quality science fiction shows of this decade.

The Passage may not be a space epic, but it does tell an epic, sweeping story, just as The Expanse does, and it’s carefully arranging all of the necessary elements, while telling an exciting story. The set up for the long-term arc isn’t being rushed, even though in the present day, the end of the world is fast approaching. It’s an incredibly delicate balance to maintain, along with introducing viral vampires who need to be threatening, but not so camp that you can’t take them seriously. So far, based on the books, this adaptation is everything I would wish it to be. I’m just having a hard time not rushing them to the next part of the story!

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The Passage Season 1 Episode 2: You Owe Me a Unicorn Recap

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The Passage’s second episode, You Owe Me a Unicorn, slows down the pace a bit from the pilot’s continuous ‘on the run’ vibe. All of the main characters are represented, and many of the recurring ones, as we get to know them all a bit better. Time is still a factor, as it always will be on this show. One of the ‘passages’ referred to by the title is the passage of time, which speeds up and slows down according to our perception of current events.

Another theme which is explored this week is the issue of determining who your real friends and family are, as opposed to the people who are nice to you in order to use you for personal gain. This theme goes in some surprising directions.

Then there is the unicorn, symbolic of Amy and Brad’s dream that they can become each other’s family and live happily ever after. Dreams, visions, hallucinations and predictions are a huge part of this story. Everyone approaches Project NOAH with a dream of their own. Eventually, the dream changes. For some, the dream improves on reality. For others, it becomes a way to deny reality. For larger subset, it becomes a nightmare.

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The Passage Season 1 Episode 1: Pilot Recap

Brad and Amy- Can One Girl Save Humanity?

Review

Fox’s new science fiction series, The Passage, which is based on Justin Cronin’s trilogy of novels, got off to a great start this week. The pilot served as an appetizer to whet our taste buds for what’s to come in this series, giving us small bites of different aspects of the universe established in Justin Cronin’s books and the changes made in order to transfer it to the screen. So far, all of the important book elements are present (or on their way), and the changes make sense, given the different logistics required for books vs TV.

I enjoyed everyone in the cast, though I can’t say they’re all exactly how I pictured the characters in the book. That’s mostly because the show has done a great job of diversifying what was a very white, male cast of characters in the book version of Project Noah. This is a welcome change. The gender swaps have already made for some intriguing changes in character interactions.

The early part of the story depends on the chemistry and believability of the pseudo father-daughter relationship between Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s federal agent, Brad Wolgast, and Saniyya Sidney’s orphaned 10 year old girl, Amy Bellafonte. The two actors nail it. Individually, they are each talented, charismatic and charming. Together, they share an immediate warmth and light that makes it understandable why they’d bond so quickly. Both characters come into the relationship feeling like they are alone in the world and each is mourning a deep loss. Their chemistry allows them to slot each other into the holes in their hearts.

The virals (vampires) are suitably menacing as they lie in wait for their prey and use hypnotic psychological tricks to draw in their victims. The series has added the threat of a global avian flu pandemic, which kills its victims in 12 hours, to help explain the reasoning for the accelerated pace of the research on the virals, who were meant to cure all diseases.

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