The Passage: Season 1 Review

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Episode Recaps are HERE.

Fox’s series The Passage, based on the Justin Cronin trilogy of novels, finished its 10 episode first season this week with a leap forward into the apocalypse. The series spent its first season on character and world-building during the period immediately preceding the fall of the human race, so that viewers will enter season 2, if there is one, with a firm understanding of this universe’s viral vampires and the mistakes that were made to bring about the end of the world. The challenges and rivalries that the future faces are set in place, so that season 2 can hit the ground running.

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The Passage Season 1 Episode 10: Last Lesson Recap

The Passage 110 Shauna The Face of the Future

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.

Recap

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.”

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The Passage Season 1 Episode 9: Stay in the Light Recap

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Welcome to the two-part end of the world! Part1/Episode 9, Stay in the Light, of The Passage, chronicles the fall of Project NOAH and the escape of the virals. To find out who lives, who dies, and who finds themselves slightly altered, read on.

Recap

We begin at the beginning, in Bolivia, 2015, with an infected Tim Fanning coming down to the end of the line before he turns. Jonas, Tim, Richards and a large tactical team are waiting in a hangar for their transport out of Bolivia. Fanning can feel that something is happening to him that’s changing him, and he doesn’t like it, but he has no frame of reference to help determine what it is. He asks Lear to kill him, and keeps asking, but Lear refuses, since he isn’t ready to give up hope.

The Bolivian locals want them to kill Fanning before he kills all of them. Fanning wonders if customs will let him back into the US, but Jonas says that it won’t be a problem, since they’re flying private. He has a team of doctors waiting for them.

In voiceover, Amy says: “I didn’t used to believe in monsters, but I do now. There were so many times that they could have turned back, that they could have said, ‘stop.’ But they didn’t. By the time anybody bothered to try, it was too late.”

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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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Dark Season 1 Episode 1: Secrets Recap

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Okay, kids, shall we recap Netflix’s first German-language show, the mysterious Dark? It was released more than a year ago, but there’s still no definite release date for season 2. (Rumors suggest it’ll be in June, 2019.) So, if you haven’t watched, or rewatched, Dark yet, there’s still time.

This is the show that says the question isn’t, where? Instead it’s, when? To which I would add, who???? This show has a giant cast, spending time with the same characters in two or three different time periods as its complex mystery unfolds. The same characters are played by different actors in each time period, so it takes a while to remember who and when everyone is, but the extra work is worth it.

Once you start to get a sense of the characters, setting and time periods, the show gets into your head. It can’t help but be layered, with all of those facets to the characters, some of whom we see in three time periods. We get to know the village of Winden, including three generations of each one of the four main families.

Wiki has a Cast and Characters chart that explains how everyone is related to everyone else, but don’t look too closely yet! There are spoilers there! TV Guide has a useful diagram and description of how everyone is connected. It also contains spoilers, so proceed slowly. Underneath the recap, I’ve taken the photos from the opening of this episode and added brief descriptions of the characters’ identities and relationships. I tried to leave out major spoilers, for now.

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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

The Passage 102: Jonas gives Carter the serum.

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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Stranger Things Season 2 Chapter One: MADMAX Recap

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They’re back! Something wicked this way comes, into the town of Hawkins, and it’s come to stay. This first episode serves as a check in with all of the residents that we got to know last year, and an introduction to a few new arrivals.

10/28/1984 Pittsburgh, PA

The season 2 cold open takes us to a nighttime robbery in Pittsburgh. A gang of robbers made up of men and women of diverse races spills out of a city building, and into their getaway van. After a chaotic chase with several police cars pursuing them, they go through a tunnel. A woman named Kali appears to use her mind to collapse the tunnel entrance before the police can go through, causing the police cars to pile up in a multi-car accident.

It turns out that the collapse was an illusion that could only be seen by the driver of the first car. As Kali wipes away the trickle of blood dripping from her nose, we see the number 008 tattooed onto her wrist. We’ve just met one of El’s fellow test subjects.

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