Monday, January 21, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Passage' - Brad Relies on a Friend to Help Him and Amy Evade Capture in 'You Owe Me a Unicorn'

FOX's The Passage - Episode 1.02 "You Owe Me a Unicorn"

Amy and a wounded Brad continue on the run from Richards and attempt to seek refuge with an elusive, ex-military instructor of Brad's, while Lila tries to help from afar. At Project Noah, Dr. Lear reflects on the decisions that compelled him to involve Fanning in his research, and testing of the virus on Anthony Carter begins, as the epidemic in China spreads and the race for a cure intensifies.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. Premieres and finales may feature longer reviews. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of FOX's The Passage.

"You Owe Me a Unicorn" was written by Liz Heldens and directed by Jason Ensler

Brad and Amy on the run from Richards and the Project Noah agents was never going to be a sustainable premise for very long. Those two characters are the heart of the show. They have to remain important otherwise it would feel like the show is just hitting a bunch of random plot points. That means they need to be kept close to the central storyline. Sure, there could have been some excitement out of Brad becoming a whistleblower with what's going on with Project Noah. That would cause a great deal of stress for the government as they are worried about the epidemic that is spreading across Asia. And yet, Brad doesn't actually know what's going on at Project Noah. He just knows that some doctors are experimenting on death row inmates. They are working on a drug that can cure all diseases. He has no idea that the side effects include turning the subjects into vampires who can't be controlled. Jonas and his team barely understand the telepathic abilities of the new species they have created. They can offer no sense of clarity to Anthony Carter when they begin the testing on him. Of course, Carter is wise enough to be wary of everyone trying to tell him what's going on. Jonas and his team are running an immoral project that is bound to only compromise them further if they decide to perform their tests on Amy. Meanwhile, Fanning and Shauna are still mysterious creatures. They clearly operate as a team. They are the ones who present themselves to Carter in a bar setting trying to get him to join them. They see it as inevitable that he will become an ally. He is terrified and doesn't know what's going on. The same should also be said of the janitorial staff. One of them is viciously attacked by Shauna. However, there's no real stakes to that moment either. It's a solid scare because the show needed a jolt of energy in that moment. But there's no real reason to care about what happens to either of those characters. The show is mostly just trying to flesh out the world at Project Noah a little more. It gives Jonas a tragic backstory explaining why he decided to explore this research in the first place. His wife was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. Instead of listening to her wishes of spending time with her, he left to potentially find a cure for her disease. And now, he sees the error of his ways. He is also just repeating the same line over and over again about being very concerned that the team is willing to experiment on a child just to see if it can save lives throughout the world. That is the same concern that was shared in the premiere with no more real nuance added to the conversation here. As such, there's the sense that Brad and Amy being captured will shake up the status quo. That's already very exciting. It may prove the show doesn't want to stay in one position for very long. Brad and Amy were on the run. They find shelter and assistance here thanks to Brad's former Navy mentor, Lacey. Of course, the show is perfectly fine having her get shot with her fate left up in the air. There's no sense of what happened to Lacey or if she will continue to be important. There is a trained doctor left in the house who could potential help. In that moment though, it's much more vital for Brad to surrender himself and Amy to follow him because she made a promise never to abandon him. That was always going to be a promise they both had to uphold sooner rather than later. It certainly strengthens their bond. It's a much more effective way of doing so than having Brad tell his ex-wife Lila that Amy reminds him of the daughter that they lost.