Monday, January 28, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Passage' - Babcock Uses Her Tragic Past to Earn Sympathy in 'That Never Should Have Happened to You'

FOX's The Passage - Episode 1.03 "That Never Should Have Happened to You"

Brad strikes a deal with Sykes and Richards to stay with Amy at Project Noah, as they begin to test the virus on her. Upon learning the harsh truth regarding the state of inmates in 4B, Brad forms an alliance to get more information. Babcock sheds light on her past.

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. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of FOX's The Passage.

"That Never Should Have Happened to You" was written by Peter Elkoff and directed by Jason Ensler

It takes three episodes before someone asks why the new species created at the heart of The Passage is referred to as virals instead of vampires. It's a fair and rational question to ask considering the prominence of vampires in pop culture with the virals already showing the traits of drinking blood and avoiding sunlight. The explanation that Lear gives about it still being a scientific experiment isn't great. At least the show offered an explanation. That's a step in the right direction. Of course, this hour also has a lot of heavy lifting to do in order to get Brad up to speed about everything that is actually going on with Project Noah. He should be very worried about the product injected into Amy. However, he only learns that too late which means that the future remains very uncertain for her - as well as Anthony who doesn't want to be working alongside Fanning. Of course, the drama loves just keeping certain people in the dark and then offering cheap scares because they don't know everything that is going on. That means Brad wakes up to see Lawrence standing over Amy's bed. Nothing really comes out of that other than Brad knowing that he has to fear Fanning. Everyone is still coming to that realization that this experiment has much larger connotations than simply being a cure for all diseases. That's still the end goal for Sykes. She wants this program to work in order to justify every horrible thing she had to do to create this cure. However, Fanning remains the guy truly pulling everything together behind the scenes. He motivates Babcock into action in order to remain alive. He also continues to warn people like Lawrence and Brad that it's not a good idea to stand in his way at the moment. Of course, that too is growing quite tiring because it's the same menacing plot beat over and over again. At some point, there is gonna have to be some shakeup that truly unnerves everyone who works in the Project Noah facility. Right now, their only concern is getting Amy started while keeping her comfortable. They hope that she will have a better reaction than any of the death row inmates. But mostly, this hour is just getting Brad and Amy up to speed within this facility. It was a major twist when they were brought in at the close of the second episode. Lear warns Brad that more is going on here than even he is aware of at the moment. But again, that's just an empty tease as to what could be coming in the future. The audience already knows that the virals are communicating with people. That informs all of the flashbacks to Babcock's life before she was on death row. It is a tragic story. Sure, it's lame how the show keeps using rape over and over again as a tool to explain the trauma done onto her. But it's also a tragic story used to manipulate an inevitable action. There was no way that she was going to die here. She is too important. Plus, the show wouldn't waste its time fleshing out her backstory if she was going to die in the third episode. She does appear to have some sense of justice even though it is incredibly twisted and ties into some murderous impulses. She is being manipulated by Fanning through all of this as well. She was content with letting stuff continue happening to her instead of being the one driving the story forward. And now, she survives because she makes Clark empathize with her. That could be dangerous especially as more of the scientists at Project Noah begin to doubt the effectiveness of this entire program.