The Passage: Season 1/ Episode 1 “Pilot” [Series Premiere] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

The Passage Season 1 Episode 1 Pilot [Series Premiere] - Title Card
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While The Passage has a few things going for it, it’s hard not to get the vibe you’ve seen this story done elsewhere and wonder if it’ll do better.


Network
FOX
Creator Liz Heldens
Director(s) Jason Ensler, Marcos Siega
Writer(s) Liz Heldens
Air Date 1/14/2018
Genre(s) Supernatural, Fantasy, Action, Drama
Good If You Like Pre-Apocalyptic Shows

Shows Featuring A Little Girl Who Could Change The World Paired With A Father Figure

Dubious Organization Under The Department of Defense Willing To Do Anything Necessary

Smart Mouthed Children

Isn’t For You If You Are Tired Of Supernatural Creatures

Have Fond Yourself Bored By The Tough Male Lead Who Lost His Family Because of His Kid or Wife Dying

Aren’t Much For Sob Stories

Introduced This Episode
Amy Saniyya Sidney
Brad Mark-Paul Gosselaar
Richards Vincent Piazza
Tim Jamie McShane
Shauna Brianne Howey
Anthony McKinley Belcher III

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The Introduction

At ten years old, Amy has lived quite a life. Her mother died of an overdose and three days after that event, a man named Brad kidnaps her. But Brad is a good guy; he doesn’t want to take her off to Colorado to be part of Project Noah. Oh, what is Project Noah? Well, with the Chinese Avian Flu killing 15,000 already, there is a fear that, within three months, there will be a serious outbreak. Because of that, using the funding they receive from the department of defense, Project Noah has been working on a cure. The problem is though, the cure they have been working on has created people who are in a vampire like state.

However, one doctor has noticed that the younger the patient, the less visible side effects there are which creates a vampire like state. So it is agreed upon that they need a child to attempt this vaccine. Enter Amy and Brad. Brad is a former special ops agent who was tasked to get this child who had no connections and could quickly disappear. But, with him recently losing his daughter, and bonding with rough around the edges Amy, he decides to abandon his assignment and go on the run. At least for now.

On The Fence

Amy

Amy (Saniyya Sidney) accusing Brad of lying to her.
Amy (Saniyya Sidney): You’re lying.

Part of Amy’s appeal as a lead is she seems like this smart kid who was given a rough life. Her mom was an addict, who had her moments, dad is nowhere to be seen, and she had to be crafty to get by. With that in mind, her relationship with Brad doesn’t make much sense. The man essentially kidnaps you but in a matter of days has won your trust. Arguably, in a more paranoid mind, you could assume what happened between you, Brad, and his partner was him setting up a good cop/ bad cop dynamic. Also, he gave her the opportunity to run, and she didn’t.

This created some conflicts, for now, it seems the character sold to us isn’t more complicated, but just isn’t consistent. And while, yes, she is a ten-year-old, consistency perhaps shouldn’t be expected, she is just a little too calm. Especially since this all began with her knowing they aren’t following procedure. So even with Brad getting rid of his partner, pushing this good cop thing into overdrive, it is hard to become invested without the need to put your suspension of disbelief into a coma.

The Sob Stories

Bringing up Brad lost a child, hence why he bonds with Amy to the point of screwing over his friend Richards, it felt cheap. I mostly attribute the feeling to everything seeming way too rushed between him and Amy, alongside him revealing this side to himself. Especially since he is brought to us, one way, this hardened soldier, yet flips within a half hour. Thus creating this pace which isn’t jarring, but definitely feels like the way this show is handled is like they think we have short attention spans.

The Vampires Who We’re Not Supposed To Call Vampires

Tim (Jamie McShane) sitting, looking full on zombified, despite being a vampire.
Tim (Jamie McShane)

While it is kind of interesting how they are getting into Project Noah employees’ heads, I got to admit there is something about them which doesn’t seem like they can maintain this interest long term. Granted, I’ve said that about a lot of shows that have gone on to have 5 or more seasons. However, there is something about the way they are being handled which feels, like with the sob stories, they aren’t taking their time as they should.

To me, based off the way they’ve introduced Tim, Shauna, and the others, they could have pushed a more sinister or mystery element to them. Bring about something psychological. For example, in one scene Richards is talking, and we see Shauna staring at the camera. During this, I thought that was the goal – to make you aware the vampire-like beings exist, but have them seem so complacent they don’t appear to be an immediate threat. However, once again, as seen with how Tim was haunting Anthony, there is this vibe that they believing giving it all away at once is a better way to hook you then leaving a bread trail

First Impression: Mixed (Stick Around) | Buy The Books This Series Is Based On

Shauna (Brianne Howey) talking to Richard during a hallucination.
Shauna (Brianne Howey): You’ll make it up to me later.

While this show does give some Believe vibes, one of the main things which may make or break this show is its pacing and tone. The premiere was very heavy loaded and gave enough away to fit a good few episodes. On top of that, while the makeup and effects for the vampire-like characters were cool, showing their abilities was done in a way that makes them borderline comical – at least to me. This combination takes a show which has an intriguing premise, that could develop into something cool, into a show that may burn itself out before the first season finale.

Hence the mixed label. The Passage has a lot going for it, but there is the need to question if this is the kind of show which is going to dump most of that in the beginning, then sort it out, or if we’re just going to get huge jumps in character development week to week. Currently, I think, in an age of way too many choices, The Passage is trying to give you a full scope of what’s to happen, but whether or not that backfires can only be known by checking out the show on FOX.


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