Television/Streaming review: “The Passage – Episode Eight – You Are Not That Girl Anymore” (2019)

“The Passage – Episode Eight – You Are Not That Girl Anymore” (2019)

Ten Episodes

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Created by: Liz Heldens based on the novels written by Justin Cronin

Featuring: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Saniyya Sidney, Vincent Piazza, Brianne Howey McKinley Belcher III, Jamie McShane, Caroline Chikezie, Emmanuelle Chriqui

Grey: “The truth is I dont have a choice and neither do you.”

The eighth episode has arrived of the show based on the excellent adult trilogy ‘The Passage’ by Justin Cronin that charts the world as it passes from a pre apocalyptic period through to an ante period through to the post part which takes place over a one thousand year time period. 

The general plot of the “The Passage” (2019) focuses on Project Noah, a secret medical facility where scientists are experimenting with a dangerous virus that could lead to the cure for all disease, but also carries the potential to wipe out the human race. When a young girl, Amy Bellafonte, is chosen to be a test subject, Federal Agent Brad Wolgast is the man who is tasked with bringing her to Project Noah. Ultimately, however, Wolgast becomes her surrogate father, as he tries to protect her at any cost.

The problems, and make not mistake there are many, again stem from the fact that that the people behind the series have ignored what was great, compelling and original about the initial novel, ‘The Passage’. That is the pacing as well as the offering back stories to only the really important characters, not only that there were revelations about the other subordinate characters made throughout the novels which built up tension. Here there are revelations made whenever new characters are introduced which dulls the impact of the action that is taking place.

It is obvious now that the writers of the show have no idea where the plot is going which in turns mean that we see jumps in the narrative that make no sense as above. This episode has been taken to new heights in ridiculousness with not only once again characters making dumb decisions but also coincidences galore. As each episode has unfolded we can see that the writers of the show have been chopped and changed from episode to episode which lends to the jig saw nature and unevenness that this show smacks of, if there is one thing that this show needed it was a unified voice from one person with input on the overall narrative to make sure it made sense, if there is one thing that is obvious about this show it is the unevenness that effects everything from performance to direction.

That brings us to the direction of this episode which is the first time I have really written about this element of the series which has not been bad, just lackluster, if anything it is the editing that has rivaled the storytelling in its shortcoming. This week is a good week to talk about direction as it has been the job of Eduardo Sánchez who is most well known for “The Blair Witch Project” (1999), as well as his failing reputation for all his work following that success. Sanchez has directed a few episodes of other television shows, that experience shows here as he has been asked to direct one episode toward the end of the season, he obviously has a talent, and to be honest it is probably one of the best directed episodes of the season, although that is not honestly saying a lot at all.

As has been present throughout this entire series there is the continuing use of the most overused plot devices that is essentially an artificial way to build tension as well as move the narrative, that is keeping information or a secret away from others when in fact they should know what is going on. We also see a pattern emerging at the end of each episode there is a jarring cliffhanger of sorts which make no sense as we already have that information from earlier episodes.

At this stage the brightest part of the series is still Saniyya Sidney, she shines above all others as Amy, the main character in both novels and series. At this early stage it does seem she might be better than the character that has been written for her, the reasons for her being, the relationship with her mother, the other worldliness of her actual being, the reason she is wanted, her actual attractiveness to Wolgast and finally why the story is centred around her. 

After watching over half a season this show is really feeling like hard work, I can only imagine what readers of the novel who are still watching think of this. For people that have not read the novel this show must feel like a retread of so many other horror/fantasy genre pieces that it becomes obvious with each passing moment what is going to happen next, which again is unlike the novel that had no easy answers for readers which in this day and age is a real gift.

We are now at the point in the season where we should be, as the first novel did, really see some thrilling elements taking centre stage, however that is not the case at all. We are still being exposed to back stories that add very little to the overall plot except by trying to pull the wool over audiences eyes with a convoluted narrative which is neither original or engaging. There is simply nothing at the centre of this show which means everything is stacked like a house of cards, one good tug on a thread will see it collapsing under its own weight. I pray that this show will be put out of its and my misery.

Episode Eight – “You Are Not That Girl Anymore”

Directed by: Ti West

Written by: Peter Elkoff & C.A. Johnson

As Amy experiences symptoms of the virus that indicate she is close to turning, Brad brings everyone together, and Lila and Sykes race to perfect an anti-viral medicine to save her from Fanning.

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