“The Passage – Episode Four – Whose blood is that?” (2019)
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
Fanning: “Don’t let it happen to me!”
The third 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 once again stem from the fact that that the people behind the series have ignored what was great 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. This week we get a ponderous as well as pointless backstory to one one of the infected, this time Shauna Babcock who has a thing for one of the guards. One of the great aspects that set it apart from other vampire series or movies was that in the end the vampires were treated like an infection they spread out with no personalizes, no motivations just causing infections and death.
There are also elements within the narrative that make no sense like Wolgast who at one point does not know what is going on with the experiments but all of a sudden knows that sunlight will kill in the infected. Other elements that are jarring are the fact that whenever knowledge needs to be passed on it is by the right person at the right time. So one character is curious about something then just in the nick of time another character will give a satisfying answer. We also have one of the most overused and essentially an artificial way to build tension and 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. An example of that is Wolgast dreaming about Fanning talking to him, then Fanning revealing a scary face which not only happens to another character earlier in episode two but is just repetitive from an explanation of Fanning in an earlier scene. We also see a character return from a shootout where she looked dead and now has no mark on her, although when we see her she is in bed, I though bullets caused more damage than that? The show is full of jumps in storyline or just pretending actions did not happen in previous episodes – it is very confusing.
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.
The third episode is a minor improvement over the first and second ones which was needed but this is still a disappointing series so far. The pacing of the series so far is all off completely, there is no sense of how much time has passed from episode one, not only that attempting to give show scope by having endless flashbacks as well as introducing characters that are there just to create plot points is needless such as a reporter and once again Wolgast’s wife who at one point says he is having a baby with another man now seems like a conspiracy theorist. Unless there are some real improvements this will be an extreme chore to watch over the coming weeks.
Episode Three – “That should have never happened to you”
Directed by: Jason Ensler
Written by: Liz Heldens
Brad makes a deal with Sykes and Richards to stay with Amy at Project NOAH as they begin testing the virus on her, then forms an alliance when he discovers the truth about the state of the inmates in 4B; Babcock sheds light on her past.