REVIEW – The Passage Episodes 9 & 10 – Season 1 Finale

(WARNING!  SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THE SEASON 1 FINALE OF THE PASSAGE!)

So...cards on the table...this finale wrecked me.  I know you can't hear my tone of voice right now, but believe me, that is a compliment.  I knew that this was going to be an intense and emotional Season 1 finale of The Passage, but I had no idea it would be this crazy.  We technically have two episodes to talk about here, so I want to do something a little bit different.  Rather than recap them both, I'm just going to talk about bits and pieces from both of them.

The Virals are out and the race for survival is on.  This starts off as your basic "shoot your way out while you're being guided out by someone else" type of scenario.  The first crazy moment for me is when Lila gets bit by Carter as they are trying to make their way to the elevator.  Remember, Sykes is still trapped in the lab along with the cure.  It looks like she is a goner for sure, until Brad takes one last attempt at saving Sykes, the cure and Lila in what looks like a suicide mission.  This is when A LOT of stuff happens all at once.  Amy is dealing with having to be the one that could be the savior of humanity itself, but we'll get back to that.  You also have Sykes who is a sitting duck, with Virals essentially crawling all over the place.  She's armed, but it's not much.  That's when we see Babcock find her way into the lab.  Remember what she said she would do if she saw Sykes again?  Babcock actually gives her a chance to beg for her life.  Just when it looks like Sykes is able to talk her down, Babcock is shot by Brad.  I knew this wasn't going to kill Babcock, but it really laid the groundwork for me thinking there was still some humanity left in her.  The escape is thwarted by the Virals, now Brad and Sykes are trapped in Fanning's cell (of all places) surrounded by Virals.  Richards is trying to find them a way out, all while Lear is about to initiate a protocol that will blow up the lab to trap the Virals inside.  While they are arguing, Amy realizes that she has to make a hard decision.  She starts the protocol for the explosion.  This essentially signs the death warrant of Brad and Sykes.  This wrecks Amy, and pretty much every viewer that has been watching this show from the beginning.  It looks pretty grim at this point.

That's when we get some sweet redemption from Clark Richards.  As the Virals scatter to avoid the explosion, Richards has found an access panel that leads to a ladder to make their escape.  In short, Brad makes it by Sykes doesn't.  She gives Brad the cure to save his wife and pass on to the CDC.  Sykes had really turned a corner for me, and I was sad to see her go.  She did get to go out doing the right thing, which I think she felt like was her way to right her wrongs.  You can debate whether that was good enough or not, I suppose.  The good news that comes out of this is that Brad is safe, Lila gets the vaccine and it works.  There is a really emotional moment here where Amy apologizes to Brad, and Brad jumps into full dad mode.  The way he sets her mind at ease after everything that has happened is something that shows just how special their bond is.  No time for family game night though, it's time to escape.

The Virals are now out, and it's time for everyone else to try and get out as well.  I'll skip through most of the gory details and give you the highlights.  Brad, Lila and Amy make it out thanks to some great cover by Richards and his soldiers.  Amy does get snatched up by Fanning in the woods, but Amy stops him with a vision of the future.  Amy saves Fanning!  It's creepy, we have no idea why or when this takes place.  As they make their way out of the woods, who is waiting for them by Sister Lacey!  She gives them a car and goes TOWARD the fight.  MAN Lacey is tough!  Speaking of the fight...

Richards is wounded pretty bad after getting hit by one of the Virals.  As he's dying, Babcock finds him and brings him into one of the Viral dreams.  She wants Richards to be her "one", and we find out later on that he accepts.  I hate to skip ahead on you here, but this sets up a really awkward relationship in the second part of the finale.  He's basically abandoned Babcock, aside from bringing her food.  He regrets this decision that he has made, and even comes to kill Babcock at one point.  It's crazy, but you actually feel for Babcock in these moments.  It's almost like we're set up to think that there still may be some shred of good in her.  Even Richards, who we also shouldn't care about at this point, but he did end up saving Brad, Amy and Lila in the end.  Eventually we see Richards and Babcock have their moment, but that is a cliffhanger we'll have to be left with.

Once part one ends, we jump 30 days into the future.  This is when we set up for your typical outbreak scenario.  Supplies are scarce, gruesome news reports are coming in and everyone is very paranoid.  Remember, after everyone that has gotten bit, there are Virals everywhere now.  Brad, Lila and Amy are living off the grid on Oregon.  As you hear Amy's narration, it's really nice for a few moments, because they are finally a family.  It's the thing we hoped for from the very beginning, but it's short lived.  When Brad and Lila go for supplies, a Viral pops up but doesn't go after Lila.  This is VERY interesting, considering she was healed by the vaccine, and the Viral does chase after Brad.  This leads Lila to believe she has some sort of immunity.  So she decides to leave the family to travel with Doctors Without Borders to help with the crisis.  That's when things go REALLY bad.

Amy gets another visit from Fanning, and this time Fanning is not playing nice.  He infects one of their neighbors, who ends up paying them a visit.  I was NOT prepared for what was about to happen.  Brad ends up getting bit during the altercation with this new Viral.  Two other locals decide that they need to shoot Brad, and he gives Amy one final lesson.  I should mention that Brad and Amy were fighting a bit before during some training, so that made this even more emotional.  That's when it happens...Amy goes Viral.  She kills the two locals, changes back and uses the rest of the cure to save Brad.  After this, she leaves and never comes back.  We know that Brad lives, but that's all we know.  I'll wrap up my thoughts on the conclusion in a moment.

First, I want to talk about Lacey and Lear.  When she finds him at Project NOAH, and convinces him not to kill himself, this is the start of something that I'm sure fans of the books were hoping to see.  At least that's how I'm rationalizing it.  After the time jump, we see the two of them clear across the country in Virginia at a government facility.  Lear is now in charge of trying to come up with a cure, as world nations are now trying to figure out how to contain this Viral outbreak in the U.S.  Lear is close, but doesn't quite have it yet.  Remember, he doesn't have the batch that Sykes made and now the rest is gone.  He's asked to be part of a teleconference insuring other nations that a cure in imminent.  That's when he finds out that the CDC is no more, and the situation is much more dire than they could have expected.  The Virals are terrorizing their home areas and things are spreading rapidly.  That's when time runs out, and several nuclear bombs are dropped across the country.

Just when you start asking yourself a million questions, we get another time jump, this time to 2116.  Here's what we know, for sure:  there are still Virals, Amy is still alive and there is some sort of a sanctuary where others are still alive as well.  Amy is searching for Brad, and is at the entrance of the sanctuary when we hit the final credits.

All in all, this was a solid finale in a season that was full of moments that kept viewers on edge.  Saniyya Sidney is a flat out star, and I'm happy to see that she will be playing an older Amy as well.  Mark-Paul Gosselaar was stellar as well, but the two of them together were simply magic.  From Virals to the members of Project NOAH, there were so many moments of rise and fall in my emotions for different characters that, to me, shows great execution from the writers who could have easily just had that focus for their main characters.  Taking an ensemble cast like this, and making everyone matter, isn't as easy as they made it out to be.  This show doesn't really end on a huge cliffhanger, but this is a show that Fox absolutely needs to bring back.  There are so many intriguing elements at play here that the sky is the limit for storytelling.  Whether you stay with the story in the books or not, I believe this is a story that can still draw in new viewers in it's second season.  Now, my burning questions coming out of the finale.

Are Brad and Lila still alive?  Did they find one another?  How many of the 12 Virals are still alive?  How widespread is the fallout from the nuclear bombing?  Are Lacey and Lear still together?  What about Richards and Babcock?  How much does Amy know about what she is capable of?    How much backstory will we get for the time gap?  I could easily keep going, but this should absolutely be enough to bring you back for a 2nd season of The Passage on Fox.  Don't forget #ThePassage and #RenewThePassage on social media!

What did you think of the finale and the first season of The Passage?

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