Amazing Stories – Apple+ Season 1 Episode 2 Recap & Review

Running

Returning this week, Amazing Stories delivers an episode with strong themes of love, loyalty and compassion but delivers them in a questionable format. The entire episode borrows heavily from Adam Sandler’s Click and delivers these ideas in a story that lacks the same emotional gut punch at the end and worse, does little to really allow you to warm to these two characters.

Episode 2 of Amazing Stories sees Tuka and Sterling runing together through the streets as they make it to the roof of a building. They look over the track field below them and promise one another that they’ll cut their time and make it in the heats. “The future will take care of itself” Sterling nonchalantly replies as they both head home and prepare for the evening.

Day turns to night and Tuka & Sterling make it to the drag race following Tuka sneaking past her grandmother. Unfortunately Tuka’s comments cause Sterling to bolt as she rushes away. Tuka hurries after her and as she steps into the road a car knocks her down.

Tuka awakens groggy but seemingly okay. As she walks through the town and into a church, she realizes she’s now a ghost. Sterling steps up and reads her eulogy surrounding Sterling’s impressive times recorded in the 400 metres. As she does, Tuka looks over the crowd and implores with them to see her and to stop this game but it’s no good, nothing seems to work.

Tuka bolts from the church and after panicking briefly, she heads back to the spot she was hit by a car and sits next to the various wreaths laid out for her in tribute, contemplating what to do next.

Meanwhile, Sterling blames herself for Tuka’s death. She sits with Lee and they discuss the apathetic reaction from the police regarding this hit and run. She decides to get ready and together, they head up to the station to discuss what happened, unbeknownst to them that Tuka happens to be hanging back with them watching.

It’s all too much for Sterling when she learns the description she’s given is too broad and they won’t nail the suspect that way. As she leaves the room, Tuka decides to take matters into her own hands and listens in on various different conversations around town in a bid to figure out who’s responsible.

It works too – Tuka hears two men talking about their car being in the Lex Custom Auto and it’s enough for Tuka to use that and feed it back to Sterling. As they run together, Sterling seems to merge with her momentarily, giving her the crucial intel she needs in a seemingly inexplicable move.

Sterling makes it to Lex’s Auto and eventually finds the right car. She asks the owner of the garage who the car belongs to but when he fails to tell her, she smashes up the tail-light and another man enters with a gun. Thankfully a bang in the distance is enough for her to bolt.

Outside however, Tuka bumps into a random guy called DJ Williams who also happens to be in the afterlife. He doesn’t know what he’s doing there either but they talk about their purpose nonetheless. He’s been trying to help people all this time it seems but nothing seems to be working.

Not long after, Tuka catches up with Sterling again and they learn they can communicate through her running. She decides to set aside her time and help Sterling win the invitations. Her coach notices Sterling’s good work, allowing Tuka to back off and leaves her friend for now, directing her anger to the powers that be above, proclaiming that she’s done everything she needs to.

Unfortunately Sterling runs into hot water as the owner of the car she smashed up arrives as she’s walking home and bashes her leg in with a baseball bat.

The race begins and Sterling takes the lead through the entire race until the pain is just too much at the end and she collapses on her knee and crawls over the finish line in last place. With her running career seemingly shattered into pieces, she heads back to their usual hangout spot where Sterling blames herself for leaving.

Eventually she opens up and admits she loves Tuka. This revelation is enough for Tuka to materialize infront of her and the two touch hands one final time as they greet one another. It’s the last thing Tuka needs to do as she apologises to Sterling and fades from view.

As she does, we jump back to that night as Tuka opens her eyes and tells her best friend to kiss her. After, they walk together before they come across the shrine for DJ, prompting Tuka to pay tribute to him. It’s just what he needed too and after helping Tuka, he fades away.

“It’s all a dream” is one of the oldest tropes in the book and one that’s been done numerous times before. It’s something that can be used effectively and with films like Click, this trope can be disguised in a really clever manner.

Unfortunately here it feels disingenuous and throws numerous question marks into the air surrounding just what the purpose of this episode really was beyond two characters seemingly being in love without any foreshadowing this was the case up until that point.

It doesn’t help that the characters themselves aren’t that easy to warm to and the ending does feel a little rushed. Still, it’s not a terrible episode and there’s enough here to make for an enjoyable enough watch but it’s also a far cry from some of the better work Spielberg has put out in the past.

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