Episode 6 of Paper Girls starts with Erin and the other kids arriving at the club to meet the older iteration of Tiffany. The four show up at a big rave, so Tiffany decides to ditch the others and find her older self alone.
After a quick reunion, older Tiffany is pretty nonchalant to her younger self being there and decides she should crash at her place. With tensions still high between KJ and Mac, the girls swallow their pride and follow suit.
In the morning, KJ heads out for a morning walk, eventually watching 2001 at the theatre. As fate would have it, the older KJ and Lauren are in there watching together, right in front of young KJ, which reinforces her own conflicted feelings.
After the film, young KJ asks Lauren outright about her feelings and under the guise of movies, she gets some advice about her sexuality.
Tiffany admits she has a theory over how to get them back to their time. That comes from visiting Larry at his farm, given he hasn’t actually died in this time period yet. But then, wouldn’t that interfere with the timeline? Anyway, enough thinking! Tiffany heads off with her older self to the farm, while Erin and Mac hang out at Tiffany’s place.
The pair connect over their family and discuss where they’re going to be in the future. Mac doesn’t mention her ill health or the fact she’s dead in this timeline, and instead fabricates a story about being a vet. As for Erin, she heads off with Mac and together, watch Erin’s family from afar.
Meanwhile, the two Tiffanys show up at Larry’s farm and immediately mention the Underground and the war. He’s confused over what’s happening, until Tiffany shows off the identical book that he has. Unlike Larry’s, which only has two Foldings recorded, he marvels at Tiffany’s, which has the whole book full. Young Tiffany hits out at Larry, blaming him for messing up the coordinates and landing them here in the first place.
Larry gives them the coordinates and the two Tiffanys head off. Only, the young Tiffany berates and antagonizes her older counterpart, until she learns that Tiffany intends to create her own Institute in the future.
When the three kids make it back to Tiffany’s place, Mac opens up to KJ on the roof, admitting that she’s going to die in several years. Having heard enough, tears stinging Mac’s cheeks, KJ opens up and hugs her friend tightly. They don’t kiss though (which is different to the graphic novel!) and Mac urges her not to tell the others when they head back downstairs.
While they do, the kids learn, with horror, that the next portal opening is in 7 years time so they may well be stuck there until then. However, up at Larry’s farm, the strange purple portal opens up in the sky again, with a newspaper from 1988, a bike and various other trinkets appearing. It looks like the Old Watch have caught up with them after all!
The Episode Review
As the episode tick by, Paper Girls is deviating further and further away from the source material. Now, that’s not necessarily bad as we’ve seen shows like Watchmen distort and change the ideas while still sticking to the core theme of the story. Paper Girls however, does not.
On its own, this is a very basic and surprisingly formulaic and mediocre time travel flick. The episodes largely center on the character drama and bickering, rather than the larger world and the fast-moving plot. In the comic, the characters are balanced around a lot more time traveling, including a jump to prehistoric times – which actually ends up being a massively important part of the story.
Those who haven’t read the book, I strongly, strongly recommend you do so because this show feels like the writers tried something different and it hasn’t quite worked.