Survival is Insufficient
Episode 6 of Station Eleven begins with Kirsten outside, trying desperately to find Alex. Now, her ties to this child link all the way back to the early days of the Traveling Symphony, with Gil leaving Kirsten to look after her. Back then, Kirsten made a decision to let go of the book and focus on keeping Alex safe.
Back in the present, Kirsten is in shock. She stumbles across the fields outside. In the distance she notices a fire and rushes up to find the billboard ablaze. With the Prophet striking out, this is an ominous warning to show that he’s intending to kill the Traveling Symphony.
In the morning, Alex rocks up out of one of the caravans. It turns out she actually stayed with the Symphony that night. She was thrown off her horse on the way out and she trundled back into camp, shacking up with the others.
Sarah is drunk with grief after the night’s events and shoots a flare into the sky, signifying the passing of those who died.
Kirsten mourns in her own way, believing herself to be responsible for Gil’s death. Sayid tries to talk her around but she’s having none of it. Eventually Kirsten heads off into the woods, promising to be back by nightfall. As rain starts to hammer down, that same messenger from before arrives and talks them around heading to the Museum of Civilization.
As they’re led away, Sarah is confident that Kirsten will find them. Wherever Kirsten is, it’s actually sunny so it appears she’s either miles away or that’s a bit of an editing goof. Anyway, heading out from the clearing she finds the remnants of a factory in the distance.
It doesn’t take long before Kirsten is approached by a whole bunch of kids, who surround her and claim they’re going to the same place. With little other choice, she’s forced to recite the prophecy to them; the words she knows from the Station Eleven comics. These are the Prophet’s children, and once she speaks their mantra, they lead the woman to the big man himself.
The Prophet is in a rough way but still very much alive. When Kirsten stabbed him, she missed his kidney by an inch. According to the Prophet, the mines were a way to “erase the past”. He’s still a terrorist of course, and using children to deliver his message is undoubtedly despicable. However, Kirsten soon relinquishes her grip when the Prophet tells her that the Symphony are in trouble.
He knows about the Museum of Civilization and claims hat they’re evil, having rotted away at the airport for the past two decades. Kirsten is the key to all this and he makes a deal with her. If she can get him inside, he’ll lead her to the Symphony. Eventually she agrees, and Kirsten is invited in as one of their own.
Interestingly, that night Kirsten and the Prophet end up talking about Station Eleven. They trade theories and plot points from the comic, before eventually turning in for the night, intending to travel by daylight.
Meanwhile, Sarah and the others show up at the Museum. It’s all hugs and smiles, as the electricity is still working, there are running showers and a good amount of food too. Sarah though collapses on the floor, clutching her chest.
In the morning, Kirsten heads out with the Prophet and the other kids. However, they’re blindsided by a whole bunch of assassins lying in wake. The Red Bandanas, the same group we heard about at the start of the episode. As they close in on Kirsten, the episode comes to a close.
The Episode Review
Station Eleven returns with another slow paced chapter, this time with the Symphony willingly being led to the airport after refusing so many times before. With the rain suddenly lashing down in one area and being bright and sunny in another, this show stats to exhibit some questionable editing, but that’s more of a nitpick than a general deterrent to the series.
The story here is still quite interesting, with the ideas surrounding the Prophet enticing enough to stick with and see where this one is going.
Station Eleven is much more of an artistic venture than an outright exciting or thrilling show, and I think some of the issues with this comes down to the music choices. The tranquil ambiance playing during big bouts of action, or the abundance of brass instruments during punches being traded, lends itself into a much more passive feel to this than it perhaps should. That’s before mentioning the characters in this apocalypse who seem to value music and art over basic survival and defenses.
Despite all that, this episode leaves with an ominous cliffhanger, leaving everything wide open for where the next episode may go.