We return to The Loop in episode 2 of Tales From The Loop but this time we follow Jakob as he goes about his day. After sketching the familiar two-legged robot we saw outside, he and Cole walk to school.
Sticking to his friend Danny, they lift weights together before jamming in Jakob’s garage. Unlike Danny though, Jakob finds it difficult to come out of his shell and in particular, asking May, one of the girls at school, out on a date. Danny suggests just doing it and not thinking too much but Jakob is shy and struggles to do so.
Later that day they find a pod in the middle of the woods and Danny convinces him to climb in. As a loud whooshing sound rises up when Jakob steps inside, both boys awaken to find themselves stuck in each other’s bodies.
In town they run into Russ Willard but manage to convince him nothing is awry before beginning the tricky task of living each other’s lives. Jakob finds himself up at the barn where he kisses Lauren while at home admiring his new body.
That evening Danny’s Mother tells him he won’t be able to work at The Loop thanks to his grades and goes on to consign defeat, telling Danny to work at the quarry instead. Danny (in Jakob’s body) finds himself struggling to sleep as he looks out the window and sees himself on the lawn. This is all a dream of course but it’s enough to get Danny thinking.
At school the next day, the duo decide not to switch bodies for the time being but when Jakob sees Danny kissing May, he changes his mind and heads back to see his friend. Only, Danny refuses to switch bodies prompting them both to start fighting. Jakob (in Danny’s body) heads back to the sea mine alone while Danny (in Jakob’s body) presents May the picture he sketched of her before deciding to try and find his friend, overcome with guilt over what he’s doing.
While the pod is broken up and demolished for scrap metal, Danny finds Jakob in hospital, stuck in a coma and unfortunately things don’t look good. With Danny stuck in the wrong body and his friend now gone, Danny does his best to try and live out Jakob’s life.
In the middle of the night he sees the familiar robot outside and as it rocks on its two legs, Danny utters “Jakob?” and the creature runs away, where the episode ends.?
Is Jakob’s consciousness now living out in the robot? What happens when you switch bodies but can’t switch back? While the idea itself is familiar to anyone whose seen one of these body-swap episodes before, this time out the grim undertone almost resonates a Black Mirror-esque vibe as things go horribly wrong. There’s a lot of good characterisation for both Jakob and Danny during this episode and both friends do an excellent job capturing that fleeting euphoria before descending into bleak despair at the situation.
Once again the returning motif for the piano is a great touch on the audio side of things and the show itself does a excellent job keeping things consistent with familiar themes cropping up right the way through. So far so good, and although individually the episodes themselves are decent, I’d imagine as a collective whole, with knowledge of everything that’s happened, Tales From The Loop may just end up as one of the more memorable sci-fi series of the year.