There’s No Such Thing As Vampires
Last week’s episode took us on a bit of a cat and mouse chase as the authorities continued to hunt Brad and Amy on the road. After their getaway came to a grinding halt during the final few minutes of the episode, we return to The Passage for a much more contained and driven episode. With a rising tension and Fanning’s power beginning to take shape, this vampire drama feels like it’s starting to get into its stride now.
After being captured and brought to Project Noah, Brad and Amy secretly keep their eyes peeled for any way to escape from the scientific facility. While it’s still not made clear why Amy in particular needs to take part in the experiments, one thing does become very clear – Fanning knows and he’s not happy. It’s at this point where the story really takes on two distinct plots for the remaining run time. The first sees us continue to follow Brad as he tries to uncover more about what’s going on and tries to keep Amy safe from the scientists inside the facility.
The other looks much more closely at one of the test subjects, Shauna Babcock. After helping herself to the blood of one of the guards last week, we return to this subplot to find the various scientists, including Jonas, debating about her disease and the ramifications that may have for humanity. While the scientists argue amongst themselves, we take a look back at Shauna’s troubled past, stretching back to 2012. After a particularly heartbreaking moment between her and her Mum, we learn more about this young lady with some much-needed history used to flesh out this intriguing character.
Despite these two stories taking up the bulk of time here, the episode itself belongs to the menacing Tim Fanning. Through a combination of telepathy and piercing, almost hypnotic, looks, Fanning continues to flex his powers in alarming ways. This projects through one of the guards who winds up carrying out Fanning’s wishes to go and see Amy. “He’s coming,” the guard utters before somewhat coming to his senses and snapping out of a trance. Combined with his projections into people’s nightmares, this looks to be an important theme going forward. We do also get a glimpse of last week’s main focus, Anthony, but there’s little in the way of development here beyond a few exchanges of dialogue with Brad.
While the plot itself continues to add layers of mystery and tension into the fold, the show constantly undermines its own intentions with a bizarre choice of music and an abundance of expository dialogue. Listening to upbeat, guitar-driven music while Brad sneaks around, piercing a guard with a needle before descending to the depths of the facility completely offsets any built up tension or drama at that point. This is only trumped by the bizarre inclusion of so much expository dialogue. Some of it feels really unnaturally placed too which is a shame as the plot itself has some really promise here.
As I’ve said before, I haven’t read the books so I’m not sure how faithful this adaptation is to the source material. From what I’ve seen around forums and discussions with various avid readers, The Passage has an intricately woven storyline that this show has barely scratched the surface of. I’m guessing we can expect plenty of dramatic twists to come. How well this adaptation will pull off the book is anyone’s guess but despite its flaws The Passage is still an enjoyable slice of young adult fiction. It won’t be for everyone but for those who’ve stuck with this one thus far, things look set to get very interesting from here on out.