Back & Forth
Twice Upon A Time is utterly bizarre. It’s also pretty slow paced and artistic making it a very love/hate series so far. As we move into the second episode, Twice Upon A Time introduces its third stylistic time-line, this time blurring the outer edges of the screen to depict flashbacks. These, coupled with the letterbox scenes and present-timeline ultimately forms the crux of the story from here on out.
At the Naujac wind turbines, episode 2 of Twice Upon A Time Begins with a man urinating against the pole. Vincent as it turns out, has decided to go to therapy and with blurred lines, we see the past as he narrates it lying on the therapist’s bed. This happens to retrace the moments he and Louise broke up. It’s a long, drawn-out affair and they discuss the future together as well as their past trauma in the process. It also turns out Louise is leaving on the 20th for London.
Vincent regrets letting her go and mentions to his therapist that if he could turn back time he would and do things differently. He goes on to openly discuss the cube in his basement before admitting the same truth to Thibault, who looks at him incredulously before suggesting he phone Claire instead; the redhead he slept with at the party during the first episode.
At the hospital, Louise’s parents head in to see their daughter who happens to be okay after her accident and is just concussed. She tells her mother to leave before brushing aside the doctor’s concerns, heading home with her current partner James.
Later on, Vincent speaks to his neighbour Andre, who discusses the past and in particular his Mum. With the ghosts of the past still swimming around his head, Vincent heads back to the cube and to the past-timeline, hurrying to Louise’s flat where they wind up sleeping together again and discussing their future. It’s here he tells Louise he’d give anything to grow old with her.
Louise and Vincent then share time together until we cut forward to the evening where Vincent discusses time and past choices, in particular his issues around the cube and whether she’d head through to see the future. They go on to talk about their potential life together before Louise discusses a woman who jumped infront of a train 5 years before.
In the morning, Louise decides to break things off with James, allowing Vincent to drive her into town. After unwinding with a drink in the pub, Vincent finds his car towed, leading to him heading back down the cube to the present timeline and seemingly contemplating smashing up the cube.
It’s here things get a little sporadic and crazy, as we jump back and forth through the three different times, eventually interjecting with some text on-screen depicting three ways of living – through reality, through imagination and through another person. Before we get there though, we’re introduced to 17 year old Gwen who’s beaten by a couple of guys outside following a sexual encounter and Nadege confronting Vincent at work regarding Stanley’s well-being.
As the episode closes out, the delivery man returns, asking to see the package but Vincent instead closes the door on him. Outside in the garden however, a man holding a knife (Jordan) prepares to attack but before he does, we cut back to the past where we see Louise about to be hit in the street again by the same car, this time from a slightly different angle.
Twice Upon A Time is an utterly bizarre but stylistically interesting series. The biggest issue I have with this one is a distinct lack of urgency and pacing through a lot of the bigger set pieces. With each episode clocking in at 47 minutes or so, Twice Upon A Time almost feels like twice that length with the way it moves the plot forward at a snail’s pace.
Despite that though, the relationship between Vincent and Louise has enough chemistry to see you through to the next episode and the relatively short tenure for this first season is definitely enticing. I just hope this one picks up a little as right now, the series feels more pedestrian than it perhaps should given then themes being tackled.