the passage

“Why do I have to be the one to fix this?”

After what could only be classified as an uneven start, The Passage’s first season comes to a close as the inevitable end to the world as we know it plays out before us with a few surprises and an unexpected anticipation for what lies ahead.

Instead of following the general protocol of a single episode, The Passage finale gave us a two-hour movie event. It was the right call as “Stay in the Light” and “Last Lesson” works so much better as a cohesive entity rather than being separated by the normal weekly schedule and when coupled with last week’s “You Are Not That Girl Anymore”, makes for a strong final arc as the fate of the world is determined.

Fanning and his viral family escape the confines of Project Noah.

In “Stay in the Light”, the virals have once again come awake. This time it’s right after Amy’s own return to consciousness. Somehow, despite turning away Fanning’s offer and accepting her death, her final transformation continues and even without having the same monstrous tendencies as the other virals, Amy becomes the twelfth and final member of the hive mind. This final connection powers the virals escape and they swarm through the Project Noah compound, despite Richards and the others doing everything in their power to stop them, including setting off explosives designed to bury the virals under tons of concrete on 4B.

As it turns out, the entire emergency protocol design leaves something to be desired as the virals are inexplicably able to escape and mow down everything in their path. Though Wolgast and Lila are able to escape with Amy, the path of other characters is not quite as smooth. Sykes is the only official casualty, dying in the explosion, but Richards experiences his own death when, after being mortally wounded in the attack, he accepts Babcock’s offer to be her plus one into this new world. And then there’s Jonas Lear who is ripped from his contemplation of suicide by Lacey with the pair forming a tenuous partnership that carries them through the crumbling of society around them.

Richards finds himself in Vegas, completely tethered to Babcock; a circumstance he regrets until giving in to the connection they’ve always had.

“Last Lesson” picks up thirty days after the virals’ escape. Even in that short amount of time, the United States is falling under the viral shadow. Several major cities have gone dark as the virals spread throughout the country, the majority of them returning to where they call home. Denoted as hot spots, these areas are the first ones to go dark as the original virals spread their infection and make claims to their home territories. Las Vegas is the only territory of an original viral not to be overrun. This is thanks to the Richards/Babcock dynamic.

Accepting her offer, Richards has been able to keep Shauna in check and not fall into her baser viral instincts, where the need to spread the infection is an almost unstoppable urge. But he’s having trouble accepting this new way of life, knowing that, while he’s preventing mass slaughter, he’s forced to bring her people to satiate her blood needs. Whether that will change as he eventually gives into their connection and the pair become intimate in body as they are in mind, is a thought for another day.

At the Global Health Federation in Virginia, Lear (with Lacey by his side) is tasked with recreating Sykes’ anti-viral cure and time is running short. It’s not just the infection he has to keep in mind but other world leaders who, after discovering the severity of the outbreak, are entertaining the nuclear option in order to abate the viral spread.

For maybe the first time in her life, Amy has a stable family home. It’s a fleeting fairy tale, destined to end as she prepares for the realities of this new world.

And then there’s Amy, pretty much the most important person in the world as she is the only one able to truly combat Fanning and his viral family. Holed up in Joseph, Oregon with Wolgast and Lila, Amy is learning the ins and outs of survival as she fights to hide the truth about her hunger from the couple. When Lila decides to depart with a group of Doctors without Borders to the CDC in hopes that her newly cured blood could in some way help fight the viral outbreak, Fanning makes his play to set the final aspects of his plan in motion. During this, Wolgast is infected and as the blood loss takes over, Amy allows her viral side out, feeding and killing two of their neighbors who were ready to kill the infected agent. Afterwards, she ends up giving him the cure and leaving him, afraid Wolgast would now only see her as a monster. Her narration offers out an apology as, in the background, nuclear missiles are launched at the US by former allies and by the US against those same allies. It’s the end of the world.

The End…or the beginning?

Fast forwarding to 97 years later, a more confident Amy approaches a human outpost, one of the few that have survived both nuclear and viral holocaust, as she searches for Wolgast. Based on her narration, she believes him to be alive—it could be possible that the anti-viral has given him (and Lila…maybe even Lear) the same extended lifespan enjoyed by her more feral viral family. That may or may not be the case but the world of The Passage we started out in is no more. What awaits us remains to be seen.

As inconsistent as the first half of the season was, these last three episodes encompassed all that we were missing. Strong in both drama and the horror elements, they showed the potential this brave new world has to offer. The character moments—particularly between Richards and Babcock, Wolgast and Amy and Fanning—provide a strong foundation to what be a much better season two. Whether the ratings hold up enough for that to occur remains to be seen. As for now, we have more questions than anything else. Let’s hope those answers come next season.

The Passage – “Stay in the Light/Last Lesson”