“That Never Should Have
Happened to You” (Episode 103)
January 28, 2019
After being on the run the entire episode, last weeks episode of The Passage ended with Brad and Amy being captured by Clark Richards and his goon squad. Tonight will pick up right where we left off.
For all of last week’s action, catch up with our deep dive recap and review here. Now, on to tonight’s all new episode of The Passage … BEWARE OF SPOILERS!
Project NOAH. Seven Months Ago. Shauna Babcock, fresh from death row and newly arrived to the lush Telluride compound, is having some adjustment issues. “Adjustment issues” is code for the rape squad trying to assault her right there on the lawn. Luckily, Clark shows up and chases his shitty men away. He should have shot them, IMHO, but no one asked my opinion.
Shauna is now having serious doubts about the deal she’s made but Clark tells her to take a moment and breath. He also apologizes to her for the rape-y treatment. “That never should have happened to you,” he tells her. You think, Clark?!? They make cute about names and how no one is really named Clark anymore. Shauna isn’t in a position to judge though.
“I’m pretty sure I’m named after a stripper my dad knew.”
They talk about where they’re from (Shauna, Las Vegas and Clark, Philly) and the weather. Bad conversationalists but definite chemistry with these two. Shauna asks Clark to give it to her straight, is it going to hurt, whatever Project NOAH is about to do to her? “Not one bit,” he lies.
She specifically asked you NOT to lie, Clark. Gah! You’re the worst!
We come back from Clark’s flashback to the van hauling Amy and Brad. They’ve arrived at Project NOAH. Brad has been giving some survival pointers to Amy so they can both escape. Key features include listening more than talking, observing and remembering everything.
“And we’re gonna be ready.”
Listening to Amy recite back Brad’s words is just another example of Saniyya Sidney’s really fantastic, and natural, acting style. She’s utterly believable as a kid trying hard to keep it all together but equally frightened out of her wits.
The due are split up as soon as they’re out of the van. Brad calls over his shoulder to Amy, promising her that he’ll find her. Dr. Sykes is there, watching the arrival and Clark gives her an icy stare as he walks back. Kind of like, “I hope you’re happy.” To be fair, Nichole does not look happy.
We come back to the Project NOAH team, including Richards, watching security camera footage of Shauna going nom nom nom on Simmons. Grey is there and he proposes that Shauna went after Simmons instead of him because Simmons was a dick. Dr. Pet thinks assigning decision making and revenge to Babcock is crazy talk because, as far as he is concerned, she’s got no mental capacity for that kind of thought. Dr. Lear backs up Grey’s statement saying he had witnessed Simmons taunting Shauna in her cage.
Interesting note: Grey initially blurts out that Shauna didn’t go after him, maybe, because he “belongs to Fanning.” When Sykes is all, “What’s that now,” he “clarifies” that he’s in charge of Fanning’s cage. But c’mon, Grey has the right of it.
Nichole does’t really want to get bogged down in the why but is more interested in that, “what now.” Dr. Pet says they should put her down like you would a rabid animal at the zoo. Sykes and Lear aren’t really comfortable with that, given she’s still partly human and such. Clark, who has been silent up until now, says they should do it. They should kill Shauna.
“Euthanize her. It’s a security issue.”
Jonas is all, “sure but that won’t make the horrifying nightmares stop.” Dr. Pet is all, “nightmare shmightmare.” Their discussion is interrupted by a soldier coming in and announcing there is a problem with “the girl.”
Grey, the smartest one in the room, I think, asks why the fuck there is a kid there?!? Clark tells him to get back to his post.
Cut to Amy throwing a fit in her exam room, screaming, “don’t touch me.” Sykes comes in and Amy is all, “you’re criminals who have kidnapped me and I’d like to go home. Please and thank you.” Sykes tells her that Amy’s going to help them cure a lot of sick people but promises nothing bad will happen to her.
“You can put that promise in your pocket and take it out any time you get scared, okay?”
Amy tells Sykes to let her see Brad. Sykes is inclined to let her if it keeps her from ripping up the room. She leaves and we head to commercials.
We come back from break to find Clark and one of his goons, Paulson (Adam Aalderks), in the Cells. Richards tells Paulson that they won’t take any risks with Shauna’s extermination. They are going to gas her, then move her to an isolation cell where she’ll be melted by lights.
Probably a bad idea to have this conversation where Shauna can hear you, dipshit. Feeding time at the zoo but Fanning and Shauna take no part in the blood slop. Up in the control room, one of the minions notices this and asks Lear why he think they aren’t eating.
The Cells. Fanning and Shauna visit each other in their full color mindscape chat room. Fanning chastises her for having one cheat meal and being put on death row. Babcock thinks it was worth it be in control for 90 seconds (we learned earlier, that’s how long it took her to drain Simmons of his blood) and also, human blood is pretty tasty!
“I think we can be pretty certain that impulse control is your bête noire, hmm?”
Shauna tells him to leave her alone and he apologizes, just trying to lighten the mood. Fanning returns to real talk and says they need her on their team and they’ll figure a way out of this current jam. Shauna tells Tim that her life has just been a series of things happening to her. Fanning replies that that’s not the Shauna he knows. He promises her, stick with the plan and one day they’ll be “guzzling” on gallons of human blood a day, every day for a 100 years. Fanning has a fervor about him when he speaks like this and it’s not lose on Shauna.
“Damn Fanning, that was semi-Biblical.”
In the observation room, Jonas, watching the viral versions of Fanning and Babcock sitting still in their respective cells, realizes the two are talking to each other.
Fanning tells Shauna that she has a lot more power than she realizes and it’s time for her to use it. They both look out.
“Tell him your story. Make him see you.”
Cut to Clark Richards staring at Shauna’s viral form. We hear radio chatter that Wolgast is to be brought to Amy’s room.
In the lounge area, I guess? TV Room? Whatever. Brad, surrounded by the goon squad (so, Brad is free, but not “free”; you know what I mean?) is watching some TV and learns from the news that he was killed after he murdered 3 people at the Sheriff’s station. Brad thinks he looks pretty good for being dead. Clark comes in and calls his name.
“You here to kill me, buddy?”
Clark tells Brad that all depends on whether he helps with the Amy situation or not. Outside Amy’s room, Sykes and Lear are waiting for Brad. He asks what they’re going to do to Amy and Jonas tells Nichole to tell him. She lays it all out, the Avian Flu Pandemic, that it’s going to hit the US in 60 days, and that Amy is a part of trying to save millions of lives. Clark interrupts to say that he’s had enough of Wolgast’s new found bleeding heart. That Brad is a part of this. Brad responds that he isn’t and then looks to Dr. Sykes.
“How are you not in jail?!?”
Clark has had enough. Amy is getting the shot, “do you want to hold her hand or go back to your room,” he asks Brad? Wolgast agrees but then threatens to kill all three of them if anything happens to Amy. Before going in to Amy’s room, Brad tells Clark that he’s already watched a child die in this lifetime and Clark knew that … the implication being that Brad is going to take extra time torturing Richards before he kills him, if it comes to that.
Inside the room, Brad chastises Amy for panicking and she says she didn’t panic, she engineered being able to see Brad. Ta Da. Man, this kid has skills. She relates the number of steps to the elevator – she’s following Brad’s instructions perfectly. Sykes comes in to administer the shot and Brad tells Amy to not look at the needle. Good advice because that is one big fucking needle.
The Cells. As Grey approaches Tim’s cage, Fanning’s eyes light up orange. We get a quick cut to Amy … Fanning senses her. He communicates something to Grey who looks scared.
“What are you going to do to her?”
We come back to Shauna in the Cells. She is remembering Fanning’s words about her power. And his advise to tell Richards her story. She reaches out to Clark, who is upstairs making coffee. Clark’s eyes go wide as if remembering something.
Flashback Time! Las Vegas in 2012, Shauna Babcock is an aspiring special effects makeup artist. She’s determined to get out Vegas before she turns into her mom. “This is place is going to suck me dry.” IRONY!
She and her friends head to a club where some people are dressed in costume .. but most aren’t? I don’t know, I am not cool enough to go to clubs. Recreational drugs are taken, drinks are had and Shauna and her girlfriends are having a grand time. That is, until a random guy gets handsy with one of Shauna’s besties. Without missing a beat, she cracks a beer bottle and slashes the gross man. Some mistaken punches are thrown and a fist fight breaks out. Shauna and her bestie look on at the chaos that’s ensued. Now THAT is the kind of Vegas party I am use to.
Before the melee can reabsorb them, Shauna raids the bar’s cash register and her and her girls bounce.
Clark comes back to the present, a line having formed at the coffee machine. Clark walks off, looking very confused and maybe a little disturbed.
In Amy’s room, Brad and Amy are hanging out post-shot. A nurse comes in to check on her and Brad takes the opportunity of the distraction to raid the medical cart of a clear liquid and a syringe. The Nurse leaves and Amy notes 3 of the 5 numbers on the keypad. Brad is pleased with her spy skills. She also tells him that there is a man next door to her with a nice voice, his name is Anthony.
Brad’s face falls as he realizes it’s the Anthony Carter that he brought here in his last mission before meeting Amy. He tells her it’s bedtime (though it’s day light out still). Amy tells Brad that she feels someone watching her when she sleeps and Brad is all, “there are no monsters, it’s just us.”
Oh, Brad. You have NO idea what you’re talking about.
Sometime later, Brad wakes up to find Grey standing over Amy’s bed. Grey, who seems like he returns to himself after a second, starts stammering that he just wanted to warn them. Amy is awake now with the commotion and Brad drags Grey out into the hall. Grey stammers out that Fanning is going to come for Amy, so Brad needs to get her out of there.
Brad has questions. Who is Fanning? Where is he located?
Who is Fanning?!? Motherfucker, how you work for Project NOAH and you don’t know who Fanning is?!? You should have asked more questions during your tenure with the project, Brad.
Grey is less belligerent than me, though, and simply refers to Fanning as “patient zero.” Grey tells Brad that Fanning is in 4B with all the others.
Guards find this odd pow wow and shoo Grey away and bring Brad back into Amy’s room. Not before Brad pick pockets a flashlight from one of the guards.
Flashback Time! It’s the morning after the club and it seems Shauna and her friends didn’t get very far. We know this because Mama Babcock (Brooke Langton) is yelling at her daughter about having to pick her up from a police station. Shauna relates the night’s events and is definitely the hero in her story for saving Hayley from the handsy guy but Mama B isn’t impressed.
She asks her daughter if this is what Shauna’s life will be? Shauna tells her mother that she’s moving to LA to be a special effects makeup artist for movies and she already has $3,000 saved.
“You won’t follow through. Your life’s just a series of things that happen to you.”
Mama B … is not a very inspirational mom, huh? She tells Shauna that she’s not going to do anything other than waster her money. Also, “wash your face. You’re a horror show.”
But Shauna’s nightmare isn’t quite over because sometime later, Danny (Michael Reilly Burke), mom’s new husband (therefore, Shauna’s stepfather), comes knocking on Shauna’s bedroom door. He wants to know if her and her friends were all slutted up when they got arrested. he uses the word “panties” and is all around, terribly gross. Shauna is trying to shut him down so he goes away but he’s not taking the hint. He touches her face and she swats him away. He calls her a smart ass as she pushes the door closed on his disgusting pervert ass.
Danny’s echo of “smart ass” is ringing in Clark’s ears as we return to the present. He’s in his bedroom with Nichole and she asks where he was just now. He doesn’t answer and instead, asks after Amy. Nichole is nervous given the stakes they’ve placed in Amy’s trial working. Clark tells her that he’s got faith in her. Sykes knows something is distracting him and asks if it’s Babcock … she’s slated for extermination at midnight.
Clark responds like it’s no big deal, they’ve already killed Shauna once so what’s a second time. He leaves to go check on Brad.
It’s room check down in the patient rooms. Amy excuses herself to the bathroom which leaves Brad standing in the hallway with Anthony Carter. Carter is soaking in the delicious irony of the situation and Brad tries to apologize. Anthony doesn’t really want to hear it. Brad remarks that Anthony looks good and Carter agrees, he feels strong and alert but … something’s coming, something bad, he can feel it. Brad asks Anthony what he knows of Fanning and Carter goes to a far away place. He tells Brad that Fanning is in his head, his dreams, Carter thinks Fanning runs this place. They talk a little about Amy. Before heading back inside, Anthony gives Brad some advice.
“You’d best be on your toes, Agent Wolgast.”
Anthony and Amy share a flicker of a smile. Amy heads back in her room but Richards comes by to take Brad; he’s got some questions.
Alone and bored in her room, Amy grabs a piece of paper a writes a short note of “Hi.” She slips it under the adjoining door to Anthony’s room. He smiles at the note and writes back a “Hi to you” with a smiley face. It’s the first time we’ve actually seen Anthony look happy.
This is the Amy effect. She gives a big smile when she gets Anthony’s note back. A friendship is born.
We cut to Lila making calls on a payphone. She’s calling the prisons where the 12 death row inmates were located, trying to find out details on their “death.” She finally hits pay dirt when she finds a Darlene working at Florence McClure Correctional Center (a real woman’s correction center in Las Vegas). Darlene knows all about Shauna Babcock, including the fact that Shauna didn’t die there – Federal agents came and took her away. Darlene says she knew it was wrong and sounds like she’s happy to unburden her soul. Lila already knows this information but seems shocked to hear it confirmed. I guess it is pretty shocking to hear confirmation.
Project NOAH. Clark asks Brad about Shauna’s backstory, whether there was something about makeup school in LA and/or sexual violence. Brad is all, this is what you want to know?!? Brad confirms these things to be true and now Clark is starting to sweat. He’s starting to lose it a bit. How did you convince her to come to Project NOAH, he asks Brad? Brad says that Shaun’a whole life has been populated by people that let her down, he presented himself as someone that wouldn’t.
Richards begins to babble about how no one gets over anything in life; that life is in fact, one series of lies after another.
“You and I have seen the worst of what human beings do to each other. You never cracked. You’re losing it now. Tell me why.”
Richards recovers himself enough to tell Wolgast he’s being dramatic but the door’s been opened. Brad smells blood in the water and asks Clark who Fanning is? He knows that he’s “patient zero”; that he didn’t bring him to Project NOAH and that he seems to be in people’s dreams.
It seems like you actually know a lot, Brad.
The point of Brad’s question is to find out what they put in Amy and what is going to happen to her. Richards knows that he has said too much and he has Brad dragged away.
We come back to Dr. Lear cornering Grey (who’s first name is Lawrence by the way). Grey’s been avoiding Jonas. He asks Lawrence about Fanning and the dreams. When did they start, what happens in them. Grey says they started after a few patients went through the program. And nowadays, they are long and don’t feel like dreams. After Babcock arrived, Fanning started speaking to Grey in these dreams. This interests Dr. Lear, he wants to know what Tim says.
“We have work to do,” was the last thing Fanning told Grey. Ominous!
On a street somewhere, Lila tracks down Sierra Thompson (Trieste Kelly Dunn), intrepid reporter. Sierra doesn’t really want to speak but Lila starts to word vomit, leading with the fact that Brad Wolgast is actually alive. This gets Sierra to stop, at least. Lila goes into the 12 death row inmates, taken by Federal agents to a location in Colorado. She hands Sierra the names as well as the contact info for the administration at McClure who can confirm that Babcock didn’t die there. Lila tells Sierra that Brad was one of the two agents that took Shauna away. Sierra tells Lila that if Lila’s story checks out, she’ll be in touch.
Project NOAH. It’s nighttime. Brad is awake,thinking on what to do when he hears one guard going to the bathroom and Carter calling the other guard to bring him water. Brad seizes his opportunity and sneaks out of the room and into an elevator with, a very reluctant, Grey. When Lawrence says he can’t bring Wolgast down to 4B, Brad sticks him with the syringe he boosted earlier. Nighty night Grey!
Brad props up Grey’s sleeping body and pries open his eyeball to activate the retina scanner. And just like that, he’s into The Cells.
All the lights are off so imagine how startled Brad is when he comes across Fanning’s cage with his flashlight. Fanning is wide awake, full bloody mouth and eyes aglow. Dr. Lear enters The Cells behind Wolgast.
“I guess now is a good time to talk.”
We come back from the final break and Jonas has disabled the surveillance system for three minutes. Brad sees all the patients in their cages and the horror sets in that he brought all of these people to this place (well, almost all of them Brad). Dr. Lear defends their aims of universal immunization, increased life spans, real Utopian ideals.
Brad tells Jonas it doesn’t look like it’s going very well and Dr. Lear responds that they’ve kinda, accidentally, sorta created a new species of life and they’re just starting to learn what they can do. Brad asks what Grey meant by, “Fanning is coming for Amy” but Jonas doesn’t know. He knows Fanning is patient zero and all of the other virals were injected with variations of his blood.
Brad speaks for the audience when he asks why Dr. Lear keeps saying “virals” instead of “vampires.” Jonas scoffs that they are men of science and vampires aren’t real. ergo, virals.
What does Fanning want, Brad asks?
“What any person wants, I imagine. To be free.”
Cut to a hotel room where Lila meets with Lacey. I KNEW she wasn’t really dead! Lacey is field stripping a gun and bottling her rage for a nice revenge missions. Sierra calls Lila and tells her there is enough to her story to dig more. She’ll call back and make a plan to meet with Lila.
Project NOAH. Down in The Cells, gas starts to fill Shauna’s cage as Clark looks on. Time to finish the story, Shauna.
We cut to Shauna’s memory where she returns home. In her room, she finds her $3,000 missing.
In the present, Shauna is strapped to a gurney and is being led to the isolation chamber. She’s foaming at the mouth and twitching against the straps.
In her memory, Shauna confronts Danny and Mama B about the stolen money. Mama B sends Danny to watch his game and alone, tells Shauna that not everything is about her. Mama B calls Danny, a “a good man.”
“He is a rapist.”
Clark stares at Shauna as she’s tossed into the isolation chamber and her eyes begin to glow orange.
Back in the memory, Shauna is telling her mother how Danny assaulted her but Mama B has no reaction. Which … is disturbing.
In the chamber, the sunlight comes on and Shauna begins to scream in agony. Clark is still staring at her.
In the memory, Shauna is begging her mother to react to what she just said. Shauna tells her mother that Danny raped her from the age of 8 until she was 16. Mama B’s non-reaction tells Shauna that Mama B already knew. And did nothing. Shauna tells her mother that she swore to always protect Shauna but she didn’t. She lied to her.
“Danny is a pussycat. You could have said no.”
Which is about the time that Shauna stabs her mother in the gut with a butcher’s knife. And then goes hunting for Danny. Danny’s screams morph into Shauna’s screams as we fade from her memory back into the isolation chamber. Clark stops the light torture before it kills Shauna and she just stares at him with those golden eyes.
We come back to Amy’s room. Brad’s return wakes Amy and she asks if everything is okay. He tells her it’s okay.
“No monsters under the bed.”
Sometime later, Brad is woke by something. He gets out of bed and steps into the hallway. Fanning covered in shadow has a message for Brad before making him scream awake.
“Word to the wise. Stay out of my way, Agent Wolgast.”
Fanning zooms into Brad’s face as we close on Brad’s silent scream.
A lot of new shows suffer from plateau in their storytelling after the Pilot episode. So much money, time, and effort (creative and physical) go into that Pilot episode that juices are often depleted in the first few regular episodes of a series. Writers have to find a narrative to tell over a course of a season as well as really get to know the voices of the characters. Similarly, actors have to figure out the person they are playing. What’s their personality, their motivations, desires and fears?
So far, The Passage has suffered from none of these freshman series slumps. Tonight, Episode 3, moved all of our principle characters into the same shared space; and the inevitable confrontations did not disappoint.
Brad, on a quest to protect this child he’s just met, commits himself to unraveling the mysteries of Project NOAH. Shauna, faced with second (final?) death, has to summon her new found powers and tell her story to Clark Richards, telepathically as is her only way. More on Shauna in a second. Clark has to begin to confront the consequences of his, and all of Project NOAH’s actions, by 1. seeing Brad and Amy in person in this place of death and 2. by force, through Shauna’s mental projections. Jonas, already worried about how far they have fallen from their original aims, is searching for answers in the Fanning mystery while simultaneously gnashing his teeth over Amy’s arrival. And Amy, a scared girl with no one in this world save this agent that has promised to save her, has to adjust to being a lab rat in a building that nightmares are made of.
In short, everyone has a lot of shit going on.
Surely, tonight’s episode was about adjusting to this new world environment but even more so, it was about the fears of betrayal and even worse, the emotional consequences of actually being lied to and betrayed. Shauna Babcock, a girl who was lied to and betrayed and violated her entire life came to Project NOAH, based on another lie. The lie from Brad that he wouldn’t let her down. And then another lie, from Clark that nothing bad would happen to her while at Project NOAH. Lies upon lies, all the way down.
Before we move on, I want to give a shout out to Brianne Howey for her portrayal of Shauna Babcock so far this season. In a show that is centrally about Brad and Amy’s relationship, Howey has carved out a well defined space for herself as Babcock, you can’t take your eyes off of her when she’s on screen. She’s a force of nature with every line spoken and body gesture made. It’s been a true pleasure watching her character’s development so far in this nascent season and tonight’s backstory on her character did nothing but increase our empathy and sympathy for Shauna.
On the other side of the lying coin, we have Brad. He spends the entire the episode telling Amy that there are no monsters in her closet or under her bed. No nefarious forces watching her while she sleeps. He continues that lie even after he knows for a fact that his words are lies. But, is he justified? Is he doing the right thing by reassuring Amy; let’s remember that she’s no dummy and I imagine knows full well that something bad is coming (to parrot Anthony Carter’s statement to Wolgast). So, is Brad lying to make himself feel better?
Now that he’s seen Fanning, now that Fanning has entered his dreams, where does Brad go from here?
On Clark, he is quick to vote for Babcock’s extermination at the top of the episode but that’s because he wants her intrusions into his mind to stop. The irony is that her announced death is what prompts her to ramp up her efforts to infiltrate his mind. In the end, I think Clark was better off for it. Not only did he see that Shauna wasn’t a bloodlust driven murderer as much as a girl, justified in killing the two monsters that were violating her and breaking her. His mini-breakdown to Brad showed us that he’s already having doubts. What’s a soldier to do when he begins to second guess his orders? And that was before he saw the full extent of Shauna’s story – where does Richards go from her now that he knows Shauna should have never been here to begin with.
Last, Lila and Sierra Thompson. I am glad to see Lacey was in fact not killed, I didn’t think she was as Lila will need her to plan whatever assault she will try to do on Project NOAH but man, does anyone expect Sierra Thompson to live very long once she starts asking questions around the 12 death row inmates and Project NOAH. RIP Sierra, we didn’t really know you but you probably don’t deserve to be killed.
Until next week, Passengers. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, @popcultureview, and live tweet the show along with me every Monday night!