As the apocalypse looms ever closer, “How You Gonna Outrun the End of the World?” unleashes some chaos in Project Noah.
This recap of The Passage Episode 5, “How You Gonna Outrun the End of the World”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Things at Project Noah are, to put it mildly, not going so well. In “How You Gonna Outrun the End of the World?”, yet another episode with an irritatingly wordy title, government muckety-mucks have arrived on the scene with the intention of turning the virals – and specifically Amy Bellafonte (Saniyya Sidney) – into special military weapons. It’s not an altogether surprising turn of events, but it’s enough to convince Dr. Major Nichole Sykes (Caroline Chikezie) that the whole idea is a bit of a mess at this point. Thus, she resolves to help Amy and Wolgast (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) escape the facility.
This is complicated by a few things. First, Wolgast is being held captive by Richards (Vincent Piazza). Second, a viral is on the loose. And to make matters worse, it’s Winston (Brett Gentile), the unashamedly evil rapist and murderer who, even among “The Twelve”, is easily the least sympathetic and most potentially evil patient. Carter (McKinley Belcher III), who shows up briefly in “How You Gonna Outrun the End of the World?” to warn Wolgast about what’s coming, was innocent. Babcock (Brianne Howey), who didn’t really have anything to do this week, was traumatised by years of neglect and sexual abuse. Even Fanning (Jamie McShane) gets some sympathetic motivation this week, even if it isn’t all that sympathetic, when you think about it.
Winston, however, is just pure evil. Which makes him the worst escapee as far as the characters are concerned, but probably the best for dramatic purposes.
Anyway, about Fanning. “How You Gonna Outrun the End of the World” revealed the faintly predictable reason behind his newfound vampire mastermind status: He was in love with Dr. Jonas Lear’s (Henry Ian Cusick) wife, Elizabeth, now an Alzheimer’s patient, and his ego couldn’t withstand the trauma of her choosing someone else over him. Oh, and he’s pretty pissed off about being turned into an experiment rather than allowed to die, which is understandable, I guess.
Fanning being hopelessly ego-driven isn’t a new revelation, but it works as the motivation for a hands-off leader, and presents a different, more sinister kind of villain than the lecherous Winston, who nonetheless managed to cause some havoc in Project Noah. He happily chomped into that smug scientist who believed he could control the virals, so fair enough, but his attempts to sink his fangs into Wolgast were thwarted by Amy, whose powers are continuing to manifest in new and unexpected ways. She can read minds, run really quickly, and now apparently let out a weaponised shriek like Sindel from Mortal Kombat. Nifty.
Meanwhile, Lila (Emmanuelle Chriqui) and Lacey (Kecia Lewis) are on the road, vaguely foreshadowing the looming apocalypse. This subplot hasn’t really managed to take yet, but with Lila’s kidnapping, it’s on its way.
What I admire most about The Passage is how little time it has for bullshit. Plot elements are established and then dealt with quickly and satisfyingly, or used to tee up new developments that push the series in intriguing new directions. “How You Gonna Outrun the End of the World?” wasn’t the best episode of the season thus far, but it once again showed off not only exactly what works about The Passage, but that The Passage is very much aware of what those things are. It doesn’t waste time building overwrought drama or setting up obvious twists; it doesn’t have its characters behave like morons to wring out more suspense. It just gets on with things. And as long as it continues to do so, I’ll happily continue to tune in each week.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.