The Passage continues to balance its human and genre elements in “You Are Not That Girl Anymore”, an excellent penultimate episode.
This recap of The Passage Episode 8. “You Are Not That Girl Anymore”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
It has been quite some time since I’ve despised a TV villain quite as much as I despise Tim Fanning (Jamie McShane). Which I suppose is a compliment, really. Throughout The Passage he has been a relatively hands-off villain, manipulating his victims from the relative comfort of his glass-walled cell. And he has been driven by his lingering humanity; his desire to save the woman he loved, and to recruit members of his viral clique by appealing to whatever scraps of their better natures remained. He’s clever and formidable and despite how nebulous his Dirty Dozen endgame still might be, he’s terrifying.
But in “You Are Not That Girl Anymore”, Amy (Saniyya Sidney) proved herself smarter.
The Passage has always hinged on choice; as Sykes (Caroline Chikezie) explained to Wolgast (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) this week, in their final moments those infected with the virus have to make a decision: to join Fanning, or to die. “You Are Not That Girl Anymore” presented that decision to Amy, from the moment Fanning appeared at the door of the home she recreated in her mind to reconnect with her late mother. And there was genuine uncertainty throughout the episode as Fanning continued to reach Amy through her guilt and through her desire for a normal life that she was never able to enjoy. Presenting her with a bike and a tunnel, it comes time to make her decision: If she rides through and emerges on the other side, she becomes one of the twelve; if she doesn’t, she dies.
The relationship between Amy and Wolgast have been the driving emotional force of The Passage since it began, and this episode really saw a payoff to all that great and diligent characterization. Because Amy chose neither. When she thought back to her mother, and to all the lessons “the Agent” had taught her, she decided to do something else instead – turn around and pedal back the way she came.
It was a fine, emotional moment, and came right after another tender one in which Wolgast, facing the loss of another child, told her that she could break her promise to him if she needed to; she could leave him, to save herself from Fanning. She didn’t need to, but his selflessness helped to protect her from Fanning’s manipulation. She knew that what everyone has been telling her all along was correct: This little girl who has always felt abandoned and worthless is truly special after all.
Getting to this point put everyone through the wringer. As Amy succumbed to the virus, losing teeth and burning up, Sykes and Lila (Emmanuelle Chriqui) worked on a cure while Fanning’s puppet, Lawrence Grey (Jason Fuchs), worked on freeing the virals. And by locking Sykes in the lab and stealing Guilder’s (James Le Gros) master key, he succeeded. Clark (Vincent Piazza), meanwhile, had his own decision to make: Whether to let his feelings for Shauna Babcock (Brianne Howey) determine what he did next. Luckily, despite flashbacks in “You Are Not That Girl Anymore” suggesting that his connection to her would be too strong to overlook, he was able to come to terms with the fact that Babcock is no longer the victim he developed feelings for; she’s a monster, and she has her own agenda.
The episode ended with a close-up of Amy’s transformed eyes as the virals emerge from their cells, teeing up a feature-length finale that is sure to set up a second season should Fox do the right thing and renew this fine show. I guess we’ll see. In the meantime, I’ll be back for the final episode next week.