Looking for Alaska Season 1 Episode 1, “Famous Last Words” opens up the story well even with a few niggles with the direction and storytelling.
This recap of Hulu Series Looking for Alaska Season 1 Episode 1, “Famous Last Words” contains significant spoilers. You can read the season review by clicking these words.
Episode 1, “Famous Last Words” opens up with Miles (Charlie Plummer) narrating while a car is going full speed towards a blocked off section of road. Miles talks about famous last words, professing to know a number of sentences attached to famous people in history before they died. The car flips over and then a title screen comes up with “Before”.
Miles is eager to go to Culver Creek Academy despite his loving parents feeling anxious about the big move. Miles has a sense about him that he feels like he has a destiny, a path, that he must follow in order to figure out some meaning. His mother asks if he’s looking for a “great perhaps”. It seems he is. Miles is a timid, nervous young man and feels vulnerable on screen.
His first day at Culver Creek Academy goes relatively well — he meets someone who names himself The Colonel, presumably his new best friend in the story. He also meets Takumi and is warned about The Eagle (the school administrator). Nothing seems normal at Culver Creek Academy. It’s like a different world.
Miles’ body language quickly changes when The Colonel introduces him to Alaska Young (Kristine Froseth), who immediately tells them both a story and grabs Miles’ hands and places it on one of her breasts to set an example for a story. Miles looks instantly in love, with The Colonel mocking him for becoming entranced by “one boob”. The Colonel makes it known that Alaska has a boyfriend, who is very liberal.
It doesn’t take long for Miles and Alaska to form a bond — when The Colonel shows Miles the smoking hideout, Alaska heads over. She makes a deal with Miles. She quotes her favorite last words by Simon Bolivar:
“He was shaken by the overwhelming revelation that the headlong race between his misfortunes and his dreams was at that moment reaching the finish line. The rest was darkness. ‘Damn it’, he sighed. ‘How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!'”.
Alaska states that if Miles can find the answer to getting of the labyrinth, she will get him laid.
There’s an unusual turning point for Miles in Episode 1 — the Weekday Warriors ask him to spy on The Colonel but he refuses saying he is not taking sides. Later that day, while asleep, they kidnap him, throw him in plastic and then throw Miles in the lake. He struggles to swim out but he makes it. Soaked and miserable, he tries to get comfort from Alaska but she shuts the door on him. He confronts Colonel, who shrugs off what the Weekday Warriors did, claiming it is normal. The next day, The Colonel is not happy, realizing that The Weekday Warriors urinated in his new sneakers.
There is a new war on the Weekday Warriors it seems. Looking for Alaska Season 1 Episode 1, “Famous Last Words” ends with Miles ringing his parents, and as he talks to them, he narrates and claims he has found his “great perhaps” while looking at Alaska.
A little obsessive in my opinion.
- Sara argues with Colonel. They have quite a toxic relationship.
- Alaska’s friend and her boyfriend were caught drinking and smoking weed and were kicked off the campus. The Weekday Warriors are claiming The Colonel did it.
- Alaska apologizes to Miles for being mean after he was thrown into the lake.
- Miles is given the nickname Pudge.
You can read the recap of the second episode by clicking these words.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.