Surface season 1, episode 1 recap – the premiere explained

July 29, 2022
Adam Lock 0
Apple TV+, Streaming Service, Weekly TV
4

Summary

Riveting drama from Apple TV+ handles trauma in a considerate and professional manner, while utilizing the memory loss elements of the storyline for added intrigue.

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4

Summary

Riveting drama from Apple TV+ handles trauma in a considerate and professional manner, while utilizing the memory loss elements of the storyline for added intrigue.

This recap of the Apple TV+ series Surface season 1, episode 1, contains spoilers.

Read the season 1 review of Surface.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Black Mirror and Loki) stars in this latest Apple Original series, a psychological thriller that is both deeply addictive and expertly crafted. She plays protagonist Sophie Ellis, a rich philanthropist’s wife, who tries to piece together her murky past after an attempted suicide wiped most of her memories. Sophie tries to figure out just why she would want to kill herself when her life seemed so perfect. It’s a delicious hook that leads to much intrigue and many twists as she hunts for a motive.

Surface season 1, episode 1 recap

The series opens with a nightmare, Sophie relives her failed suicide attempt, where she jumped off a ferry into an icy body of water. This traumatic event occurred five months ago, and she is only now slowly starting to recover from it. Sophie exercises profusely, attends therapy sessions held by her shrink Hannah (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) and helps out at the local hospital. Her memories are sporadic and vague, with huge gaps that really unnerve our lead actress. She even forgets the location of her wedding and some of her so-called friends.

Sophie’s shrink explains that most memories are gone for good and won’t return. She suggests a new, revolutionary treatment called neurofeedback therapy that may be able to help. However, Hannah urges Sophie to let go of the past and try to focus on the future instead. Hannah says she’s lucky to be alive and is clearly a determined women. She needs to use this strength to her advantage and power on, moving forwards. Sophie seems perplexed by the idea of committing suicide, when she lives such a perfect existence. Why would she try to end her life?

Husband, James (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) appears suspicious and controlling throughout “Ictus”. He tells her what dress to wear and has best friend Caroline (Ari Graynor) check up on her while he’s away on business. This man is hiding something and when a stranger warns Sophie on the street, not to trust her husband, it piques her interest. This stranger turns out to be Baden (Stephan James), an officer assigned to her case. He tells Sophie that James isn’t who you think he is and that he isn’t telling you everything. Baden passes her a matchbox from a bar, which she is apparently a regular at.

Whilst assisting at the hospital, Sophie investigates her own medical records and discovers that she may have been a victim of domestic abuse. Friend Caroline tries to downplay a broken arm, saying that they were just drunk and she tripped – it was all an accident. Caroline was sworn to secrecy by Sophie and the woman is rightly frustrated she doesn’t even know her own secrets. And believe me, she has a lot of them.

The ending

Next, Sophie pays the Lo-Bi Lounge a visit while James is away on business. Baden coaxed her to this specific bar with the matchbox and she happily followed the clue. He tells her his job title and a few snippets of information from her past. When she finally remembers her laptop password, it is revealed that she was having an affair with Baden. A video on her home screen presents Sophie in a skimpy black dress on a hotel bed with the man. She confronts Baden the next day and tells him to stay out of her life. Baden hints at James’ involvement in the whole fiasco, but she would rather accept that she jumped that day and will have to live with this trauma for the rest of her life now.

Sophie has slowly being building her courage and spending more and more time by the harbor. This location triggers memories of the event and in the final scene she reunites with a coast guard rescuer, who saved her life that day. The woman is amazed to see Sophie’s full recovery and imparts some more tantalizing clues. Sophie asks if she said anything strange that day and the woman informs her that she was adamant a man pushed her and said that her real name was Tess. The plot thickens in a riveting opening episode.

What do you think of the Apple TV+ series Surface season 1, episode 1? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Apple TV+.

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