After the laborious first half season, could the second half of The Passage save things? Well, it goes some way to being better and brings with it a bit more life than was seen previously, but it still drags events out for far too long.
The dawning realisation of what the virus is and what it can do finally hits home with the scientists, who started down this path, and is built up quite well, but unfortunately it soon turns into the trope of military intransigence at the possibility of containing and controlling this virus to use for their own ends. As everyone else can see and is warning the head honcho: this is an incredibly stupid idea. The possibility of control over this wild, otherworldly beast is ridiculous but that doesn’t stop them thinking that they can do it anyway, doing away with all the protocols that have kept them safe in the process.
There is a marked step up in the quality of the backstories of the main characters, filling in more details of their personalities. The ramping up of action sequences works well in somewhat glossing over the still-clunky performances. Alongside the building pressure the situation is creating and with it the mayhem and devastation is within touching distance, a more enthralling watching experience awaits.
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However, the tone sways from threat back to safety and back again repeatedly, eventually taking away the belief that the end will never come. As an offshoot of this, this second half feels unevenly paced all the way through with some episodes really picking up the action and tension, the next being more character driven storyline seemingly disconnected from the events of previous. The balance has not been right since the start, possibly due to the fact that what has occurred is actually only a small part of the novel? It has been stretched across this entire season and it has suffered because of it. The underpinning relationship between Brad (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and Amy (Saniyya Sidney) is what has held this season together, but even that petered out towards the end of the season with a half-hearted attempt to make it into something more as it ended.
It was a mistake to keep the threat of escape and worldwide infection/devastation until the last moment of the season. Yes, I can see how a producer would want that hook, to try and drag viewers into the possible next season, but it would have given it more impetus to have a half season of pre-apocalypse, and half season of post-apocalypse, showing and detailing the new world that they will be inhabiting (and where there is much more story to be found). Instead we got a dragged out, paper-thin storyline, embellishing on elements that either didn’t make sense or were inconsequential. Plus, it would have given the opportunity to overhaul the cast half way through; and with the way it has gone, it would not have been a bad decision to bring in some fresh blood!
Ultimately, we waited a whole season to see the outcome of the virus-infected escaping, which in itself was too low-key, for five minutes of the post-apocalyptic world. Even then it is only a fleeting glimpse of something that should have been made more of. It’s safe to say that I won’t be returning, if The Passage even gets a second season.