I’ve known all along that the plot of The Passage trilogy would be a challenge to bring to TV. I think they did an excellent job, but I know some fans who didn’t read the books are confused and even disappointed with the ending of season 1. If that’s you, I want to set your mind at rest and explain why Fox has to renew The Passage for hopefully several more seasons.
First, some spoilers from the first season of the TV show. I’ll try not to spoil anything major from the books that you wouldn’t already be able to guess at, but I’m definitely going to spoil the show, so if you didn’t see then entire first season, go do so now.
The first season of the show is really based on just the first third of the first book. Really. They moved some of Lila’s story and a bit of some of the Lear/Fanning backstory into the first part of the story, but most of what you’ve seen so far comes from the beginning of book one.
It’s really an end-of-the-world story. Amy told you so in the first episode, and repeated it several times. She said it would happen fast. It happened way faster than in The Walking Dead, once the virals got out. They are way stronger and much more purposeful than the walkers on TWD (and also much harder to kill), so it makes sense that society as we know it gets wiped out. If you didn’t see that coming, well, Amy did warn you.
So, by the end of the first season, the world as we know it is gone. In the book, even more of the main characters die than in the show. I think they kept several characters alive (some who died early in the books) for a couple of reasons:
- The actors deserved a chance to be in more than one season; and
- The fans will feel like it’s a completely different show if the only person who seemingly survived the first season was Amy.
But the season would have been a big downer if it ended when all hope seems lost. I have my own ideas of how I would have ended it, but since I don’t know how they’ll introduce things in season 2, I don’t want to give away spoilers, so I won’t share.
Basically, we’re looking at a 100-year time jump. What we have to realize is that those who were infected in some way are now basically immortal. So it’s almost sure that, in addition to Fanning and his 10, we have the following characters still alive, even though they’re not with Amy:
- Lila, because she was given the cure at the Project Noah compound;
- Brad, because Amy injected him with — whatever that was. I thought it was a vial of the cure, that Lila didn’t take it all with her, but I’ve since read it may have actually been some of Amy’s blood. Whatever it was, expect Brad to be back in season 2.
- Lear, because of whatever he injected himself with at the World Health Center.
- Richards, because whatever Babcock did to him makes him immortal.
- Lacey — I’m unclear how she survives, except she’s with Lear so I guess she’ll get injected too (I’m basing this guess on my knowledge of the books, but I won’t go into details on that here).
- Guilder — yes, unfortunately, it’s likely we’ll see that snaggly mustache again, because he’s also in book 2 so I think somehow he survives.
And, of course, Amy. Which brings us to the last scene of season 1 and the reason Fox has to renew The Passage.
The Time Jump
It’s a whole different world now, folks. Sorry to say, but the books don’t spend long bemoaning what is gone, they focus on moving on to what’s still there. We have a bit of a hint of it in the background behind Amy, in the dark. In addition to my knowledge of the books, I’m basing this part on comments the show runner made in this article in Variety. It’s got minor spoilers, but if you read the rest of my post, you’ll get the same spoilers and some more details, so if you want to know nothing from the books, stop reading and don’t follow that link.
Though I loved the beginning of the book, the part with Brad and Amy, my absolute favorite was the rest of the first book, where we find out about the Colony and we meet a whole munch of new characters. These characters, this story line, is why we have to have a season 2 of The Passage.
You want to meet Peter Jaxon. And Alicia (better known as Lish), and Michael (often called “Circuit”) and his sister Sara, and Hollis . . . so many great characters, a whole Colony behind that tall wall surrounded by bright electric lights that keep the virals away. I so hope all of you can meet them, and I want more than anything to see them on the TV screen.
The Pain of Finding our your Show’s been Cancelled
Those of us who watched Colony on the USA Network know the pain of having a show cancelled too early, and the longing to know what would have happened. We knew the show runners of Colony had a couple more seasons mapped out to some degree. They had a basic idea of where they were going, and there were a lot of mysteries to be revealed along the way. Things we’ll now never get to know.
This one is a bit different. There’s a way to find out what happens in the end. But Fox knew when they started that this was a show based on a trilogy of books. I can’t believe they meant to give it just one season.
The Challenge of Bringing a Much-Loved Book to TV
I’ve been enjoying Bosch, a TV show on Amazon Prime, based on a very long series of books by Michael Connelly about LAPD Detective Harry Bosch. I’m reading through the books and I’m up to the 15th (there are 21, I think, so far), and there have been 4 seasons of the show; season 5 comes out next month, and they’ve already renewed it for season 6. This is another series where the book author is very much involved in helping to create the TV show. I’ve been fascinated by how the books are both the same and different from the show, and how they mix up some details and leave others true to the books.
I’ve seen them do the same thing with The Passage, and after seeing where each character ended up at the end of season 1, I’m very excited for how season 2 will play out. I can see some of what they’re probably planning and I’m sure I’ll be surprised by other details. They’ve got all of our familiar characters separated, either alone or in pairs. They’re all going to meet some new people and have some adventures as they try to find each other and defeat Fanning and his bunch. It’s going to make for some amazing television.
One thing is clear: Fox would be wrong to pull the plug on a show that has as much potential as this one. We need a second season of The Passage (and a third and a fourth and a fifth). #RenewThePassage