Last week, we talked about the Black girlhood at the center of the show. It was a phenomenal performance for Saniyya Sidney as Amy. This week, the show expands to not only tell us more about Amy’s protector Brad (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) but also to give us background on the people behind the hunt for Amy and for Project Noah. We also learn some things about Brad that explain why he is so hellbent on keeping Amy safe (cuz a white guy wouldn’t go so hard for a little Black girl without a reason, I guess). These and other revelations abound in Episode 2. So, prepare for a lot of spoilers as you read on.
The Reluctant Vamp
Let’s begin with the most shocking surprise of the night. It seems that head vamp and former scientist Tim Fanning (played by Jamie McShane) was not the original mastermind of the monster-making portion of Project Noah. I had assumed that he was because the man is so conniving and evil as a vampire, how could he not be the one who came up with it all? Instead, the quieter half of their partnership, Jonas Lear (Henry Ian Cusick) was the catalyst for it all. Tim was coerced into expediting their research into the supervirus to end all human illness. Jonas came to him after learning that Elizabeth (Jonas’s wife) was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. The prognosis was dire and Jonas had found a sample of a pathogen that could complete their supervirus. They just had to go to a remote area to get it.
We all saw last week how that ended. Tim gets attacked and infected. He then turns into this nasty-looking vampire with wicked mind control powers. Jonas okays Dr. Nicole Sykes’ (Caroline Chikezie) idea to bring in a child, Amy, because Jonas must now save not only his wife but also his best friend Tim.
They See Amy, But Do They Care?
Dr. Sykes is still calling the shots and is pushing to get Amy brought in, despite the harm and the murders happening. She knows full well the risks and dangers, but Project Noah is more important, in her opinion. In an interesting scene of the night, Sykes chats with Jonas about Amy’s fate after she is injected with their experimental virus. Jonas brings it up. He now sees Amy as a little girl worth concern. NOW he sees her. And, so does Sykes. She flat out admits that she hopes the girl will be okay. There is guilt in both scientists’ eyes but neither was brave enough to put a halt to things. They do vow to keep her safe through the process.
Uh, keep her safe while injecting her with vampire-monster juice? Okay, Sykes. Whatever you need to tell yourself.
Remember last week, when we talked about how momentous it was that this white man was the only one who was seeing this Black girl as a child whose innocence is worth protecting? Well, in Episode 2, they try to drum up a reason for this. Like he needed one, but okay.
Amy and Brad’s running this week takes them on a field trip and close to the Canadian border. Brad was shot in the last altercation and it takes a toll on him. He passes out and Amy is left scrambling for the next step. She calls his ex-wife Lila (Emmanuelle Chriqui) for help and succeeds in getting Brad going. The duo ends up at the home of an old friend of Brad’s from the military, a superior who helped train him.
Imagine my surprise when a big-boned sista who was armed to the teeth comes out to greet them. Lacey later hints at being queer, another bonus for this character. You see, when we meet up with the trusted military buddy who is a confidant to the main character, that person is almost always a white guy. To have a curvy, queer black woman in the position is monumental. It also goes to show us one reason why Brad could see Amy when others couldn’t — his most trusted person in the world is a black woman. That helps open one’s eyes a bit to what people are capable of. He isn’t scared of them, because they are his safe space. I also love how Lacey tied up Amy’s edges at bedtime. Very well done Fox.
Then, wifey shows up. Lila tracks Brad to Lacey’s because she knows that he will go there if he’s in trouble. We hear once again about the little girl she had with Brad. That daughter passed away and was either Amy’s age when she passed or would have been Amy’s age now. What matters is that Lila raises the concern that the only reason Brad could be so protective of Amy is that he is still grieving their daughter. She is saying that the only reason Brad can see baby girl as a child is because he is a broken white man. That stings a little sure, but she has a point. Brad should have followed along with the rest of the agents in his crew and retrieved Amy. She was the assignment and nothing more.
I like to think that it was more Lacey’s influence on the man that opened his eyes so he can see kids of color as kids. Lila does have a point, though. Let me know which side you fall on in the comments.
Vamp Tim has the POWER
Tim is the OG vamp-monster in Project Noah. He has a fresh dose of the pathogen fueling him. The others were created from his blood and as such, are psychically connected to Tim. We see this when Tim invites the newest recruit into a bar scene. When the man decides not to drink the blood offered, Tim’s second in command, a scary little blonde woman who was on death row for murder, pulls a tooth! It’s payment.
Tune in next week when we find Amy and Brad in the scientist’s clutches. This show and its cliffhangers!
The Passage airs Monday nights on Fox. You can stream episodes on the Fox app and on Hulu.
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Jonita Davis is a writer, mother, a certified nerd, and writer of Black Girl Nerds. Davis is a critic and journalist. She has been writing for 13 years about the way pop culture and politics affect our lives as parents, women, black women, nerds, and people of this planet.