Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon The Crossing - "Pax Americana" - "A Shadow Out of Time" - Reviews - Almost, But Not Quite

SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers

The Crossing - "Pax Americana" - "A Shadow Out of Time" - Reviews - Almost, But Not Quite

Share on Reddit

The relationship between high concept sci-fi shows and mainstream network television is a tricky one. Either a show grabs viewers right out of the gate and builds on its momentum, or it starts with a small, loyal sci-fi audience then struggles for survival. ABC does not have the best track record when it comes to these types of shows. Either they do very well like Lost or stumble after a good start like Flash Forward. After seeing the first two episodes of The Crossing on ABC, it would be fair to say this show, unfortunately, right now falls into the latter.

The opening scenes of the premiere were stunning, of bodies floating in the water and the mysterious woman saving a little girl. But by the end of the first episode it had stumbled, falling back on tired tropes and if it is not careful in weeks to come, it may quickly fall down the same government conspiracy rabbit hole that doomed Flash Forward. Yet, all was not completely lost, as it threw in a few surprises interesting enough to get me to watch the second week. How could you not be intrigued by the arrival of 47 survivors who claim to have come through some sort of time portal to escape a war that will happen 180 years in the future, refugees from a government-sponsored genocide? To be honest this was a show with a premise that grabbed my interest when it was announced last year. The promotional trailer shown that convinced the network to give the show a chance was well done, so much so, I signed on to be part of the reviewing team for this show. I was honestly expecting so much more but instead got a show filled with tired tropes -the troublemaker in the group of survivors; the potential star-crossed romance between a survivor and the soldier guarding her (interesting twist would be to make her a long-lost relative), the innocent child as the voice of the future, and several heavy-handed political undertones. While I know that is a staple of some science fiction, The Crossing for me got a little heavy-handed in their takes on genocide, racism, and immigration. I just expected something more. This is a show with a lot of potential that doesn't quite live up to the hype.

Which is a shame because there are several great characters and great actors in the show who, it appears to have great stories to tell.

At the top is Sheriff Jude Ellis, (Steve Zahn – Mad Dogs, Treme). All Ellis is looking forward is a little peace, the fact you meet him as he stumbles through a yoga class tells you that. A divorced, former Oakland police officer, escaping a troubling apparent violent incident, all he wants is to create a good, safe home for him and his son, who is coming for a visit. He hopes to find a less hectic way of life as the sheriff in a quiet little town in the northwest, the kind of town that would come out en masse to help rescue apparent shipwreck survivors struggle in the ocean. What he doesn't expect is to be finding himself in the middle of a battle between the federal government and the survivors. Or to be thrust headlong into the intrigue of a group of people claiming to be from 180 years in the future, escaping a war. Part of him can sympathize, whatever they're running from they're clearing seeking peace as well. And he certainly didn't expect to find himself helping a lone survivor who was not rescued and exhibits superhuman abilities and then later put into a government camp, find her daughter. She has connected with the one thing at the core of Ellis – a parent fighting for their child. Zahn is that everyman, caught between right and wrong and he plays it well.

That survivor is Reece, (Natalie Martinez – APB), a genetically bred being called an Apex. In the second episode, we learn Reece is a soldier who isn't afraid to break the rules and refuse to kill a human child on a raid in the future. Instead, she secrets the child Leah, away to raise as her own. Forced to go on the run, she finds her way to this group planning to escape genocide by going through a time portal to the past, only to be separated from her daughter upon landing in the water on arrival. Reece is pulled from the water by a fishing boat and thus not in custody of the government. She is determined and resourceful, and single-minded in her mission, to find her daughter. Martinez is an engaging actress and perfectly taps into the desperation of a mother who only wants to be reunited with her child.

Leading the investigation for the Department of Homeland Security is Agent Emma Ren (Sandrine Holt – Mr. Robot, MacGyver). At first, Ren is a by the book agent, cool and collected when interviewing a survivor who tells her he was born 150 years in the future. Yet, when each of the survivors tells the same story of escape, she's not sure what to believe. She has a nice moment when tactfully questioning one of the survivors by telling a story about her parents coming to this country as immigrants but that some of the people they came with weren't trustworthy. She turns that around to can they be sure that all those that came through aren't dangerous or criminal. Ultimately, Ren is forced to question her own superiors, in particular, Deputy Director Lindauer (Jay Karnes – 12 Monkeys) and creates a bond of trust with the sheriff, only to have them both betrayed. And rightfully so, as it turns out these 47 weren't the first to arrive from the future and in one of the better twists of the premiere it turns out one of those early arrivals turns out to be Lindauer who is operating on his own agenda.

These characters and a couple more that we'll learn about in coming weeks. Steve Harris (The Practice) as the mysterious leader of Lindauer's Black Ops SWAT team and Georgiana Haig (Once Upon A Time) as Dr. Sophie Forbin, virologist called in when a mysterious virus strikes the survivors camp, are both solid performers and could add to the show's appeal and chances for survival.

What did you think about the first episodes of The Crossing? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Sign Up for the SpoilerTV Newsletter where we talk all things TV!


SpoilerTV Available Ad-Free!

Support SpoilerTV is now available ad-free to for all subscribers. Thank you for considering becoming a SpoilerTV premmium member!
Latest News