On Monday night, one of my favorite novel trilogies premiered on Fox as a television series. The Passage stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar and an excellent young actress in Saniyya Sidney. The entire cast does well and the production value is high. Justin Cronin’s series of novels provide a wealth of material and I’m excited to see where they take it.
The series itself is the story of the world after a virus was discovered by a scientific team in Bolivia. The team is searching for the secret to immortality and, as any good horror trope goes, the secret is found in the blood of a man hiding in a Bolivian cafe who happens to be two centuries old. As you’ve probably guessed, he’s a vampire.
Cronin added enough to make things interesting. The government is running a test program called Project Noah on 12 individuals in an attempt to refine the virus. Those infected now have unique powers that include physical strength and psychic manipulation. Of course they feed on blood and actions will ensue that releases them into the world (not to spoil anything for those watching it like I am).
Part of the story established in the premiere episode is that Gosselaar’s character, Agent Brad Wolgast, has a daughter who had passed away around age ten. He is instructed to bring Amy (Sidney’s character, a girl around the same age) to the testing center and decides that he can’t follow through. They make a run for it while being chased by the Department of Defense.
Child loss and sorrow is something that has hit home for Val and I as, back in February 2018, we suffered a miscarriage at just past twenty weeks. We have two healthy sons and this was a surprise, a deep wound, and something we are still processing. Our oldest still asks questions about the sibling he would have today had they survived.
In the episode there are moments where the sorrow hits Gosselaar’s character and, at great risk, he decides to run. He had a to follow orders or follow that internal compass driving him to protect Amy.
We learn in the episode, in a call with his wife, that he has been distant and separated, buried in his work.
Sorrow, in many ways, can act like a virus itself. It can drive us into things and stuff, emotional noise and distance. It can make us cold and withdrawn. It makes things so much easier to not feel because the emotions are white-hot.
Sorrow can be an asset though. As the episode shows, it can drive our moral compass stake deep in the ground. We finally put our foot down deciding to suffer no longer. We go against what is expected of us by the world and, in that, find the energy to keep moving. We make hope and strength a priority. We work to control what we can and understand what we cannot.
We work to help others, other parents, relatives and friends who may happen to have gone through the same.
I never though we’d lose a child. In 2019, this loss will be a catalyst for us to be better parents, better lovers and friends. Val and I will be growing together. In the end, we never stop growing.
Make no mistake, you are always moving. Some times it takes redirection to get the will to fight and the pull towards faith in something more.