Follow TV Tropes


Series / Between

Go To

Between is a Netflix and Citytv drama created by Michael McGowan and starring Jennette McCurdy. It follows the town of Pretty Lake, which is suddenly stricken by a mysterious ailment that kills everyone over 21 years of age.

Its six-episode first season debuted on May 21, 2015 and its six-episode second season on July 1, 2016. The series was never officially cancelled, but was never followed up with a third season.

Between contains examples of the following tropes:

  • 20 Minutes into the Past: The series released in 2015-2016, but an email from Minister Miller in season two (which is set the winter after the outbreak begins) mentions the date February 7, 2014, placing the first season in late 2013.
  • Aborted Arc: The second season ends with Crane giving the escaped teens new identities to re-enter society while Horatio Labs works on engineering a cure. While Wiley and Adam are shopping in a supermarket six months later, someone near them succumbs to the virus, and Adam realizes Horatio must be behind it because they are the only ones with access to the cure. With the series being Quietly Canceled, this is never elaborated on.
  • Accidental Murder:
    • Pat accidentally hits Amanda with his car when she runs into the road.
    • Mark gets into a fight with Renee's younger brother, Eric that ends with the kid falling onto his own knife after Mark tries to defend himself. Stacy spots Mark holding the bloody knife, making it look like he deliberately murdered the kid.
    • Franny accidentally shoots Renee when the latter has her pinned to a wall. Subverted when Renee heals afterward, thanks to being given the cure.
  • Ambiguously Evil:
    • Liam Cullen. He shows up in Pretty Lake claiming to have a cure for the virus, four weeks after Adam’s father (who Liam also claims to have worked with) told him that there was no curing the virus. The mysterious text messages he sends at the end of "Us vs. Them" don’t exactly help his case, neither does his name being in Ellen's contacts and the reveal he's actually working for Horatio Pharmaceuticals. He ultimately turns out to be a pretty morally decent guy, just working with some very shady people.
    • Dexter Crane agrees to extract the inoculated teens out of Pretty Lake if Adam gives him Liam’s research. Once the extraction is successful, he gives them new identities so that they can re-enter society, but not before having them sent to an offsite facility where they’re injected with an unknown substance (supposedly an anti-viral) as part of medical tests to observe their newfound self-healing powers. Adam also accuses him of holding back the cure out of greed, but Crane himself claims that the cure is not ready. The ending of the series has him declaring revenge on Adam after Adam leaks his video diary to the world, and six months later another outbreak occurs, but it’s not clear if he had anything direct to do with it.
  • All for Nothing:
    • Chuck, Harrison and Samantha make a plan to escape Pretty Lake using a stolen military van. Samantha is shot by a sniper and killed once they get past the fence, forcing them to drive back into town.
    • Renee is injected with the potential cure on her 22nd birthday so that Liam can prove the cure works on those past the threshold age. However, Franny accidentally shoots Renee, rendering it pointless. Until her gunshot wound heals.
  • Apocalypse Anarchy:
    • By episode 2 there are cars and piles of junk around town. Kids are all out playing in the streets.
    • Harrison takes advantage of this in the second season, forming a posse of the younger kids that bet on fights and only answer to themselves.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Adam records one, which contains evidence of the deaths and poor conditions in Pretty Lake as well as the government’s efforts to cover it up. He uses it as leverage to Dexter Crane, threatening to release it if the latter doesn't help him. In the finale, he has Daisy leak it anyway.
    "My name is Adam Jones. And this will be my last day in this hellhole."
  • Arc Words: “Before it’s too late” is said several times throughout the series.
  • Armies Are Evil: Averted. It's brought up that the military is being lied to just like the residents are, and they refuse to follow orders from Minister Miller to attack Pretty Lake after seeing video evidence of the government’s lies.
  • Big Bad: The last scenes of the second season finale set up Dexter Crane and Horatio Pharmaceuticals as this.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Wiley, Adam, Chuck, Ronnie, Stacey, Franny, Harrison, and Renee all escape Pretty Lake and the military strikes are called off. However, the group is split up and forced to assume new identities, the fates of those left behind (including Tracey, Mark and the children) are uncertain, and another outbreak is seemingly engineered by Horatio just a day before the cure was supposed to be released.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Victims of the illness exhibit this upon their death. Gord also has it when he is shot in "Extraction".
  • Cosy Catastrophe: The utilities are still running, cellphones can still be used, the Internet is up, and the parents are out of the picture. Also, people still drive as though they could get gas at the corner store when they need to fill up. Averted as time goes on; radios and phones mysteriously stop working, preventing communication with the outside world with the exception of those with special equipment, like Ellen and Liam, and the second season opener reveals the town is starting to run out of food as winter sets in. One episode also shows Wiley being forced to abandon a car when its engine dies, stranding her and baby Jason.
  • City in a Bottle: The city of Pretty Lake is quickly quarantined by the military just five days after the outbreak.
  • Dead Man Honking: When Chuck and his small band of cohorts makes their escape attempt, Samantha is shot by a sniper as they stop to make plans, causing her to hit the horn.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Wiley. Not too far off Jennette McCurdy's other roles, actually.
    • Adam also gets his fair share of dry remarks.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Ronnie occasionally talks to Pat's ghost in the second season. Pat seems to act as his conscience.
  • Death of a Child: Jeremy is run over by an accelerating car (driven by another child) in "Who’s The Boss?"
  • Driven to Suicide: Minister Miller commits suicide in the second season finale after the military defies her and calls off the attacks on Pretty Lake.
  • Everytown, America: It's a Canadian series, but it plays down the Canada aspect. No specification is given for where the town of Pretty Lake is located, and one character in the pilot asks another if he's heard from "the Ministry". The government is also only referred to generically as "the/our government".
  • Flashback Cut: When Harrison is playing in the now-deserted bowling alley, he has a brief flashback to a time when he bowled there with Samantha.
  • Flipping the Bird: Adam does this to Dexter in "Don't Look Back" when the latter asks him to hand over Liam's research. He gets hit in the stomach by Brooks for it.
  • Foreshadowing: When Franny and Harrison discuss where they'll end up if they ever leave Pretty Lake, Harrison says he will likely be sent to a foster home since the now-deceased Samantha was his only other relative after their parents died. Franny tells him that he can stay with her and her aunt instead. In the finale when the group is assigned new identities by Crane, Harrison is sent to a foster home while Franny ends up at an all-girls school.
  • Gentle Giant: Gord. He is clearly large and imposing but only ever tries to do the right thing and act towards a peaceful solution, even giving up his last cow in order to feed the younger children of the town. He actually loses a fight he gets into with a smaller guy, Chuck, stating that he has never actually fought before. However, he does get into a fight with Ronnie when he thinks he's hoarding food.
  • Government Conspiracy: The government has walled off Pretty Lake and is lying to both the residents and the outside world about conditions in the town.
  • Healing Factor: The cure Liam brought apparently gives those injected with it one. Wiley's tumor heals within hours, Chuck heals from severe head trauma after drunkenly falling into a glass table, and Renee is able to recover from a gunshot wound. The finale also reveals that the cure can reverse conditions like Harrison's diabetes.
  • I Choose to Stay: Tracey chooses to stay in Pretty Lake to look after the town’s children. Mark also stays behind, giving the only other available vaccine to Stacy and lying to her that he was already vaccinated so she wouldn't feel guilty about taking it.
  • The Immune: Clarence claims that he and Adam are immune to the virus because it was synthesized using Clarence's genome.
  • It's All About Me: Both Wiley and Ronnie get this bad at the beginning. Wiley has grown out of it by season 2, whereas Ronnie tries to evolve past it, but old habits for him are harder to break.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Chuck uses this on Liam Cullen in "Us vs. Them".
  • Karma Houdini: After Minister Miller's suicide, Horatio Pharmaceuticals takes advantage of the outrage over her actions and releases a statement claiming that she was responsible for suppressing the cure, sparing themselves any legal consequences and turning her into their scapegoat posthumously.
  • Land Mine Goes "Click!": There’s a minefield around the edge of town.
  • Maternally Challenged: Wiley has almost zero motherly instincts toward her child or others. She even expresses annoyances towards her sister caring for the orphaned children of the town, and refuses to name her child because she doesn't want to get attached. By the end of the first season, Wiley does eventually come around to being a mother.
  • Mistaken for Dying: Wiley is mistaken for dead in episode 2 after she passes out. She's narrowly saved from burning alive in the mass funeral pyre after Adam realizes she's still alive.
  • Near-Rape Experience: Just so no one gets too confused as to which side of the Heel–Face Revolving Door Ronnie might belong on, he almost rapes Wiley before Tracey intervenes.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Franny innocently takes home a box of food she discovers outside the orphanage, as well as a backpack she finds with it. This lands her in hot water with Renee when the latter recognizes the backpack as belonging to her late brother Eric and assumes Franny killed him and also leads to Gord's death.
  • Offscreen Teleportation:
    • When Mr. Lott and his son are tracking the stolen truck, they make a single turn to end up ahead of Pat and Ronnie. While the camera is elsewhere, the former end up far enough ahead that by the time Pat and Ronnie find their car, they've set up flares.
    • When Brooks shoots at Daisy, she's disappeared from the alley in the time it takes for two cars to pass by.
  • One-Word Title: The series as a whole, as well as the individual episodes "War" (Season One), "Hope" and "Extraction" (Season Two).
  • Only Fatal to Adults: The mysterious disease kills everybody over the age of 21. Once a person reaches their 22nd birthday, it's a matter of hours before they die.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Ellen comes back to let Mark out of his cell after reading his file. He repays her by knocking her out.
    • When the inoculated survivors are being evacuated, Adam tells Dexter to wait for Wiley, who is running late after retrieving Jason from the Mennonites. Dexter refuses, but Wiley finally arrives just as the truck is pulling away from the gate. After a few moments, Dexter tells the driver to go back for them.
  • Please Wake Up: Franny sobs this when Gord dies.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The government seems totally ready to completely seal off a town... but not as ready to fill the town in on what they think is going on.
  • Ship Tease: There's some between Wiley and Liam in "Extraction". They engage in some (awkward) small talk, he asks her if she wants to get coffee when they leave Pretty Lake, and they share a Held Gaze and a kiss before Liam leaves to go to his extraction point, with Liam promising to come back for her.
  • Slut-Shaming: After she has sex with Mark, Stacy complements him, saying it doesn't seem like it had been a while for him (he'd been in prison). He responds that it clearly hadn't been a while for her.
  • Spiteful Spit: A ten year old who stole a car and went on a joyride refuses to apologize and do community service. So he gets tied outside, in the cold, to a flagpole until he does. He refuses to give in and hocks a massive loogie on Chuck. Damn, son.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Wiley is near birth, and gives birth in the first episode.
  • There Are No Adults: The adults in "School's Out" are a Dwindling Party. As of episode four, not only is it confirmed that everyone 22 or older is dead, but it appears to be the case that your 22nd birthday is actually the trigger. The second season confirms that the disease is wired to the infected's biological clocks; once they turn 22, it's a matter of hours before they die.
  • Time Skip: The second season opens in the winter, four weeks after the first season's finale.
  • Trigger-Happy: The military take aim at a teen coming out of the woods, not stopping to ask them to identify themselves or what they are there for. This being after said teen has put his hands up in a clear gesture of surrender. Likewise, Chuck's posse of ad hoc cop kids. There's a reason 15 year olds don't make good vigilante law enforcement.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Adam's father claims that the virus was developed as part of a population control experiment in the name of restoring resource sustainability, but someone went rogue and released it.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Renee has no qualms about threatening and nearly kidnapping the twelve-year-old Franny when she thinks Franny is involved in her little brother Eric's murder.
  • Wham Line: "War" has two:
    • Wiley reveals the identity of her baby's father at Melissa's urging.
    Wiley: It's your father, Chuck.
    • Adam questions his father about the virus.
    Adam: Tell me you have the cure.
    Clarence: There is no cure.
    Adam: How do you know that?
    Clarence: Because I worked on it.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Adam's deal with Dexter Crane. Either Dexter agrees to extract those already vaccinated and for Horatio Pharmaceuticals to proceed with mass-producing the cure, or Adam leaks everything he has on their involvement in Pretty Lake to the public, damaging their reputation. Either way, Adam gets the company’s attention and at least a slight chance at his friends getting rescued.