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Series / The Passage

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The Passage is a series airing on Fox, based on the book series of the same name.

After a botched US government project turns a bunch of ex-cons into vampire-like beings, an orphaned 10-year-old girl may be the only hope of stopping the ensuing calamity.

Cancelled after 1 season.


The show contains examples of the following tropes:

  • America Saves the Day: Thoroughly subverted and averted; it's the actions of the US government in the form of Project NOAH that ultimately lead to the US and the world being destroyed by both a vampire apocalypse and a nuclear holocaust. While a vaccine for the virus was developed, the authorities were unable to get it into mass production before the other nuclear powers launched an all-out nuclear attack on the US in an effort to wipe out the infection, causing the US in turn to launch their nukes in response.
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  • Amicable Exes: Brad and Lila
  • Asshole Victim: Clark feeds these guys to Shauna in "Last Lesson" to keep her in check. Though he's not happy about it.
  • Blame Game: Between Clark and Shauna over their bargain in "Last Lesson". In the end, Shauna tells Clark it's his fault for making her the monster she is.
  • Blatant Lies: When Skyes asks Clark Richards if Shauna is in his head, he flat out denies it.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Randy Paulson gets shot in the head just before he can reveal Fanning's plan to Brad.
  • Cain and Abel: Lacey compares Fanning and Lear to them respectively.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Amy's mother overdoses on drugs at the very moment that Project NOAH happens to be looking for a child with no family.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Anthony's girlfriend Rachel killed herself because she couldn't see a way out of her abusive marriage.
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    • In "Last Lesson", Dr. Lear considered shooting himself for bringing about the end of the world. But Lacey Antoine talked him out of it, saying he has a lot to atone for.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In the pilot, Brad hits his partner for smacking Amy for biting him and warn him never to hit her again.
  • Evil Feels Good: Fanning, and the other Virals. In "Last Lesson", when Bob is infected he describes how good it feels as he starts to turn.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Elizabeth chooses death over being a monster.
  • Gender Flip/Adaptational Name Change: Giles J. Babcock from the book is changed to Shauna Babcock in the show.
  • The Ghost: Lila's boyfriend David
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Project NOAH began as an attempt to cure all diseases. Instead, it's created a bunch of vampire-like beings.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Dr. Skyes wishes to create a cure for all diseases, and was willing to go through any lengths no matter how uncomfortable it is for her. But when it's become a failure and getting too dangerous, she wants it shut down, but her superior Guilder plans to weaponize Amy, so she decides to help her and Brad escape.
  • I Warned You: Dr. Lear's wife Elizabeth warned him about what Project Noah will cost him.
  • It's All My Fault:
    • Amy blames herself for her mother's death, believing that she could have saved her mother from overdosing if she hadn't run away that night.
    • Brad and Lila both blame themselves for their daughter's murder, each believing that their own negligence caused the sequence of events that caused her to get shot.
    • Carter blames himself for Rachel's suicide because he didn't try to help her as he was angry at her for lying.
    • Dr. Lear blames himself for starting all this, even though he know of the consequences.
    "How can I not see this?!"
  • Jerkass: Clark and Guilder
  • Junkie Parent: Amy's mother is a drug addict, to the extent that Amy tries to sleep at a restaurant to avoid going home to her. She overdoses in the first episode, presumably in anguish over her daughter hating her.
  • Just Before the End: The last episode of season one, "Last Lesson", is almost entirely this. Starting 30 days after the Virals escaped, it shows the US already collapsing under the relentless assault of the infected. And then the other nuclear powers resort to bombing the US in desperation, resulting in a nuclear exchange.
  • Just Following Orders: Clark. Not anymore.
  • Karma Houdini: Rachel's husband got away scot free on his abuse and, whether or not he knows she killed herself, he pins Carter for murder. In all likelihood, he got killed in the outbreak or the nuclear exchange.
  • Lecherous Stepparent: Shawna Babcock was sexually abused by her stepdad for years, and it's hinted that her mother knew about it. She finally murdered both her stepdad and her mom after they stole the cash that she had been saving so that she could run away from home.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: The reporter in "Whose Blood is That"? was supposedly killed in a car accident.
  • Mercy Kill: Mentioned in "How You Gonna Outrun the End of the World?" and shown in "Stay in the Light", Fanning begged Lear to kill him before he turned, but Lear refused and is determined to save his friend. Looking back, Lear realize he should have killed him when he had the chance.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Dr. Lear realize his mistake working on Project Noah.
  • Never My Fault: Fanning blames Lear for Elizabeth choosing to die.
  • Not Using the Zed Word: The show has fun with the trope - it comes up often that they are definitely not "vampires" because we don’t call them that because there’s no such thing as vampires and that would be silly.
  • Nuke 'em: What the other nuclear powers resort to, once it's clear that the Virals are out of control in the US and no vaccine is forthcoming.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: David Winston lulls people into a false sense of security by pretending to be nothing more than an inbred hick.
  • Oh, Crap!: Dr. Pet, when he discovers that Winston is controlling him to free himself.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Fanning isn't terribly physically active. He is getting a lot of use out of his telepathic abilities, though, using them to communicate with the other subjects and harass the staff.
  • Papa Wolf: Brad is fiercely protective of Amy. He was probably also fiercely protective of his own daughter back when she was still alive.
  • Parting Words Regret: The last thing Amy said to her mom was that she hate her, because she forgot to register Amy in school.
  • Rape as Backstory: Shauna Babcock was repeatedly sexually abused by her stepfather from the time she was eight until she turned sixteen, and it's hinted that her mother knew about it. She was driven to murder him and her mother after they stole the money she'd been saving up to run away from home and escape this.
  • The Renfield: Lawrence Grey is a reluctant one to Fanning.
  • Shout-Out: The series has multiple references to horror movies, including The Fly, The Shining, and various vampire movies.
  • Spotting the Thread: Amy figures out that Brad isn't from child services because he and his fellow agent are both men, whereas child services would have sent at least one woman.
  • Stock Scream: A Wilhelm Scream is heard in "Stay in the Light" when the agents are shooting at the Virals.
  • Stupid Evil: Dr. Jonas Lear calls Fanning out on this, pointing out that the Virals infecting humans en masse will only serve to drastically reduce their own food supply.
    Lear: Why make more?
    Fanning: I don't know. Why does anyone have kids?
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Once Guilder takes over Project Noah, everything gets worse, as he seeks to weaponize the Virals.
  • Your Cheating Heart:
    • Rachel Wilson was married while she was seeing Anthony Carter.
    • Subverted with Fanning and Elizabeth. She cheated on her husband with him once, but rather than let it drag on, she told her husband and they decided to work out their problems.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: Wolgast shot his daughter's killer, but it didn't make him feel any better.
  • Vigilante Man: Wolgast tracked down and shot his daughter's killer, rather than let him be imprisoned for life. Clark helped clean it up, along with others of his law enforcement friends.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Most of the main characters at the end of "Last Lesson". Considering we skipped to 97 years after the nuclear exchange, in all likelihood they've all died by then. Although Amy is still hopeful she'll reunite with Brad in the haven for the remaining humans.
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