I’ll tell you when I lost it during Station elevensecond episode. It was after young Kirsten Raymonde finally received a text message from her parents, whom she had been frantically trying to reach for God knows how long. “Hello? ?? Please answer mom I am safe I’I’m with a family ”, he read his outgoing messages.
“The body of the owner of this phone is in the morgue at Lakeview Memorial Hospital,” the reply reads. “Don’t come here.”
After screaming at the top of her lungs and trashing the room around her, eight-year-old Kirsten staggers into the hallway, where her erstaz guardians, Jeevan and Frank, wait in concern. She shows them the message and collapses, sobbing, into Jeevan’s arms.
That’s when I also started sobbing.
Weaving timelines skillfully, subtly, and sometimes mysteriously, this episode (“A Hawk of a Handsaw”) heightens the emotional impact of the apocalypse that has befallen Kirsten, Jeevan, and their world. Sow seeds of hope, to the extent that adult Kirsten is firmly rooted in a loving community of traveling actors and musicians … then sow seeds of fear when a deceptive stranger appears, speaking of prophecies and quoting a book that only Kirsten and more close to her they have. ever read.
At least that’s what she thinks. It’s hard to tell how seriously we are taking young Kirsten’s claim that the graphic novel Station eleven, given to him by actor Arthur Leander, is the only copy in existence. What we do know is that he has held on to him through hell and high tide. She was his traveling companion for some time after … well, after something it caused her and Jeevan to separate, and for longer after she and Jeevan left Frank in that apartment. It’s in his power when, as an acne-prone preteen, he cautiously approaches a woman named Sarah, aka the driver (Lori Petty, aka the damn Tank girl), who receives her for the first time in the theater company called Sinfonía itinerante.
And it is quoted by a man named David (Daniel Zovatto, Follow), who attends the performance of the Symphony with his pupil Cody (Luca Villacis, Canal cero: Candle Cove). Kirsten, who plays Hamlet in the company’s latest production, sees through David’s lies about who he is and where he’s been, and stabs him in the stomach without a second thought when he threatens his friends. It is then that he says that the lines he has been quoting are part of a prophecy, although by whom and about what is not clear.
And unfortunately for Kristen, the stab is not fatal; Cody takes David away for one more day to survive, and the ramifications of the Traveling Symphony are high in the air.
Once again, clocking in at 45 minutes tight, just slightly longer than conventional broadcast network drama minus the commercial breaks, this episode of Station eleven it cleverly bounces between utter devastation, dread-tinged mystery, and wild optimism. On this last point, who I would not do it Do you want to believe that communities of caring artists would form after an apocalypse? In fact, survivor communities adore the Roving Symphony so much along its winding route that they salute it as legitimate celebrities, notably Kirsten, a star that viewers call by her first name, as if she were Madonna or Cher.
Speaking of stars, this is a great stellar turn from the great Mackenzie Davis, who like any artist from Stop and set fire It has made me love them for life. She is an uptight character, reacting petulantly when a pregnant friend (Clark Backo) chooses to stay behind when the company moves on, and with justified suspicion when David and Cody show up; the ease with which he stabs David speaks of a life of bitter difficulties. (That difficulty is deftly conveyed in the makeup of post-apocalyptic youngster Kirsten, who has all her matted hair, pubescent acne, and grimy fingers.) And well, if you’ve ever wanted to see Cameron in Stop Riding like a conquering hero, boy, oh boy, I got good news for you.
There are other newcomers to the community besides the mysterious David and Cody, it should be noted. Dylan Taylor impresses as Dan, an aspiring actor who successfully auditioned for the group performing Bill Pullman’s presidential monologue from Independence DayWhile Enrico Colatoni appears an emissary of a so-called “Museum of Civilization” requesting a performance of command of the Symphony.
If it’s unclear which of these characters and plot threads will end up being important, I think that’s the point. Station eleven it’s a great messy story about the great disorder left behind when human civilization collapses and dies. His Itinerant Symphony is a kind of ambulatory stage at best. Is the worst case coming?