Tales from the Loop: Home
April 30, 2020 6:40 AM - Season 1, Episode 8 - Subscribe

A boy searches for his lost brother in an attempt to recapture the past

This is the last episode of Season 1, and what a way to end things. Directed by Jodie Foster, this episode wraps up various threads yet still leaves the door open for future stories.
posted by jazon (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It was heartbreaking watching Loretta's life spin out as she carries on through the 2nd half of the story. The look on her face when she comes out and sees Cole .... wow.

The whole series has gotten mixed reviews, but I think the stories will sit differently with each viewer. I really liked the season, and am satisfied where things ended. I'll be happy if there are more produced, but I'm fine if this is all we get.
posted by jazon at 6:44 AM on April 30, 2020 [3 favorites]

I was surprised that this series ended up so small and sad. It's a flavor we don't get much of in TV. Big and tragic, sure, but not just the quiet, gradual accumulation of grief. It's more relatable and it resonated a lot for me, especially In These Times. I didn't want it to end this way. I wanted Jakob to find a way out. But it was very fair--the show had visibly telegraphed that death is real and inescapable. It called back to Episodes one and two in great ways: my son wondered why the story of episode one came first when the whole season seemed to hinge on the events of episode two, and this really made sense of that. I liked the time jump into the "present" at the end. I don't really need or want more: this was a perfect mini-series that needs no extension. It does justice to the source material while leaving so many questions unanswered, as they should be.

Mostly I'm amazed that they didn't fuck this up. It seems like it would have been so easy to, that any wrong move would make the whole thing come crashing down. I wasn't in love with the robot from episode 7 and the robotic teacher here, mainly because they didn't fit with the chunky diesel-like tech of the rest of the series. But the rest of the series was so good (and the slowly dawning realization of who the kid in episode 7 was), I'm happy to forgive one misstep, if you want to see it as that.

Between this, Mrs. Maisel, and the Expanse, Amazon has some great stuff. Maybe I should check out more of their original programming.
posted by rikschell at 10:34 AM on April 30, 2020 [4 favorites]

I both loved this show and found it tiresome, largely because it was programmed to run roughly concurrently with “Devs”, “Picard”, and “Westworld.”

I do feel that this show benefitted from a more searching and serious self-examination than the others. The show also telegraphed an intent to orient to a closed, non-expansive mise en scene, and is cool and rare in serial SF.

But I would have a hard time suggesting the show to people. My younger sister died thirty years ago in a traffic accident. She was twenty-one. My whole life, my parents’ life since then, has been about getting over that, and eventually realizing you cannot. The show’s recuperation of a lost child was beautifully realized. And it is also a lie, as large as the lie Cole’s grandfather fights to disestablish in Cole’s mind. This is it. We live, we die, we are gone.
posted by mwhybark at 12:20 AM on May 1, 2020 [3 favorites]

I felt that the early episodes were so laden with promise, so maybe that's why I felt so let down by the middle and end episodes.

"Enjoyed" it all, though, for certain values of enjoy - it certainly didn't bring me any actual joy. Perhaps the theme, as mwhybark summarizes, is something I really didn't need right now.
posted by porpoise at 11:58 AM on May 1, 2020

Boy, was that devastating.

This show has surprised me quite a bit. Its comfortably nostalgic vibe never extended to the science fiction elements of the show. The people living above the Loop live under constant threat of the Loop’s upending of the laws of physics. If you cross the stream when it’s thawed, you’re catapulted 20 years into the future?? How is anyone supposed to know that, let alone defend against it? Or you can be tossed unexpectedly into a parallel dimension, or switch bodies with someone else, or be threatened by a justifiably upset abandoned robot. I commented on episode 2 that the episode was actually a horror story; I did not expect that the whole season would be as well.

In the end, this was the story of a woman who lost her mother, then both her sons, then her husband, and arguably the life she could have had, for the sake of another man’s obsession. I don’t mind that we never learned what the Eclipse was, or why the Loop existed. (As Russ says, it’s for making the impossible possible. As we’ve seen, it would have been preferable if the impossible stayed impossible.) I’m just gutted that this family gave everything for no apparent purpose.

That is not a criticism of the show, rather it’s why I find it so affecting!

If there’s another season, I’ll watch it. If there isn’t, I won’t find it unfair. I’m just appreciative that giant media companies will take risks like this show.
posted by ejs at 11:45 PM on May 1, 2020 [6 favorites]

This series will sit with me for a long time. It was very, very good. Most people will not hear of it, 70% who watch will call it slow, but very little television digs into the quiet emotional life of its characters like this. I suppose I'd put it on my list of Top X shows from the last 20 years.
posted by sylvanshine at 11:36 PM on June 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

Binged this over the last few days and was captivated by it. Perhaps it was the 70s/80s set dressing and props, but they really nailed a cozy, slightly-run-down vibe that I really liked. This series rewards careful viewing. "Oh, that's why they paid such attention to the teacher in that episode." "Hey, that security guard is too good of an actor just to be an extra with a couple of lines... Oh wait, he's in the opening scene to this one."

I really liked it, though I don't know that it's for everyone. The acting was really, really good across the board.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 5:44 PM on August 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

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