Sophie, Sophie, Sophie.
Or Tess. Or whoever else she decides to be in the future. What a messy, messy web you love to weave.
Surface Season 1 Episode 8 was a twisted hour that finally gave us some closure on many of the first season questions and left the door open for more stories should the series return for a second outing.
This finale caught me off guard when it shouldn’t have because the signs were everywhere.
But that means that it was a mystery with layers and complications. For as much as you thought you knew what was happening, there were still a lot of surprises.
Surface Season 1 Episode 6 was the hour that put a lot of things into perspective. That was our first taste of the true Sophie. The one who was headstrong, manipulative, and ambitious. She could weave a tale in minutes if she needed to establish herself and get something she wanted.
This Sophie hasn’t displayed those traits to the same ability, but over time we’ve seen her be pretty capable of lying on a dime and getting people to do things they may not necessarily want to.
She puts on a great face when she needs to, stepping into whatever role is expected of her. It’s scary how quickly she can morph into whoever she needs to be.
And even though I knew that it was still a shock to see her plans play out over the hour.
Sophie has never been one to extend a ton of grace, especially to those she feels have had a hand in lying to her. So, bouncing from Hannah to Caroline and thanking them did feel a bit out of character.
You could tell Caroline was weary of her platitudes because it’s not like Sophie.
Her dressing down of Harrison was also out of the blue though every word she said was the honest truth and she could have said it to him the moment they met all those years ago.
Harrison is a villain, but not in the traditional sense. He clearly has no honor code and does as he sees fit to protect himself and those he loves, which sounds nice on the surface. Who doesn’t want someone in their corner protecting them?
But Harrison isn’t a nice person, and he’s not above burying someone to lift someone else up.
This isn’t the James show, but I wish we had more information about his relationships with Caroline and Harrison because it always seemed like we were missing a piece of the puzzle.
James and Caroline were exes, but how long did they date? Did he break her heart? How long ago was their romantic relationship?
And Harrison. How long have he and James been best friends? Why does he feel like he needs to be his protector?
Perhaps these weren’t the most pertinent questions to be asked in an eight-episode season, but they would have done a lot to help the audience understand those secondary dynamics.
Harrison literally gets Baden killed for James. And my first thought was that it is a MAJOR thing to do for your best friend.
And no, I don’t believe it was just about protecting the company. Their relationship runs so much deeper than that.
The alley breakup scene was emotional, but it would have hit ten times harder if we had a greater context for why Harrison is willing to do just about anything to help James, even when he doesn’t ask for it.
James: He was a cop, Harrison. And you killed him.
Harrison: If you thought I was so fucking wrong to do what I did, then why didn’t you just fucking tell her? Huh?
James: I was protecting you. She never could have turned her own husband in, but you? You would have gone to jail, so I took the fucking hit for you. I guess that was my biggest mistake.
Harrison: Well, now you’ve lost us both. Enjoy your fucking life, buddy. Have fun. Fuck you.
It’s easy to say his Sophie hatred is rooted in plain jealousy, but Sophie also makes it very easy to dislike her if you know what you’re looking for. And like recognizes like, right?
Turning back to Sophie, it was apparent she was faking her death once we saw her pack a bag for her run and do a host of other things that were uncharacteristic for her. She wanted to disappear, and that’s precisely what she did, doing so in a way that made it very hard for people to question it.
People not named James, of course.
At first, once I realized what was happening, I wondered why everyone got a better goodbye than James. Even Elliot got a long hug and a little bit of teary eyes from Sophie.
But James got nothing but lies. And why was that?
Sophie can act like Baden’s death was the catalyst, but Sophie’s plan must have started even earlier than that. At the very least, she must have decided that her future was no longer in that sadsack house. And for that, I do not blame her.
James has lied to her, and it’s a betrayal that Sophie is not okay with, even if she pretended to understand. Baden’s death just gave her an even bigger reason to run and a way to ensure that James had to keep his mouth shut.
Referencing James as the killer in her goodbye letter and that goodbye video means James is stuck. He can’t bring either to the police and at this point, no one believes that Sophie’s suicide is something more than that. With her history, it appears like this was a way for her to complete what she could not before.
The big storage unit reveal was a bit clunky, and I wish we’d actually seen the whole scene, from the fight with James to Sophie jumping off the ferry in its entirety, instead of in snippets. It would have been compelling to see it play out instead of seeing some and having dialogue fill in the rest.
But we can infer that Sophie never meant to kill herself that day. Instead, she wanted to do what she did here and disappear into the night, never to be seen or heard from again.
She was not counting on a life-alerting traumatic brain injury and everything that played out next. And it makes you wonder how this tale would have ended if James had told her the truth from the start.
Or at least as much of the truth as he knew because there were so many secrets floating around that no one was fully aware of all of them. Though, Sophie learned enough over these past few months to lead her to that storage unit and piece together many of the missing chunks.
Starting from the beginning means more to Sophie than just returning to the ferry or retracing her steps on the day of the accident. It means going home and perhaps finding out why this is her life.
We’ve gotten glimpses of Eliza, and we know she’s a central figure from Sophie’s past, but we’ve never known how much. If the series returns, it will most definitely delve into their relationship and its impact.
A second season would also likely still feature James, who vows to continue loving Sophie and reuniting with her in some way. On the one hand, James is just as gone and manipulative as Sophie, but on the other hand, hasn’t he had enough of allowing other people to dictate his life?
He’s freed himself from Harrison, and now he has a chance to free himself from the shackles of a wife with little regard for anyone. James is not a perfect man, and maybe in some ways, he did get what he deserves for failing to tell the truth and instead trying to mold someone he claims to love into the person he wants them to be.
But either way, Sophie is asking to be left behind, and he just still can’t give it to her.
And isn’t that the theme of the entire series?
Everything Else You Need To Know
- Are there no cameras on the Golden Gate Bridge?
- Caroline needs to stay far away from James. She decided to put that boundary up because it was a lose-lose situation for her.
- I take back the things I said about Hannah being shady. Her advice was spotty at times, but she wasn’t a demon.
- I thought much more would come from the witness on the ferry deck. But all we got was a throwaway line about them thinking Sophie was calm. That was super anti-climatic.
Well, that is all she wrote, folks!
Surface was a ride from start to finish. And while it was slow and steady, there was a lot of intrigue to keep you on your toes through the past eight hours.
The series could conclude here and be complete, but there is room for more exploration should a second season come their way.
For now, let me know how you feel about the way the season wrapped things up in the comments below, and if you need to catch up at any time, you can watch Surface online via TV Fanatic!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.