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Surface leaves you questioning a lot

Season one ended on an interesting note

By 'Vive AkughaPublished 9 months ago Updated 3 months ago 5 min read
Image credit: Screenshot from Apple Tv on YouTube

Surface is a 2022 Apple Tv+ series starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Sophie Ellis. A spoiler and sensitive topics (including suicide) warning are in effect! If you like this, you can get more of my articles when you subscribe to my account. We follow the life of Sophie recovering from a claimed suicide attempt of jumping from a ferry. She lost her long-term memory and is working with her therapist, her husband and friends to return to normalcy.

"I can't trust what I don't understand"-Ben Stone from Manifest

Sophie was told by many people about things she didn't understand and therefore did not trust since she couldn't remember or know who best to trust.

Image credit: Screenshot from Apple Tv on YouTube

The truth is subjective based on perspectives and old Sophie was known to create a lot of perspectives. Sophie always lied and lived life on "go" but this did not occur to her until her husband, James (Oliver Jackson-Cohen)told her of their history. As she tried to make sense of things while trying to remember things, she frequently met with her therapist, Hannah(Marianne Jean-Baptiste).

Sophie questioned that if her life was so perfect, why would she try to end it? She said she felt like she was living another person's life and everyone was moving on. She did not believe many things the therapist told her about accepting responsibility for jumping and her being sadder than she may have known because she did not remember even making a decision to be suicidal. She did not feel a connection with the group of friends her best friend, Caroline(Ari Graynor) said they always hung out with. As we navigate things there is a blurred effect in most scenes which could represent her lack of clarity as she said everything's a blur for her.

As I watched, I felt Hannah was evil because she was such a downer and I was convinced she was working for someone. The motivation she had to insist Sophie should let go of exploring the possibility of someone pushing her seemed forceful and of a gaslighting nature. Hannah could be seen as a realist but it felt extremely negative. The male figure Sophie remembered as she looked up, may not be evil but was actually there and not a manifestation of her distancing herself from responsibility.

Image credit: Screenshot from Apple Tv on YouTube

This iconic dress made its mark through the season especially as we learn she wore it with her boyfriend, Officer Thomas Baden(Stephan James). She was in an affair with Thomas so serious they wanted to get away together. She did not like the rich man's wife lifestyle she eventually got into which she still felt. This showed a bit when she asked to ride horses on a girl's trip and Caroline said they don't do that. She felt it was natural for her and did not appreciate the limitations but had memories of her younger self doing it.

After reuniting with Thomas, he wanted to keep her safe as he thought James was a threat. He focused on her safety and less on their past relationship stating he didn't want to get back to what they were but she initiated it when she kissed him. In a search on James, she finds out she's locked out of her financial accounts. James put her in conservatorship because she was thought unable to make decisions on her own. 

Things on the surface are not always what they seem as she searched for the depths of it and answers to her past. Surprisingly, she never asked any questions about her being Tess Caldwell before Sophie. She had memories of being called Tess, was told she insisted that was her name when they picked her up and it was tied to the account she put stolen money into. Perhaps she wanted to believe she was better than she was or that she could change to not be the person that runs as Eliza's(Millie Brady) spirit told her.

It was said that her mother died of a psychotic disorder and thought people were going to kill her which was interesting before we saw the footage of her on the ferry. I was surprised Eliza was alive because it was made to seem like she died in the memories and hallucinations. The whole thing with Thomas felt unresolved as we were made to think he was unstable, obsessive and possibly dangerous before he was killed. Also, it was odd that Sophie was on the ferry for the initial ride, if the getaway things were still in the storage unit.

"You must persevere in Marriage"-Gogo Twala from How to ruin Christmas

James persevered throughout his marriage with his "partner in crime".

Image credit: Screenshot from Apple Tv on YouTube

I had a timeline when thinking about the James character:

HUH?Bad - That's interesting. - Bad-questionable though - Not bad? - Yep not bad. Definitely being misled - He's not bad.

His marriage is a good case of when someone tells you who they are, believe them as he points out before the ferry incident. He realized that Sophie told him exactly who she was but he didn't listen. He was mentally suffering because he worried about Sophie and the possibility of being suicidal again, having a good new start with her, paying back the money taken from his office accounts and avoiding suspicion from the investigation.

James was not surprised about her different name, maybe he did an investigation of his own after Harrison (François Arnaud)suggested it. He probably knew and still accepted her as she was. This is evident as he said in the voicemail to her that her past is dangerous and he was coming to her. James and Sophie's renewed relationship evolved to a toxic nature as she faked her death, after all he went through the first time. However, Sophie knew he would find the video she left for him and knows he would find her, despite the whole leave me alone thing she pulls. They really are the pair! They remind me of Joe and Love from You for some reason. James said he will not leave her and that nothing she does will push him away and he remains true to that. I would hope for independence for him but he doesn't really want it as he decides to still go after her despite saying he's been in her orbit so long he doesn't know what to do without her but Caroline made the choice of independence from both of them and I was happy for her.

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About the Creator

'Vive Akugha

I write on various things: social issues, well-being, cinema and out of curiosity. For contact and all other things, click this. Inactive.

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