This review contains spoilers.
1.13 Passion Lends Them Power
When a show as wobbly as Star-Crossed finishes off its first season, you can only hope that it ties things up relatively neatly just so fans can get a sense of closure. Some shows do this really well – notably Community and Chuck, which had half a dozen series finales each before the end actually came – but others just throw caution to the wind and throw everything at the audience in the hopes of securing a renewal on the strength of their cliffhanger alone. Star-Crossed opted for the latter and, with the news of cancellation already confirmed, that might not have been the best idea.
But, then again, the last ten minutes of Passion Lends Them Power were arguably stronger than the show has ever been, with plenty of deaths, mayhem, romantic reunions and switched allegiances all making that final sequence more exciting than anything we’ve seen in the past twelve weeks. Does this mean the show would have grown into a classic slice of sci-fi if it had been given a chance at season two? Probably not, given what we’d already seen this year, but it still makes the unanswered questions and unfinished business of a second Atrian invasion just a tad frustrating.
But all of the ingredients of Star-Crossed were used well in this episode, with even the love triangle coming into play in the final showdown before things went terribly wrong for one member. All teen dramas should take their cue from (early) Vampire Diaries and relegate their love stories to the action sequences, judging by this, as I’ve never been more invested than in those final moments. Of course, the decision for Roman to trust Grayson with protecting Emery proved fatal for the latter and, had there been a second season, my guess would be that the decision would have played a significant role in Roman and Emery’s relationship.
The main thread of the episode was the search for the Suvek, which turned out not to be a bomb but a beacon, with the supporting cast searching high and low while Roman and Emery took some couple time in her parents’ barn. That kind of sums up Star-Crossed as a whole, to be honest, with the central couple pretty much consistently operating outside of the main storyline we’re supposed to be interested in. On the plus side, this separation meant that characters like Lukas, Julia and Eric were more prevalent than they may have been otherwise – a good thing considering we’ll never see them again.
Despite the open-ended finale, we did get some closure on a few things. Roman’s choice between living up to his father’s legacy and being with Emery, for example, was supporting with a final appearance of his half-brother and, though part of the cliffhanger saw Taylor in a car wreck, we can assume there would have been another half-Atrian kid in town at some point during season two. But cliffhangers without a possible resolution are just empty, and it’s probably best to remember the things Star-Crossed did over its first twelve and a half weeks than to dwell on what it never got the chance to show us.
It was a show that never quite reconciled its intentions, trying to squeeze undemanding teen romance into an otherwise interesting science-fiction universe and pretty much failing at both. Star-Crossed had a lot of ideas it didn’t know what to do with and, despite an improvement towards the end of its run, it’s probably better that it was taken off the air. Television history has proven that all of the same elements can make for fantastic television when done right but, despite some promising moments, we can class Star-Crossed as one that never quite got where it needed to.
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