Surface Season 1 Episode 4 Review: Psychogenic


Sophie seems to be closer to her memories, but at what cost?

Surface Season 1 Episode 4 was a bit of a transitional hour as we got deeper into the James scandal, and Sophie accessed more memories that will only increase her desire to learn more.

There were no earth-shattering revelations here, but it feels like we’re on the brink of piecing things together. Or are we?

A show like Surface is so intriguing because it’s hard to trust what you see. When you know that things aren’t what they seem, it causes you to doubt first and believe later.

And while you want to believe that Baden is telling the truth, and you want to believe that James really does love his wife and that they’re serving us the most giant red herring ever to exist, there’s always a nagging voice in the back of your head willing you to take it all with a grain of salt.

Because truth be told, everyone and everything seems a little shifty here—even Sophie herself.

Sophie is a fantastic protagonist because the show allows her to be human. They’re allowing her to be sympathetic and flawed. You can root for her and want to protect her while recognizing that underneath it all, she may be hiding some of the biggest secrets of all.

Of all the moving parts right now, the woman from Sophie’s past she’s had flashes of is by far the most interesting. It goes beyond just who she is and morphs into what is her connection to the current story that’s unfolding.

Considering that repeated memory of her basically bleeding out on the grass, you have to wonder if she’s even alive in the present day. And if not, is her death perhaps why Tess became Sophie?

This is probably a drastic leap, considering we have such little information, but it’s hard to keep your brain from swirling here because it feels like this woman will ultimately prove to be an essential player.

Sophie’s adventure at the clinic ultimately costs her, but she sees more than just this unknown woman while she is there. There’s also a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it memory of her and James fighting by the docks. You have to assume that was before the accident, and it just once again puts the giant bad guy sign on James’s forehead.

Sophie: James, I’m still here.
James: Sometimes it feels like you’re here, and sometimes you’re gone.

But those little snippets are juxtaposed with James and Sophie in the ballroom and by the pool, where he talks about their past with such longing and reverence. Is this a man so overcome with guilt about what he did to his wife that he’s now adopted the face of a wearied husband? And it’s all one big lie?

Or is this a deeply flawed man who is innocent of trying to kill his wife?

James is a very layered character, and while he’s got some major issues that need a lot of unpacking, underneath it all, whether it’s wrong or right, he appears to love his wife. But in a story like this, that may not necessarily be a good thing.

James and Caroline have some weird vibes that go beyond their supposed hookup. The fact that he felt comfortable enough to go to her for a substantial amount of money, his wife’s best friend, spoke volumes. And the fact that she was willing to help spoke even louder.

On the other hand, Harrison is ready to dime James out rather than take any heat himself. And I continue to believe that there’s much more to Harrison than meets the eye.

He and Caroline are kind of on the outskirts right now, but it feels like that’s only because their time to shine hasn’t come yet.

Baden is getting his time to shine, especially as he and Sophie get closer. I’m not sure whether Baden is just forgoing his job right now in favor of helping Sophie or putting in that overtime after work, but either way, he’s all in on bringing James down. And he’s so all in that it starts to make you wonder.

I still believe that everything he’s doing is to protect Sophie. The two have more than just an attraction, but a bond as well. And while Baden probably isn’t being totally upfront about everything, he does seem to have her back. Now, is that because he really wants justice for her?

Or maybe he just wants James out of the way so he can have Sophie all to himself.

Todd: You’re a fucking psycho.
Baden: No, I’m just trying very hard to protect someone very important to me.

Do you see what this show does? It introduces all these scenarios and makes your mind whirl with the possibilities.

Sophie is straddling a very messy line right now, and while she’s putting a lot of faith in Baden, she should be starting to see that the only person she can trust is herself. But that’s awfully hard to do when you don’t even know who you are and what made you that way.

What led to Sophie being on the deck is a lot more complicated than she may be ready to examine. And she’s going to have to rely on herself to get the answers she’s so desperately seeking.

Everything Else You Need To Know

  • There is something about Hannah I just don’t trust. She seems so opposed to Sophie, and instead of encouraging her in specific ways, she fights against her. If she’s on Jame’s payroll somehow, and it ends up just being another reason to hate James, I’ll be disappointed. I want a bigger shock!
  • I may not trust Hannah, but she probably wasn’t wrong to put an end to the experimental treatment. Hallucinogens are no joke; you can’t even trust what you’re seeing with a brain altered like that.
  • Once we found out Sophie changed her name, I assumed we would get a look into her backstory. And the introduction of her mom at the episode’s end feels like a start.
  • If Sophie does indeed have the same diagnosis, then I can only imagine what will happen if Sophie does get her memories back and starts slinging accusations.
  • Baden will be working over everyone that works at James’s company at this rate!
  • What do you think James really needed over $11 million for?
  • Harrison works for a multi-million dollar firm and dresses like he overslept his Freshman Econ class, and I salute him for it. Abolish the dress code!

Surface is only an 8-episode affair, so we are already at the midway point. And if I had to guess, I would say that things will only ramp up from here!

Make sure to drop me a line and let me know who you trust and where you think things are going.

You can always come back here to watch Surface online anytime your heart desires!

Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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