The series premiere of From leaves you with the same feeling that permeates the entire episode — dread. The feeling of knowing something isn’t quite right, but not being equipped with enough information to properly plan before the hammer drops. From the main character Boyd (Harold Perrineau) to the newly trapped Matthews family, the series has established several intriguing subplots to build throughout the season
- How do you enter the never-ending nightmare?
We’re introduced to the unassuming Matthews family, who’re making a highway road trip without a care in the world (aside from older sister Julie teasing her younger brother Ethan about monsters). Their trip is halted by a downed tree, forcing them to retreat backward but not before an ominous murder of crows shrieks above them.
When they return to the road, they’re stuck in a loop that continuously returns them to the trapped town. Does the downed tree symbolize their entry into the looped nightmare? They never see it again even after being trapped in a circle. It makes you wonder what the other trapped townspeople will reveal about their experiences and if anyone had simply tried to walk past the tree.
2. Who made Boyd Stevens chief?
The opening scene introduces us to our main protagonist Boyd Stevens (Harold Perrineau). He walks the length of the town ringing a danger bell that alerts townspeople to take shelter and avoid the humanoid monsters that come out after sundown. Stevens’s authority is never questioned and there’s even a certain affection in the responses he hears from the residents. But there’s also a heaviness to Stevens — he moves like a burdened, tired man. There’s no doubt he’s dealing with a lot of internal trauma. And yet, he’s still seen as the most capable leader where a single misstep literally results in an horrific death.
In The Walking Dead, we’ve seen what Rick Grimes did to establish leadership. What are the hard choices Boyd Stevens has made to keep the residents in line?
3. How will Frank’s Loss Impact the Town?
The biggest mistake of the episode came from Frank’s drunken binge before sundown. While sleeping it off elsewhere, he left his home unsecured, allowing for the night creatures to enter and disembowel his wife and young daughter. An infuriated Boyd nearly killed a weeping Frank once he returned the following morning.
“A man protects his family!” screamed Boyd after slapping around Frank and forcing him to view the mutilated bodies.
Grief is unpredictable and Frank is now a man without a family or purpose. So who now has more to fear from Frank, the townspeople or the monsters?
4. Is Sara the “Mercy (Killer) Girl” the Most Dangerous Character?
By far the biggest wild card character of the series (so far). Played by Avery Konrad, Sara initially appears reclusive to outsiders but loving to family members, as we briefly saw in her reminding her brother of his chores. But things take a sharp turn when she sneaks into the town hospital and stabs to death a new resident recovering from a car accident.
It shows Sara is operating on a different moral plane from her fellow trapped residents. She gives a hint on her viewpoint with the following observation to her brother regarding the Matthews.
If this is how she’ll treat newcomers, what will she have in mind for the entire Matthews family?
5. How often do new visitors show up?
Something tells me that everyone who travels the same highway road does not end up in this town. But in this episode, the Matthews family gets in a car accident with another car carrying two passengers. That makes six residents arriving in one fell swoop. Do the night creatures control how often the portal loop opens? The residents seemed a little taken aback by the Matthews appearance, but not completely shocked at newcomers.
6. How many monsters?
So far, we’ve seen a handful descend on the downed Matthews winnebago to conclude the episode. Earlier, there was the one disguised as the dead grandmother of Frank’s family. How many monsters are there in total? We do know they’re formidable enough that townspeople rather hide than engage. Assuming the monsters follow the laws of vampire cinema, they’re hiding somewhere in the surrounding forest during the day. Maybe it’ll be the Matthews who turn the tide and decide to go on the offensive and flush them out?
7. Who are the Matthews?
With the showrunner being Jeff Pinkner (Lost, Alias, Fringe), we should expect a few plot twist. The first place we need to look is the Matthews family. What’s the reason for the road trip? Where are they coming from? What do Jim and Tabitha do for a living? Their backgrounds and past deeds may have played a role in their abduction.
8. What caused the rift between Boyd and his son Ellis?
In the brief time we see Boyd and his grown son Ellis together, there’s deep tension and resentment. It’s more so on Ellis’ part, who appears disgusted with his father’s presence and gives curt answers. Boyd is the one who’s trying to mend fences, and the fact there’s not a wife/mother mentioned gives a hint of where the rift might’ve happened. Did a Boyd misstep, similar to Frank’s, cause the death of Ellis’s mother? And did that mistake transform Boyd into the decisive leader we see now?
9. What’s the difference between Boyd’s townspeople and Colony House?
It wouldn’t be a true apocalyptic setting if we didn’t have factions! When Boyd goes to visit Ellis, he’s stopped outside a farmhouse by Donna (Elizabeth Saunders), who flatly reminds him of their agreement to stay away from each other. She relents only when he makes it clear he’s only there to see his son. This hints the rift between Boyd and his son may not just be personal but also ideological.
How does Colony House operate? Are they more militant in their approach to the monsters?
10. What’s the story behind the talisman?
One weapon the residents have are those mysterious talisman hung outside their homes. It seems to prevent the monsters from entering (unless invited?). How was this discovered? What does the writing on them symbolize and can it function like a cross and repel monsters outside the home? The last question might be answered fairly quickly in the next episode.
Watch From on Sundays at 9/8c through April 10.