Parallels — Episode 1, Hard Awakening Review

Strange Happenings At The LHC

It’s 2011 and we’re with a young kid in the woods with his dog. He’s looking at insects through a looking glass when suddenly his dog takes off and begins barking at something. The kid follows but there doesn’t appear to be anything there.

He drops both his looking glass and the crutch he’s been using. Suddenly the leaves around him begin rising from the ground and swirling all around and, as quickly as it started, the kid vanishes into thin air and the dog is now a puppy.

Fast forward to 2021 and a group of students are having their school photo taken, amongst them is Victor, Maxime Bergeron (“Art of Crime (TV)”, “Fantasies”), his brother Sam, Thomas Chomel (“Clem (TV)”, “Mirage (TV)”), Romane, Victoria Eber (“The Man in the Basement”, “Beyond Appearances (TV)”), and Bilal, Timoté Rigault (“Sam (TV)”).

This foursome are the best of friends with Victor being the youngest though has skipped a year to be with them, though he’s now having to re-do the year because he’s not done so well. They all arrange to meet up at 10pm that night and go their separate ways.

Romane meets her mum, who works on the register at a local shop. She tells her she needs to pick up her sister Camille, Anastasia Ait Zahkar, as she’s got to work late. When they get home Camille’s father is waiting for them, it looks like he’s back in their lives, like it or not.

Sam and Victor are at home awaiting their strict parents Alice, Élise Diamant (“Hostiles”), and Arnaud, Gil Alma (“César Wagner (TV)”). Victor says he’s going to ask Romane to be his girlfriend tonight. When the parents arrive home they sit the boys down and pour over their report cards and aren’t happy Sam is planning on re-sitting a year, they say they’ll hire private tutors instead.

Bilal goes home and his mum, Sofia, Naidra Ayadi (“Stillwater”, “Promises”), has to go to work at Atlas because they’re running an experiment she knows won’t work, but they’re going to do it anyway.

The four meet at some kind of bunker in the woods, one they have a key for. Inside it’s been decorated for Bilal’s birthday party and the four enjoy themselves. Just as Sam and Romane are about to kiss the lights begin to flicker.

Then the sound of electricity crackling is heard and, as Sam looks on, Romane goes younger, older, herself before finally vanishing, along with Victor and Bilal. Sam is, naturally, freaked out, particularly when a man suddenly gets up off the floor.

The man is Bilal, an older Bilal, Omar Mebrouk (“H24 (TV)”, “H24 (TV)”), but Sam doesn’t know this and runs out. Bilal meanwhile is astonished when he looks at himself in a mirror but he keeps being knocked to the floor by some kind of ringing in his head.

He awakes to the sound of dogs. The police are out searching for the missing group. Older Bilal runs and finds his way to his mum who is leaving work. Will she believe that this is her son? Can he convince Sam that he is Bilal?

As per what we expect these days from a new series the first episode is great. Everything is established and we’re straight into gear and off. 30 minute episodes are also a winner and, off this short introduction, I’m reminded a lot of the German series Dark which is on Netflix. If Parallels is anywhere near as good as that, we’re in for a real treat!

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