Station Eleven Season 1 Episode 1: The Flu That Changed The World

Station Eleven Season 1, Episode 1 can be hard to watch. A deadly virus is ravaging through the city changing life as we know it. It’s difficult to watch because we’re in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and the uncertainty of the future has us all on edge. Nevertheless, the first episode of this limited series is intriguing to say the least. The first scene is of a post-apocalyptic theatre. The entire place is ruined, the seats are turned over and fauna is scattered all over the place. A lanyard abandoned in the ground hints that the last play at the theatre was King Lear. The next scene cuts to ten days prior and the audience is watching a dramatic performance of King Lear. Javeen, a journalist is sitting in the audience when he notices the signs of King Lear having a heart attack. Javeen is no doctor but the claims that he watches a lot of Greys Anatomy. Javeen attempts to save King Lear but when find out that he succumbs to a heart attack. Backstage, Javeen encounters Kirsten a young girl that was part of the play, standing alone in the midst of the chaos.  Kirsten’s chaperone seems to have disappeared but because he has a good heart Javeen takes it upon himself to make sure he gets home safe.

It turns out that Kirsten lives two hours a way so they hop on the L train to get her home. While in the L train Javeen receives a call from his sister a ER doctor. “It’s happening,” is the first thing she says which instantly grabs Javeen’s attention and obviously has his stomach in knots. Javeen’s sister tells that the hospital has been getting an influx of flu cases all over the world. She tells him to get somewhere safe with their brother and barricade themselves in. In one memorable scene, ER doctor is comforting two orphan children and assuring them that their parents are receiving the best care possible before she stumbles off and suffers a coughing fit. Things get complicated when no one answers the door at Kirsten’s house. Her parents aren’t there and she doesn’t have a spare key. Javeen can’t leave her alone but he’s hesitant to become a young girl’s self appointed guardian. But he doesn’t have the heart to leave her alone. Javeen tells Kirsten that her parents actually called him and said that it was ok for her to come with him.

So to the grocery store they go. Javeen buys $10,000 worth of groceries and leave the store with a train of carts. They head to Frank’s luxury apartment in a high-end building. The unlikely duo  are somehow able to make it to Frank’s high rise apartment. Frank walks with a cane indicating that he is disabled. Together they all witness a plane falling out the sky and crashing into a ball of fire nearby. The plane crash signals doom and the show cuts to a scene in the future. In this scene it’s eighty days later and Javeen and Kirsten are leaving the safe haven of the high-rise apartment. There is no power in the building and Frank isn’t with them. They navigating the snowy deserted streets of Chicago, that are filled with jammed cars. The camera pans to somewhere out of space where where a man in space is stranded on a stratosphere as he waits to get word back from Earth.  Who is this guy in space? Does he have any idea what’s going on?

The first episode mainly explores Kirsten and Javeen’s relationship. However, at certain intervals the show jumps to ten days prior to the apocalypse. One of these noteworthy scene is one in which Kirsten is in Arthur (King Lear) dressing room, coloring in a book when he gets a visit from a woman named Miranda whose excited about a book that she’s finished titled Station Eleven. There is a gloomy spaceman in the cover of the book and when Kirsten inquires about him Arthur bitterly proclaims that it’s the jerk that ruined his life. We don’t know what this nessacarily means but I’m sure  as the series progresses it will eventually make sense. The next time jump is several years in the future and Kirsten is a grown woman. She’s reading Miranda’s Station Eleven. The world seems to be much calmer as the Earth is green like the Garden of Eden. Civilization has reset and humans are relying on their most basic instincts of survival.

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