What The Passage's Big Viral Twist Means For The Season 1 Finale, According To One Star

Spoilers ahead for the March 4 episode of The Passage on Fox, called "You Are Not That Girl Anymore."

The stakes have never been higher on The Passage than in the wake of "You Are Not That Girl Anymore." The final episode before the big two-hour finale event ended on a huge viral twist for the people left at Project NOAH. Despite the best efforts of Wolgast, Richards, and Sykes, Fanning and the other virals were ten steps ahead the whole time, and the final minutes of the episode saw the virals escape their cages... and the good guys may be at their mercy.

Brianne Howey, who plays the alternately endearing/terrifying Shauna Babcock, chatted with CinemaBlend about what's in store with the Season 1 finale, following the huge viral twist that ended the penultimate episode:

We have the finale next week. I can't even believe it's already here. Something that is really cool, we've had the flashback, and we've had the mindscapes, but we will have a flash-forward. Babcock also has to decide how she wants to spend the rest of eternity. So, a pretty big decision to make, I think, for anyone. And not everybody's going to make it. And some people sacrifice themselves for some other people. There's complicated arrangements that get made along the way.

The Passage is getting bigger -- and from the sound of it, even more intense -- for its Season 1 finale on March 11. The escape of the virals at the end of "You Are Not That Girl Anymore" was already a big hint that the characters had passed the point of no return and there would be no going back to the status quo, and Brianne Howey's comments indicate that the finale will pack in some things fans haven't gotten to see yet.

For as much as The Passage has played with time and realities with the flashbacks and the mindscapes, it has generally stayed away from the future. Apparently, the Season 1 finale will feature a flash-forward, which should be exciting to fans of the books on which the Fox series is based. Depending on whether or not the heroes -- such as they are -- can get the virals back into containment, the flash-forward could very well feature a bleak future.

After all, virals aren't exactly easy to kill, and The Passage has already shown that it doesn't necessarily take much for a viral to spread the infection. Fanning has most of the virals under his control without any real signs of dissent, with a few exceptions. Amy technically never turned all the way, although her eye color did change by the end of the latest episode. Carter has fought back as best he can, and Babcock still seems to have a certain degree of independence, and plenty of intelligence.

She'll need that intelligence when it comes to deciding what she wants for the rest of eternity. Based on the first season so far, one would think that what she wants for eternity would be Richards at her side. Richards can't stay by her side for eternity unless he becomes a viral himself. Whatever goes into her decision in the finale, fans may be able to count on more of those two.

Perhaps most alarming and intriguing of Brianne Howey's comments about the finale are that not everybody is going to make it out of the episode. Of the good guys, it's not difficult to imagine most of them sacrificing themselves for somebody. The two of the heroes who seem likeliest to survive are Amy and Wolgast; what of the rest? And what of the virals? They're not invincible, and Fanning didn't get the even 12 he was looking for thanks to Amy turning her back on him.

Babcock may have a unique advantage in the fight for the virals to escape Project NOAH altogether. Although Fanning is the leader, she formed connections to both Richards and Sykes before she turned. When I asked how these connections can impact Babcock in the rest of Season 1, Brianne Howey told me this:

I think it gives her a big advantage, because she is crafty and she can disarm people. And I think she grew up just having to rely on surviving. She didn't really get to enjoy her life. It was more about surviving her life. So you pick up these skills along the way, and I think Shauna realized the more she can disarm other people, the safer she is, because then she can be a few steps ahead of them.

Season 1 revealed a truly tragic backstory for Babcock, when viewers learned via flashback that she snapped and killed her mother and stepfather after spending years as a victim of sexual assault. Her attempts to escape her troubled life at home with them were thwarted, and even the brief moments of fun she had seemed to be spoiled by the people around her. Her connections that she formed with Richards and Sykes at Project NOAH appear genuine, but that doesn't mean she can't use those connections against them.

Babcock's focus has been more on Richards than Sykes or any other character, which makes more and more sense the more The Passage reveals about her from before she turned. In "You Are Not That Girl Anymore" -- which actually refers to a line spoken by Richards to Babcock in the present -- fans saw Richards and Babcock passing a few hours in a diner, bonding and sharing about themselves. Who could have guessed before this episode that Richards studied creative writing and was a fan of breakfast for dinner?

While Richards did eventually call for backup to bring Babcock back to NOAH after her escape attempt, it was clear that she was not the only one feeling a connection. She may not be the girl she was when they had their diner date of sorts anymore, but parts of that girl are left, and that could make her very dangerous. Then again, it could make her a very valuable ally. Maybe Richards should cool it with the death threats!

It's never easy to guess what's going on with Babcock, and Brianne Howey has been tasked with portraying a number of different versions of the character. There's flashback Babcock, mindscape Babcock, veiny viral Babcock. Maybe flash-forward Babcock is next! Howey explained the process of bringing such a multi-faceted character to life on the small screen:

I think that definitely, looking back, one of the perks of the role as a whole, because it's so rare that you get to have in a way multiple personalities in one character, it keeps it really exciting. And it kind of keeps you on your toes because even I didn't know what to expect for each episode. I didn't know which side we were going to get to see more of, so it was so fun. With the flashbacks, we get to see all of her humanity and who she is as a human and what her hopes and dreams are. And then we kind of see her in Project NOAH, a little bit more subdued in a way, because they can't communicate once they've turned. But then we also get to see her kind of full-blown animalistic when she's feeding or angry.

If Fanning has anything to say about it, Babcock may be showing a lot more of that animalistic side now that the virals have broken out. Then again, Babcock doesn't need him imposing his will for her to get angry. She did kill two people before she turned, after all, although few viewers from home probably blame her after what those two people did to her.

Babcock is definitely a variable heading into the two-hour season finale, starting at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, March 11 on Fox. The official episode description reveals that Amy will face an impossible choice. To stop the virals' escape from Project NOAH, a dangerous explosion must be set off, but it could destroy Brad, Sykes, and the cure that Sykes finally managed to create in "You Are Not That Girl Anymore." After Amy makes the decision, unexpected alliances form, an absent character returns, and all must fight for their lives.

Will the unexpected alliances see some of the virals team up with the humans? Will Wolgast trust the likes of Richards and Sykes enough to work with them in the long term? Who will be the character -- or characters -- not to make it? We'll just have to wait and see. The Passage has not yet been renewed for Season 2, so fans can just cross their fingers, hope, and count down the days until the finale hits the airwaves on March 11.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).