The Passage's Brianne Howey Explains Babcock's Complicated Feelings For Richards

the passage
(Image credit: fox press)

The first season of The Passage on Fox is coming to an end, and the gigantic two-hour season finale promises to deliver something incredibly intense. The penultimate episode left the humans at Project NOAH in serious danger due to the virals finally making their move and breaking out. Brianne Howey, who plays the enigmatic Shauna Babcock on The Passage, shared what that big twist means for the Season 1 finale, and that's not all she had to say.

Speaking with CinemaBlend, Brianne Howey explained what drives Babcock in her completely dysfunctional but oddly heartfelt relationship with Richards:

I would say we've seen Shauna very crafty and I think she is relentless. The fact that she's turned into a viral and is madly in love with Richards? With the man who made her that way?... I would say that to Shauna, these feelings are very real. To her, they're very real. They were real before she turned and they were real after she turned. Because given her history with all the male figures in her life, I'd say it's always been hard for her to trust anyone. And as we kind of saw in Episode 3, she feels like Richards does really care about her and stands up for her and protects her in a way she's never been protected before.

Shauna Babcock is as terrifying as she is tragic now that she's turned into a full viral, but The Passage has kept viewers clued into why she is the way that she is thanks to flashbacks and mindscapes. Thanks to those scenes, viewers have gotten to see a version of Clark Richards that doesn't show up around others, and they humanized two characters who could have been little more than antagonists. Against all odds, they formed a connection.

Whether or not this is a good thing for humanity as a whole remains to be see. Babcock's attachment to Richards before she turned seems to have gotten even stronger since she went through the change, which is a sign of how truly deep it goes. So many other aspects of Shauna Babcock were altered when she turned; her feelings for Richards are real and intense.

Considering how he treated her with kindness when she spent a lifetime being mistreated by the men in her life, it's not surprising that a bond was formed between them. As for Richards, while he clearly fell for her as well, he also declared in the penultimate episode that Babcock was not the girl that he fell for anymore, and he claimed that he won't hesitate to put her down.

Given that he has had many opportunities to kill her and was even on the verge of executing her, viewers have reason to doubt that Richards really has what it takes to try and end her life, such as it is. But is it out of love or something else?

The Passage revealed more of their bond in the second-to-last episode of Season 1, when Richards turned what had been a mission to chase down and recapture Babcock into the chance for a diner date of sorts, in which he shared parts of his life that few others probably know about.

The man who once seemed ruthless and willing to cross just about any line confessed to studying creative writing, shared his love of breakfast food, and treated Babcock like a human being rather than dragging her back kicking and screaming.

Brianne Howey went on to chat about the diner scene and how it developed the bond between Babcock and Richards:

You can see it there. It's so genuine. She is also, although she's been through, she's literally been through hell and back. But there's still a part of her that holds hope, and you can kinda see it in that scene. She feels foolish at the end of it all, but she truly believes, maybe there's a chance here.

Only time will tell if there's still a chance for Babcock and Richards on The Passage. There are plenty of obstacles in the way even if they do somehow both escape Project NOAH. Brianne Howey confirmed that "it's a little too late" and "a little too much as happened" for virals like Babcock to come back from what they became, so if Richards remains firm in his stance that she's not the woman he fell for, he might not be much of an ally for her.

Babcock is also still very dangerous to the humans, even if she doesn't especially want to murder Richards. The connections she made while still human give her an edge in her viral state, and it's difficult to predict which aspects of which of her personalities will show up at a given moment. Let it not be said that The Passage is ever boring when Shauna Babcock is on screen!

The two-hour Season 1 finale of The Passage airs Monday, March 11 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. No announcement has yet been made about a second season for the show, so fans will have to watch the finale with crossed fingers and bated breath. Considering the source material for the show, there's no shortage of material that could be covered in Season 2 and beyond. Hopefully Mark-Paul Gosselaar's newest Fox drama won't go the way of Pitch after only one season.

The Passage took bold strokes throughout its entire first season, and the conflict between the humans and the virals undoubtedly isn't anywhere close to being done. If Fox does order a second season of television's most unconventional take on vampires, then viewers will get to see what happens as the viral threat continues to spread.

For some of what you can watch sooner rather than later once The Passage is done in the 2018-2019 TV season, check out our midseason TV premiere schedule. There will still be blood-sucking creatures around on TV thanks to shows like Legacies and Supernatural, and the Vampire Diaries alums are all over the small screen recently.

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).