I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for sci-fi shows (and movies and books) about people who look human but really aren’t, and all the twists and turns that can bring to the story. So it was pretty much a given that I’d been at least checking out this show. But even with that anticipation, I was pleasantly surprised by how good the pilot episode of Star-Crossed was.
We open on the day the aliens invade. Only from their point of view, they’re Atrian refugees who crash-landed on Earth after their planet was destroyed. Adorably cute little alien boy Roman runs away from the fighting caused by this misunderstanding, and hides out in a nearby shed, where he discovered by adorably cute little human girl Emery (played by Ben & Kate’s Maggie Elizabeth Jones). She brings him a blanket and cold spaghetti, and he in turn tries to protect her when police dogs sniff out his location the following day, and is shot (and she believes killed) for his efforts.
Fast forward 10 years, and Emery is about to go back to school after 4 years battling an autoimmune disease, though not without stopping for a quick chat with her still-ill hospital buddy, Julia. I like how this background puts Emery out of sync with the “normal” teenagers she meets at high school. I wish we’d gotten a better look at her relationship with her friend Lukas, who at this point is little more than token platonic African-American school tour guide. He was helping with the hospital club table – is that how Emery knows him?
Emery’s first day back is also the first day for seven Atrian teenagers to start attending a human high school as the initial attempt at integration. Of course, Roman and Emery eventually reunite, and there are sparks, but the sci-fi elements are just as intriguing and perhaps even more so. The armed guards and curfews of the Sector (the government internment facility where the Atrians are forced to live) contrast strongly with the exotic bazaar-like vibe inside.
I expected Roman to be more open-minded toward humans than the rest of his species, but instead his father and sister have that role. In Roman’s experience, only one human has been kind to him – Emery – and his reactions to others are filled with hilarious sarcasm, which was easily one of my favorite parts of the episode.
There is still a lot of mystery surrounding the Atrians. I enjoyed the reveal that Roman’s two hearts was what saved him from dying as a child (are we sure they aren’t refugees from Gallifrey?). And the cost of what Roman did for Julia puts an interesting twist on sharing technology. I’m also curious to see what effect the ending scuffle in the Sector will have on the rest of the series.
The CW will be airing a repeat of the pilot today at 9/8c. Be sure to check it out if you missed the initial airing, or watch it online on the CW’s official site!