People making a perilous journey from one dangerous land to another place they hope is safer is a sadly common occurrence in the real world, but in The Crossing, a new drama on ABC, this twist isn’t where these refugees are coming from, but when. The series is set in a small town beset by a group of people who have fled from a dystopian future hoping to be safe in the past. It’s a nifty premise, but it’s the huge twist at the end of the premiere that’s truly shocking, and that twist has some pretty interesting political implications.
Spoilers ahead for The Crossing
When Sheriff Jude Ellis sees dozens of bodies floating on the shore of his small town he is not sure what to do, so he calls in the feds. Homeland Security is then confronted with a story about how these people left a terrible future where they faced megacorporation APEX and a group of superhumans believed to be the next step in evolution. While the people in the present tried to make sense of the story, the people from future were just trying to survive in a new time.
At the end of the premiere, viewers learn that the group Sheriff Ellis and Homeland’s Agent Emma Ren find are not, in fact, the first group of future refugees to come to the present. Far from it, in fact, as the twist reveals that earlier time-travelers have infiltrated America as high up as Agent Ren’s boss at Homeland and, it’s hinted, potentially higher.
Given how involved the time travelers’ plan is, viewers can’t help but wonder why they’d bother to come back to 2018, of all times. Obviously, that so happens to be the present day in the real world, but 2018 America doesn’t seem to be the best time for a bunch of people trying to enter the United States’s borders. Immigration is a hot button issue in the U.S. with vocal parties on both sides of it. If one were looking into the past with all of the information, then the group may want a different year to jump into.
While this may take a deeper look than the show intends, it does open the door by explore the issue. It is Agent Ren who decides the initial working theory is that these people are refugees who are desperate to make a home in America. And, it is for that reason the show could be an interesting as a sci-fi immigration story and should explain why it chose this present.
At the end of the day The Crossing could just as easily use the twist to sidestep the current political climate. With an advance group, those from the future could create a present different from ours without President Trump’s administration and a less controversy surrounding the issue. It’s an easy move the future episodes, but it would be a shame because it would make the viewing experience more interesting if they embrace what is currently going on in the United States.
It seems the future may be lacking in history books because this is not the present to choose when planning an escape to the past.
The Crossing airs on Mondays at 10 p.m. Eastern on ABC.