If you could take a test to find your soulmate, would you? Or would you leave it up to chance and romance to find your match? In the world of AMC’s new episodic anthology, Soulmates, that very test exists in the not-so-distant future. With a simple, painless test an individual can find their soulmate. Sounds idillic and romantic, right?
It would be easy to paint this concept as blissful matchmaking where all parties come away happy, but that is very rarely how the world works and it’s the same in Soulmates. Written by Black Mirror and Stranger Things alum Will Bridges and co-creator Brett Goldstein, viewers can expect the same kind of real world storylines and unexpected twists from Soulmates.
The series takes a scientific approach to the concept rather than the compatibility approach often seen when posing the soulmate concept. The twist however is that both parties must take the test, which means someone might wait weeks or even years to find out who their soulmate is. Each of the six episodes follows the story of a couple or individual and how the test changes their lives in drastic ways. And they can be very drastic indeed. Episodes are just one hour long, so there is never a dull moment as completely new characters and situations are fleshed out in detail and give the small screen production a big picture feel. Viewers will be on the edge of their seats with the unpredictable twists and turns.
Episode one, “Watershed,” is perhaps the most grounded of the six episodes and a perfect introduction into this not-so-distant future, starring Sarah Snook and Kingsley Ben-Adir as the happily married couple Nikki and Franklin. While they have a successful and happy relationship with two children, they watch couples around them take the test and go on to live seemingly perfect romances. With the results of the test, couples often wed within weeks of meeting their soulmates. It’s scientific proof they are a perfect match, so why not! Of course, this begins to wear on the couple and they struggle with wondering if they could be happier with their soulmates. Suddenly, meeting a stranger and falling in love, working at a relationship, and building a life together isn’t the norm anymore, and it asks viewers to ponder whether they would take such a test.
Episode two, “Lover,” explores what happens when a soulmate match for one half of a married couple suddenly ignites a torrid affair and what that means for both involved as well as the spouse. It’s a thrilling episode that hinges on a twist viewers won’t see coming. Much like “Lover,” the third episode uses the test as an examination of what it means for a younger couple with a more open marriage. “Little Adventures” sees Libby (Laia Costa) struggle to maintain boundaries with her husband Adam (Shamier Anderson) and soulmate Miranda. The wildest and most action packed of the six episodes can be found in episode four, “Layover,” in which Mateo (Bill Skarsgard) meets Jonah (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) at a bar in Mexico while on the way to Columbia to meet his soulmate. The two have immediate chemistry, but when Mateo discovers that Jonah stole his wallet and passport, he tracks him down to get it back. What follows is a wildly adventurous night involving some back alley transactions, a little clubbing, some very speedy cockroaches, and whole lot of fireworks.
Where “Layover” is parties and adventure, episode five, “Break on Through,” is the polar opposite. Small town farmer Kurt, played by Charlie Heaton of Stranger Things is devastated to learn that his soulmate is dead. Though he goes to a support group, he finds little solace until he learns about The Church of Righteous Transition. An organization who promises to help those whose soulmates have passed away, the story takes a hard look at what happens when the means facing a lifetime without your soulmate.
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Soulmates closes with Caitlin’s match story. She has been through some rough relationships and waited years for her soulmate to take the test. When she finally does she meets Nathan, a handsome doctor who at first glance is everything she wants. But can she really trust Nathan? “The (Power) Ballad of Caitlin Jones” looks at the harsh reality of how quickly our walls come down and we instantly trust someone we don’t actually know. It’s a twisting tale with several shocking turns that nicely wrap up the fantastic season of varied and detailed stories.
Start to finish the show is expertly acted by the star studded cast, each episode brought to life by the vibrant costuming, filming locations, and set designs. Soulmates is a wild ride that will keep you guessing until the very end. The series has already been renewed for a second season and we can’t to see what the talented writers will do in season two!
Season one of Soulmates debuts Sunday, October 5 at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT on AMC.