‘Astrid and Lilly Save the World’ 1×05 Review: “A-borg”

The monster hunting continues with this week’s Astrid and Lilly Save the World. This was likely the best episode to date, in a series that continues to charm. The heartbreaking backstories we saw this week only make us love the characters even more. 

Seriously, these characters just get better and better every week. Astrid (Jana Morrison) and Lilly (Samantha Aucoin) continue to be pitch perfect, both individually and when they team up. This is the second episode in a row where they’ve spent less on-screen time together. It still works incredibly well. When they do come together, it’s exquisite and emotional, and a reminder of why we cheer for this duo. 

The supporting characters are also getting their own development. Candace (Julia Doyle) is fast becoming the most relatable and sympathetic popular girl we’ve seen in…well, a long time. She’s given a lot of depth, which is a credit to this show that could have easily given us just another popular girl to root against. Contrasted against her mother, the still-terrifying Christine (Geri Hall), Candace is becoming a joy to watch. The fact that she’s now an integral part of the story is what the fans deserve. 

Ma-Anne Dionisio, ‘Astrid and Lilly Save the World”. Photo Credit: Alex Stead/Blue Ice Pictures/SYFY

This week’s Monster of the Week was among the scariest and most effective yet. A terrifying jack-in-the-box forcing people to re-live the worst moments of their lives was horrifying enough. The fact is that this monster gave us some of the most heartbreaking moments we’ve had in the series so far. Poor Valerie (Christina Orjalo) gave us the comedic relief, that only made the heartbreaking moments more devastating. Even poor Brutus (Olivier Renaud) was not immune to this monster’s mind game.

This monster was actually an almost perfect distillation of how trauma distorts memory. Those who have been hijacked by the monster re-live the worst moments of their lives, but as a far worse version. The fact that Astrid saw the death of her father played back in a way that framed her for being responsible was a devastating blow. Lilly also had to confront the fact that her friendship with Candace ended so abruptly because of Christine’s bigoted views was a moment of reckoning.

Jana Morrison and Samantha Aucoin, ‘Astrid and Lilly Save the World”. Photo Credit: Alex Stead/Blue Ice Pictures/SYFY

The entire episode was a reflection on grief and loss. Told at a teen level, it was a poignant look at just how devastating losses of all kinds can be. Loss of loved ones and friendships make a massive impact on us all, and the show handled this was such care. Reliving childhood fears and reliving the worst moments of one’s life are dramatic choices that this show just made work so brilliantly. The message that we can only overcome these incredibly painful losses and experiences is with the love and support of those who care about us was a poignant one. 

Complete with a Se7en reference, this episode was the very best Astrid and Lilly Save the World has to offer. As we approach the second half of what is hopefully the first of more seasons, the show has clearly found it’s stride. The creativity and emotional maturity we’ve seen so far are hopeful indicators that we have many more amazing stories in this universe to look forward to.

New episodes of Astrid and Lilly Save the World air Wednesdays on Crave.

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