AMC’s Soulmates: The Lovers (Episode 2) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
On this week’s episode of AMC’s Soulmates, The Lovers, the test brings two new people together that are already married and their affair blooms into something unexpected.
The newest slice of life of the Soulmate test follows a married college historical art professor named David (David Costabile) and a lonely married woman named Alison (Sonya Cassidy) as their matching makes them question everything – including their current marriages. While David is currently happy in his marriage to his wife Sarah (Karima McAdams) as he truly loves her and is in a good position with her father (Henry Goodman), who is also his boss, the appearance of Alison saying that they are a match puts a thought in his head if he’s missing out something special. Although he’s reluctant at first to act on these feelings, he eventually gives in and has a short affair with Alison. However, she’s not exactly who she appears to be, and her intentions take a dark turn that seeks to show David’s inner demons to the whole world.
It’s actually kind of funny how things seem to start off in a familiar place with where we were last week as people question their own relationships and decide to throw them away for a possible chance at “true love.” It doesn’t come off as pretentious as it did in the premiere, but the whole idea of people just dumping their longtime spouse all of a sudden still comes off a little too shallow and remorseless to be believable. It’s just hard to imagine that anyone, or at least the majority population, would just leave someone they love at the drop of a hat and be pretty much remorseless about it. Even David, for the horrible monster he becomes, has some reluctance to leave, but Alison is totally ready to say bye to her bae. In future episodes, hopefully the series can create some remorsefulness in characters that are already in relationships and doing the soulmate tests because currently it feels like the series is written by people who went through some rough relationship patches and it’s hard not to feel a bitterness with how the characters are written.
Everything with David and Alison starts off basically how you would expect an affair would go – slight feelings of regret, secret sexual meetings at hotels, and riding the highs of a new romantic relationship. Then things take a sudden turn that makes this episode go from everything expected to completely unexpected. As Alison’s real intentions become clear and David’s inner demons start to come to light, things get really juicy and there’s actually a very strong that twist that’s well built throughout the episode. Upon meeting David, it’s clear that he has a very close relationship with his students, specifically one named Hannah (Sofia Oxenham), but it takes a horrifying turn as we begin to learn more about him as Alison seeks to expose who he really is.
As we learn that David has a history with sexual relationships with his students and that Alison is connected to a former student/relationship of his, all of the expectations and perceptions you have of them completely change. The seemingly mild protagonist turns into a horrific and despicable antagonist and the predator turns into the prey. It’s legitimately thrilling to see such a wild turn as Alison begins to slowly ruin David’s romantic and work relationships and threatens to destroy his life in an instant. It leads to David’s true colors coming out as he confronts Alison at another hotel/motel rendezvous and it’s what makes the end so satisfying. Alison gets a triumphant moment of relief as she becomes the real protagonist you get behind and David is forced to face his life being in shambles – which he totally deserves. Both Costabile and Cassidy as making their respective characters’ turns so effective and surprising as they give really excellent performances throughout.
With it’s second episode, Soulmates still suffers from it’s bitter and shallow depictions of love, but heavily improves itself with a much more thrilling, unexpected, and compelling story of deception. This is the kind of episode that should’ve kicked the series off as it’s purely wild twist that flips everything on its head and changes your whole perspective embodies the kind of shock and awe that viewers are always on the hunt for.