AMC’s Soulmates: Layover (Episode 4) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
On this week’s episode of AMC’s Soulmates, Layover, we’re taken on a strange trek through Mexico as two strangers become very close as one of them attempts to reclaim their passport so they can see their soulmate.
Almost immediately, this episode sets itself apart from previous episodes as it’s much less dramatic. Layover hits many more comedic and adventurous beats and is much less focused on the effects of the Soulmate test as a whole, but rather on an adventure within this world. It’s for sure a little strange at first since it’s so unexpected and it can make certain elements, especially the dialogue, come off as corny, but ultimately, it leads to an unexpectedly good time as the adventures of Matteo (Bill Skarsgard) and Jonah (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) are a strange blast.
While Matteo is only making a layover in Mexico on his way to Columbia to meet his soulmate Miguel, he ends up hitting it off with a guy named Jonah and the two head back to his place for some sexual pleasures. Although things go as per usuals for a quick hookup, Matteo ends up realizing that Jonah mugged him and upon confronting at the same bar trying to pull the same scheme on another unsuspecting guy, he realizes that Jonah doesn’t have his passport and spent all of his money. Now without any way to get on his flight to see Miguel, Matteo has Jonah help him get his passport back and the two end up in tons of sticky situations has them grow closer.
There’s something oddly refreshing about seeing Skarsgard in a much more light-hearted role here, especially since a lot of work has been within much darker stories and characters, and he works really well here – especially with Stewart-Jarrett. The two of them work off each other really well and have some great comedic banter. Their little feuds and spats with each other are always funny and it adds a really likeable, light-hearted tone to the characters that’s been pretty much absent in most of the other episodes. The script and direction do make them come off a little cartoonish and over-dramatic in their interactions and reactions at times, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not funny. Not to mention, their goofiness and over-dramatic personalities fit the episode’s story more comedic and wild tone really well.
With Matteo and Jonah having to run from the police, bet in cockroach races in an underground nightclub to earn some of Matteo’s money back, and even finding themselves in what Matteo describes as a “mafia version of a Costco,” this is definitely the most wild and weird episode of Soulmates yet. It almost feels like we’re watching a side-story in the Hangover movies at times and it’s hard not to love. Maybe it’s just that the other episodes have featured a lot of dark drama and heartbreak that Layover doesn’t, but I really dug the positive vibes and the overly positive feel to Matteo and Jonah’s adventure.
The romantic elements that slowly grow within their dynamic are great and play up them fated meeting perfectly. From Jonah opening up about his fantasy of being away from everyone and all the technology that’s now taken over love and dating to Matteo questioning if meeting his soulmate is really important, there’s a lot of great moments that really make you care about these characters – especially because the performances are pretty strong. I will say that the discovery made about Jonah’s less than legal behavior at the end was a little dumb and that Matteo being let go from gun-toting captors was even weirder, but the episode’s great ending more than makes up for it. It touches on all the cliches we’ve seen before, Matteo and Jonah even spout some ironically, but it’s all done with a genuine heart and it’s one of the more relieving and satisfying romantic ending I’ve seen lately.
Although it starts off on a strange foot, Layover shows that Soulmates can be a little different with the kind of stories it can tell. The more comedic and heartwarmingly romantic story of Matteo and Jonah’s adventures in Mexico is oddly refreshing since most of what we’ve seen in Soulmates thus far has been a little dark and dreary. It’s great to see this series not only strike a different tone, but also successfully tell a light-hearted love story that doesn’t necessarily revolve around taking the test and simply happens because it exists.