‘Surface’ recap: Series premiere on Apple TV Plus, Gugu Mbatha-Raw

What would life be like if your memory was erased and you couldn’t trust anyone?

This is the premise of the new Apple TV+ thriller Surface, which finds a woman named Sophie (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) waking up from a suicide attempt (or so she’s told) with no memory of her life before. After surviving a bad fall from a boat into the icy waters below, she begins to question everything and everyone around her, as a mysterious man (Stephan James) lurks nearby claiming know the truth.

So what really has it happened to him? Get ready for heaps of twists, as we break down this meaty first.

When we meet Sophie for the first time, she wakes up from a nightmare in which she is drowning. She lives with her husband James (played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen, read our interview here), and is preparing for her big return to work following the incident. While taking an Uber about to cross a bridge, she is tripped up by water and nearly has a panic attack. She demands to be let out of the car, amidst a sea of ​​horns.

In therapy, she is told that she must accept that most of her memories will never be recovered. She says she feels like she woke up in someone else’s life. Her therapist Hannah (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) tells her that her being alive is a miracle. Her method of attempting suicide makes her a determined woman, and this determination will help her overcome her trauma. But what she can’t get over is how perfect everything seems. “If my life was so perfect, why did I try to end it?” she asks.

As she goes out for a drink with her friend Caroline (Ari Graynor), a man seems to be watching her. Does she know this mysterious guy? She can’t even remember.

On her way to an event for James’s company, a man named Baden stops her. It’s the guy from the restaurant the night before. He tells her that James is not who she thinks he is. “Did you ever think that more things happened on the boat that day?” he asks. As James approaches, Baden pretends to ask for directions and slips a matchbook into her purse.

Surface Apple TV PlusA confused Sophie consults her medical history while working in a hospital. While one report is consistent with the suicide story everyone is selling him, another shows a broken ulna (forearm bone), with a note warning of potential domestic violence.

Later, Sophie urges James to go on a work trip, assuring him that “what happened before will never happen again…I don’t want to die”. In his absence, she tries a new therapy to get rid of the bad dreams, but she can’t get the event out of her mind. She also has new flashes of memories.

She asks Caroline about her broken arm. Her friend says the women were shopping and had a few drinks at brunch. Sophie tripped and fell right in front of Chanel. It was Caroline who took her for the x-ray. It’s only been half an episode, but everyone who isn’t Sophie feels shady, doesn’t it?

Sophie decides to watch the games at a salon in Chinatown called The Li-Bo. When she sits down, the bartender gives her “the usual”. Baden sits next to her shortly after. “You really don’t remember, do you?” he asks. It turns out that an officer was assigned to his case because all suicides must be cleared. There’s something about him that he can’t shake. People who have perfect lives don’t often skip ferries, he says. He tells her that she loves this salon. It is named after a poet who spent his whole life drinking until he drowned. He jumped out of a boat into a river. She gets defensive and tells Baden she doesn’t need his help before storming off.

James returns home to find Sophie reading his suicide note. He tells her that he was working in Portland when he got the call about her incident, and he prayed that he could get home in time to say goodbye to her before she died. What happened is over, he assures her, but she doesn’t seem too sure.

In the middle of the night, Sophie tries to remember her Apple ID password to unlock her iPad, but she can’t crack it…until she types in the Li-Bo’s address. She finds footage on the device of her and Baden in a hotel room. He begs her to go with him, but she refuses. As they initiate sex, she closes the screen.

While out for a run the next day, she bumps into Baden. She yells at him that everything they had is done and he needs to stay out of her life. But he can’t. She then runs to the dock and finds a coast guard that was part of her rescue effort. The woman says Sophie was saying all sorts of weird things – that a man pushed her out of the boat and that her name was Tess, despite her ID card showing a different nickname. But “you weren’t in your right mind,” the woman said. So all of that probably doesn’t mean anything, does it?

Do you have any early theories? Grade the premiere, then drop some comments below!

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