REVIEW: Hulu’s The First S1E3 – Cycles

Hulu has officially dropped the entire first season of its new near-future drama, The First. Have you read our basic fact sheet about it yet? You can read it here if you’d like. Here’s our review of S1E3, Cycles.

Warning: spoilers ahead.

There are only 18 months left until the next launch window and Tom and Kayla (LisaGay Hamilton) have a difficult decision to make. They have to finalize the roster for Providence II but they’re not necessarily on the same page. They currently have six team members and have to bring it down to the final five. NASA’s getting angsty, though, because they want to have the public associate faces to the mission soon.

Who would you get rid of? Do you cut the scientist, medic, or another pilot? Kayla wants to keep Sadie (Hannah Ware). Sadie’s the scientist who has never been to space before but has a strong background in geology and biology. That can be extremely useful when they’re on Mars. Tom’s hesitant because of how she reacted during the survival skills test.

Once the simulation training is done, the crew (sans Tom) head on over to Aiko’s (Aiko Hakari) house in honor of Sadie and Ollie’s wedding anniversary. It’s nice to see them bond before the long stretch. They look after each other. There’s still some tension between Nick and Sadie but hopefully that’ll calm down later. Meanwhile, Denise continues to make progress. She’s managed to keep a job for more than three months and goes to group therapy meetings to help her get through recovery.

One of my favorite things about this show is how diverse the cast is. Take a look at the crew, for example. You currently have three women and three men. There are people of color in leadership positions. There’s even LGBTQ+ representation. Everybody has worked hard to get to where they are and they aren’t afraid to make sure their voices are heard. Sure, there’s still a lot of bureaucracy but it’s nothing they can’t handle.

After watching the show for a couple of episodes, it almost feels as if the Denise sub plot can be a separate show on its own sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I’d actually watch it. Anna Jacoby-Heron’s performance as the troubled daughter alone is fantastic but it feels like a distraction. I get why it’s there, but sometimes we really don’t have to dive that far into her personal life. Especially with everything else going on. Regardless, she’s one of the most developed characters in the show.

I also want to give a quick shout out to LisaGay Hamilton. Kayla has become one of my favorite characters.

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