Pantheon (Season 1), Episode 1 Recap & Ending Explained: Centered around a super edgy utopian technology designed to upload human consciousness to the cloud (a sort of allegory for Artificial Intelligence being replaced by UI [Uploaded intelligent], the AMC+ animated show boosts a brilliant voice cast and circles around three intersecting storylines. Taking clues from the detailed animation style seen in Japanese animes, the show, feels like a typical teenage drama set in the future, before diving straight into darker and pulper themes.

Pantheon (Season 1), Episode 1 “Pantheon” Recap:

The show begins with Maddie (Katie Chang), a young teenage girl who feels like the walls are closing in on her because of the constant bullying she has to face at school. To add to that misery, she has just moved to this new place with her mother and is in mourning due to her father’s death.

After having a really bad day at school, Maddie’s mother, Ellen (Rosemarie DeWitt) drives her back home where she ends up on the internet. This is when a random chat video opens up on her laptop. It initially feels like someone hackling her for the sake of it, but soon the person starts talking to her with emojis and claims that he is a ‘ghost,’ before the chat evaporates out of nowhere.

The very next day, a similar situation conjures up in the school where all her classmates get hacked and random chats get sent to one another, making things for Maddie’s bullies pretty chaotic. When Maddie reaches home, the chat window opens up again and Maddie gets to know that this ‘ghost’ was the one responsible for the prank in the school.

Maddie enquires as to why the ‘ghost’ is helping her and how he knows about his mother, but before he could answer, Maddie’s mother enters her room and is angry at her daughter for talking to a stranger. She snatches the laptop and types back at him. However, the stranger replies to her with a line of poetry that touches a nerve and she is truly disturbed by it.

In complete bewilderment, Ellen (Maddie’s mother) goes into her room and calls Dr. Waxman (Ron Livingston). Maddie, who is outside her room, overhears their conversation where Ellen enquires what Dr. Waxman has done to her husband.

Grey Griffin voice of Samara – Pantheon _ Season 1, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Titmouse Inc/AMC

Is Maddie’s father alive? Is he communicating with her from the afterlife? We are left with questions as the narrative shifts to the second important character – Caspian (Paul Dano).

Much like Maddie, Caspian is a misfit. He is a slightly older, mid-20s college-going goth who feels like he is one of those know-it-alls. But in actuality, Capsian is actually one of those know-it-alls. He is a genius in maths and an absolute computer geek who keeps checking in on all the shady happenings that take place over the internet.

On one of his random rendezvous, he stumbles onto Maddie’s thread where she is asking about how her dead father is able to communicate with her from beyond the graver. Caspian shoots up a conversation with her where they exchange screenshots of the chats that Maddie had with the stranger. She also tells him that she has a severe doubt that a company named ‘Logorhtyms’ are somehow hiding her father’s actual whereabouts from them.

Caspian tries to figure out who is doing this with Maddie. He sends those screenshots to someone on a secured server, but we also see that some other people are looking over what’s happening on Caspain’s computer too.

Later, the thread that Maddie had posted blows up and she has to face backlashes from an angry mob of trolls who then descended into conspiracy theories that can be responsible for Maddie trying to find out about her father. These theories trigger Maddie as she remembers the time when her father tried to console her that she doesn’t have to believe all the scary things people keep plotting inside her head and that she should always keep looking for the truth no matter what.

Post this, we see that Maddie is trying to find out who hacked the girls at school by bunking a class. However, she is cut short by one of the bullies at school who intimidates her. However, Ellen comes in between and threatens the girl to not bully Maddie. Maddie is not really happy with her mother’s turn at school and is angry with her intervention.

Back home, Ellen and Maddie discuss what should be done about the matter of the person who is sending Maddie random chats. Maddie is adamant that they should consult the police, while Ellen claims that there’s nothing they can do to bring back her dead husband. This argument also triggers some loving memories between Ellen and her husband David (Daniel Dae Kim). So, in a completely fragile emotional state, she meets up with her new lover Gabe (Samuel Roukin), who she has been dating for a while. The two of them talk and Gabec comforts her by telling her that she will be alright.

The third storyline centers around Chanda (Raza Jaffrey). He is an engineer working for a big firm. However, right now, he is at a lunch meeting with a set of unknown CEOs who are interested to hear more about UI (Uploaded Intelligence). Chanda claims that the cutting-edge technology will be the next version of AI and will be basically about uploading a human’s consciousness, i.e their mindscape on the cloud.

He claims that this will not just revolutionize how work is labored, but also change mankind forever. The CEOs offer Chanda a huge amount for his idea and he reluctantly accepts because this project will give him the liberty of working under his own command. However, as he leaves the meeting, he is kidnaped.

Grey Griffin voice of Samara, Rosemarie DeWitt voice of Ellen, and Katie Chang voice of Maddie – Pantheon _ Season 1, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Titmouse Inc/AMC

Pantheon (Season 1), Episode 1 “Pantheon” Ending, Explained:

The ending of Episode 1 of Pantheon returns back to Caspian’s story. Capsian is asked to come to the dinner table by leaving his computer desk because his father Cary (Aaron Eckhart) will be joining him and the mother Renee (Taylor Schilling). From the offset, we can see that Capsian’s father is a typical patriarch who likes to belittle everyone. He first comments about his wife’s cooking before taking it up with Caspian. He tests Capsian on a mathematical problem and really enjoys it when he is unable to solve it at first. However, out of simple boredom, he decides to answer the entire thing and this agitates Cary, who then storms off the house by throwing the dinner against the walls.

Caspian retires to his room, while his mother cleans up after Cary’s meltdown. He overhears them arguing as Cary leaves, and just when Caspain puts in his headphone we realize that both Renee and Cary have been putting up an act. Referring to Renee talking or looking over Capsian while on the phone earlier in the episode, we can assume that Cary and Renee are not his real parents and Caspain is not aware of this reality. Why exactly are they acting is up to more introspection and should be answered in the following episodes.

The final sequence of the episode, however, hints toward a rigged hacker attack on the tech company Logorhythms. The supposed hacker is asking to “let him go,” which might directly or indirectly hint toward Maddie’s father David. But all that would more make sense if we let the next episode unravel more mysteries.

Read More: Enemies of the State [2020]: ‘TIFF’ Review – Bizarre hacktivist documentary unravels that everything is political


Pantheon (Season 1), Episode 1 Show Links – IMDb
Pantheon (Season 1), Episode 1 Voice Cast – Paul Dano, Rosemarie DeWitt, Katie Chang, Raza Jaffery, Taylor Schilling, Maude Apatow, Aaron Eckhart, Daniel Dae Kim, Ron Livingston, Corey Stoll
Where to watch Pantheon

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