The Imperfects (Season 1) Review, Recap & Ending Explained: Netflix’s new genre-medley The Imperfects comes with only one insignificant improvement hoping to set it apart from the rest of the very similar, overexploited content. Instead of the much-expected high school teens in a show that’s a frantic blend of sci-fi, adventure, horror, action, and thriller; we get three young adults figuring out their way through an unethical scientific experiment gone wrong. Written and directed by a total of nine; the show follows the footsteps of its predecessors and delivers a fairly entertaining experience despite its defects.
The Imperfects (Season 1) Recap:
Tilda (Morgan Taylor Campbell), Abbi (Rhianna Jagpal), and Juan (Inaki Godoy) find themselves in a state of unforeseen crisis when they start experiencing superhuman side effects caused by a gene therapy they were a part of as kids. The irony is quite noticeable when singer Tilda gets super-hearing and Banshee-like abilities; comic book writer Juan becomes a Chupacabra and Abbi who is an Oxford-bound asexual scientist, become a Succubus. As the sudden monster-like transformations disrupt life as they know it, the trio seeks out Dr. Alex Sarkov (Rhys Nicholson) hoping for a fix. Instead of helping them, Sarkov flees; leaving them at the mercy of his colleague and friend Dr. Sydney Burke (Italia Ricci) who reveals to them that they’re the victims of Sarkov’s cruel and incurable genetic experiments. Burke explains how Sarkov took advantage of their genetic disorders and filled them up with synthetic stem cells that eventually resulted in life-altering side effects.
Tilda, Abbi, and Juan get followed by a strange stalker who attacks them at Sarvok’s lab and ends up getting killed when Juan transforms into a chupacabra and rips his throat out. The stalker resurrects and turns out to be another of Sarkov’s victims, Doug, who is burdened with painful immortality. Doug trades information about Sarvok’s experiment in exchange for a painless death but ends up taking his own life brutally. With the help of Doug’s information, they find Hannah(Celina Martin) who as it turns out, isn’t suffering from any side effects as the treatment did not work for her in the past. Hannah is approached and recruited by Isabel Finch, a murderer with a vendetta against scientists who perform immoral experiments on people.
In search of Sarkov, the superhuman trio ends up in the den of three rogue scientists when their leader Nate poses as a victim named Maxwell. Their goal is to experiment on the three and sell the information to Flux, a quasi-government organization. The harrowing encounter leads to Tilda, Abbi, and Juan using their powers to kill them and escape. Meanwhile two scientists, Lindt and Yake are brutally murdered by Finch with the help of Hannah who is unaware of Finch’s deadly actions.
As Flux agents posing as cops look for the trio, wounded Juan ends up at his brother Alejandro’s house in Portland. When attacked by agent Sampson, Juan transforms into his Chupacabra form in front of his niece Paloma and viciously bites his nose off. Things take a further dramatic turn at Burke’s house as Owen shows up flaunting his “superhero” complex caused by an excess of copper in his system. Hannah is caught trying to keep an eye on Burke’s house and is made privy to Finch’s crimes.
Tilda and Juan track down Sarkov right as he is trying to eliminate another of his victims Zoe who spontaneously absorbs electricity and explodes. After rescuing him from the town mob led by Zoe’s mother and saving Zoe and her mother’s life; Tilda and Juan convince Sarkov to go back to Burke’s house and find a cure. Hannah helps them catch Finch who, to everyone’s utter shock, morphs back into Burke herself.
Burke’s house gets surrounded by Flux’s armed agents while Sarkov experiments on Burke to figure out a cure. In an encounter with Flux’s Chief science officer Dominique Crain, Abbi is asked to surrender along with Juan and Tilda. Hannah gets shot and killed by Sampson when he aims at Juan for revenge. Flux agents break into the house and conduct a veiled aggressive experiment on them. Hannah is brought back to life using Doug’s immortal stem cells. After the trio corners Crain with a brave defense; Burke offers to be taken by Flux in their place.
Adding to the list of monsters existing in the city, Nate gets the ability to either kill or land his victims in long-term hallucinations. He comes after the group and causes the death of Tilda’s boyfriend PJ but fails to kill Juan’s girlfriend Darcy. As Burke and the physical manifestation of her subconscious, Finch try to find a cure at Flux’s facility; Sarkov has already beaten them to it. Nate blackmails them into giving him the cure and sets up a meeting with Flux hoping to hand it over to them. Secretly going against the group’s decision to let him go, vengeful Tilda kills Nate just as he is about to give Sampson the cure.
Sarkov plans to distribute his improved stem cells using Nanobots that the trio steal from another scientist, Dr. Monday. Tilda once again betrays Juan and Abbi and teams up with Sarkov and makes a run for it. Unfortunate events reveal the dangerous nature of the nanobots to Abbi and Juan and they try to warn Tilda. Meanwhile, Burke manages to escape the Flux facility after learning about a possible connection between Flux and Sarkov.
Abbi, understandably frustrated after the long wait, makes the cure-all by herself using Sarkov’s mitochondria. However, the whole effort goes down the drain as the only sample is knocked over by Finch. Juan, Abbi, and Burke track down Sarkov to get a sample of his DNA as Tilda destroys Sarkov’s nanobot printer. Upon reaching Sarkov’s lab, Finch spontaneously takes over Burke and knocks out Juan and Abby hoping to convince Sarkov to give her the cure that will block her Burke-persona and make her stay as Finch forever. Sarkov shoots Tilda and abducts Finch and Juan.
Tilda resurrects and joins Abbi in finding Sarkov and determining if he has a connection with Crain. Meanwhile, Sarkov once again makes Juan his guinea pig, gives him the cure, and tries to turn him into a Chupacabra permanently. Abbi and Tilda save Juan and Sarkov is taken by Flux. Tilda decides to explore the newfound aspects of her powers while Burke, Abbi, and Juan take the cure and hope for a new beginning without their “monstrous” abilities.
The Imperfects (Season 1) Review:
Taking up too much on its plate with the countless genre-blending subplots, The Imperfects succeeds in only one thing and that is being a reasonably fun show that the audience probably won’t quit on before the finale. The soundtrack works in its favor by keeping things light when the lack of genuine emotions become too noticeable. Excellent use of CGI is one of the things that saves the show. The convincing foreboding element that is a cinematographic achievement is dulled by the absence of fear that the dialogues and the acting are supposed to communicate. In fact, none of the emotions, or even the interpersonal relationships other than that of Sarkov and Burke, seemed convincing enough to actually leave a mark.
What’s appreciable in a show crowded with underexplored, one-dimensional protagonists, is the existence of complex characters like Sarkov and Burke. Sarkov’s supervillain-y justification of his wrongdoings, although stereotypical, is interesting to follow thanks to the writing. The constant use of exciting reveals is another thing that will keep the audience hooked.
Despite the huge burden of sci-fi intricacies that needed covering, the episodes feel much longer than necessary and the blame goes to the coldness of the drama that took up too much space. However, the show triumphs as a thriller and a sci-fi thanks to the twists that were there at every nook and cranny.
The Imperfects (Season 1) Ending, Explained:
Who is at the top of the scientific exploitation food chain?
Tilda’s abilities and improvements are considerably better than the others. It makes all the sense in the world that she would choose to keep and explore the powers after feeling controlled and helpless for far too long. Ironically enough, after ridiculing Owen’s super-squad idea, she becomes a superhero not just with Juan’s Banshee Girl comic but also by helping people and stopping bullies. However, not all is well in the land of the cured and the rebel. Just as they thought that the worst was over, “Cured” Juan grows Chupacabra claws, and Abbi’s body oozes out a strange substance that she gets trapped within.
Flux’s shady activities come to light when they turn out to be the ones to fund Sarkov’s illegal experiments without his knowledge. The criminal scientific experiments hierarchy seems to go higher than just the immoral scientists. Flux allows scientists to create the “monsters” that they’ll eventually eliminate in order to have a purpose.
The story takes an even more interesting turn when Sarkov turns out to be a victim too. It has been established along the course of the story that the genius of Sarkov is riddled with ethical and moral complexities. His ultimate goal of making mankind stronger with his stem cell research doesn’t excuse his inability to feel and express empathy and his complete disregard for his test subjects’ safety. As he is faced with Burke who has replaced Crain as the Chief Science Officer at Flux; the audience’s confusion is reflected on his face.
Burke manipulates him into taking a deal and continuing his research. He realizes that the “cured” Burke is actually Finch. Sarkov’s backstory about being abused and experimented on as a child finds its exposition when Burke receives a call from Dr. Hallenbeck who looks like an old Sarkov. The contents of the phone call reveal that Sarkov himself is the product of Hallenbeck’s experiment to create a super-genius. The cure that Abbi, Juan, and Burke took contained Sarkov’s DNA as he was thought to be the only one without any synthetic stem cells. Sarkov’s reality explains why the cure did not particularly work for anybody. News breaking out about a monster virus ravaging the city may indicate that Flux has used the deadly nanobots to distribute the result of Sarkov’s dangerous experiments.