AppleTV+‘s reimagining of the Steven Spielberg classic anthology series Amazing Stories has arrived and has delivered a solid premiere with this brand new take. The premiere while a bit slow at first manages to throw you for a loop. But it handles that weird ride perfectly and sticks the landing. And although this is probably an ending you most likely weren’t hoping for, I think it worked in the episode’s favor.
*POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD*
Episode 1 of Amazing Stories, titled “The Cellar” follows two brothers who run a contracting business by fixing up old homes and remodeling them for their new owners. One of the brothers, Sam, is someone who is essentially soul searching. Trying to find himself and his place in this world. Although he goes about it in the form of Tinder dates, he finds himself doing exactly what his brother asked him to do. Finding his place in this world and a sense of purpose. Albeit unintentionally.
While fixing up the house a storm appears and knocks out the power inside of the home. Sam heads down to the cellar located in the lower part of the house in an attempt to turn the power back on. Unfortunately for him, the atmospheric pressure drops immensely due to the severity of the storm and shoots him 100 years into the past, to the year 1919. Luckily for Sam though, despite finding himself 100 years into the past, he arrives in the very same cellar he found himself in 100 years in the future.
Here Sam meets Evelyn Porter played by Victoria Pedretti (You, The Haunting of Hill House), a young girl who’s in the midst of an arranged marriage to a recently widowed, wealthy man. Sam recognizes Evelyn from an old wedding photo he found in the very same house 100 years into the future.
The two pair up to help get Sam back to the year 2019. The pair through their mini-adventure ending up falling for each other. While also discovering what they both want out of life. Sam wants to return home but also wants to bring Evelyn back to the future with him. Evelyn wants out of this arranged marriage, and although she’s fallen for Sam too. If traveling to the future, a world she won’t know or recognize served as an exit route, she was willing to make that sacrifice.
When I say that this episode throws you for a loop its because it does. Sam manages to find a way to get back to 2019 and is in the midst of taking Evelyn with him until her fiance catches them in the act and takes her away. Sam is now battered and bruised and has been shot back into the future to the year 2019.
Despite his brother’s disbelief, Sam manages to convince him to help him get back to the year 1919 to bring Evelyn back with him. But when he attempts to go back to the year 1919 he ends up in the year 2034, 15 years further into the future. Shocked by what he sees in the year 2034, Sam immediately runs back to the cellar to travel back to 2019.
Revealing that the newly installed wine cellar drastically affected the barometer and the atmospheric pressure thus sending him to the future rather than the past. A twist that I didn’t even see coming, especially given that something so small like the wine cellar could affect the time travel so drastically. It seems a bit silly but we’ll just roll with the punches.
In his final attempt to bring Evelyn back to the future, Sam ends up trapped. Unable to get out he pleads for Evelyn to go off alone as he reveals a part of what her new life in the future will hold. Evelyn, now in the year 2019 revels to Sam’s brother that he couldn’t make it back.
Adjusting to her new, more modern life. Evelyn tries to cope with her now lost love. Out of pure curiosity, Evelyn and Sam’s brother check a specific part of the cellar to find a couple of letters left behind by Sam, revealing some truths as to what had actually happened to him in his final moments under that cellar.
I mentioned at the start that this ending wouldn’t be something many people will like. I was personally expecting a different ending and didn’t get it and despite that, the ending we did get did not ruin the episode for me. It was bittersweet but still satisfying. Sacrifices were made, Sam found his place and purpose in life and it just all tied everything up so well. I’m really intrigued to see what the other four stories will be bringing to the table once they premiere.
Amazing Stories is now streaming on AppleTV+