Impulse Ep. 2: Five scenes that prove you should be watching


Henry tries to move on while envisioning what might have been. Cleo remains unaware; Bill wants answers; and Jenna tries to help Henry. CW: Sexual Assault

In a continuation of the final scene from the pilot, Henry (Maddie Hasson) arrives back home after she uncontrollably teleports from inside the trunk of kidnapper Lucas’ (Craig Arnold) car.

Knowing that she can’t say anything about the now comatose Clay sexually assaulting her without risking being implicated in his “accident,” Henry tries to move forward but keeps getting pulled into the past.

Related Story: Impulse: Four ways the pilot addresses rape culture

Here are five standout scenes from Impulse episode two:

1. “This town’s not so bad, right?”

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Henry and her mom Cleo (Missi Pyle) have a complicated relationship. Henry feels as though Cleo has always puts herself first, dragging Henry along from town to town without considering Henry’s needs, while Cleo feels like Henry has always shut her out.

This dynamic only grows more strained as Henry struggles to come to terms with the assault. While Henry may resent her mom at times, she still very much loves her. With Cleo completely unaware and happy in Reston, Henry feels as though she can’t bring her down.

In one of the first opportunities she has to tell Cleo, she shuts her out, knowing Cleo will just assume she’s being moody. On that note, one of the best aspects of Hasson’s performance is that it never feels as though she’s playing the role of “angsty teen girl” or like she’s going through cliched motions. She doesn’t play Henry. She is Henry.

2. “You have to remember. You have to, c’mon!”

After Bill (David James Elliot) finds out Henry was in the car with his son on the night he was injured, he finds her walking home alone and tells her he needs a favor. With no one in sight she can turn to for help, Henry reluctantly gets in Bill’s car.

As he starts driving farther and farther from Reston, she repeatedly asks Bill to take her home, but he ignores her. Turns out Bill wants her to identify which of his Mennonite business partners attacked Clay’s truck — which is Bill’s theory of what happened.

Henry is horrified when she realizes she would be sentencing an innocent person to who knows what kind of punishment because of something that she technically did. She repeatedly says she doesn’t know what happened, but Bill is relentless. Henry realizes the only way she will make it home is if she tells him what he wants to hear.

3. “I’m not leaving you alone right now.”

After getting back from her hellish road trip, Henry understandably lashes out when Jenna (Sarah Desjardins) starts asking questions. Jenna backs off the interrogation, but sensing Henry’s anxiety, she refuses to leave her side. Aided by some marijuana, the two begin bonding for real.

The normally uptight Jenna opens up to Henry about her mom’s death while Henry admits she wants Clay to die, even though she thinks that’s “f****d up.” Jenna’s response is my favorite line of the episode: “Not if it’s what you feel.”

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4. “Clay woke up.”

Lucas freaks out when Clay starts choking on his breathing tube at the hospital, but I immediately knew it was actually a good sign for Clay’s health, which meant it would majorly affect Henry’s mental health. Sure enough, phones start buzzing at school just as Henry walks out of a surprisingly uplifting visit to the principal’s office, and Jenna breaks the news.

Henry has a panic attack, triggering her ever more powerful teleportation abilities and turning the bathroom in which she had taken refuge into a war zone. If you’ve seen The Gifted on Fox, the scene reminded me of Andy Strucker (Percy Hynes-White) uncontrollably destroying his school’s locker room through telekinesis, though minus the teleportation.

5. “I think I should go.” / “Ok, yeah.”

Henry arrives back home and, having tried to hold it together for so long, she finally breaks down on her bedroom floor. Earlier in the episode, she’d envisioned what might have happened if she’d initiated things with Clay in his truck. She would have asked for his consent.

Next: Impulse: A look at three storylines from episode three

After teleporting, she imagines what would have happened if he’d listened when she said she wanted to stop. It’s hard to describe how good Hasson is in this scene, so I’ll just say this. The entire last minute of the episode is almost silent with the camera focusing only on Henry’s face as she sits in her room, and it’s one of the best moments in the entire episode.