Origin season 1, episode 1 premiere recap: The Road Not Taken


What if you could start your life over on a new planet? Origin’s passengers wanted to leave the past behind, but their new future is looking grim.

What do you get when Harry Potter stars Natalia Tena and Tom Felton reunite onscreen? Well, it’s not Harry Potter in space. Instead, YouTube Premium’s latest original series Origin seems set to offer a somewhat new take on an age-old question: Can people really change?

Tena and Felton put on American accents as Lana and Logan, two passengers aboard the Origin. The spaceship that was supposed to be headed for a distant planet called Theia, upon which the passengers would be able to completely start over, free from the baggage of their pasts.

Instead, Lana, Logan, and a handful of other passengers are traumatically awoken (by almost drowning in their cryopods) and discover to their horror that they are still in deep space — all alone.

Lana asserts herself as a leader, determined to find help and answers, even if that means risking her life. Logan mostly curses and takes out his anger, born from fear, on the rest of the passengers. The character we actually learn the most about in the pilot, though, is Shun Kenzaki (Sen Mitsuji).

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Who is Shun?

Through flashbacks, we learn about Shun’s old life in Japan and his motivations for boarding the Origin. It’s a testament to Mitsuji, who is making his acting debut in Origin, that he compelling carries much of the episode.

Shun’s backstory is not the most original, but Mitsuji helps viewers invest in it. Shun is a high-ranking member of a gang, responsible for taking out other members who betray the boss, Hideto Yagami (Hiromoto Ida). His concerned brother Takeshi (Cole Horibe), a cop, wants to give Shun a chance at a better life and tells him about the Origin.

Shun eventually agrees to leave Japan behind, but only if Takeshi comes with him. Shun notes that Takeshi really has no reason to stay either. He ostensibly has a more fulfilling life as a cop, but, for unclear reasons, he is not respected by his fellow officers. He also has no family, aside from Shun and an adorable Shiba Inu.

Leaving his dog in the care of a friend, Takeshi agrees to join Shun on the Origin just as Shun is getting himself in a bind with Hideto. Takeshi warns Shun that cops are about to raid the gang’s hangout. Shun escapes but not before getting shot nor before revealing to the Chief Inspector (Joe Hyûga) that Takeshi tipped him off.

Takeshi finds an ailing Shun and promises to patch him up but says their deal is off. He never wants to see Shun again. Naturally, the brothers subsequently come face-to-face with Hideto, who shoots and kills Takeshi because he’s a cop. Hideto leaves Shun alive and evidently thinks Shun will come back into the fold. However, the look on Shun’s face makes clear that he will murder Hideto if he gets the chance.

What happened to the Origin?

In the present, the passengers explore the ship in search of answers. Lee (Adelayo Adedayo), an IT wiz, discovers that there was an emergency evacuation. The crew and the rest of the passengers left them behind to die.

Lana and Shun find out why. Behind a locked door, they explore a heavily damaged part of the ship that’s covered in goo and smells horrible. Something hit the ship. But what was it?

Lana and Shun then encounter a member of the crew and watch in horror as he contorts uncontrollably, seemingly breaking every bone in his body. (In a weird coincidence, the scene looks straight out of last night’s Ragdoll-centric episode of The Flash, the last show on which Felton appeared prior to Origin.)

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As the crew member is dying, he tries to give Lana a warning: “inside.” Then, his eyes pop out of his head, and Lana and Shun decide it’s high time they leave. But just as they’re about to run, they hear another voice: “Help me.”

Will you be watching Origin on YouTube Premium? What do you think happened the ship? Let us know in the comments section below.