Star-Crossed S1E1 - "Pilot" Recap

Star-Crossed begins on September 17, 2014, the day an alien race known as the Atrians arrived. Their ship crash-landed after they fled their dying planet to seek refuge. Shots are fired and it should surprise no one that the Earthlings shot first after one Atrian simply attempts to approach the armed soldiers. One Atrian tells his son to run and he does so, being too young to understand the magnitude of what he is running from. Meanwhile, at a suburban home, a little girl is told to take her medicine by her parents. She hears a noise and goes outside to her shed and finds the little Atrian inside. For the record, they seem to be roughly the same age. The girl can tell that he is "one of them" and tells him not to be afraid. She leaves briefly and returns with a blanket. It's all very cute, like videos of baby animals on YouTube. She tells him he can stay the night and the next day, she brings him spaghetti, which he happily takes and they begin to play before the military descends upon their house. The military bust into the shed and the little Atrian boy shields the little girl, who tells them not to hurt him. But they shoot him in the stomach and her parents rush in and carry her out, while she looks back sadly, thinking her new friend has just met his demise.

Fast-forward ten years, and that little girl, named Emery is now a teenager. She visits her friend Julia in the hospital and they watch the news which is abuzz regarding the fact that the Atrian Seven, a group of seven Atrian teenagers, will be beginning their first day attending Marshall High School, the same school that Emery is set to begin at, too. Through the course of the conversation it is revealed that they became friends while Emery was hospitalised, but she is now recovered, unlike Julia who has cancer. They also mention rumours regarding a special Atrian herb with healing powers called Cyper. Of course, one of the Atrian Seven is Roman, the little boy from the shed, but she doesn't know that... yet.

At her first day of school, it's all very chaotic with protesters, police, and news reporters. It's virtually identical to footage of the beginning of integration of schools during the American Civil Rights Movement. Emery is shown around by her friend Lucas, but she's mostly distracted by both the commotion and a boy named Grayson who is blatantly checking her out. The Atrian Seven make their way into the school and all the students gather around to stare at them from multiple floors of balconies near the entrance. Roman immediately hones in on Emery, and flashes back to the shed. His sister questions whether the day could possibly get any more insane, and Roman retorts that he thinks it just did.

The Atrian Seven meet with a woman named Gloria Garcia, who is responsible for overseeing their integration and is running through various rules and what they can expect at the school. She chides one Atrian girl for not speaking English and it's yet another moment that parallels American history, this time when white colonists took Native American children and put them into schools to convert them to their white ideal. She reminds them that they still have a curfew and tells them to prove the naysayers wrong.

The first day isn't easy, with vandalism happening to the Atrian Seven's lockers. Grayson approaches Emery and teaches her how to use the fingerprint scan to get into her locker. She mentions having been out of school for the last four years but avoids giving details. He mentions that he was transfer student the previous year and offers to show her around. Roman watches them from afar.

In the first class of the day, the Earthling students recite the Pledge of Allegiance (most notably, without the words "under God" - very indicative of the future setting, if the hologram of the flag wasn't enough of a reminder). A popular girl named Taylor mutters a comment about Atrians having three penises.  A boy named Eric gets angry over the Atrians not reciting the Pledge, and an Atrian named Drake points out that they're not citizens. Eric calls them Martians, and Roman quips that technically Martians are from Mars, whereas the Atrians hail from a far superior planet. Ba-dum tush. The teacher breaks up the argument.

After school, Roman's sister expresses a desire to become friends with humans, calling them "colourful," and Roman expresses annoyance at the commotion, mistreatment, and military presence. Emery is pensive during dinner and her mother questions why. She admits feeling guilty over the death of the Atrian boy who had tried to protect her. Her mother comforts her, saying that there may be something greater at work.

The next day at lunch, Taylor approaches Emery and invites her to a party that night. Emery manages to get Lucas invited too, and Taylor not-so-subtly makes it clear that Grayson is interested in Emery. Emery relays the news of the invitation to Lucas and is approached by Roman immediately after Lucas leaves. She is promoting a club in which members will visit sick patients in the hospital and do painting, scrapbooking, etc. She tells him that she found it comforting while she was hospitalised for the past four years due to an immune deficiency - note that she shares far more personal details about herself to Roman when meeting him "for the first time" than she did with Grayson. He asks if she preferred painting or scrapbooking and she says scrapbooking. It is then that Emery looks around and notices the stares that they are receiving from both Earthlings and Atrians. When Roman hints at joining, Emery politely declines, citing the several restrictions the Atrians have, including their curfew, and Roman says that he understands. He also says that his memories are stored on a separate computer so he probably wouldn't be good at scrapbooking anyway. When she looks concerned, he smiles and says he was joking, to which she giggles. He walks off and she looks slightly guilty over succumbing to peer pressure.

Eric begins hassling Roman for speaking to a human girl. Roman says he had talked to her about joining her club but she wouldn't have him. He goes on to say that it's just as well since he doesn't have an artistic bone in his body. The boy snidely questions whether he has any bones in his body and Roman replies that their skeleton is made up ten thousand centipedes holding hands, and that that's an Atrian secret, questioning how this boy knows that. Roman has jokes, everyone. Drake and Teri, two other members of the Atrian Seven, approach the conflict and Eric threatens them before the group parts ways.

After school, Emery visits Julia and tells her about the day's events. Julia notes that their conversation would fulfil plenty of people's worst nightmare: The human-Atrian hookup. Julia denies that they have that sort of relationship, as they were just speaking about arts and crafts but Julia teases her saying that that's how it always starts out. Emery finds discharge forms for Julia and learns she is set to return home on Tuesday. Emery becomes upset when she realises that it is because Julia is getting home because she's not getting better. They both become emotional, as Julia says that she can't stand seeing her parents get their hopes up again and again with no results. Emery becomes determined and since Julia is permitted to leave the hospital for an hour at a time, she takes her to find the Cyper. Emery has stolen her father's ID badge to get into the Atrian Sector and it doesn't take long for the Atrians to see that they're not one of them. A fight breaks out between two vendors and the military guard puts the Sector on lockdown. But in the scuffle, who should come to the rescue but Roman! He takes the girls to a rooftop garden and they reveal that they came for the Cyper. Turns out the garden is a secret and a sanctuary for him and his father. He shows them the Cyper and tells them to take as much as they like. He also reveals that Cyper is the Atrian version of the Earth herb, saffron. He says it's used for cooking and that some Atrians have tricked some humans into buying it under the guise of it being a healing herb. The girls are visibly distraught, and Roman asks if they have a sick friend. Julia says that while she doesn't, Emery does. Perhaps she didn't want the sympathetic reaction which has likely gotten old. Roman apologises and Julia says that the night wasn't a total loss and that she's happy to have been able to see the Sector since she's obsessed with all things Atrian. Roman notices Julia shivering and gives her his jacket, revealing a scar on his stomach. Julia walks off to enjoy the view and Emery questions him about the scar. He reveals he got it on Arrival Day and she immediately realises that Roman is the boy from the shed. She asks how he knew this whole time and he says that he got a craving for cold spaghetti when he saw her. Cute. She says she was sure that he was dead and he says his heart stopped beating but that it was fine since he had another one. Are the writers of this shows Whovians? Roman thanks Emery for saving his life, and she brushes it off, saying she was only six. He tells her that she showed him kindness when everyone else was cruel. The curfew alarm sounds and the girls leave. Emery apologises to Julia but Julia seems okay with it.

Eric and another boy begins harassing Roman's sister and he steps in to defend her. The boys jump him like rabid animals and the military force jump in. Roman's left with a bloody nose and Gloria speaks with him in private, telling him to not act like an animal. Nice. Real nice. She also tells him that she always protects her investments, until they lose their viability. This woman's a real piece of work.

Grayson approaches Emery and asks if she'll be attending the party. Taylor pokes fun at him for being obviously interested in her. Drake is out for payback, telling the others in the Atrian Seven that what happened to Roman cannot happen again and that they need to send a message. It doesn't seem like he's bloodthirsty; it seems more like he wants justice for his kind and wants to prevent future harassment, or at least lessen it. At the secret garden, Roman asks his father if he misses Atria. He says that he misses it every day but Earth is their home now. Roman is fed up of the military guard but his father is optimistic that it won't always be like that. Roman says that they'll never treated as equals but his father tells him to have faith in the humans, just like he has faith in Roman. Roman says he just doesn't see it. His father leaves, right as Teri arrives. She comments on his attention paid to Emery and that soon humans will be the ones behind bars. When Roman questions her, she says that her mother and other Atrians have discussed this in their weekly meetings. She tells him that Drake and the others went after Eric. Roman gets help from a tech-savy Atrian regarding his tracking device and he has three hours before the signal will come back on. He also tells him of a panel through which he can sneak out.

At the party, Grayson brings Emery a drink and I can't help but cringe thinking of all the "Don't take drinks from strangers" lectures I've heard. The students all go into the forest and find a student named Brock tied up, gagged, and stripped down to his boxers. Drake strips down to his wife-beater (hubba-hubba) and tells Eric that it ends tonight. He head-butts him, and lands one punch, which is all he needs since Eric is now laid out on the ground. He shouts at the students that they're sick of being harassed and that if they continue to mess with them, this is what will happen to them. He's heated and prepared to attack Eric again but Roman arrives right then and steps in to prevent him from doing any more damage. The police show up and the students all disperse. Drake is calling for Roman to run off with them, but Roman is honed in on going to Emery, who has tripped for no reason. Emery, please don't be a damsel-in-distress; you're a girl of the future. Grayson goes and grabs Emery, pulling her towards the jeep in which he, Taylor, and a few others are prepared to escape in. Emery is worried about Roman, who knows it's not a good idea to try to escape with that group. She grabs Roman and begins to run with him. Grayson doesn't want to leave Emery, but Taylor calls her a freak and Eric tells him to deal with the fact that she chose an Atarian over him. He relents and gets in the jeep.

Roman and Emery stop in a clearing and he asks if she's okay (he already did this when she tripped over nothing, but it's nice to see that he has good manners). She says apart from having just committed social suicide, she's fine. She asks him if he is okay and he delivers a speech about the concept of humanity. He says that by definition, it's something no Atrian could possess and yet after spending a few days amongst humans, the definition of it doesn't seem so clear. She tells him there are a lot of good people out there and he says he's only met one. He takes her hand and unfolds it so his palm can be pressed up against her. This is a blatant reference to the Romeo and Juliet scene in which they first meet and they discuss how palm-to-palm is Holy Palmer's Kiss. He tells her she doesn't have to be afraid and they lean if to kiss but her mobile interrupts them before they can. The news is bad - Julia is unwell. She says she has to go but that he should keep walking straight and he'll be back at the Sector. He asks her if she's okay again and she emotionally tells him she has to go.

Julia's condition has worsened and Emery leaves briefly to cry out in the hallway. Roman has followed her and just so happens to have some Cyper with him. Turns out it is a a healing remedy but in order for it to work, he must stick it into his vein. We see the veins in his inner wrist begin to glow blue and he uses a syringe to draw some of the glowing blue blood and inject it into Julia's drip. Back at the Sector, a conflict breaks out and in the commotion, Emery's father ends up accidentally shooting and killing Roman's father. Of course.

Emery re-enters Julia's room to find that she is better. She also spots the Cyper on the floor - seriously, Roman? Not very covert of you. She kicks it under the bed and hugs her now-recovered friend while Roman watches the scene unfold from the shadows.

Star-Crossed airs on Mondays on the CW at 8/7c.


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