DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Lazarus Project Season 1 Episode 4 contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, time travelers! “Episode 4” puts the pedal to the metal action-wise, playing more like a high-octane blockbuster than a smaller-scale sci-fi series. We dig deeper into Shiv’s origins and how he joined The Lazarus Project, which is fun. I’d still like to learn more about the specifics behind his inheriting this gift as a baby. Anyway, the episode seamlessly weaves Shiv’s origins and his remorse regarding the event that led to Rebrov’s betrayal. Meanwhile, he becomes entangled in another Rebrov-esque situation, with George veering further away from the mission.
However, as Shiv tells him, George is not Rebrov. There’s still time for him to see the error of his ways. Shiv even recognizes that George is grieving. Grief can take us down dark paths, especially when not processed. Well, that all goes down the drain when he kills Shiv. It’s a thrilling installment, keeping us on the edge of our seats with high-speed chases and sudden plot twists.
Ready to delve into “Episode 4”? Let’s get to it.
We open in 1981 with baby Shiv in his crib. His mother leaves his room and returns to find Shiv on the floor. Not only that, but now he can walk and talk. He’s aging at a remarkable rate. Shiv’s mom calls her doctor to explain what she’s witnessed. Is there something amiss with her son? Of course, we know he boasts the ability to detect time jumps. While George inexplicably acquired it decades later, Shiv has always had this gift.
Then, we move through the next several years, with Shiv tracking said time jumps and what causes them. He figures out that July 1 is the checkpoint. In 1994, teenage Shiv (Shobhit Piasa) scribbles his lingering questions in a notebook. Is he special? Does anyone else know about the jumps? Perhaps he can put this ability to good use. Shiv visits his uncle’s convenience store. He notes the racist graffiti emblazoned on the storefront, no thanks to bigoted assholes. Shiv tries to take a candy bar from his uncle, joking the latter should put it on his tab. His uncle reveals he can’t afford to give away free items anymore. Shiv needs a job to pay for that.
Before departing the store, Shiv reassures his cousin Dinesh (Yaamin Chowdhury) that his family will triumph over their financial troubles. The store will survive this temporary rockiness. How does Shiv know? He just does. Next, Shiv gets the idea to bet on racehorses to make money. He has a distinct advantage over everyone else, to be sure. As expected, he accumulates a lot of cash from winning his bets. He plans to give it to his uncle to keep the store afloat but becomes distracted by video game stuff. Thus, he blows his money on games, shoes and clothes.
Later, he decides to bestow what little funds he has left to his uncle. Unfortunately, he arrives at the store to find it ablaze. Shiv’s father embraces him tearfully. It appears his uncle and cousin didn’t survive, either. Thankfully, July 1 arrives, and The Lazarus Project rolls back the clock after saving the world again. Shiv excitedly embraces Dinesh. We fast forward to September 3, when Shiv’s uncle’s store went up in flames in the other timeline. Shiv enters the establishment to find Dinesh pouring gasoline on the floor. His plan? Burn down the building and collect the insurance money.
However, Shiv reminds him they’re standing in a store with abundant paper and alcohol. They’ll incinerate instantly. Shiv calls the police, who arrest Dinesh. Shiv arrives home, wherein Wes (Caroline Quentin) awaits him. She’s there to recruit him for The Lazarus Project.
Now, we’re in the present. Shiv (Rudi Dharmalingam) interrogates Rebrov (Tom Burke) regarding what The Lost Glory’s maps mean. Rebrov doesn’t give an inch. Rebrov’s face is a bruised mess. In TLP’s headquarters, Ryan (Tommy Letts) shows Wes, Shiv, Archie (Anjli Mohindra), Greta (Salóme Gunnarsdóttir), The Dane (Lukas Loughran), Blake (Lorn Macdonald) and George (Paapa Essiedu) various map configurations in a bid to assess a location. Archie surmises it’s a code. George confronts Shiv in the bathroom about Rebrov’s facial injuries. He accuses Shiv of going too far with his interrogations. Naturally, Shiv wonders why George is visiting Rebrov of his own volition.
Next, we see a flashback from last week’s episode featuring Rebrov fleeing TLP’s headquarters. Shiv pursues him in his vehicle. It’s a thrilling high-speed chase through a tunnel, culminating in Shiv ramming his car into Rebrov’s. Rebrov stumbles out, injured. The pair train their weapons on each other. Suddenly, Shiv shoots Rebrov in the leg and hauls him into the back of his car. Shiv drives Rebrov to the hospital and orders a guard to ensure no one can access his room.
Then, Shiv stopped by Rebrov and Janet’s flat to retrieve the latter. However, he discovers it’s empty, with Janet having fled with her daughter. Archie calls Shiv to reveal that Rebrov escaped the hospital, too. In the present, Archie asks George to accompany her for drinks at the pub. He’s secretly attempting to crack the code regarding The Lost Glory’s maps. Initially, he declines her offer, but she pulls the superior card. While at the pub, George asks Archie about interrogating Rebrov. He believes The Lazarus Project’s methods are too cruel. They don’t quite align with their morally sound cause. Archie asserts they must do what they can to save the planet.
Plus, Rebrov is a wanted terrorist. She urges George to hold fast to that strong moral compass as he continues to work for TLP. Then, she storms out. Later, George discovers what the maps mean. They spell out an IP address in Romania. He chats with Sarah’s dad about funeral arrangements, but George doesn’t want to dig into that. He plans to bring her back, anyway. George uses Sarah’s credit card, which hasn’t been canceled yet, to buy his plane ticket to Bucharest.
Next, George calls Archie to inform her he’s not feeling well and must take a few sick days. Shiv answers her phone. Naturally, he grows suspicious. He asks Ryan to hack George’s bank statements. He delves into George’s work concerning decoding the maps and what the latter discovered. Then, he orders Ryan to dig into Sarah’s banking stuff. He finds the Bucharest plane ticket purchase.
George boards his plane and lands in Romania. Meanwhile, Ryan assists Shiv with tailing George. George embarks on a train trip to the IP address location with Shiv hot on his heels. Ryan texts Shiv to inform him that George is in the dining car. However, George catches on to Shiv following him and surprises his pursuer. He knocks Shiv unconscious and steals his gun. Then, George utilizes a fire extinguisher to smash open a window, clamber out of said window and make a run for it across a field.
After Shiv wakes, he pursues George on foot. George runs through a nearby village, crashing into people’s homes and climbing through windows. Shiv isn’t far behind him. George falls out of a window and lands on his back, which knocks the wind out of him. Once he regains his bearings, George steals a motorbike and flees. Following suit, Shiv swipes a car to give chase.
This is the second high-speed car chase Shiv has been in this episode. Well, except George is on a motorbike. He causes Shiv to crash into some rubble. Both men emerge from the wreckage, guns raised and ready to rumble. Shiv is fully prepared to bring George back to England, kicking and screaming, so he can pay for his crime. Suddenly, George shoots Shiv in the stomach. He vows to blow up the world to reset the clock, reviving Sarah and Shiv in turn. Shiv promises to hunt George down when that happens. Then, George shoots Shiv in the head.
Later, Ryan texts Shiv’s phone and asks about the next steps. George responds as Shiv, asking Ryan for a favor that must remain off the books. We see Ryan visit Rebrov to deliver a message from George: “Big plans are afoot.” Rebrov turns around and cups his ear with his hand as if to say, “Can you come closer? I missed that.” Ryan steps forward hesitantly.
The guard arrives with food for Rebrov. He finds Rebrov with his arms encircling Ryan’s neck. Rebrov snaps it, killing the poor young man. The guard sets off the alarm. After Rebrov snaps Ryan’s neck, he stands up with his hands out. Meanwhile, George stuffs Shiv’s body into the trunk of the car. George drives toward his destination as lightning lights up the sky. Time to break some rules.
“Episode 4,” like every outing this season, lays some philosophical questions on the table. Again, how far would you go to save the love of your life? Would you put humanity at risk? Should we humans have the ability to bend time to our will? What happens when you play God? Is The Lazarus Project really a beacon of morality? I believe we’re all one choice away from becoming Rebrov or George. Both men are driven by love, after all.
The Lazarus Project‘s fourth episode allows us to get to know the show’s most enigmatic character, with great performances from Rudi Dharmalingam and Paapa Essiedu. Tom Burke makes for a compelling villain, one you feel a little more for after learning about what drove him down this dangerous path. It doesn’t pack quite as much of an emotional punch as “Episode 3.” However, “Episode 4” lays the groundwork for what’ll hopefully be an enthralling, sci-fi-laden, exciting second chapter in the season.
The Lazarus Project airs new episodes every Sunday at 9 pm on your TNT affiliate.