DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Lazarus Project Season 2 Episode 1, “Episode 1,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril. 

The Lazarus Project is back for Season 2, and it wastes no time getting back to the action. 

“Episode 1” features some perplexing character decisions—Wes asking Sarah to join the team, Sarah giving George confidential files, Wes bringing George back into the fold—but that aside, it’s a solid outing. It introduces a new facet to the time loop mystery while building on an already action-packed narrative. I’m sad we won’t get a third season because there are so few original sci-fi shows out there, especially about time travel. 

RELATED: Read our recap of The Lazarus Project Season 1 Finale

The Checkpoint

We open with George (Paapa Essiedu) asking his neighbor Reggie (Bradley John) for assistance after the former shoots Shiv (Rudi Dharmalingam). Sarah (Charly Clive) barges into George’s flat, realizing he can time travel. If you recall, George gave Sarah the serum that allows her to remember the time loops. Suddenly, Shiv shoots Reggie in the heart. He gives George the note in his pocket. Of course, it’s drenched in his blood. He urges George to tell Wes everything and find Janet. Janet will know how to break the loop. 

Wes sits at her desk while examining a syringe in The Lazarus Project Season 2 Episode 1.

THE LAZARUS PROJECT Season 2 Episode 1. Photo courtesy of TNT.

Next, we see George and Sarah sitting in the car. She accompanies him inside The Lazarus Project (TLP) headquarters, where he confesses all his crimes to Wes (Caroline Quentin). Wes finds it funny that even after George did all that to save Sarah, she dumped him anyway. Wes states that Rebrov believes someone sent Janet back to 2012 because said someone invented a legitimate time machine. After this reveal, Wes fires George. George insists he wants to make amends — to help rectify his mistakes. Instead, Wes asks Sarah to stay. 

Sarah Joins the Team 

Then, Wes explains that the world is stuck in an infinite time loop for three weeks—from July 1 to July 21. She wants Sarah to join the team. Because she dumped George, I guess? After the meeting, Sarah slaps George. 

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Later, we hit the checkpoint and the three-week loop restarts. George calls Reggie over to help take care of Shiv. He shoots Reggie in the head instead of the heart, which Shiv recommended. Next, a team arrives to dispose of Reggie and tend to Shiv’s gunshot wound. While George lies in bed, unable to sleep, Sarah climbs out of bed for target practice. She needs to train to inevitably do fieldwork through The Lazarus Project. 

Next, Archie (Anjli Mohindra) explains to the team — Sarah, Wes, Shiv, Greta (Salóme Gunnarsdóttir), The Dane (Lukas Loughlan) and Zhang (Elaine Tan) — about the Time Break Initiative (TBI). This group of scientists tried to make a legitimate time machine. Now, TLP must track down the scientists to learn how to make their own time machine to break the current loop. 

Finding the Scientists

Then, George and Sarah reunite at a coffee shop. She explains she’s mostly doing desk duty. Wes and the others have introduced the possibility of fieldwork, but Sarah doesn’t feel ready. George asks if they’re any closer to cracking the loop. Sarah remains tight-lipped. He reminds her he used to be an agent and got into this mess because he tried to save her. She reluctantly hands George the list of TBI scientists. The plan is to go back before the second singularity, rescue Janet and cancel the loop. Sarah lets him keep the files, which is strange. 

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That evening, George researches the scientists. He looks up Dr. Wheeler and finds a connection, leading him to Berlin. There, George approaches a man in a pub. He talks to George in German, but the latter admits he doesn’t speak the language. George asks about Dr. Wheeler’s whereabouts. Suddenly, the man runs outside and into traffic, getting hit by a car. 

Sarah sits in a chair in a cafe while looking content in The Lazarus Project Season 2 Episode 1.

THE LAZARUS PROJECT Season 2 Episode 1. Photo courtesy of TNT.

A few more loop resets occur—in one, George handcuffs the man by the wrist. In another, the man shoots him. Finally, in the last loop, George shoots the man and speaks a full sentence in German. Someone dusted off the Duolingo app! 

Morocco 

Next, George winds up in Morocco, where he fights another man in the streets. He asks this man where Dr. Wheeler is. This guy flees while George gives chase. A shootout transpires, and lots of fighting happens during the subsequent loop resets. Unfortunately, the outcome of all this is George learning that Wheeler is dead — he died before the checkpoint, so he’s gone for good. 

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Later, after the checkpoint, George barges into TLP headquarters to tell Wes that Wheeler is dead. He persuades her to rehire him. She needs all hands on deck for this if she wants to break the infinite loop. Wes reluctantly puts him on desk duty, revealing he’s banned from fieldwork. Then, we learn from Wes as she briefs the team that three of the Time Break Initiative scientists are permanently dead. One of the potentially living ones, Dr. Morgenstein, could be in Russia. 

Next, Archie and Zhang arrive in Tokyo. They question a restaurant manager about one of the TBI scientists. After Zhang physically threatens the man, they break into the scientist’s hotel room to find him dead. However, Archie notices a loose floorboard, where she discovers stacks of documents. Zhang reads a letter from Dr. Samson to Li, the dead scientist. 

Switzerland 

At TLP headquarters, Wes assembles a team to head to Switzerland. George convinces Wes to let him join despite her condemning him to desk duty. Sure enough, it works. On the plane to the Alps, Greta gives Sarah a gun, not George. The team doesn’t trust him anymore. Once they arrive, the team barges into a remote cabin, where Sarah discovers Samson’s corpse in his room. George notices a ring on the dead scientist’s finger, which he promptly removes. 

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Later, we learn that Samson died shortly after the checkpoint, so he’s not gone for good. The team must arrive before the checkpoint to save him in the next loop. Elsewhere, Archie and George chat at the pub. George wants everyone to need him and trust him again. He insists he’s not a bad guy. Archie counters that nobody thinks they’re evil. She’s got a point. 

Next, George dives deep into research regarding Samson’s ring. He links its insignia to Dr. Kitty Gray, a controversial scientist who was killed in a lab explosion. George heads to the library, where he finds a book published by Gray with the ring design on its cover. Inside, he sees a photo of her with the TBI scientists and a website address. After typing in the URL, he discovers a video of Dr. Gray (Zoe Telford) speaking at a seminar about quantum time travel. She insists we’ve always had time travel capabilities; we simply must harness them. Surprisingly, Wes is in the audience. 

Archie holds a gun while walking down a staircase in The Lazarus Project Season 2 Episode 1.

THE LAZARUS PROJECT Season 2 Episode 1. Photo courtesy of TNT.

Singularity Day

Then, we return to the Singularity Day, aka July 21. Everyone prepares for the end of the world. When the checkpoint arrives, the team scrambles to leave for Switzerland again. Unfortunately, they don’t get to Samson in time. He’s already dead. 

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Later, at George’s flat, George asks Shiv if he’s still angry with him. Well, firstly, George killed Shiv. Then, he framed him. Naturally, Shiv boasts super complicated feelings about it all. After that, George and Sarah chat. Sarah believes the gang will forgive him eventually. Despite George’s laundry list of kills, Sarah doesn’t think he’s a bad person. 

George and Sarah return to the former’s flat to find Rebrov (Tom Burke) with Shiv. George tells Rebrov, Shiv and Sarah that Dr. Gray was the Time Break Initiative scientists’ mentor. He also shares that Wes attended Gray’s seminar. The quartet surmises that Janet was sent to 2012, before Gray died, to finish the time machine and remedy the group’s errors. 

Rebrov and Samson

Rebrov reveals he can get to Samson in the Alps. Why? Because he’s always in Geneva at the checkpoint. Sure enough, we see Rebrov in a room in Geneva with a noose around his neck. He was trying to kill himself. Next, Rebrov drives to Samson’s cabin in the Alps. He informs Samson (Sam Troughton) that he’s there to keep the latter alive. Samson admits that someone is trying to kill everyone who worked on the time machine. 

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Suddenly, someone barges into the cabin. Rebrov knocks them unconscious. Then, another crashes through the window, who Rebrov shoots. After a grenade lands on the floor, Rebrov shoots yet another assailant. Finally, Samson hides behind Rebrov as they sneak out of the house. Unfortunately, Rebrov takes a bullet to the gut. He shoots the one who fired on him before crawling into the backseat of Samson’s vehicle. He orders Samson to drive anywhere. 

Rebrov calls Wes and informs her that he has Samson alive. She thanks him and states that a team will be waiting for Samson. Rebrov is on death’s door. It’s okay, though, since his death happens after the checkpoint. 

Wes and Dr. Gray

Later, we see a brief montage from 2012, featuring Gray speaking at the seminar (with Wes among the attendees), Janet (Vinette Robinson) getting into a bullet-shaped machine and Janet meeting the TBI scientists. Finally, Wes sits in her office at The Lazarus Project headquarters. She pulls out Dr. Gray’s book from her desk drawer. 

RELATED: Read our The Lazarus Project recaps!

The Lazarus Project airs new episodes every Sunday at 9/8c on TNT

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