AMC on Monday night debuted Soulmates, a six-episode anthology series that in different and provocative ways will ask: What if science developed a way to identify your perfect match? And, most problematically, what if you are already with someone what that technology arrives?
The first episode, “Watershed,” establishes that in the year 2023, scientists identify in the human body the “soul particle,” which opens the door for the company Soul Connex to test and pair people with their soulmate, wherever that person might be.
When we first meet Nikki (played by Succession‘s Sarah Snook), she is in the Soul Connex waiting room, fidgeting with her wedding ring. Upon being called in for her test, she is situated in the scanning seat pictured above, and….
We rewind to “One Month Earlier,” where Nikki and husband Franklin (High Fidelity‘s Kingsley Ben-Adir) are running their two kids through the morning breakfast ritual when Jennifer stops by to confide in gal pal Nikki that she has decided to take the test — even though she is currently married to, she suspects, “the wrong guy.” After all, both she and Nikki got married young, so… maybe they also married wrong?. Will Nikki come with Jennifer to the testing clinic for support? Nikki is quite on the fence about the whole idea, but tepidly agrees.
The idea of “the test” is again thrust in Nikki’s face when she and Franklin attend her brother Peter’s wedding to Rose, a woman he only met two weeks prior via Soul Connex. Rose later shares with Nikki, Franklin and others that at the time she and Peter got matched, she was with someone, Russell, whose minor shortcomings were frankly starting to irk her more and more. So she cut out on him to wed Peter.
When Nikki’s friend Jennifer gets back her rest results — she matched with a guy in Argentina — Nikki asks how she can just abruptly end things with husband Steve. “We’ll work it out,” Jennifer shrugs (though we later see Steve didn’t take it so well).
Coming off of alllll this “test” and “soulmates” talk, we see Nikki aim to spice things up with Franklin, first with some proper nighttime loving, but far less successfully in public in a dark hallway, at yet another wedding. Those crosses wires lead to a fight in the car, where Nikki assesses their marriage as “fine,” “but what if it’s not enough?” It is then that Franklin realizes, “You wanna take that goddamn test!”
Things only get pricklier when at a birthday party for Peter’s daughter, Nikki disses Franklin’s snoozy line of work upon finding him talking shop with Rose. Shortly afterward, inside the party, she spies a tear running down his face. Alas, a purposeful if rote “date night” does little to improve things between the two. Cut to Nikki where we first saw her, readying to take the test. Except…
After visiting the clinic, Nikki sits Franklin down to confess that she was about to take the test when all she could think about was the day their daughter Sally was born, apparently without any doctor and right on the living room rug. And that sparked so many memories of the great, good and bad they have been through. “I chose you, years ago, and it wasn’t science,” she attests. “It was my choice, made from my heart.”
Franklin is clearly upset… because, he reveals, “I took the test,” confused as he was by the recent friction between them and the sense he was losing Nikki. Worse, Franklin has already met the soulmate with which he got matched! Nikki is pretty gobsmacked.
Time passes, and we see Nikki with her own new guy, driving on their way to introduce her to his friends. But first, they stop to pick up her kids from Franklin and his soulmate. Left alone for an awkward moment, Franklin quietly admits to his ex, “I miss you, I guess. I miss us.” Nikki, though, has little recourse but to continue with her day/plans, while wistfully looking back at Franklin’s house through the car window.
Next week, in Episode 2: A married, unassuming college professor (Billions‘ David Costabile) is unexpectedly approached by a pretty stranger (Lodge 49‘s Sonya Cassidy) who reveals that her own test has led her to him. How will he react?
What did you think of the Soulmates premiere, and the decisions made by Nikki and Franklin?