FOX 53 recap: 'The Passage' sets up dramatic two-hour season finale

Mark Paul-Gosselaar and Saniyya Sidney{ }in the “You Are Not That Girl Anymore” episode of "The Passage" which aired Monday, March 4 on FOX 53. (Photo courtesy: 2019 FOX Broadcasting. CR: Erika Doss / FOX)

PITTSBURGH -- The end is near, my dear.

Monday night's eighth episode of "The Passage" serves as a precursor to next week's two-hour season finale on FOX 53, and it certainly sets up an epic ending to this highly acclaimed debut season.

"The end is near, my dear," Dr. Tim Fanning (Jamie McShane) tells Amy Bellafonte (Saniyya Sidney) as the episode opens.

Dr. Fanning, leader of the "virals" at Project NOAH, is finally getting around to visit the 10-year-old Bellafonte as she now begins to "turn" as they describe it, a transformation from human to "viral vampire" that has occurred in eleven others.

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Bellafonte would be the twelfth, completing Fanning's mission.

Fanning warns Bellafonte something big is about to happen and he urges her to join him, while at the same time warning Anthony Carter (McKinley Belcher III) to stay out of his way in converting Bellafonte.

Meanwhile, new Project NOAH leader Horace Guilder (James Le Gros) is making his final power play, announcing he is relieving the current staff of their duties and that the project will continue.

But Guilder has an unexpected visitor, as federal agent Brad Wolgast (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) has survived the government's attempt to take him out of the picture and has returned to Project NOAH.

Wolgast is joined by Clark Richards (Vincent Piazza) - who recently converted from NOAH enforcer to joining the others in trying to shut the place down - and Dr. Major Nichole Sykes (Caroline Chikezie).

It is revealed that Guilder has appointed a new head man to run Project NOAH, but it turns out his new guy - Martinez - is actually a "viral."

As all of this unfolds the episode flashes back to an earlier point when Shauna Babcock (Brianne Howey) - pre-viral transformation - sparked a romance with Richards.

Babcock continues to visit Piazza and remind him of their connection, although Richards warns her she is not the girl she used to be.

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As Dr. Sykes tries to care for Bellafonte and prevent her transformation, Project NOAH staffer Lawrence Grey (Jason Fuchs) - compelled by Fanning to join his mission - locks her inside a room and knocks out Dr. Lila Kyle (Emmanuelle Chriqui).

Grey then steals Guilder's security clearance and moves to set the "virals" free.

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In an emotional scene as the eighth episode winds down, Wolgast tells Bellafonte she should choose her own path, even if that means letting go of him.

By this point Grey has opened the cages and the "virals," led by Fanning, move after Wolgast and Bellafonte.

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Stay tuned for what promises to be a riveting season finale next Monday night at 8 p.m. on FOX 53.

Watch a recent FOX 53 INSIDER interview with actors Jamie McShane and Henry Ian Cusick, and read up on past episodes online.

"The Passage" is based on author Justin Cronin's trilogy of the same name. Watch previous episodes on