This is the episode that changes everything.
I’ve watched The Way Home Season 1 Episode 4 twice, and both times, I’m as overcome as Kat when she sees her father and brother for the first time.
Would getting the opportunity to peer through the window of your life change you? We’re about to find out.
How would the moments you remember change with a new perspective?
And how would knowing that you had been there to witness them affect your memories?
There is so much to unpack about Kat’s visit to the past and how it changes the story going forward that I don’t even know where to start.
We need to start slow leading up to all that Kat’s traveling means to her and the show.
Now that Kat has joined Alice on the time-traveling adventure, you have to wonder if they’ll share what they know with Del. Del is struggling more than either her daughter or granddaughter, and she could benefit from being let in on that secret.
Kat has been so angry at Del for letting go of her memories, but we’ve seen that Del just processes things differently.
Although she appeared to let go of Jacob, she held firmly to his favorite bear, decided to keep the boat, and couldn’t bear the thought of losing Ol’ Miss because Colton gifted Ol’ Miss’s mama to her.
Colton gave me Ol’ Miss as a gift. After he died, I sold the herd. It was just way too much work for me to do by myself. So, he is the last descendant, the last trace, of what Colton and I did here. I couldn’t lose Ol’ Miss. I couldn’t bear for one more thing to change here. Oh, thank you, Elliot.
Had Kat and Alice not shown up, Del might not have had the same reactions. Their arrival uncovered things as viscerally as if she had gone back in time.
As Kat’s world is opening up past and present with Elliot, Brady, and Andy, I’d love to know what Del thought of Brady.
It wouldn’t be surprising if she didn’t think much of him, maybe even blaming him for taking Kat away. If Brady hadn’t been in Kat’s life, maybe she would have stuck around so that Del and Kat had a chance to heal their tragic pain.
Del has a real soft spot for Elliot. He’s always been there for her. It means a lot that she’s urging him to play the long game with Kat. It proves how much she loves her daughter that she’d approve of her connecting with a soul as sweet as Elliot’s.
Maybe Del doesn’t need to revisit the past in the same way as Kat and Alice to heal. What do you think? Would it be cathartic to go there or more pain than she could bear to lose them all over again?
It’s done wonders for Alice. She’s recognized how much life has changed her mom, and she even sees Brady in a new, if not necessarily accurate, light.
Elliot: So, what do you think of your dad?
Alice: I can’t process it, Elliot. He’s, is this what he’s like? He’s a jerk!
Elliot: Just think, you’re not even a twinkle in his eyes yet.
Teen girls have often been attracted to boys filled with bravado. A small-town girl being fascinated with a worldly boy is a story as old as time. As Alice said herself, Brady is a good and kind man in the future. Still, that doesn’t make it any easier for Alice to see him bragging, dissing small-town life, or ordering wine with a fake ID.
Now that we know Nick’s family owned the town theater, how long will it be before she visits the theater and runs into him as an adult?
Nick: Wow. You look incredible, like an Aerosmith music video.
Alice: Dream on.
Losing a girl he liked as much as he liked Alice would have been very hard, especially since he probably didn’t get to say goodbye. Those interactions can impact you for the rest of your life, silly as they sometimes seem.
Now, onto the Kat of it all.
It’s impossible to imagine how overwhelming it would be to experience what she’s experiencing, but Chyler Leigh knocked those scenes out of the park. She played it just right, being less surprised to be back in time than she was to see and then interact with her dead father.
There couldn’t have been a dry eye in the house. Even if you weren’t brought to tears, they got a little moist, right?
Her trip to the past for the first time Brady visited Port Haven obviously has significance, but we won’t know how much until we see how she handles his visit in the present.
Alice looked at her parents’ date with a bit of disdain and incredulity, but Kat saw it with pleasure. She holds those memories dear, and they didn’t disappoint.
She was most shocked to discover that Elliot had known about Alice all that time without telling her. Evan Williams has it all worked out in his mind why Elliot held that secret so tightly, but it’s still shocking that he managed it.
With what he knew about time, why didn’t he become a quantum physicist instead of a teacher? Maybe he studied it. Did he study the pond for clues as to its magical properties? Did he research local history to get an indication if others in the Landry family ever left for significant periods of time?
Kat’s initial reaction when she saw Elliot was to be angry for keeping the secret, but after Del thanked him for everything, Kat did too. She also saw at the movie theater how disappointed Elliot was that Kat was so into Brady.
If she didn’t know how Elliot felt about her before, she must know now. How will that impact her just as Brady returns and she’s started something — whatever that something is — with Andy?
There she is! The makeout queen of the lobster social.
She’s got the beginning of her relationship with Brady fresh in her mind, so how will that affect his visit? Alice already began questioning him about the past. Did he really return to see Alice, or did her inquiry kick up dust about Kat for him, too?
It’s fantastic that Kat’s first thought after her initial adventure was how it could help her reconnect with Alice. Wanting to be best friends was probably too much to ask, but knowing they have had that experience before means everything.
If it was me who traveled through time to my youth, I’d be reconsidering every aspect of my life. It worked for Peggy in Peggy Sue Got Married. Seeing things in a different light alters everything and washes away your jaded outlook and cynicism that creeps in as you grow older.
Before we go, I have to ask. Do tourists visiting coastal towns really not understand a lobster? I would have smacked Rita had she tried taking mine away. She can have it after I’ve sucked the life out of every nook and cranny.
That scene shook me to my lobster and crab-loving core! Nobody touches my seafood. Nobody! Haha!
With “What’s My Age Again,” The Way Home has become must-see TV.
The prospect of how the past influences your present is ripe for storytelling possibilities. This is only the first season, and the hope is there will be more.
Let your imagination run wild, and share your thoughts with me in the comments below.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.
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