Mixing superheroes and science is always a great recipe. “The Imperfects” is a show that has its heart in the right place, and one can tell they tried. Seriously, this show has everything, right from great world-building to detailed backstories and characters with complete personalities. It is also a show that really respects and encourages the audience’s intelligence. But at the end of it, it just lacks grit and that zing, which is necessary for something to be interesting. “The Imperfects” Season 1 follows three people: Abbi, Tilda, and Juan, who set out to find the cure for their supernatural abilities, which they gained due to an experimental program in their childhood. Let us take a look at how this unfolds.
Abbi, Tilda, And Juan’s Quest To Find The Cure
Let’s start with the origin of our protagonist’s superpowers. In the words of Dr. Alex Sarkov, the interaction between the human genome and environmental factors is leading to ‘Acute Genetic Decay Syndrome,’ aka AGDC. It was first discovered by Dr. Sydney Burke and later proved by him. To combat that, the test subjects are injected with artificial stem cells, which basically edit the damage caused by AGDS, and the side effects of that are superpowers. The projected reason for this is that human evolution has not adapted to climate change at the rate it should have because the change itself has been accelerated due to the industrialization of the last two centuries. The rate of progress cannot be reversed or stalled, even at risk to life. To protect humans from themselves, Sarkov must continue with his experiments.
In the present day, Tilda is the lead singer of a music band. Her superpower is being able to hear every sound from miles away and having a voice that can break things. Abbi is a top-ranking student who is on the verge of getting into Oxford. She can emit pheromones that cause anyone who smells them to be hopelessly attracted to her. Finally, Juan is a comic book artist who can turn into a werewolf. His girlfriend, Darcy, who later discovers this about him, apparently has a monster fetish, which makes for one of the better jokes of that episode. The three of them have been taking pills for years to subdue these effects, but when they run out of them and new ones aren’t coming, they show up at Sarkov’s clinic, where they meet Dr. Burke. She tells them that the pills are not going to be of any use to them and that they must find a cure. This is the beginning of their mission to find Sarkov, who has gone missing.
On their quest to find him, they meet other test subjects. One of them is Doug, who heals at a rapid rate and is pretty much indestructible. But the pain of every injury he has ever had stays with him forever. He tells the group that they will find everything they want in the scientist’s lab. Another person they meet is a guy whose skin is impenetrable. With him, “The Imperfects” Season 1 explores the possible issue of self-esteem that superheroes deal with. Thinking about it, that’s why we love the heroes—because they save the world by fixing everything that is wrong with it. Without their powers, they would be just another person that nobody would give a second look to. It reminds us of when Tony Stark says that ‘if you are nothing without your suit, you shouldn’t have it.’ Everyone wants power, and everyone wants to be special. That’s why when these three set out to build a normal life for themselves, there are people who want to use them for their own benefit. One of them is a team of ‘bio-hackers,’ as they like to call themselves. They had initially run into Maxwell Schifrin, one of the test subjects, who had started developing gills and told them about the experiments. They lure our group into captivity to conduct further tests on them, but the three manage to escape, killing them in the process, albeit not completely intentionally. But the very next problem they encounter is far more serious and difficult to tackle—it is the government itself, which is hot on their tracks.
Abbi, Tilda, and Juan manage to find Sarkov. Turns out, he was just trying to find a cure for the situation. A number of other events take place as well. In one major incident, we find out that Dr. Burke has an alter ego called Isabel Finch. Her condition suggests that even she has AGDS. Burke’s attempts to treat herself have resulted in the creation of Isabel Finch and when she transforms, even her physical appearance changes. Finch hates everyone in Burke’s field and is on a mission to kill them, one by one. There is also some personal drama, mostly to involve the audience in the protagonists’ lives. Like the constant flirtation between Juan and Tilda, the relationship between Abbi and Hannah and Tilda’s friends pushes her out of the band. The biggest shocker for her is probably when her boyfriend is killed by an attack from a rogue scientist who has transformed into the ‘imperfects.’ Coming back to the aforementioned government’s interest in the group, a secret organization called “Flux” is monitoring their activities and wants to find them for their own purposes.
‘The Imperfects’ Ending Explained: Do Abbi, Tilda, And Juan Find The Cure? What Happens To Sarkov?
It is no secret that Sarkov conducts the entire operation with an utter disregard for human life yet carries a sense of the savior complex with him. Through the flashbacks, we understand that he is a bit of a mad genius whose “parents” died when he was 2 years old, and he has grown up at the university since he was 5. Sydney has been his only friend, and science has been his sole purpose. And even she has a sketchy moral compass. After the failure of his idea to use nanobots due to Tilda, he discovers that there is another way that the cure can be spread. Finch knows it, and she agrees to let Sarkov have it if he can successfully subdue Sydney. Reckless of others as always, he agrees, and Juan is his test subject. He decides to see if he can turn him into a Chupacabra permanently and injects him with the cure when he is in his transformed state, strapped to the bed. But as fate would have it, this is the way to the cure, and Juan looks healed. Tilda and Abbi, who have reached there, don’t waste time and immediately inject Finch, bringing Sydney back to the surface. Abbi goes on to take the cure, and so do the others in the wellness program, except Tilda. She keeps hers as a way of helping others like her.
As for Sarkov, his end in the current storyline is a little less than graceful. Under the influence of Abbi’s pheromones, he confessed that he had received his funding from ‘Helix,’ which turned out to be a shell company. Also, Dominique Crain had underwritten multiple rogue scientists, which kept Flux going and created a lot of monsters. This brings us to the last 15 minutes of the finale that set the stage for the next season. Sarkov is taken into custody by Flux, and they even hire Sydney for the next stage of their renewed operations. But they still need Sarkov for his genius. Sydney negotiates with him to help set things straight in exchange for immunity for his actions. During this, Sarkov realizes that Finch is in control of Burke’s body. When he is being taken away, she gets a call from Dr. Halenbeck, and this is the biggest surprise of all, as well as the possible explanation of Sarkov’s God complex. He is a genetically engineered person who was created for the sole purpose of science. But he had turned out to be surprisingly human and unruly, with ambitions of his own, which had disrupted his creator’s plans entirely. Dr. Halenbeck doesn’t seem to be aware that he is talking to Finch and not Sydney. She promises him that she will find a solution to the problem with the help of Sarkov. What the ‘problem’ is, remains to be seen. And let’s make a note of the fact that Sarkov’s entire savior mentality is centered around how he doesn’t mind ‘the sacrifice of a few for the greater good.’ He simply wants to eradicate disease and hunger with science but disregards the importance of the role of emotional intelligence required in the process. We believe there is hope for his redemption, and we just want to see how that happens.
What To Expect From ‘The Imperfects’ Season 2?
We saw that of our trio, Tilda was the only one who was able to master her powers. For Juan and Abbi, the cure backfires. Juan starts turning into the Chupacabra once more, and Abbi is rendered helpless by the ‘goo’ that spreads to the walls and traps her inside. Everyone who has taken the cure is turning into a monster, which means that Sarkov’s cure has either backfired, or was successfully weaponized by Flux. But looking at how Finch and Burke have come together to be one person, it is probably possible that the affected test subjects can lead a normal life by learning to harness their powers. This is a discussion for “The Imperfects” Season 2.
When it comes to the show, its premise of “genetic engineering” is something new and has great potential. But it just doesn’t hit. It tries to be funny, but the humor is not really believable. It breaks our hearts that we are unable to like “The Imperfects” as much as we want to because there is a genuine attempt to make something good here. It has just not landed as well as it could have. And while all the characters were well fleshed out, only Tilda and Sarkov brought a uniqueness to them, even though the latter seemed constantly confused with his accent. We will give the second season of “The Imperfects” a chance, in the hopes that it will pick up the pace. The pace better be great because the second chance is purely out of respect for the attempt that was made. We are keeping our fingers crossed for whenever that happens.
“The Imperfects” is a 2022 Drama Action series streaming on Netflix.