The first two episodes presented a smartly layered past, present, and future plotline. Knowing that the character's story unfolds from three different time frames is not a turn-off for this series.
Many have tried telling a story in this format but have often failed to keep viewers interested with all the back and forth. This new limited series from FX may be the exception (assuming the story continues like this).
Class Of '09 follows FBI agents Tayo Michaels, Ashley Poet, Hour Nazari, and Daniel Lennix, whose careers are told, along with the Bureau's complex history, over three distinct points in time, 2009, 2023, and 2034.
The FX/Hulu crime drama stars Brian Tyree Henry (Tayo), Kate Mara (Poet), Sepideh Moafi (Hour), Brian J. Smith (Lenix), Jon Jon Briones (Gabriel), Brooke Smith (Drew), Jake McDorman (Murphy), and Rosalind Eleazar (Vivienne).
Introducing viewers to only two-time frames in the first five minutes made everything that happened in the first two episodes easier to absorb. Kate Mara's performance as Poet is so good that you are (easily) pulled into the third time frame (Present 2023) without it feeling disruptive.
You could argue that this story could have been just as good without the time jump. But it feels more attractive told this way and complements the dystopian part of the story set in 2034. Brian Tyree Henry's broody character Tayo gave the future a gray, scary atmosphere.
The best opportunity to connect with the characters came through their backstories when they arrived at Quantico in 2009, meeting each other for the first time. It will be interesting to see more of Tayo and Poet's relationship in 2023.
The past connects you to the characters, the future thrills you with scary possibilities, but the present is the mystery that piques your curiosity.
The showrunners, writers, and actors did a great job showing you the good in 2009 and the ugly in 2034 offering only a glimpse of the bad that's about to happen with an exciting cliffhanger at the end of episode two. That's great storytelling.
Thanks for making it this far, and if you watch this series, comment below, and let me know your thoughts.
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