Impulse Season 1 Review: An Outsider & Her Secret Power

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YouTube Red has come out with a binge-worthy sci-fi series called Impulse. On its surface, Impulse appears to be about a loner kid, Henry, who bounces from town to town and doesn't quite fit in anywhere. 

The sci-fi comes in after an event leads Henry to discover her body has teleportation powers making her a target for sinister tests by a secret agency.

Impulse is a character-driven, action-packed series that touches on real family issues and small-town issues while peppering in sci-fi twists. When you're done watching one episode, you'll be ready for the next, and the finale is especially thrilling.

Henry in a New Town - Impulse

If you're looking for a robust and relatable story with real characters and exciting twists, Impulse on YouTube Red is where you need to be. 

For those of you who haven't watched Impulse Season 1 (and you should), this review contains spoilers! We'll delve into the life of Henry and her mom, the Boone family, and what happens when a small town encounters big problems.

The characters on Impulse are incredible. They are so real and so relatable that it was easy to connect with all of them. Chances are you've been one of these people, know one of these people, or know a town just like Reston.

This, coupled with the storyline, draws you in quickly.

Impulse Season 1 introduces us to Henry, an outsider in yet another new town, a condition due to her mother's relationship hopping. Being dragged from place to place has had a significant impact on Henry and her relationship with her mother.

As a result of the multiple moves, Henry's very comfortable inside her own skin. She's relied solely on herself for the majority of her life.

Townes in Class - Impulse

She sits on the outskirts of society, but like any other teenage girl, there's a part of her who wants to fit in. 

When Henry and her mom, Cleo, move to small-town Reston, Henry is forced to adjust to her new surroundings and the new people she now has to live with, her mother's boyfriend Tom and his daughter, Jenna.

In the beginning, Henry mainly keeps to herself, sneaking out at night to spraypaint her tag through the town.

Clay: I'm gonna tell everyone. I'm gonna fucking tell everyone what you did to me. I'm gonna tell everyone what you are!
Henry: Good luck with that. No one is going to believe you. The Boone name doesn't mean shit anymore.

She knows from experience that this place is just a temporary stop-over to the next, so she doesn't take the time to settle in. Henry's a strong person who isn't afraid to speak her mind to anyone, anywhere.

When she sees a wrong, Henry does her best to make it right, and that's when she meets her first real friend in Reston, Townes.

Being on the autistic spectrum, Townes is an outsider too, so when Henry witnesses him being abused by their teacher in class, she has no problem putting that teacher right in his place.

The teacher fights back, though, and sends Henry into one of her seizures. During this seizure, Townes observes the strange happenings to items in her environment and is fascinated.

In the interest of fitting in, Henry begins talking with some of the people at her school.

Henry moves to Reston - Impulse

The most popular boy in the school and son to the most powerful man in Reston, Clay Boone, hits on Henry from the moment she arrives. You can tell he's used to getting any girl he wants, but Henrietta Coles isn't just any girl.

When she finally relents and goes out with Clay, it all goes south.

Clay sexually assaults her in his truck, bringing forth her ability to teleport, and changing both of their lives forever.

When it occurs, Henry is completely lost. Not only does she teleport without knowing what the hell was happening to her body, but she also comes to realize she can't deal with life utterly alone anymore.

She has no choice but to start accepting the friends and the family around her.

And even though Henry holds resentment toward her mother, she also comes to realize that Cleo isn't all that bad, and being part of a family and having friends is a good thing.

In fact, Cleo becomes the quintessential mom to everyone in town, and Lord knows they all need one.

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We've got Clay and his older brother, Lucas, whose mother is as cold as a chunk of ice, and Jenna whose mother is dead. We haven't even seen Townes' mother, only his sister, but going by the theme of the show, we can only assume she's not the greatest.

Cleo, Lucas & Bill in the Shop - Impulse

It takes her friends, Lucas, and an old, dying woman she meets while teleporting named Dippy for Henry realize the benefits of having a good mother like Cleo.

No, Cleo hasn't made the best choices for Henry, but she's human. She's allowed to screw up. It's in the job description. Now that Cleo realizes what she's done to Henry over the years, she can focus on being there for Henry and putting her needs first.

Cleo, Tom, Jenna, and Henry make an adorable little family. If we're lucky enough to get Impulse Season 2, we're likely to see the family put to the test.

Because unbeknownst to this new family, they're all in grave danger.

There is a group of people collecting those with teleportation powers like Henry. In fact, they kidnapped her father when she was just a little girl. The scientists (or whoever they are) are coming after Henry next to study her, and there's no way to escape.

This new and cute little family of Henry's is going to, at the very least, be in danger and, at the most, be ripped apart.

Henry: You wanna scare the shit out of me? Why?
Townes: To prove you can teleport.

The way they've come to care about each other, though, it's likely the family and her friends will be a force to reckon with and will rally behind Henry to protect her the best that they can.

To learn a lot more about the story and get the finer details (and they are many!), you need to get YouTube Red and watch Impulse.

At the same time, you can watch Cobra Kai, as well. There are a lot of great shows coming to YouTube Red, and you can be a part of it.

When you're finished, come on back and leave me a comment to tell me what you think.

We have an interview with one of the stars of Impulse coming your way, too. 

While you're here, catch up on all your favorite shows, reviews, and more. 

Join in the conversation and find out what other TV Fanatics think of their favorite TV shows and yours!


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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Kim Russell was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in January 2019.

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Impulse Quotes

Clay: I'm gonna tell everyone. I'm gonna fucking tell everyone what you did to me. I'm gonna tell everyone what you are!
Henry: Good luck with that. No one is going to believe you. The Boone name doesn't mean shit anymore.

Henry: You wanna scare the shit out of me? Why?
Townes: To prove you can teleport.