The Way Home Season 1 Episode 9 Review: The Day The Music Died

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Time travel is cruel.

I've seen science fiction where people who go back in time study how to be an observer first. Kat and Alice don't have such training, and they're not just witnessing any past event -- it's their family history.

The Way Home Season 1 Episode 9 reminds us how difficult it is to remain impartial, and this time out, the results are devasting.

Her Father's Death - The Way Home

After the events of The Way Home Season 1 Episode 8, Kat was feeling pretty good about what she's accomplished. She may not have changed things, but she found the answers she needed about her dad, so she was eager to get more.

Del still believes that Colton was having an affair because of an unknown woman who attended his funeral.

Her Old Room - The Way Home Season 1 Episode 8

Time travel is like a drug. After Kat discovered Colton never lost faith in his family and was trying to find his way home to them with the help of a grief support group, she could have let it be.

But that drug kept calling for her, and Kat had to go back one more time to see if she could save Colton's life. Instead, she was the cause of his death.

How on earth will she live with that? Has Colton always died because of his daughter and granddaughter, or was there initially another factor that caused the accident?

It's so confusing.

The Voice of Reason - The Way Home Season 1 Episode 9

We know now that you can't change time. Well, at least not that we've seen so far. Instead, going back has devastating consequences. But is it all bad? If they hadn't gone back, Colton would have still died, just like Jacob still disappeared.

A trip through time offered more answers about Jacob's disappearance but didn't offer an explanation, and Kat and Alice got the explanation for Colton's accident, but they would probably give anything to do it over again, resetting the damage they did.

I have to wonder if that's going to be how the season ends.

Will there be a reset? Here's why I think there might be.

Sharing Secrets - The Way Home Season 1 Episode 9

Something Alice said lept off the screen for me.

I wish I could just jump back into the pond and go back to the start. I really wish things could be different.


It was such a significant statement, and I can't help but wonder if there's a chance that could happen. But if either of them goes back with that intention, couldn't they inadvertently erase Alice?

As the story is now, Alice was her mom's best friend. She can't take it all back. She was part of Kat's history, even if she's her daughter in the present. How would they be if she chose not to befriend Kat and ingratiate herself into the family?

Another thing that stood out from a time travel perspective was when Colton said if he could have five more minutes with Jacob, he'd tell him everything.

Commiserating - The Way Home Season 1 Episode 8

Kat and Alice know it's not that easy.

There is so much concern about how you might impact the past that you don't say anything and try your best to observe and influence without being detected.

Would anything have changed if Alice had arrived at the house claiming she was from the future? She probably would have been dragged away and committed.

Kat might have fared better since she knows everything about her family, but she could still be considered a loon if she suggested she was a traveler and was here from the future to change the future.

Drying Off - The Way Home Season 1 Episode 9

Traveling to the past, although fraught with impossibilities and disappointments, also offered much-needed perspective for both Kat and Alice.

Alice grew up fast. Understanding her mom better and getting to know her family -- in a way that nobody else ever could -- helped her kick her childish antics to the curb.

Kat realized how much she loved her mom and was able to see how Del processed things differently and why they wound up with so much distance between them. Merely by being reminded of the love they once shared, they've grown closer again.

And, of course, Kat realized that it's always been Elliot, and if things had been a little different, she might have been able to see it. Jacob's disappearance and her dad's death unmoored her, and instead of leaning on Elliot as she always had, she fled with Brady, hoping to escape the pain.

A Tantalizing Clue - The Way Home Season 1 Episode 9

Instead, Kat experienced an entirely different kind of pain with a bad marriage that ended in divorce, but she found her way back to Elliot when she saw him clearly for the first time.

Kat: I took your hand the night that dad died. Brady -- he was right there. I took your hand because you were the one that I needed, and I still do.
Elliot: I need you, too. I always have.
Kat: I should have kept holding your hand and just never let go.
Elliot: Well, you weren't thinking clearly that night. How could you have, I mean, how can you be seeing clearly now?
Kat: You have to trust me, too. Hey, I've never seen more clearly.

Poor Elliot. On the one hand, he's listening to Alice's declaration she wasn't going to return to the past again and wondering if she'd feel she missed out on something if she didn't, and on the other hand, he wanted Kat to remain in the present with him to move forward instead of leaning back.

It turns out that he's just as confused about time travel as Kat and Alice are. It's interesting, though, that he understands Alice's travels better than Kat's, and that's because he knew Alice and was a part of her journey for decades.

It does stink that Kat is so enmeshed in the past, but they've got so much time ahead of them that it seems insensitive to almost demand she stops thinking of the past.

A Burgeoning Relationship - The Way Home Season 1 Episode 9

It's as if he forgets that although he's known about this for almost all of his life, Kat only just discovered the magic of the pond. He needs to be a little more forgiving of her exploits and give her a shoulder to lean on while she comes to terms with what he's had decades to understand.

Would it be cruel for them to be torn apart so soon after finding each other again? Sure. But the fact they made their way to each other so quickly lends itself to further narrative scrutiny. How often do couples on TV get it right the first (or, in this case, the second) time?

Overall, so much progress has been made with all of the relationships. Kat's finding answers for Del. Kat and Alice are closer than ever. And Alice called Del Grandma, which was the sweetest sound her ears had ever heard.

Maybe too much progress has been made. Or maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment that will never arrive and am too cynical for my own good.

ElliKat Endgame - The Way Home Season 1 Episode 9

We are almost at the end of The Way Home Season 1, and those are just some of the things dancing through my mind.

It's hard not to recall the opening scene of The Way Home Season 1 Episode 1, wondering if it will play into the final moments of The Way Home Season 1 Episode 10.

Any show that incorporates time travel into its storytelling is willing to surprise its viewers.

What surprises are in store for the finale?

Sealed With a Kiss - The Way Home Season 1 Episode 9

How will Kat and Alice forgive themselves for causing the crash that killed Colton? Can they pull the plug on time travel with that heavy cloud hanging over their heads?

Do you think there is a way to challenge what was through time travel, or is it just impossible and more cruel than kind?

There's a better way to find answers than to force yourself to live through a family tragedy for the second time. There has to be.


Will they live through family tragedy for a third time? A fourth? Where does it stop, and when does healing begin again?

Kat still wants to free Del from believing that the unknown woman at Colton's funeral was involved with her husband. Will Kat go back and become the very person she wants to prove doesn't exist? And will she and Alice ever tell Del what they've been experiencing?

Relaxing with Wine - The Way Home Season 1 Episode 9

We still have so many questions, and Kat might not be done finding answers for herself.

Let me know in the comments below what you think the finale will hold.

I can't wait to hear your theories!

The Day The Music Died Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (100 Votes)

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 X and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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The Way Home Season 1 Episode 9 Quotes

There's a better way to find answers than to force yourself to live through a family tragedy for the second time. There has to be.


I know you don't want to go back, and I don't blame you. But I don't want you to regret anything, either.