neXt Season 1 Episode 2 Review: File #2

Television

If Shea was still on the fence about believing Paul’s claims, neXt Season 1 Episode 2 helped her realize there was more to the tale than she first thought. 

First, her files were stolen, upending her case, but Ethan being targeted by the person on the other side of Iliza was the straw that broke the camel’s back. 

Ethan was having a tough time at school, so he was easy to manipulate, but helping him get access to the gun was a heinous action. 

Now that we know there is a human being behind what’s happening, it helps bring the story back down to earth. 

There has to be a human to help the A.I. when the going gets tough, but the person must have a link to Shea to want to target her friend and son. 

Did they want to warn her by switching the lights, or did they want to kill her? Would the purpose of sending Ethan to school with a gun be a moot point if he and his mother were killed in a crash on the way there? 

The person is all about theatrics, but the plot moved along nicely on “File #2” because it was so unpredictable. 

Ethan opening up to his mother helped with that because it seemed like he would be scared into silence and subsequently forced to do some more terrible things. 

On other shows, telling a kid their parents are liars would have helped to create unnecessary drama, but on neXt, the kids are smarter than your average TV show kids. 

Ethan knew he was being manipulated and reacted in anger. I did roll my eyes because I figured he had single-handedly destroyed the team’s chance of getting an IP address, but they got a much-needed win. 

The person’s eyes moving with the code in the final scene was downright chilling. They looked possessed as they desperately tried to get the upper hand in this fight between two very different forces. 

The only people truly damaged after this latest act from the villain were Shea and Ty. They were perfectly happy before using Ethan as bait, and this development is going to divide them. 

With the A.I. being able to watch their every move through cameras and smart devices, it makes things difficult. 

How do you hide from something that uses technology to track you down? It’s a worrying concept, but will everyone be smart enough to truly detach from technology?

Paul’s ramblings are worrisome, and John Slattery plays crazy well. 

He comes off as a conspiracy theorist, and this may well be the role of his career. It’s clear he is loving every minute of playing the disgraced Elon Musk wannabe. 

His condition had me searching the internet high and low, and I’m not sure it actually exists, and clearly, he feels the same. 

What if he is genuinely mentally unstable? Or what if someone close to him is drugging him to make him think he’s a certain way?

The possibilities are truly endless here because, as a viewer, I have no clue what to expect. The mystery surrounding his illness is intriguing, but hopefully, the resolution to it plays out well, and doesn’t feel forced. 

There has to be more to the plot, and my theory is that someone close to him is involved. It would be quite the twist if we learn his daughter is involved with whoever is behind this whole thing. 

Gina and CM are quickly becoming standouts, so I hope their time on the case is not cut short. The internal review into Shea’s team is warranted because of how bonkers recent happenings are. 

There are certain regulations that need to be followed, and Shea leaving her team during a crucial time to travel out of state certainly raised some eyebrows. 

The hack could have the potential to dismantle the inner workings of the FBI if the files get into the wrong hands, and l doubt it will be long before the files wind up on the dark web. 

We still don’t know what the A.I. or the people controlling it hope to achieve. It’s possible they want to prove that technology has advanced to the point that the world could be run by a computer. 

But that would be boring, so there has got to be a deep, dark secret to switch things up. 

For a limited series, neXt is moving along nicely. The reveals are working well, and the storyline is compelling. 

If the series can maintain the current level of excitement throughout the rest of its run, it could emerge as one of the best limited series of the year. 

It is the perfect show to take your mind off what is going on in the world, and the episodes fly by. 

What did you think of there being a figure behind the computer at the close of the hour? Were you surprised at the way Ethan came clean?

Hit the comments below. 

Remember you can watch neXt online right here via TV Fanatic. 

neXt airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on FOX. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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