You saw the preview and the sneak peek clip of The Way Home Season 1 Episode 2, so you knew Alice was coming home.
Kat and Del didn’t have the same luxury, so the 12 hours Alice was gone tore at old wounds left gaping after Jacob’s disappearance.
A Landry never loses hope, and the promise of it for the troubled family is ripe in the air.
Jacob’s fate has driven Del and Kat miles apart to the point Del won’t even show Kat how frightened she was about Alice’s disappearance.
It will be hard to bridge the gap if they keep Jacob out of the conversation.
Del has lived with the memories without any family support, and Kat has pushed them away. Del said it’s always black or white with Kat, and there’s no middle ground, but she’s the same way.
Kat: I went to the cemetery. You officially declared Jacob dead.
Del: It was time. That’s why I wrote you the letter. I had gotten his death certificate, and I thought you should know.
Kat: So that’s the letter that you say you didn’t send.
Del: I didn’t! I knew how you would react.
Kat: Because a Landry never gives up hope.
Del: She does if she’s the only one left waiting.
It’s no wonder Kat eventually left, especially since she was the last person to see Jacob before he disappeared. The guilt she must feel would be overwhelming.
Colton died just three months after Jacob disappeared. When she told Alice she lost her whole world in that span, and Alice corrected her, I wondered if Del blamed Kat for Jacob’s disappearance somehow.
Del: I lost my whole world in three months.
Alice: Your whole world except for mom.
Del: I realize you deserve to know what happened, but once you do, we have to be done with it. That is the only way this is gonna work.
It’s unlikely it would have been a conscious decision to blame Kat, but how could she not harbor those feelings toward Kat? It seems like a human reaction, given the situation.
Families fractured by trauma either grow closer or lose each other from the pain. Del and Kat have a rift so significant that only something miraculous can bring them together again.
They managed to reach out to each other after the letting-go ceremony, which was more symbolic than truly saying goodbye. Del is still reeling from the pain of losing Jacob, having waited every moment of every day for him to walk back through that door.
She’s said her peace, “buried” him with his father, and written his name in the family Almanac, but she’s still got his teddy bear tucked away in her bed.
I have to do this, Jacob, because I would rather remember you in love than in fear. Because he was loved. My heart, my baby.
Luckily for Kat and Del, the miracle they need to reconnect is right in their backyard. The magical pond promises to set things straight, and knowing what we know about Alice, it’s impossible not to believe that Jacob isn’t lost in time.
Elliot thinks that Alice is the only one who can time travel, but the opening scene of The Way Home Season 1 Episode 1 lends itself to all in the family having the capability.
Alice is the luckiest of the Landry women. Del and Kat would give everything to see Jacob again. Alice barely knew anything about him, but she was so moved by letting him go that she needed to see him again. And she could, which makes all the difference.
That gift also gives her a fresh perspective on her mother and grandmother.
When she returned, Kat was angry. It’s understandable under the circumstances. Even if Jacobs hadn’t gone missing from the same town, parents have that way of being angry when they’re faced with potentially losing their child.
In an instant, Alice went from trying to explain her absence and its magical bent to being accusatory of her mother for not thinking the best of her. It was only a few days ago that Alice proved she wasn’t to be trusted, so you can’t hold that against Kat.
When Alice asked, “What happened to you,” she was asking from the place of her new relationship with her mother from decades earlier.
She can see the difference between her mother then and now. While a lot of that comes with age, Alice said that without thinking of the devastation caused by Jacob’s disappearance.
Alice got some background on what happened to Jacob, which will help her navigate those discussions in the future when they arise. Hopefully, she doesn’t mature too quickly with what she’s experiencing. Maybe just enough to help smooth the rocky waters that have sent Kat and Del to opposing shores.
At least Alice has someone she can talk to about her travels. Elliot has all kinds of wisdom to share with his former and current friend. But doesn’t it seem weird that Elliot never told anyone about Alice?
It would have made more sense if he hadn’t witnessed it for himself (her disappearing into and returning via the pond). But I guess he just kept it to himself since Alice stopped returning, and he couldn’t prove that he wasn’t a loon for suggesting she was Kat’s time-traveling daughter.
Elliot has had a thing for Kat since childhood, and the look on his young face when he learned he wasn’t Alice’s father matched the one his older self had when Kat put her head on his shoulder.
Is this the couple we’re going to be cheering for as the series continues? Elliot deserves a happy ending with the girl he’s loved forever. Yep, I’m getting in on that action. Shall we call them Kalliot?
Alice does stop visiting the past at some point. Is she caught in a time loop that will continue, or is there some movement that she can make by connecting with Elliot and learning about the family tragedy?
We would like her to influence the past so that she can save Jacob and Colton, but you can’t do those things in most time travel situations because it would threaten the integrity of the timelines. How timey-wimey the show gets will be revealed as the season progresses, I’m sure.
My best guess will be that they can’t do much to influence things, but by the time the series draws to a close, I’d hope that Jacob reemerges from time happy and healthy and can reestablish a relationship with those he left behind.
Before we go, this old TV Fanatic needs to ask: Would Alice really not know Buffy and Giles?
Buffy is so ingrained in pop culture by this point I find that hard to believe. If nothing else, wouldn’t Kat have watched reruns with Alice by her side? Or maybe the pain of that time was so deep that Kat never finished watching the series, let alone gave it a second look later in life.
The reaction to a “tell-all” book about Jacob’s disappearance gives credence to that thought. Since Kat is a journalist, you’d think she would have experienced some of the wonderful books, movies, and series that cut through the pain of various tragedies, offering catharsis for those who lived through it and honoring those they lost.
The deal was never fleshed out enough to know what direction the publisher would have wanted Kat to take, but Brady probably wouldn’t have told her if it was supposed to be gossipy in nature.
Maybe she can revisit it with a little more clarity in the future.
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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 Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.