Expats: Prime Video Miniseries Review

The last episode of a series that talks about guilt, rebirth, hope, and coexistence with the deepest pain

Image Credit: Prime Video

Expats, the Prime Video limited series, has reached its finale with the sixth episode, Home, in which the journey of the three protagonists reaches a turning point. Created, written, and directed by Lulu Wang, starring Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (also executive producer), Sarayu Blue (Never Have I Ever, Hands Off Our Daughters), Ji-young Yoo (Girl Power – The Revolution Begins School, Smoking Tigers), Brian Tee (Chicago Med, Ninja Turtles – Out of the Shadows), and Jack Huston (House of Gucci, Fargo). The series, based on the international best-seller The Expatriates written by Janice Y. K. Lee, is available with all episodes on Prime Video.

Expats – Where we were

Hong Kong, 2014. American Margaret (Kidman) has lived in the Chinese city for years due to her husband Clarke's work. Her life is linked in different ways to Hilary (Sarayu Blue) and Mercy (Ji-young Yoo), the former in crisis with her husband David, the latter a young waitress looking for her path. She is the narrator who introduces us into the narrative and confesses to us that she has committed a terrible crime, a remorse that accompanies her relentlessly. 

Margaret and Mercy met during a party and immediately hit it off, so much so that Margaret thought about hiring her as a babysitter for her three children, Daisy, Philip, and little Gus. One evening Margaret decides to go out with her and Mercy's children in the center of Hong Kong, after dinner while they are walking through the crowd Mercy, who was holding Gus by the hand, gets distracted and a second later the little one disappears. An endless nightmare will begin for Margaret, her family, and Mercy, between feelings of guilt and excruciating pain.

Image Credit: Prime Video

Come back to live

“Each of us thinks we are immune to tragedy,” says Margaret in one of the monologues in the last episode of Expats, after having seen her life change completely due to the disappearance of her youngest child, having wished to die, after blaming herself for not having been with him at that moment, having hated Mercy, and deciding to stay in Hong Kong so as not to betray Gus, because returning to Los Angeles would have meant abandoning him permanently, ending up neglecting her other two children. For Mercy "there isn't a day when she doesn't think about it", as she had already explained at the beginning of the series, when she still couldn't imagine what her fault was. 

Hilary, however, finally found herself after a cathartic confrontation with her violent father and after deciding to divorce David: "There is a saying that says that you cannot discover new lands without the courage to leave the shore". And that's what the three women do, with effort, pain, and hope for the future, everything the protagonists manage to express in a three-way confrontation in which their faces in the foreground illuminate the screen with all the sensations and emotions that only those who carry such heavy baggage can communicate.

Image Credit: Prime Video

Expats: evaluation and conclusion

The existential journey of the three "expatriate" protagonists told by Lulu Wang says a lot about the lives of all of us, about the case that moves our lives, in a continuous sliding door that can lead to the most unspeakable tragedy or the greatest joy. As in the storm that hits Hong Kong in the penultimate episode, some resist, fight, waiting for the quiet dawn of the new day. Expats is supported by the brilliant performances of Nicole Kidman, Sarayu Blue, and Ji-young Yoo and by a writing that takes the viewer by the hand into the lives of the protagonists, which takes the time to tell every nuance of pain and beauty, a series that it speaks of hope, rebirth, of coexistence with suffering, of tortuous paths towards happiness (hopefully).