joel edgerton standing with jimmi simpson in a room in dark matter
(Apple TV+)

The ‘Dark Matter’ Premiere Takes Us on a Twisty Ride

The new Apple TV+ series Dark Matter will leave you with unanswered questions, but you just have to go along for the ride.

The new Apple TV+ series Dark Matter will leave you with unanswered questions, but you just have to go along for the ride. The first episode does a lot of work to set up where the show is going, getting us invested in the characters and their mystery.

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In episode 1, “Are You Happy With Your Life?,” we meet Jason Dessen (Joel Edgerton), a college professor with a great family at home. Jason’s wife Daniela (Jennifer Connelly) is an artist, and the two have a great relationship with their son Charlie (Oakes Fegley), who seemingly likes spending time with them. Jason talks to Charlie about girls and teaching him how to drive; their dynamic is that of a healthy family.

But as we see more of Jason and Daniela’s relationship, we learn that he wanted to be a scientist and not a professor. So when Jason is offered a dream job, he may take it and change his life. Jason is having dinner with Daniela and Charlie when he receives a call from his friend Ryan (Jimmi Simpson), who wants him to go out for drinks to celebrate Ryan winning an award. Daniela encourages Jason to go, knowing that if the roles were reversed, Ryan would be there for him.

The two have been friends for years, long before Jason was a physics professor at a local community college when he too was a scientist. Ryan, who won the Pavia Prize, is going to start a new business and Jason can pursue his career as a scientist again if he agrees. Knowing he has to talk to his wife about it, Jason leaves the party with a lot to think about. However, on his way home, Jason is attacked and beaten to the point where he blacks out.

Jason wakes up to a woman named Amanda (Alice Braga) talking to him like she knows him. What happened?

What happens when you choose the wrong path?

Jason is waking up in a world where his life is very different from the one he knew, but we don’t yet know who attacked him. Thrown into a room with Amanda and Leighton (Dayo Okeniyi), Jason has to try and piece together what went wrong. He was on his way home, he was attacked, and he woke up in a world where his home is not the one he shared with Daniela and Charlie, but a different home that he shares with Amanda.

Just when Jason thinks he is finally starting to figure everything out, he goes home to see Amanda standing in his kitchen. We cut to the masked man who attacked Jason as he leaves the mask behind and walks into Jason’s home to reveal that a different version of Jason has taken over his life. Jason was attacked by the other version of himself, and the two have swapped lives.


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.