“Tales From The Loop – Transpose ” isn’t precisely the most optimistic show. The themes of the episode, like “The Loop” proceeding, are relatively dark. The cinematography, directing, and acting make the show worth watching. It may be depressing, but it is worth watching.
“Transpose” takes inspiration from Simon Stålenhag‘s Ett Bedårande Barn Av Sin Tid, which translates to “An Adorable Child of his Time.” The title is subject to debate by the end of the episode. Jakob (Daniel Zolghadri) and Danny (Tyler Barnhardt) are friends who encounter an orb in the woods. Jakob enters the sphere, resulting in both boys passing out for a while. When they awake, they find that they have switched bodies. After the initial fear subsides, they decide to spend a day in their current places.
It’s through this switch that we learn that Danny’s future isn’t quite as bright as Jakob’s. Danny doesn’t get good grades in school and is seemingly doomed to a fate working at his family’s quarry. Jakob, on the other hand, gets straight A’s and can look forward to a future working at his grandfather Russ’ (Jonathan Pryce) company, The Loop. Unsurprisingly, Danny doesn’t want to switch back.
The two get into a fight, and Jakob, still in Danny’s body, returns to the orb to see if he can force a switch. The switch only works within a specific range, and Jakob ends up in a nearby robot. Just like that, the future can no longer change. Danny will live out his life in Jakob’s body, and Jakob will haunt him.
While I have some questions about how things went down in this episode, the impact cannot be ignored. “Tales From the Loop” seems, at least in these first two episodes, to examine what human longing is all about. “The Loop” looked at longing for a parent, and “Transpose” looks at longing for a better life. The twist that ensures Danny will get the opportunity he was looking for is a bit questionable. Then again, we know almost nothing of how the switch worked in the first place, so it’s difficult to question. That is one advantage of “Tales From the Loop.” By shining it’s light more on the story than the elements, the show gets a pass on some of the more questionable ‘science.’