HBO’s The Nevers reveals that there’s more to Amalia True’s story and identity, which ties into the show’s larger mystery. Set during the Victorian era, The Nevers follows a group of characters, mostly women that suddenly exhibit unique abilities. Amalia (Laura Donnelly) takes it upon herself to lead the group, who are referred to as The Touched. Guarded when it comes to her emotions but reckless when it comes to protecting the group, Amalia displays a power of her own. Her power, or turn, as they’re called in the show, involves seeing glimpses of the future.
Still, from its very first episode, The Nevers has hinted that there’s more going on with Amalia than viewers are privy to. During one scene, upon being threatened with a knife to her cheek, Amalia dryly responds: “This isn’t my face.” Later, in episode 2, Maladie (Amy Manson) implores Amalia to shed her skin. Although this suggested that Amalia has a second power, possibly concealing her ability to shapeshift, The Nevers episode 4 appears to confirm that Amalia’s mysterious backstory connects to the overall unanswered questions posed by the show.
The episode features a confrontation between Amalia and Lucy (Elizabeth Berrington). At one point, Amalia regretfully says that “it wasn’t supposed to be like this”, referring to the sometimes destructive powers of the Touched. Lucy then accusingly asks Amalia if she’s the one who caused all the strange turns to manifest. Amalia denies the charge, saying she was just left behind. This exchange, along with others from the same episode, would seem to solidify that Amalia is part of the alien spaceship seen giving people their turns in The Nevers episode 4.
If it’s the case that Amalia is one of the alien race, it’d end one of The Nevers’ mysteries. It’d explain the implication that she had a second face. It would explain why Maladie wants Amalia to shed her skin. But, even beyond Amalia’s climactic scene with Lucy, there are other telling moments in The Nevers episode 4. During a conversation with Penance (Ann Skelly), Amalia says that they don’t do funerals “when” she’s from because there’s not enough time for them or enough ground. This fueled speculation that, if she’s not an alien, then Amalia is at the very least a human soldier sent from a disastrous future to gather the Touched.
This, too, would potentially be illuminating. It’d easily explain why Amalia has such excellent combat skills. It would also shed light on certain aspects of Amalia’s personality, her guardedness, and recklessness in tandem, if it’s taken into consideration that the character feels abandoned by those who sent her on a mission into the past. Amalia is often drinking her problems away and getting into fights. She might be indulging in these destructive habits because, in her weaker moments, she’s not quite sure what she’s supposed to do.
This backstory would provide an answer to what happened when Amalia got her turn as well. In the premiere episode, Amalia is seen ending her own life by jumping into the river. But, when the alien spaceship hovers above London to create the Touched, Amalia resolutely swims back to the surface and she seems to have found purpose. Could it be that an alien has taken over the body of the person that used to be Amalia? Does Penance know the full truth? And why exactly would Amalia be sent into the past, anyway? One potential surprise in The Nevers leads to a host of other interesting and worthy questions. Still, it’s pretty clear that Amalia True is key in discovering what’s really going on.
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