Astrid & Lilly Save the World premiered tonight on SYFY, introducing us to two very lovable and charming leads, the titular duo Astrid and Lilly, played by Jana Morrison and Samantha Aucoin. Astrid is the more outspoken and confident of the pair, eternally horny and obsessed with getting her goth crush Sparrow (Spencer Macpherson) to notice her, while Lilly is more reserved. Raised by two mothers, Lilly has a wall covered in pop culture posters from things like Law & Order: SVU and Alias. Both girls idolize Olivia Benson, and who can blame them?
Outcasts at their high school, Astrid and Lilly spend most nights on surveillance trips to monitor their classmates, particularly the popular ones, and find out what the “cool” crowd is doing on the weekends. Their first stop is to check in on Sparrow and Candace (Julia Doyle), the resident mean girl, albeit with a twist. There’s more to Candace than one might expect, as hinted several times in this episode.
Astrid & Lilly Save the World season 1, episode 1 recap
For starters, she has a complicated relationship with her mother, Christine (Geri Hall), the eccentric religious leader of a local youth group called Gateway to God. Candace dreams of becoming an actress or model, which involves taking headshots, which her mother does not approve of her daughter having. Candace and Lilly also fall into the familiar trope of used-to-be-friends-until-one-got-popular.
While on their surveillance trip, Astrid and Lilly notice a strange man lurking in the shadows of Candace’s property, dropping a polaroid photo of her while sneaking away from her house. Might that be the same guy who took her headshots? Either way, it doesn’t seem like it was Candace’s hunky boyfriend Tate (Kolton Stewart).
Speaking of Tate, he’s not just Candace’s boyfriend but one of Astrid and Lilly’s prime tormentors. They have the displeasure of running into him at a party where he dubs the BFFs with the cruel nickname “Pudge Patrol,” a title that follows them to school the next day.
Tate’s insults are spurned by the discord in his relationship with Candace. She wants to go to Los Angeles in the summer, which Tate isn’t happy about since she’d be leaving him alone for three months. He vents his frustrations on Astrid and Lilly, resulting in them venting their frustrations with a little ritual that involves burning one of Tate’s old hackeysacks while dancing around the flames.
The process results in them accidentally opening a portal to a monster dimension and unleashing a beast in the town known as the “Tear Jerker.” As the name suggests, this creature thrives on consuming human tears, and Tate becomes one of his first victims. The Tear Jerker is a sauve, hammy, “sexy daddy” entity that likes licking saltwater trails as much as he does gyrate his hips and taunting his captives as his bizarre contraption forces them to cry endlessly into martini glasses.
At school, Astrid and Lilly learn that Tate has gone missing. They also start developing their rather unorthodox superpowers—leg pains when she gets close to something supernatural for Lilly and a super-strong sense of smell for Astrid. These abilities lead them to the woods, specifically the spot where Tate’s school ID was found. There, they cross paths with their monster-hunter advisor, Brutus or their “Giles,” so to speak.
Brutus informs the pair that they opened a portal when they burned Tate’s hackeysack and recited a spell beneath a pink moon on a specific night of the month. Of course, Astrid and Lilly didn’t realize what they were doing, but nonetheless, they now have to vanquish monsters to close the dimension permanently. He fills them in on the Tear Jerker and reveals that Tate only has 26 hours before he’s gone for good.
To close the portal, Astrid and Lilly have to gather a collection of monster body parts and stick them inside a supernatural vessel, starting with the “tontoom” from the Tear Jerker, hence the episode title. Their initial showdown with the creature doesn’t go well as the monster quickly reduces Lilly to tears. But the duo regroups with assistance from Brutus and goes back in armed and ready for a fight, this time managing to defeat the monster and save Tate in the process.
And from there, it looks like the pair are officially ready to embrace their new legacy as monster hunters.
Elsewhere, however, Candace’s mom Christine visits the church and prays to an entity off-screen that sounds downright terrifying. It definitely doesn’t seem like she’s looking to God or anything holy for assistance. Could the next monster already be in town and hiding out in Gateway to God? Is Christine potentially the season’s big bad, or at least doing the bidding of the real big bad?
New episodes of Astrid & Lilly Save the World air Wednesday nights at 10:00 p.m. ET on SYFY.