Amazon Prime’s latest series Paper Girls had a dramatic ending, setting up the time travelers for some interesting new adventures.
Paper Girls follows the story of four twelve-year-old girls who end up in the midst of a war between time travelers. The series is based on the comic book series of the same name by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, and Matt Wilson.
The story, at its core, is one of intergenerational conflict. The Old Watch tries to preserve the timeline, while the STF underground, representing the next generation, tries to change it. The Paper Girls get stuck in the midst of this intergenerational battle and realize that adversaries on both sides can be brutal and ruthless.
Season 1 ends with the Old Watch catching up with the Paper Girls. The ending is faithful to the original comics, so much so that the scene feels like one lifted directly from the original comics. Nevertheless, the ending has various interesting implications.
Grand Father’s Laws of Time Travel
In the Season 1 finale, the Paper Girls finally meet Grand Father, the leader of the Old Watch. He explains his view of the universe using Mac’s mix-tape.
According to the Grand Father, changing the timeline is essentially futile, like repeatedly re-recording a tape with the quality diminishing every time. Eventually, this diminishing quality will destroy the timeline and cause the end of the universe.
This is why the Old Watch monitors the timeline; the ablutions performed are supposed to minimize their influence.
However, there are various gaps in Grand Father’s idea of time travel and the timeline. The Paper Girls are probably stuck in a time loop. The girls have repeatedly found themselves interacting with their future selves and it’s clear that they are destined for ablution.
The girls also realize that a radio recording they heard back in 1988 was actually from their future selves. In the finale, Tiffany even leaves a note for her future self, who is destined to inspire the discovery of time travel.
The Prioress’ Plan to Stop the Time War
The Grand Father intended to take the Paper Girls back to 1988, but the Prioress realized something extremely significant that could change everything.
The Prioress finds out that one of the Paper Girls is Tiffany Quilkin, the founder of the Quilkin Institute. It is Tiffany’s research that discovers the science of time travel. So, she realizes that if she can affect the life of Tiffany Quilkins and make one particular change in the timeline, she can prevent time travel from being discovered.
If time travel is never discovered, the entire time war will never occur. Considering that the Prioress had to pay a hefty price for joining the Old Watch and vowing to protect the timeline, including losing her own brother, her desperation makes sense.
If the Prioress were successful, the Old Watch and the STF would seize to exist, so there would never be a time war. So, she attempts to send Tiffany on a timeline mission, hoping her plan will work out. This twist never took place in the comics, proving that Season 2 could be different from the comics.
The Paper Girls Were Divided
As expected, the Prioress’ plan goes wrong with other Old Watch members interfering. The capsule meant for Tiffany ends up blasting off Mac and KJ, stranding them into the future. The Prioress then sends Tiffany and Erin into time in another capsule, but they end up getting trapped in the past.
The Season 1 finale did not give us the time period in which Tiffany and Erin might be stuck in, but the girls assume that it is sometime in the 1970s.
Thus, Season 1 established a time loop, which led to the discovery of time travel. But the Prioress’ actions can break the loop. This means that the girls have the potential to change their future.
Grand Father even revealed that there would be a cure for cancer, so this could be an exciting opportunity for Mac. Both KJ and Mac could prioritize saving her life. In the comics, Mac’s cancer resulted from the time loop, a tumor caused by her time travel experience.
Season 2 is expected to delve more into the time loop and move away from the plot of the original comic.
You can watch Paper Girls on Amazon Prime.
About Paper Girls
Paper Girls is an American science fiction drama streaming television series created by Stephany Folsom. It is based on the comic book series of the same name written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Cliff Chiang. The series premiered on Amazon Prime Video on July 29, 2022. The cast includes Camryn Jones, Riley Lai Nelet, Sofia Rosinsky and Fina Strazza.
Paper Girls follows four young girls who, while out delivering papers on the morning after Halloween in 1988, become unwittingly caught in a conflict between warring factions of time-travelers, sending them on an adventure through time that will save the world. As they travel between our present, the past, and the future, they encounter future versions of themselves and now must choose to embrace or reject their fate.