Thursday, August 21, 2014
I like that John and Molly are very much a team when it comes to the alien baby. He's by her side, giving Molly the kind of support she needs in a crisis like this. Apart from being the support system, John is rather detached from the alien baby plot line. His center, as it has always been, is Ethan and the work John does with humanics. John is beginning to question if Ethan is advancing too far for Ethan to even be considered human anymore. Humans develop, to be sure, but at a so-called natural rate. I did not wake up this morning with the ability to speak Japanese, for instance. Ethan, however, did. And that's terrifying for John. This rapid fire development might prove his critics right: the humanic cannot be a human because it is fundamentally a machine and even if it becomes self-aware, it is self-awareness of being a machine and thus more than human. How long before the self-aware machine decides it is better than self-aware humans? The worry John has is to the point where he wants to turn off Ethan and try to fix this rapid development so that Ethan develops at a more normal rate. Essentially: kill the kid and remake him in my image. You are not God, John. Various people around John are opposed to this, like Julia and Molly. Just because Ethan is advancing quickly doesn't mean he's not human; you can argue that people develop at different rates as well. It is said that one of the hallmarks of humanity is self-preservation; it's a trait we hold dear, that our lives are important and need to be protected. Well, Ethan seems to developing that trait as well. When John decides to go through with turning Ethan off, he is locked out of Ethan's computer system by Ethan himself.
Machine or human? The lines are very blurry when it comes to Ethan right now. He has advanced development like the ability to suddenly speak Japanese and ride a bike, despite never having been on one. But at the the same time, Ethan is displaying traits that are at the core of what it means to be human. He's self-aware and has been from the start of the show; he has a sense of self-preservation, as shown by shutting John out of his computer system so he cannot be turned off; Ethan has a compassionate streak in him. In the second hour, Ethan is attacked by some bullies after he witnesses them blowing up another machine, a non self-aware one at that. Ethan insists that John bring the machine home with them because, "it needs our help." John sees this machine as just that--a machine. It doesn't have a higher function or life and is not self-aware. But Ethan sees a peer, another machine just like him who cannot be left out in the cold, because if this machine can be, then so can he. And finally, Ethan questions his own existence. When Julia tries to explain that the non self-aware machine no longer has a function, Ethan's response is "what is my function?" It's probably the most basic human question of them all: what is my purpose, why am I here, why was I created? (Side note but the writers of Extant are clearly big fans of the first Star Trek movie and the idea of Veeger) John is actually getting exactly what he set out to create: a machine that could go beyond mimicking humans to being human. But be careful what you wish for.
I don't know what to make of these two. They are working together but are they at cross purposes? Hidecki is clearly the one in charge but Sparks seems have his own personal agenda, which revolves around his dead daughter. Sparks has come to the conclusion that he must eliminate Molly who has finally uncovered the truth (most of it anyway) about Katie's death. Sparks does feel guilty about this since he was always fond of Molly, but the project is more important. Which I don't understand. The project in question seems to stem from Hidecki and the fact that his time on this earth is running out. He is clearly much older than we've been told and has been keeping himself alive with "the substance." Now, the substance, we are told, was found out in space and Sparks sent his daughter and her team out there to mine it in secret. But what they found was alien life and that changed everything. The substance Hidecki uses is only temporary and is running low, but apparently he thinks that the alien life they found is more important? I think what Hidecki intends is to transplant his brain, his higher functions, into this alien body and live forever. I find this problematic because it implies that the aliens are immoral but what we've seen of them so far suggests that they grow and develop like any other creature. So how does this ultimately save Hidecki from certain death? I am so confused about the alien plot overall. The final moments of the show this week show Sparks shooting Molly, but it turns out to be an manifestation of Katie who cryptically says, "he needs our help." Is "Katie" referring to the alien baby or...someone else?
There has always been a question in the back of my mind about how Molly would view the baby that she had carried. As Kryger (who is not dead) tells her, "you're not its mother, you're its host." But that's not how it works with Molly or with other mothers, I guess. The baby is partly hers, it has her DNA. So wouldn't Molly feel some sort of maternal instinct toward the alien baby boy? The answer is yes. Molly, Kryger and the body guard who switched sides apparently, come up with an elaborate plan to get Molly inside the secret chamber and see her...baby. Except of course it has gone missing but the important part is that Alien Baby also seems to recognize that Molly is "mom." When it appears that Molly is in danger, the baby transplants its consciousness (or something) into another man and opens fire, killing everyone who is about tho hurt Molly.
Molly's journey outside of becoming a mother was more focused on getting answers. She is taking the fight to Sparks instead of sitting on the sidelines and waiting for things to come to her. There was a lot of information that was given out in this episode that was delivered at such a rapid pace that I missed some of it but Molly is the one who learns about the secret mining operation in space that discovered alien life; she's the one who tracks down a payload specialist to talk about what happened on the doomed mission (the guy kills himself before Molly can talk to him, but she get credit for trying.) At the end of this episode, I'm not sure what's next for Molly except that she is probably going to become very protective Momma Bear over Alien Baby.
--So there's an anti-machine group who is going after Ethan. And it's lead by Julia's new boy toy and Hidecki's lover. The group believes that humanity is outsourcing themselves to machines and that they've lost their souls to machines. Have these writers seen Battlestar Galactica? I think they have....
--"He needs a normal life." "What is that?"
--"He's not the baby Jesus!" This is my new favorite line.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
--"I get over zealous" Big Jim's plot this week was so stupid. Shock! People don't like him and are out to get him! Shock! The perpetrator was Phil! Shock! Nothing came of this except Phil being locked up.
--"We're never getting of here alive."
"Yeah, we all got problems."
--"That's what you get for jumping off the cliff, thinking you'd bring the rapture."
--I predict that the red door will magically lead everyone back to Chester's Mill.
--Why is Joey making a vlog? You cannot post this vlog. This vlog is useless.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
--Did they kill Harmon? I can't tell. One moment he was standing, the next not so much.
--I really and truly do not care about Julia and whatever is going on with this robotic limb thing. However, I did pity her when she's trying to express her feelings toward John as caring for him and Ethan, and he literally just blows her off.
--John wasn't shirtless in this episode. Tragic.
--Molly spied on Sam quite a bit this episode and learned that Sam is on her side but being bribed. Glad we got that out of the way.
--Where is Hidecki? What role does he play in all this?
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Best delivered line of the night, in my opinion. Rivals Darth Vadar. I have no idea what is going on with this show anymore; in fact, I'm willing to bet that I never knew what was going on with this show. Time travel. Portals between cities. Cave of mystery. Supposedly dead relatives not being dead anymore. People going crazy. Just another week in Chester's Mill, I suppose. In this week's episode "Going Home," we finally learn what's at the bottom of the Cave of Death. Hint: it is not death. I think I said a few posts ago that if the Cave of Death had a way out of the Dome I was going to freak. Well, the Cave of Death does have a way out of the Dome but I'm not freaking. Why? Because of course it does. I shouldn't be surprised. They've been hinting all season that there is another town somewhere where all our questions will receive "answers." Answers is in quotation marks because I honestly wonder if the writers and producers know what an answer is.
--Melanie and Junior wake up in each others arms. No. Just...no
--"There's something so much darker in him." Gee, you think?
--Max No-Last-Name shout out!
--What is the red door in the ground? Why is there a red door in the ground? Does it take people back to the Dome?
--NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! (because reasons)
Saturday, August 9, 2014
I've been keeping my eye on this series for awhile now. Goodreads often recommends the books to me, though at present I haven't read any of it. The reviews always seem contradictory; either the readers rave about how gorgeous the work is or it gets labeled as self-indulgent soft core porn. Not that there is anything wrong with soft core porn, mind you. So I went into the first episode, "Sassencah," a little hesitant about how interesting the show could be. I knew the basic premise: 20th century wife gets transported back in time to Highland Scotland, meets another man, falls in love, and apparently there's a lot of sex. Take out that last bit, and it could be an episode of Doctor Who. I will say this: I was pleasantly surprised by the pilot. It was exactly what I expected--exposition and set up--but it was enjoyable. I didn't feel weighted down trying to follow plot lines or the history of the main characters. And can we talk about the gorgeousness of the Scottish Highlands? Stunning. The views of Scotland alone might be worth the viewing, if the story does little to peak your interest. The first episode might feel a little sleepy since more than half of it is devoted to setting up the present day story, instead of moving you into the more important past time period after a bit of time travel. But the on screen chemistry of Jamie and Claire is already palpable, to the point where I'll be tuning in again next week. Overall, I'm going to recommend the first episode, though with the caveat that, as I understand the basic storyline, this is a somewhat cheesy romantic time travel adventure. There will be angst and drama. And apparently quite a bit of sex. Explains why it's on Starz at least.
--Sassenach means "Outlander" in Gaelic.
--I hope they go into Druid myth and ritual more. It's not something I know a lot about (my religion degree does not really extend up to England or Scotland but I've always been curious about it).
--Seriously, the Druid ritual at the stones are breathtaking.
--So much pretty landscape! Have I mentioned that yet?
--Jamie, at the moment, is a wee bit colorless but he was only on screen for about 20 mins so I'll hold tight. Apparently I'll love him by the end.
Thursday, August 7, 2014
Molly, aboard the good ship SS Medical Experiment, is having all sort of weird dreams. She dreams of being back home, being very pregnant, only with Marcu's baby, and of floating gravity defying orange juice. And apparently the two astronauts feel the need to write "Earth is Awesome" on their fridge in colored magnets. All of this screams dream world. As of this moment in the episode, we're not sure what the medical team is doing to Molly, but based on the laser involved, I think it's safe to say that they are removing the baby. John, meanwhile, finds Molly and Ethan passed out in the woods and calls for the squad. Molly is whisked away to the nearest hospital, John informing the team that she is pregnant, while he tries in vain to wake Ethan up. The batteries in the robot-boy are fully drained and Ethan calls in Julia to help. Now, I don't object to legless Julia except that it came completely out of left field. Julia's is nothing more than a tertiary character; her purpose was as John's employee who happens to be in love with him and has a strong bond with Ethan. There's nothing you really need to add to that. Suddenly making her part robot via limb feels forced and contrived, a way of strengthening her bond with Ethan. "We're both robots, kid!" It also turns out that Julia never wanted John and Molly to adopt Ethan. She thinks the robot-boy should have gone to a home like originally planned but that John acted selfishly. Ah, love. It's fickle, is it not?
--Ethan spent this entire episode pretty much passed out except for an extremely creepy moment where he sat up and began to talk. It was very "the robots are coming to kill us all!"
--"I know when I'm hallucinating. I've gotten a lot of practice lately."
"Nothing would make me happier right now than to be crazy."
--I almost felt bad for Julia when John told her that they were not partners, but that she is his subordinate.
--Impregnated by light. Just gotta toss that out here one more time.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
--Best lines of the night!
"You are normal!" "I died."
"The town barber makes bombs?"
"Is there a brain under that hair?"
"All science is your area!" (THANK YOU)
"The egg knows we're here."
--Rebecca and Julia bonded over their sad tales. I can't even begin to care. Rebecca needs to be the next victim of the Dome cause I can't take her anymore.
--RIP Sam? Bet he's still alive.
--Melanie just flirts with everyone, doesn't she?
--The only thing the Dome has brought is pain. Much like the show.