Thursday, August 7, 2014

In Which I Review Extant (1x5)

Watching this week's episode, "What on Earth is Wrong?" with my good friend Ranisha when the following happened: "wait. She has no legs. NO LEGS! NO LEGS! NO LEEEEEEGS!" It's not quite the 11th hour for the show, but nonetheless, unexpected character history was unexpected. It's the second week in a row they've done this: shed some light on a heretofore unmentioned character trait. Last week, Sam got a crazy brother. This week, Julia apparently has no legs and has been fooling us all. Outside of legless Julia, this week's episode presented the idea that maybe Molly is simply crazy and there never was any pregnancy. This whole episode has a dream like quality to it, to the point where sometimes you--the audience--began to wonder whether or not it was all false to begin with and the past four episodes have been some sort of psychotic break. Don't worry, though. You're not going crazy. It's not a dream, there is a baby. It's a boy!

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 is taken to the lab to be rebooted, if such a thing can even happen to him without damage, while Molly and John await the news at the hospital. In a bit of a twist, the Doctor comes in and tells Molly that she is going to be okay, and better still, there was no baby. Ever. Molly was never pregnant. Huh? How is that possible? All traces of her pregnancy--fetus, hormones, stretching of uterus--have vanished. John is told by the Doctor that Molly is suffering from some sort of break and reminds John that John himself never saw any evidence of the baby, but only had Molly's word for it. Molly remains convinced that she was carrying an alien baby, while John slowly begins to doubt. Add in the fact that their other child is currently a slab of hardware and circuits, lying half naked on a table being re-uploaded, and you've got a rather tense marriage. Molly and John need to cover all their bases, though, so Molly has the bright idea to go talk to Sam who has been in the know since the beginning. Sadly, we know that Sam isn't going to be much help; she has already sold Molly down the river by agreeing to tell her lies to save her brother. Sam's "what baby" only reinforced what John is coming to believe: his wife is crazy. But clever Molly has one more trick up her sleeve. Remember how she was bitten by a dog last episode? The bloody towel is still at her father's, covered in blood. And blood means DNA. Once the towel is collected, John and Molly analyze it and discover that she was, in fact, pregnant but all evidence was erased by the medical team. It is also learned that the DNA of the baby has Molly's own DNA (naturally) but also a DNA sample never before seen. In other words, John you are not the father! Poor John. Also, the medical team must have been working at lightening fast speed to take out the baby, drain Molly's blood and give her new blood all within one night. A plan is put into place by John and Molly to go about their lives, pretend everything is copacetic and gather intel. This plan always go off without a hitch, by the way.

And this is where it gets weird(er?). Back at work, Molly is analyzing samples from her trip into space (and keeping one eye on the door as men in black keep passing by) when her assistant tries a new algorithm--this is not something I understand or something that they are going to explain because science fiction in science fiction and you just gotta roll with it sometimes. The new algorithm shows a new energy that seems to have washed over the samples at a certain point during Molly's mission. Gee, I wonder what point in time that would be...yeah it was baby-making time. Molly and John watch the video of the day Molly saw Marcus and using the new algorithm, they see the same light wash over Molly. She was impregnated by light! How very odd. Are those the aliens? Are we dealing with non-corporeal alien beings? Do they want bodies? Is that where this is heading? It's all so odd. And of course, we couldn't leave the audience hanging about the fate of the baby. Sparks has him, in some sort of test-tube like box. And yeah, it's a boy. And very human looking. How is that possible? Shouldn't it have some alien features? The ability to glow, for instance.

Miscellaneous Notes from What On Earth is Wrong?

--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. 

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