Extant episodes 9 & 10 review: Care And Feeding & A Pack Of Cards
The Offspring is still calling the shots in the latest Extant double-bill. Here's Holly's review...
This review contains spoilers.
1.9 Care And Feeding & 1.10 A Pack Of Cards
Picking up right where last week’s Extant double-header left off, this week’s Extant double-header felt more like a season-ending cliffhanger than the 9th and 10th episodes of a 13-episode run. As of right now, it’s not certain whether Extant is to be renewed for a second season - and I think the assumption by most is that it won’t - but it’s for sure giving us plenty to sort out in the meantime.
That baby. Or, The Offspring, depending upon who you are. Whatever you call it, the little abomination did some serious damage this week, and we still haven’t even seen it. Instead, we get the occasional POV shot through its blurry vision and hear its ragged breathing as it lurks, waiting to feed.
Well I guess I should call it “he,” as that’s how little blonde Katie-doll refers to him. She runs the show in the Sparks storyline this week, having her father do “his” bidding and holding her presence over his head if he can’t. Sparks, now at his very weakest and most desperate to keep his newly-not-dead daughter’s child-form apparition around, brings The Offspring whatever food he requires, depending upon whether his human side or his... other side is hungry. The human side enjoys some good ol’ junk food. The other side requires a little more.
The time spent with Sparks and Katie - and after some major luring, Sparks’s ex-wife, Anya - is the strongest part of the two hours, I think. It’s uncanny and super weird, but at heart the storyline is a natural examination of a family’s grabbing at the illusion of regaining their former happiness under very unnatural circumstances. “Everything comes at a cost,” Sparks tells Anya. In this case, the cost is taking the very essence of human lives for the satiation of The Offspring’s appetite; it’s worth it, says Sparks, if it means they get to have Katie back.
Of course, we know Katie’s not back. And we know that Sparks and Anya, somewhere in the back of their tired, addled minds, know it too. That’s the tragedy of it. Watching these divorced, bereaved middle-aged parents play at story time with what amounts to a hologram of their lost little girl is just pitiful. But what would we have them do differently?
Molly, too, is irrevocably under The Offspring’s influence as she races to find and save him. In the driver’s seat for this mission is Dr. Mason, whom Yasumoto has summoned from who knows where to assist Molly in her quest. Along the way, by far the best moments in her story this week come in the form of flashbacks. The tension of her return in the first episode is further explored as we see John and Molly’s conversation of two years before, when she admits she’s not really feeling it for the whole family unit thing John’s trying to push. She chooses the mission over John’s wishes; he shows an earnest, sensitive side we haven’t seen much of. I’m curious as to how that dynamic will ultimately bear out in light of how it has shifted in the time since Molly’s return, and in the wake of whatever happens with “her baby.”
Speaking of babies, we also see a flashback Molly receiving the bad news of her first baby’s death in the car accident that also killed Marcus. It’s a memory that is then completely subverted when The Offspring uses it to obtain Molly’s code, having deluded her in a zombie-like state into thinking she’s entering a code on her baby’s life-support machinery to save him. To be honest, I lost track of where that part was going; I just know it was another cruel, cruel manipulation of an emotionally-vulnerable human by the implacable Offspring.
No less relenting are the manipulations of the charming Odin on our impressionable little humanich Ethan. Slyly placing thoughts into his head--or lighting flames onto his hand, as it were - Odin begins the Machiavellian machinations that he undoubtedly hopes will set into motion the “reckoning” that was teased last week. In the midst of all this, John is grappling with Ethan’s growing up and not needing him as much anymore, all the while trapped by Yasumoto and trying to track down Molly.
This particular storyline was rather oddly paced, which I suppose makes sense given the odd circumstances, but John and Yasumoto’s interactions and comings and goings frankly just felt off. The important thing is, though, that John now knows that Yasumoto is not to be trusted, and Ethan is now trying to find their way out. And Femi knows all of the above.
Finally, my Bros K have met the end of their broventure in the saddest of ways. As we leave them, it seems the only hope of averting an across the board catastrophe hangs on whether Molly will heed the last words of Kryger (hashtag RIP), begging her to stop The Offspring.
“You’re nothing but a pack of cards!” Katie and Anya yell in unison, reading aloud from Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland shortly before Molly arrives and they flee with The Offspring in tow. The metaphor is pretty obvious, and it’s obvious The Offspring has stacked the deck. Irreversibly? We have three more episodes to find out.
Read Holly's review of the previous Extant double-bill, here.
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