I’m guessing many of you, like me, exclaimed, “That’s IT?” at the end of the Extant finale, but take a moment. Surely you’d rather have an open-ended, draw-your-own-conclusions finale than a cliffhanger with potentially no resolution if the show isn’t renewed! After the dust settles, I think you’ll find the many possibilities in “Ascension” satisfying, and the same can be said for the series. Lots of action, ups and downs with character moments, intense speculation, eerie suspense – satisfying.
The moment I had been waiting for was for the two disparate plots to converge somehow, and I was not disappointed. I’ll admit I saw Ethan’s explosive sacrifice coming, but it was no less enjoyable for having anticipated it. In fact, it made me all that more surprised when it proved to be an impermanent end for Ethan. Consider the implications of the android’s consciousness being everywhere. Did the Offspring, the “architect of eternal life” as Yasumoto called it, grant Ethan an electronic form of an afterlife? The mercy Ethan showed the alien in telling him to run may have been rewarded in the most ultimate way!
Otherwise why bring Yasumoto’s story into it at all? If the yellow goo had healing properties, then Yasumoto hoped, as do I, that the aliens themselves held the secret to its powers. Will the Offspring now live among the humans, perhaps with the couple that picked him up, learning more about them? Or is everyone still in grave danger?
One thing’s for sure: if you give Molly a case labeled “PLAN C,” chances are plans A and B aren’t going to work. The rescue of Sean Glass was as exciting and suspenseful as it gets, but the interaction with faux Katie was a bit off-kilter for me. Molly’s dizziness didn’t fit with earlier symptoms, and the spores or fungus conflicted with my earlier concepts of this alien life. My disorientation almost mirrored that of Molly! All was forgiven, though, when Ben delivered the classic line, “I’m afraid I can’t do that.” And we were worried about the android becoming Skynet!
This final episode was filled with touching moments, and more than a few Extant fans on Twitter admitted to tearing up several times. Molly’s discussion with Ethan as she prepares for her own death was already quite poignant, but adding Ethan’s speech ending in, “I think that this is my purpose,” was almost too much to take! Every lesson the android child has learned in this series has been skillfully woven into his actions just as one might imagine an AI might learn.
So now that Ethan has found his purpose, who will determine the aliens’ purpose? Was it conquest? Survival? A misunderstanding? Presumably the spores from the fungus growing on the Seraphim would have spread throughout the Earth’s atmosphere and infected everyone had the space station reached its intended destination. But if my theory is correct and Ethan’s mercy has elicited a change of heart for the Offspring, there may yet be hope rather than trepidation at the survival of Molly’s child. In this case, leaving it up to the audience’s imagination was the right choice, and the theories will be a joy to speculate upon.
The perfect outlet for your ideas about the finale and Extant overall is the Dark Matter podcast over at http://extantpodcast.com! Join me and Dave for our final episode discussion and share your thoughts there or in the comments area below.