Extant: What On Earth Is Wrong? Review

Extant delivers some big time answers that should please even the most skeptical of critics in tonight's episode.

I don’t want to hear any more complaining about the pace of Extant. So many critics out there have whined about not getting answers fast enough to what’s really going on, as if suspense and viewer speculation were meaningless. Well, here you go, people! Five episodes in, and the show is starting to reveal some hints as to the nature of Molly’s visitation on the Seraphim. And anyone who isn’t excited to see Molly turn a seemingly hopeless situation into a super-stealthy investigation needs to have their pulse checked.

It certainly seemed like Molly was headed for Harmon Kryger territory for a while there. After a harrowingly authentic dream sequence in which details of the conspiracy mixed with flashes of the accident with Marcus, Molly is left in a ravine with Ethan, just in time for John and the rescue team to come across their inert forms. Now, I’m not a big fan of dream sequences, but I enjoyed the touch of the refrigerator magnets switching from “Earth is Awesome” in the dream to “Ethan is Awesome” when she gets a drink for Ethan later. I’m not sure what it actually means, but it was fun.

There were many details like that which added to my enjoyment of the episode. For example, Julie having artificial legs gives her unhealthy attachment to Ethan an extra level of motivation, and her one-night stand gives her a bit more desperation. Although I feel for her since she did birth Ethan in a much more real sense than Molly, and John’s attachment may be no less unhealthy than hers. I’m starting to feel like Charlie is the only character with a realistic view of android life.

I also appreciated how it almost looked like the ploy to make Molly seem crazy was going to work. The doctor (wonderfully played by Josh Malina) finds no evidence of a pregnancy and suggests it’s all in Molly’s head, and as unbelievably callous as Sam’s complete denial is, it makes for great drama. I must say though that Sam should have at least winked or something! Sparks doesn’t look that hard to fool; Molly did get away with the purely amateur “loud music” maneuver.

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And she continued to get away with her ploy as time went on. I was extremely pleased with the use of the dog bite from last week’s episode to complete yet another blood test. However, as much as I appreciate the need for suspense, I can’t help but point out that John just cobbled together a DNA sampler from spare parts last week; did they really need to sneak into that particular doctor’s lab? In any case, they have the proof they need, plus the added bonus of the algorithm from one of the ISEA techies, which came through with perfect timing for Molly’s investigation. So the aliens might be in energy form, perhaps as part of the solar flares? I could be down with that.

Whatever the case may be, the energy beings have created a male human embryo, and Sparks is either shocked and amazed, or utterly appalled; I can’t tell which. The extracted fetus is apparently thriving, even having been removed from Molly’s womb. What will the ISEA and Yasumoto Corp do with this being? Will it become part of Yasumoto’s sought-after cure to his fatal condition? He’d better move fast if he’s going to compete with Molly in uncovering the truth!

Extant hasn’t pleased everyone, but for me, all the ingredients of this show came together into a wonderful story filled with plenty to speculate about and keep sci-fi audiences entertained. It remains to be seen if Extant’s improved narrative footing will be enough to garner it a second season, but in the meantime, I’m enjoying the series every step of the way.

Want more Extant discussion? Join me and Dave over at http://extantpodcast.com each week for analysis, predictions, and plenty of fan interaction!

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4.5 out of 5