Last week the series premiere of Extant had even more unanswered questions than characters it introduced (which is saying something). The major players are as follows: Halle Berry plays astronaut Molly Woods who has returned from a 13 month space mission pregnant. Which is notable as she was supposed to be alone for the entire mission AND she thought she was infertile. Goran Visnjic plays her husband John Woods who has created human-like robots including a young boy Ethan (Pierce Gagnon) who is John and Molly’s ‘son’ (he’s also very creepy).
There is at least one major conspiracy in play here involving Molly’s boss Director Alan Sparks (Michael O’Neill) and the seemingly very rich Hideki Yasumoto (Hiroyuki Sanada) who are already spying on Molly. Other characters of note: Molly’s friend/doctor Sam Barton (Camryn Manheim), Molly’s fellow astronaut (who is supposed to be dead but isn’t) Harmon Kryger (Brad Beyer), Molly’s ex-boyfriend who is supposed to be dead but showed up in Molly’s space shuttle during her mission Marcus Dawkins (Sergio Harford), and Ethan’s “Mom” who is also a human-like robot (I think) Julie Gelineau (Grace Gummer).
Let’s take a look at Episode 2 of Extant ‘Extinct”.
The episode begins with Molly and John doing their best to play the happy couple joking about the bad coffee available to one in space. Meanwhile at the International Space Exploration Agency (ISEA) Sparks tries to pry some information about Molly’s lab work from Sam.
At the Yasumoto Tower John is reunited with his team in fancy new digs after the new funding came through. It becomes obvious throughout the episode that Julie both has the hots for John and doesn’t like Molly being referred to as Ethan’s Mom. (A scene later in the episode where Julie tells Molly she’s glad she’s back home is hysterically awkward.) Julie questions how John was able to get the funding when in pops in Femi Dodd (Annie Wershing), the board member who was very against funding the Humanics (human-like robots) project in the previous episode. John tries explaining in a more calm manner than last time that the robots are nothing to fear but Dodd is clearly not buying what he’s selling.
Back at the Woods house Molly and Ethan play with some futuristic tinker toys and Ethan makes a casual (or not) mention that he thinks Molly’s favorite place in the world is in space. When she goes downstairs to get ready for a birthday party she doubles over with a stomach cramp and then Boom! there is Marcus in her living, again not dead. He says “it’s ok” and then Molly again faints. When Ethan comes down to check on her we have an Alien-like scene where we see a circular pattern try and poke through her belly. Yikes that can’t feel good.
But none of this stops them from going to the birthday party at the Natural History Museum (very important to keep up social obligations even when faced with an alien pregnancy) where Ethan wins bonus points from his classmates for being the only one not afraid of the elephant hologram. Sam shows up after hearing about Molly fainting episode and Molly tells Sam that she doesn’t trust Sparks and that Kryger is alive and faked his own death.
Sam counters this news by telling Molly that she and Kryger both came back from their respective space missions with the same brain abnormalities. But before we can digest this new info for too long we need to find Ethan who has run off. It turns out he’s at the neanderthal exhibit learning from a robot (that actually looks like a robot) about extinction and how only the strong and smart survive.
Kryger is watching Molly and Ethan in the museum and we are then treated to his space flashback. Kryger experienced the same solar flare power surge as Molly, but instead of seeing a dead ex Kryger sees his dead mother who is smiling in a super duper creepy way. She touches his face and stomach just like Marcus did to Molly and as many time as Kryger tries to get away from his Mom she keeps popping up until he blows her out of an open airlock.
Before Kryger approaches Molly she goes to work and checks out some of the security footage from Kryger’s mission until she gets cut off. After she removes a monitoring device from her mouth (weird) she jumps in Kryger’s car and they head to his trailer where he is clearly living in fear, newspapers covering the windows and everything. Kryger tells her that no one will believe her story and speculates that the ISEA used these missions to experiment on them. It also becomes clear that both Molly and Kryger’s visions were not only of people they loved that died, but were exactly how they looked the last time Molly and Kryger saw them.
Molly tells Sam about her and Kryger’s visions on the way to a secret ultrasound at a vet’s office where the results are a 14 week healthy fetus (sure). Molly waits for Sparks outside of his house and tells him she is pregnant and ask him what he did to her. He of course plays dumb but then goes to Yasumoto’s house which apparently has a mummy in the living room.
Yasumoto says that Molly’s pregnancy changes everything and they discuss how “they” must already be here. Sparks is concerned they aren’t ready, they don’t have a plan “What have we done!!” but Yasumoto calms him down by reminding him they are honoring Katie’s sacrifice (Katie is Sparks’ daughter). Hmmmm. When Sparks leaves he takes a test from a fancy machine that tells him he only has a little over a 100 days to live and out pops Dodd again who is clearly not there for business purposes.
When Molly comes home John is mad (after all Molly stood John up for their lunch date to get that ultrasound of the baby he knows nothing about and is clearly not the father of) and tells Molly he knows something is up and he hopes she will talk to him about it soon.
The episode ends with Ethan sharing a picture he drew of the three of them in space with Molly. They are up there so they are safe from extinction, where only the stronger and smarter species survive. Cue dramatic music. End of episode.
I enjoyed the second episode of Extant. It moved at a fast pace and revealed more about the many characters that were introduced in the first episode. I’ll have a preview for episode 3 at the beginning of next week.
Meanwhile, what did you think of this episode of Extant?