Previously on Extant, ‘Pilot’
The premier of Extant seemed to throw a lot of things into the blender. Episode two whittled down the focus. We are in a future in which there have been significant advances in robotics. If you can’t accept androids as background information based on where we are in time, you will continue to think the series is trying to do too much. Episode 2 showed us that this is a story about what Yasumoto Corp. is doing in space, and how that will affect the world that both the human and humanic characters live in.
Despite being mysteriously pregnant, and despite having found out that a friend of hers faked his suicide because of her employer, Molly seems to be having a smooth transition back to life on Earth. She’s kinder to her husband, John, and much kinder to their humanic son, Ethan. No arm yanking this episode! Molly plays games with Ethan, accompanies him to a birthday party, and talks to him like a real boy. Of course it wasn’t all good parenting. She entered a pinky-swear secret pact with Ethan so he would not tell John that she passed out on the kitchen floor while the alien version of Olympic rings swelled up on her stomach. She did this despite the fact that John had told Ethan not to keep secrets.
We find out that Molly is fourteen weeks pregnant with a healthy human fetus. Molly cried a tear of joy, even though there is still no rational explanation for how she became pregnant in space. She told her doctor friend, Sam, that Harmon faked his suicide. Later she told her boss that she’s pregnant, which jeopardizes Sam’s career. Sam’s been deliberately stalling on turning in Molly’s re-entry physical. Way to keep secrets, Molly.
- Molly’s deceased ex showed up in the kitchen just before she passed out. He told her, “It’s ok.” Nah, bro. It’s not.
- Molly’s brain scans show the same abnormalities as Harmon’s did.
- Ethan picked the wrong person to pinky-swear with. Molly can’t hold water.
Harmon picked Molly up right in front of Yasumoto headquarters, and took her out to his very nice RV with a very great view. Walt and Jesse would be so jealous. As he told her the story of what happened to him on his solo mission, we got a very creepy scene where Harmon’s deceased mother showed up in his space ship. She didn’t have a frightening appearance, yet she was terrifying. The chase in these scenes was excellent. Harmon could only float from place to place rather than running, which really increased the tension. He was clever enough to lure “Mother” into the airlock evacuation room and eject her from the ship.
- Harmon believes that Yasumoto Corp. caused the abnormalities in he and Molly’s brain in order to test the effects of deep space on the body. “You thought we were doing experiments?” he asks. “We were the experiments.”
- Molly reviewed some of the footage from Harmon’s space mission, but was denied access while she was watching.
- The being that Harmon encountered repeated the words it heard, just like Molly’s ex.
Ethan was less creepy in this episode. He seemed like a child who has had very limited interactions with other people. He spends a lot of time playing alone, and has a more limited vocabulary than a child his age should have. Ethan went to a child’s birthday party at a natural history museum. An elephant simulation charged the children, who all scattered except for Ethan. He stared that elephant down and didn’t budge an inch. I predict that Ethan will play a strong role in stopping what Yasumoto Corp. is trying to get started. There’s two pieces of evidence in this episode. (1) He basically said to the elephant, “You ain’t about that life.” (2) He drew Molly, John and himself escaping on a spaceship to avoid extinction. He identifies strongly with being a human.
- Ethan interacted with a lower level robot at the museum. He grappled with the fact that he is neither homo sapien nor is he as robotic as this robot.
- Ethan will soon be going to school for the first time. That should help with his vocabulary issues, but do you think he’ll interact well with the other children?
John tours the new office he’s secured through Mr. Yasumoto’s private funding. This gives us a chance to learn more about his work. For example, he can monitor Ethan’s neurological functioning from the office. For me this answers some of the concerns about humanic androids taking over the world. Femi Dodd, the redhead from the board of Yasumoto Corp., is still unimpressed. She shows up at John’s office to let him know she’s angry that Mr. Yasumoto “went around the board” to give him funding. How is this any of her business? Mr. Yasumoto is funding John’s work as a private citizen, not through Yasumoto Corp.
- John’s employee Julie really seems to be feeling him. Did you catch that look she gave Molly when Molly visited the office? Seems she got a little too comfortable in her role as maternal figure while Molly was away. I see you, Julie.
In the premier episode, Yasumoto was awakened from deep sleep in what I assumed to be a cryogenic chamber. In this episode, he stuck his finger into a hidden device which told him that he has 102 days to live. I assume that he has other devices implanted into his body that are helping the finger reader make that assessment. Even though we’re in the future, I don’t believe that such a device will ever be able to determine one’s life expectancy without supplemental technology being implanted into the body to assess the functioning of vital organs or organ systems.
Mr. Sparks, the boss to whom Molly essentially ratted Sam out, dropped by Yasumoto’s house. He told him that Molly is pregnant, that she viewed Harmon’s footage, and that she took out her monitoring tether. He seemed to feel guilty about Yasumoto Corp. putting its astronauts into space under false pretenses, when they’re really trying to make contact with these beings. Yasumoto invoked the name of Sparks’ daughter Katie, whom he says sacrificed herself so they can do these explorations. After Sparks left, we learned that Mr. Yasumoto is having relations with Ms. Dodd, the redhead from the board. Not a single standard of ethics is observed at that company!
- John and Ethan also dropped by Yasumoto’s house this episode. We saw Ethan at his most childlike level of curiosity as he checked out Yasumoto’s expensive possessions.
- Mr. Yasumoto really should return that mummy to Egypt. Egypt is working too hard to repatriate its artifacts and stem black market mummy smuggling for him to have that thing all out in the open.
- What is Yasumoto Corp. up to? Have they found a way to contact loved ones in the celestial afterlife, or have they discovered beings who like to take on the form of our loved ones? How can either of those be a good thing?
Extant airs Wednesdays on CBS, and is available on demand the next day through Amazon Instant Video.