Extant 1×07 ‘More In Heaven and Earth’ and 1×08 ‘Incursion’: A tale of two Mollys


In a two-hour Extant event, Molly tries to shake up Alan’s plans for the alien fetus or “offspring.” Meanwhile, Ethan’s cognitive abilities and rebellious nature are developing at an alarming rate. Let’s discuss a double-header Extant installment, below the jump.“More In Heaven and Earth” and “Incursion” move the plot forward quite a bit. Friends become enemies and enemies become friends. We don’t learn much more about what the alien is or where it came from though – every word uttered about it between Yosumoto and Director Sparks is as cryptic as you’d expect from the most stereotypical thriller. By the end of the double-episode arc, we know little more about what Molly brought back to Earth than we did at the beginning. We can gather that Yosumoto has spent billions of dollars to send mining crews into space to find a substance that keeps him alive. The Aruna was part of that, before the crew became thralls of the alien lifeform, including Sparks’ daughter Katie. We know that Yosumoto’s way more interested in the alien than in the substance, which is odd, because there’s not much indication the alien could really contribute to his immortality. At this point, all we’ve seen of it is death and destruction and hallucinations.

But there I go expecting reasonable answers from Extant again. Truth be told, this two-episode bundle was plenty entertaining, fairly paced, amusing at moments, and tense enough in parts to outdo much of the clumsier attempts at building tension earlier in the season. It’s got flaws, certainly. But it’s serviceable.

For me, Molly oscillates between competent hero and overconfident dum-dum far too much and quickly. One minute she’s terrified of what will happen if she reveals the Aruna file after Derek Pearce ends up dead. The next she’s in Sparks’ office taunting him about Katie’s death and revealing her hand to the man who can apparently have her killed with a few words. One minute she’s quietly gathering further evidence of a cover-up by the ISEA, the next she’s decided to show the transmission at an ISEA board meeting and take her chances. The police do not investigate crimes and the law doesn’t protect whistleblowers in the future, apparently. It’s a shame. Halle Berry’s good at what she does. I understand this experience is meant to overwhelm Molly a little bit, but I’d personally rather that she be up to the task. Astronauts go through plenty of training to survive extreme circumstances. In emergencies, they have to be calm and collected and focused. She’s been going on space missions for 20 years. it stands to reason that she could apply her experience to mitigating the danger she’s in. She rushes headlong into a fight she doesn’t really understand though, and lets her emotion toward a fetus she carried for…2-3 months?….govern the decision to enter the complex housing the offspring. I guess the character’s not as steely as I’d expect or hope.

Ethan’s development into a rogue AI continues. Learning new skills rapidly, defying his father, making friends with malfunctioning sweeper robots. You know, those old tropes. I’m glad we’re seeing more and more of Ethan causing trouble not because he’s too uneducated or undeveloped, but because he’s too developed. We’re finally getting to the good part. And I for one welcome our new 8 year-old boy android overlords.

Some highlights and small points before I go::

  • “Let’s just shoot ourselves right here and save them the trouble.” – what a great quip. Well-delivered, Brad Beyer.
  • Where’s that hot new auto-drive feature from episode 5, Extant?  Could it be that the self-driving cars portrayed in one episode will never appear again during this season? I feel like they’re missing a huge opportunity here in portraying the world’s first car chase with self-driving vehicles.
  • How Independence Day/Torchwood: Children of Earth was that scene with the alien in the fog-filled chamber?

Source: CBS

  • Gordon Kern, the assistant director of the ISEA, suddenly turns against his cohorts to help Harmon and Molly. This is fine – it actually makes the story for the rest of the two-episode arc way more interesting – but it’s never really explained why he has this change of heart. His mother visits him unexpectedly, he takes a whiff of his crazy future drug, and he suddenly grows a conscience? It’s not an unwelcome development but it’s strange.
  • I had an inkling that Odin, Julie’s new boyfriend, was too interested in Ethan in the previous episode. It was a nice twist that he’s working with the Yasumoto board member who was opposed to humanics to keep the project from continuing. Kudos to the writers there.
J.P. Laub

is a pop culture connoisseur, politics wonk, sometimes gamer and consummate nerd. To give you some idea, he is an avid reader of Wikipedia entries about fictional and theoretical faster-than-light drives. Seriously, he once saw a random Dune reference on a website and spent 45 minutes reading about the Holtzmann effect and related entries.


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