Funnily enough, I was sure Extant would flop in its second outing. The premiere’s ratings didn’t exactly set the world on fire (particularly with the heavy-hitters involved), and the pilot itself wasn’t too well received by critics. Thankfully, Halle Berry’s sci-fi spectacle managed to produce an intriguing follow-up hour.
So many genre shows over the past decade refused to answer their central mysteries for years on end (yes Lost, I’m looking at you), so I was pleasantly relieved to see Extant answer so many key questions while raising a couple more in the process. It was especially satisfying to watch Molly and Harmon compare notes about their traumatic experiences abroad the Seraphim (the latter also saw a deceased loved one – his mother) before reaching the conclusion that they were experimented on. In addition, we also got to see Molly confront Alan Sparks, the director of the ISEA about the organization’s unseemly dealings. Naturally the baddie (?) didn’t confirm anything, but the fact that so many theories were drawn out into the open gave me hope that Extant wouldn’t start needlessly stretching things out.
I’m also fascinated by Mr. Yasumoto’s affiliation with Sparks. Extinct revealed some sort of “sacrifice” regarding Alan’s daughter, and an ominous foreshadowing that “they” are already here. I’m going to assume that they’re talking about aliens, and Molly’s baby could potentially hold a cure for whatever is ailing Yasumoto (who only has a few months to live). Whatever it all means, I’m hooked. Let’s see if the writers can piece it all together in a coherent and engaging manner.
Slices from Space
– How cool is that futuristic version of Jenga? I.need.to.play.that.
– So I take it eggs will have solid bottoms in the future? Because the way Molly balanced those little buggers made me jealous.
– I really wish they had cast someone else as Molly’s husband; Goran Visnjic has the charisma of a mop, and trust me when I say that’s me being nice.
– The episode’s weakest link: Meryl Streep’s daughter who plays whats-his-name’s assistant. I do hope this doesn’t turn into some Fatal Attraction sort of thing with her gunning for Molly’s head. Get creative writers.
– Harold’s mother on the Serpahim and her creepy smile gave me chills. Also interesting to note: the figures that appear on that ship are always wearing the clothes they wore before they died, and they echo the words they hear.
– I adored Annie Wersching on 24 and she’s appropriately effective as the mysterious Femi Dodd. The fact that she’s sleeping with Mr. Yasumoto hopefully means she’ll be playing a pivotal part in the show going forward.
By not shying away from big questions, Extinct proved to be a solid hour from one of this summer’s most promising new series.