Extant: Feeding Frenzy

Last week, CBS “treated” us to a 2 hour Extant special.  It was so special that they felt the need to pull a double feature on us again this week.  Yay?  I expressed my desire to see this freshman season come to a close, but it appears it just keeps going and going.

At the top of the first episode (titled “Care & Feeding”), Sparks is influenced by a vision of his dead daughter to take the baby (or the offspring, as it is always referred).  He tells Yasumoto that he lost it, and he goes off the grid.  John turns to Yasumoto for help and Kryger double crosses Molly by leaving her in the lab.  Lesson learn, people.  Do not trust the guy who you initially believe to be dead and then get caught up in his conspiracies.  He will double cross you.  That’s what I’ve learned on this season of Extant.

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Odin is getting pretty interested in Ethan.  He shows Ethan his fake arm, and later Ethan shows Odin how to change his power pack.  Julie is a pretty crappy babysitter in this episode—where is she when all these plot important details go down?  Poor Molly has to climb her way up an elevator shaft to get out of the lab.  She might have to go through some more training before auditioning for American Ninja Warrior, though.  Even though she later hangs off the side of the elevator to evade capture from armed ISEA officials, Molly slips and gets knocked out.  She dreams of John’s reluctance for Molly’s space travels, but she tells him it might be good for their marriage.

Kryger teams up with Kern to hunt down Sparks.  Sparks, meanwhile, is still on the run with his own vision of young Katie right beside him.  We all want to see something (especially a loved one that has passed), but Sparks’ eagerness to get away is obviously mixed with his regret of what happened to his daughter.  Sparks is staying in a camp ground of sorts run by his older friend Esther.  When she goes to investigate Sparks’ door ajar (shotgun in hand), she sees a vision of her dead husband who urges her to go back inside.  Sparks appears and struggles with Esther, and she gets shot by her own shotgun.  Way to go, Sparks.  Now you have literally and figuratively killed people.

As Molly fends off armed guards in the lab, Yasumoto convinces John that he can keep Ethan safe at his house.  John is so trusting, and he doesn’t realize that Yasumoto’s wife, Femi, is in on Odin’s plan to snuff out Ethan.  Odin shows Ethan how he can use a lighter on his hand, and he won’t feel a thing (“would I ever steer you wrong?! Odin asks Ethan”).  Is he going to try and eliminate Ethan that slowly?

Molly finally gets out of the Claypool Industries building with a guard in tow.  His phone rings as she’s about to drive out, and when she answers, she finds Yasumoto on the other end.  He tells her they need to talk.  Oh, and Sparks?  He’s full-tilt crazy.  When a sheriff comes to Esther’s property, he finds Esther’s dead body.  Sparks flies out of nowhere and almost kills him, but Katie stops him.  She tells him, “he’s hungry…not that kind of hungry…”

Molly meets with Yasumoto, and he assures her that they want the same thing: to see her baby alive and well.  She is, obviously, reluctant to join forces with him, but he tells her, “together we can show the world his true potential.”  Yasumoto introduces her to Dr. Mason (who has a degree in everything), and the three discover that Sparks’ wife didn’t disable the tracking device on his car.  When it cuts back to the cabin that Sparks is staying, we see the sheriff tied up and gagged on the floor.  It switches to a cloudy, perspective and it must be feeding time.  Molly’s offspring starts to feed off the sheriff as the circular patterns appear all over his face.

The first half ends with Molly and John finally making contact.  She tells him that Yasumoto has the resources to find their baby, and John is taken aback that she won’t let him help.  Molly hangs up, and Mason takes her phone—you know, just so they aren’t tracked.  Molly sure is trusting a lot of people to find her baby.  Is Molly’s judgment being clouded by the baby?  Shhhh!!!  Another episode is starting!

The second episode begins with the death of a child and the rebirth of another.  As Mason drives with Molly to find her baby, we see a flashback of the accident that killed Marcus.  She loses Marcus at the scene, and when she wakes up in the hospital, Sam gently tells Molly that she lost the baby.  Immediately those notions about Molly’s potentially crazy behavior are dashed.  With all the crazy technology and the Humanichs, sometimes you forget that Molly wanted a baby so badly at the beginning of the season.  She was overjoyed to tell John, and then it all gets crapped on by conspiracy and cover-ups (I mean, the baby is evil as hell, but still…).  The rebirth happens when Sparks reintroduces his ex-wife, Anya, to Katie.  The look on Anya’s face when Katie calls to her is so touching and warped and oddly heartwarming.  This episode isn’t messing around with the emotions from the get-go.

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When Mason and Molly (surely this is a buddy comedy in the works at CBS?) stop at a restaurant, they discuss their encounters with the being on the ship.  Molly explains that it doesn’t feel like loved ones are being brought back to life, but it seems like people are given the chance to start over again.  Mason shares her excitement, and it’s refreshing to see someone on the same side as Molly for a change.  John believes in Molly, but he’s cautious.  Mason shares an unapologetic excitement with Molly.

Kryger and Kern are still looking for Sparks.  They stop at a police station, and Sheriff Dugan—yes, an alien Lean Cuisine one episode earlier—says he knows where Sparks is, and offers to take them.

Just when things seem to be going well between Mason and Molly, she sees a flock of birds form that damn circular pattern in the sky.  The birds drive the van off the road, and Molly gets away.  When she calls John, she tells him that the baby doesn’t want her to be with Mason, but Mason eventually catches up with her.  He slaps a handcuff on her and drags her away.

Katie can still manipulate her father into doing whatever she wants.  She tells Sparks that they need to do another feeding.  If not, she will go away.  Katie should ask for a pony, but she clearly doesn’t have her priorities in check.  Sparks and Anya lure a mechanic to their site, and Molly’s baby feeds on it.  When Molly gets to the site, Mason explains he only cuffed her for her own safety.  They are joined by a legion of soldiers, but Molly protests the idea—even if it’s for everyone’s protection.  When Molly peers through a window, she sees Sparks and Anya reading a story to no one.  The proud parents can see Katie, but no one else can.  Sparks learns that Molly is there, and he asks her if she wants to meet her son.

When Molly enters the cabin, her reality completely changes.  We are taken back to her hospital room after her accident, and everything is fine.  Sam tells Molly that Marcus is intensive care, but he will be fine.  She then introduces Molly to her baby, a gorgeous baby boy.  After the scene ends, Sparks leads a very disoriented Molly out of the cabin.  While under the influence of her hospital illusion, Sparks directs Molly to re-route a ship back to Earth.  Meanwhile, John hatches a plan to get Ethan out of Yasumoto’s control, but it appears that Femi Dodd is catching on.  Odin and Femi might be too quick and scheming for John to outwit.

Everything comes to a head at the cabin in the very last scene.  Kern and Kryger have made their way through the woods to find Sparks while Molly is being taken with Sparks and Anya.  Violence breaks out, snapping Molly out of her illusion, and Sparks fatally shoots Kryger in the stomach.  As he dies, he pleads with Molly, “It’s getting strong…you brought it here…you need to stop it…”

Phew!  All right.  This pairing of episodes was kind of crazy, but I am anxious for Molly and John to get back together on screen.  I like them working together.  This second episode had everyone pairing off, and it felt like it spread the series out some more.  Sparks is absolutely crazy, but I love the stuff with Anya (played by Jeannetta Arnette, who was great So NoTORIous as Tori Spelling’s airhead agent).  There are dozens of dramas that deal with parents losing a child, but not very many have a convincing sci-fi twist like this.  I will admit that these two weeks have sort of exhausted me (two episodes each week), so I am looking forward to it going back to one hour for the last three episodes.

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