‘Nightmares’ is the title of this week’s episode of Extant for 2 reasons. Ethan wakes up screaming at the very top of the episode, and John is concerned since Ethan isn’t programmed to dream at all. The baby that was extracted from Molly’s stomach last week feels like something out of a nightmare as well. The tall, bald man who declared Molly’s baby a boy last week suddenly has that ring symbol showing up on the back of his head, and he goes on a murderous rampage in the lab, presumably killing the new character known as Dr. Meehan. At least he got a few lines in and probably got a paycheck. Is Molly’s baby some sort of newborn Damian? What exactly does all this have to do with Sparks’ daughter?
Molly tries to explain what a subconscious is to Ethan, and I’m not even sure that her explanation is anything but creepy, and John tells Molly of a plan to find out what Sam knows about their baby. He gives her a sliver of ear flesh from a Humanich model for her to carry with her that will send sound to her cell phone frequency. John takes Ethan to the lab for more research and I could watch all the characters’ reactions to the news that Ethan is dreaming (“Shut! Up!” says Charlie when he finds out). Meanwhile, Julie meets a hottie at the gym named Odin (Phillip DeVona) who happens to have an artificial arm. Can there be an Extant spin-off that focuses on Julie working in the lab and trying to figure out her life? She can bed hot men and battle Humanich politics—sort of like Sex and the City meets A.I. How bout it Mr. Spielberg?
When Kern warns Sparks that there must be a reason the same circular symbol keeps popping up. He tells Sparks, “whatever it is, it didn’t come all this way to stay in a box.” Sparks tells Kern to wipe the footage of the violence in the lab. Just a few scenes earlier, Kern tells Sparks that they should bring down the current astronaut who is on a mission in space. Kern is afraid the same thing will happen to him that happened to Molly and Kryger, but Sparks shrugs off that he can’t just “pull someone down from space” and that these missions “are booked years in advance.” Wow, this man really loves his cover-ups and conspiracies!
Molly literally runs into Sam in the ISEA lobby, and Molly places the “ear skin device” (that’s a good name, right?) on Sam’s hand. They apologize to each other, and Molly tells Sam that she doesn’t want their relationship strained anymore. With smiles all around, Sam tells Molly that she will perform a new scan on her just to be on the safe side. When Sparks finds about their meeting, he demands to know details from Sam. Molly overhears Sam admitting that she did was Sparks asked of her, but Sparks reassures her that Sam is his puppet. Sam will lie if he wants her to.
Kern goes to an ultra sleek, pseudo-oxygen bar and orders a double dosage of Absolam (sheesh, even the drugs have a Spielbergian twist!), and he quickly falls asleep in a haze. Out comes Kryger who scans Kern’s fingerprints. He burns off his own and scans Kern’s onto his hand. When Kern returns to the ISEA, his fingerprints (or lack thereof) throws the entire ISEA into lockdown. We only see Kryger’s break in on the security tape when Sparks reams Kern out. Kryger waltzed right into the ISEA and stole the Aruna transmission file from a top-secret server. This scene features my weekly overly dramatic line reading: “You’re the head of security! You can’t BE the security breach!” Sparks is full on paranoid. He goes back to Sam and tells him he thinks Molly had something to do with the break in, and he threatens Sam’s brother again if Sam stands in his way.
Molly takes the opportunity to console her friend by pretending she’s going in for her second brain scan. She tells Sam that Ethan had a nightmare, and, in that moment, he truly felt like her son. She reassures Sam that she will go to any lengths to protect her family, and Sam wordlessly knows that Molly means her as well. After she leaves the building, however, a random man hands Molly a ringing cell phone. When she answers it, Kryger tells her that he has something to show her and tells Molly to meet him the next day before hanging up.
Back in Crazy Town, Sparks interrogates the man who killed Dr. Meehan at the beginning of the episode (if someone can tell me this character’s name, I’ll buy them a beer). He tells Sparks that he saw Sarah Wilton tell him to kill Meehan and let the baby out of his chamber. Sparks informs this nameless scientist that Sarah Wilton drowned a year ago on an expedition (Extant spin-off?!), and I am left wondering who would willingly sign up for employment at the ISEA. If you thought that was weird, you might lose your shit when Molly finds Ethan the circular symbol in his room. When she asks him what it is, he simply replies, “it’s my nightmare…I saw it on your belly.”
When Kryger meets with Molly and John to swap Seraphim hallucinating stories, Molly asks Kryger where he saw the circular symbol. A flashback shows up Kryger being told by his ship that the symbol is a emergency test pattern. He ultimately thinks it was a distress signal—maybe from another ship. He gives a copy of that day’s transmission to Molly and hopes that John can translate the encrypted message. After the trio disbands, Kern attacks Kryger by shocking him in the head.
When John has trouble with the encrypted message, Ethan quite literally stands in his place and figures it out in seconds. Chalk it up to little boys playing video games, or is Ethan’s design really that advanced. When the transmission begins, we see a frantic Katie Sparks speaking to the camera Blair Witch-style, you know, minus the snot. She explains that there was a virus spread throughout the Aruna, and it made everyone homicidal. Everyone else is dead except for her, and the other two members are banging on the door to kill as she leaves her message. Katie mentions rashes and hallucinations, and then we see the same circular pattern surging on her stomach. She says she’s going to deploy into deep space, and she begs her father to not recover the ship. The transmission ends, and we are all left stunned—Molly, John, and us. Sparks knew the dangers of space, and he sent Molly up on the Seraphim as bait to bring back whatever was up there. He covered up the violent death of his own daughter because of his own selfish reasons.
The last image of this episode is a haunting one. Sparks enters the lab where the baby is being held, and he approaches the glass that surrounds the baby’s chamber. He presses his hand to the window and whispers, “show her to me.” A young, blonde girl appears in a pink dress holding a singular red balloon. He whispers his daughter’s name, but she vanishes as quickly as she appeared.
‘Nightmares’ is an awesome antidote to the previous week’s entry. The relationships deepen (between Molly and Sam, Kryger and Molly, and even Sparks and his daughter), and it leaves us with some edge of your seat high drama that can only make us anxious for next week’s TWO HOUR Extant event! Are we going to learn more about Katie’s mission aboard the Aruna? Are we going to experience more of the baby’s powers? Are we going to see more of Odin? Ok, that last one was more of a personal question. But, damn. High drama and hot, Humanich men to ogle? Is Extant the best show of the summer?