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Extant recap: Empathy for the Devil

Molly Woods finds herself in her worst situation yet.

Posted on

Michael Yarish/CBS


TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Halle Berry, Brad Beyer, Goran Visnjic
Sci-fi, Drama, Thriller

Tonight’s Extant should have been called, “Pull The Trigger,” because the theme was the focal point of the entire episode. What’s great about season 2 is that it’s still threading sci-fi in the series, but the core of the show is shifting toward people’s humanity. The question I kept finding myself asking throughout the episode was, “Will humanity and moral ethics be the downfall of these characters?” Like I said last week, the show’s massive shift from season 1 was the smartest move they could have made. According to last weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con panel, Halle Berry also agrees. Plus, her outfits are 10 times better this season, and that’s always a plus. Let’s get right to it and dive into the details of “Empathy for the Devil.”

Ethan goes glitchy, and Lucy gets sassy. As expected, wiping someone’s memory has some side effects. Ethan starts to have his erased memories triggered by surrounding events, remembering Molly. He freezes and collapses a few times, leading Charlie to temporarily fix his artificial intelligence. This is continuing to cause a rift between him and Julie, as he believes they should be nurturing Ethan within the realm of morality, letting him organically learn to deal with tough life decisions versus programming his mind. Julie’s argument is that with the new Humanichs project, she had no choice in tampering with this mind, as the alternative to erasing his memory was shutting him down. Sure, Julie, your crazed desire to force his love on you has nothing to do with it!

Adding even more stress to Julie’s life is Lucy. During a test, Lucy tells the team that killing a school full of children is “okay” as long as it’s for the greater good of protecting thousands of other lives. What raised the most concern was that Lucy seemed to have no remorse or regard for the children’s lives. Anna (the “Black Widow” lady) thinks this is an A+ answer and wants to move to the next project phase. Haven’t any of them seen The Matrix? This is how apocalypses start, people.

Lucy has found her own fierce mojo. Since Lucy’s latest test proved worthy of demonstration to the government funding her project, a party is being thrown in her honor. Julie is tasked with getting her ready for her big debut. Being given only two outfit choices for her party, Lucy decides to raid Julie’s closet for something more her “style.” Robot or not, a female’s mind is always going to want more than one option for a party, especially when the party is being thrown for you. Am I right, ladies? Plus, the options Julie gave Lucy looked like something from Hillary Clinton’s campaign wardrobe. Clinton’s fierce and all, but Lucy is basically a twentysomething superhero. Of course she’s going to want to choose her own statement piece.

Lucy picks out a white-hot party dress from Julie’s closet, and Julie immediately tells her to change into one of the boring ones she originally chose for her. Julie wasn’t too nice about it, either, making Lucy feel stupid. Back at the lab, Lucy finds out she can “print” her own clothes and ends up printing the very same white dress and wearing it to the party. Obviously, this doesn’t make Julie very happy. Picking up on Julie’s angry vibes, Lucy makes the moves on Charlie, flirting and telling him she wants him to train her for field testing. Yep, Lucy is using her hot new Humanich body to get what she wants.

Julie and Charlie make up … and make out. Julie picks up on Lucy’s games, and when Charlie stops by her apartment after the party, she apologizes for fighting over the past few weeks and begs him to stay with the program—and with her. Charlie’s taken aback, but before he has time to think, Julie dives in for a make-out sesh. You don’t have to be a Humanichs engineer to know this is a tactic to win Charlie’s trust over Lucy. Julie already has the upper hand after hearing Charlie confess his years-long crush on her. Hmm, it looks like Lucy and Julie aren’t so different after all. The robotic apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

Molly almost makes out with her son. At the end of last week’s episode, we see Molly find herself at the bar where her alien-son creeps on women. Seeing Molly on surveillance, Toby moves forward with the drone strike, again posing the theme of when—and if—you should “pull the trigger.” Should Toby have tried to save Molly and the bar full of innocent people before trying to take out the alien?

Sitting ducks in the bar, Molly finds out her son has named himself, “Adhu.” He lures Molly outside of the building, making it obvious that he knew the drone strike is coming. I can’t figure out if he cares for her because he’s part human, or if he needs Molly to live because of some secret alien agenda. JD shows up right as Adhu is about to kiss Molly, and Adhu pulls his fancy mind trick on him, putting his gun to his head. Meanwhile, I’m yelling, “No! Don’t kill JD—he’s the whole reason this season is working!” Molly realizes this man is actually her son, and she makes Adhu stop (phew). The drone hits, and Molly and JD are captured by the government agency. Of course, Adhu escapes.

NEXT: How to grow an adult alien