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Extant recap: The New Frontier

Molly has powers, Toby has a crush, and Julie still sucks.

Posted on

Dale Robinette/CBS


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

Are we supposed to dislike Julie’s character this much? I recognize that she is intentionally unlikable, but she is getting off-the-charts unbearable. She’s annoying, naive, conniving—I could write this entire recap on what irks me about her, but let’s move on. This episode, “The New Frontier,” finally reunites Ethan and Molly, and we also learn more about Molly’s “side effects.” Let’s dive in and break it down.

The episode begins with Toby and his girlfriend/partner trying to figure out why all of the hybrid-aliens have gone dark. They can’t pick up on their thermal energy, and they’re getting anxious waiting for the inevitable attack the aliens are planning. Toby and his lady have an awkward scene where his girlfriend proposes that they leave the operation all together and start a family. I’m sure this scene was intended to align with the theme of family in the show, but it felt out of left field to me for these characters. I’ve looked at Toby’s girlfriend’s character as one that would go to great lengths to complete the mission, but maybe the introduction of Molly as a threat has made her change gears. Regardless, the scene felt awkward—and not only because Toby didn’t agree with her suggestions and called her, “insane.”

The fact that Molly is the only scientist to find a lead in developing a virus to kill the aliens doesn’t help Toby and his girlfriend’s relationship, either. Knowing she’s currently their only hope, Toby expresses that they need to bring Molly back in. No one else is hearing voices, but she did discover the possible key to the ultimate weapon against the aliens.

Changing gears, the scene transitions to JD pre-hookup with a young, attractive woman. See, now this is believable. No, I will never stop bringing up how great of an addition Jeffrey Dean Morgan is to the show. His character’s wit and demeanor is a breath of new life to Extant.

Molly crashes the party and arrives at his house, and the young woman leaves. Molly needs help piecing together everything that has happened in the last year, starting with the raid on her house and the death of her husband. Even though JD has lost his police license, she knows he’s connected well enough to have resources that could assist. JD clearly can’t leave Molly alone to do this, knowing she’s slowly losing her mind. Molly let’s JD listen to the voicemail from John—the one he left right before he died—and JD agrees that the chain of events is too unfortunate to not have controversy tied to it.

Molly’s home system AI was hacked, so JD uses some old-school fingerprint tricks to see if he can track a print to find out who wrote the message on her bathroom mirror. They discover Charlie’s fingerprints in the house, and Molly knows where they need to go next.

Meanwhile, Lucy is continuing to build trust with Ethan. They’ve started calling each other brother and sister, and it’s unveiled that Lucy was the one who guided Ethan to write the message on the mirror, “Ethan was here.” They talk privately on how Humanichs need rights and the freedom to think and act without having to be reprogrammed all the time, even high-fiving to their, “revolution.” Will the Humanichs side with the aliens instead of protecting humans against them? The aliens use manipulation as their number one weapon, and I foresee the Humanichs lack of freedom as their ticket to alliance.

The next day at Julie’s apartment, Julie and Charlie argue about the events from last week with Ethan. Molly and JD show up, and Molly immediately starts grilling Julie about the fingerprints in her apartment. Then Ethan appears. Molly rushes over to him, hugs him, and is relieved that he’s okay. Here comes the awkward part—Molly realizes that Ethan doesn’t remember her. She attacks Julie (rightfully so), and Julie annoyingly tells her AI to call 911 and that she’s being attacked. I realize this was a natural reaction, but Julie is just so weak that this came across as another reason for me to dislike her character. JD then calms Molly down so they can leave, not wanting her to get thrown back in the psych ward.

NEXT: Molly goes into momma mode.