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'Extant' recap: 'Change Scenario'

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Robert Voets/CBS

Extant

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
tvpgr:
TV-14
seasons:
2
performer:
Halle Berry, Brad Beyer, Goran Visnjic
broadcaster:
CBS
genre:
Scifi, Drama, Thriller

Following an intriguing yet rocky first season, Extant returned with Molly six months ahead of where we left her last summer: confined in a “resting facility” (read: psych ward). Season 2 poses two threats, one being the government and their initiative to turn Humanichs into weapons, and—of course—aliens. Let’s dive into this revamped season…

Molly’s worst night ever. The opening scene shows Molly (with a fierce new hairdo and ombre, I might add) receiving treatment in a resting facility. She is a different Molly than season 1—she’s edgy, jaded, and has lost her innocence. She’s tougher, and it’s noticeable that she’s been through the ringer. In a flashback six months prior, we see Molly testifying in a federal court about the last Seraphim trip (the ship she was on for 13 months). As a refresher, she blew up the ship in an effort to prevent alien life from coming to Earth. She lies in front of the jury, telling them there’s no way alien life is on the planet. Right, because your supernatural mind-bending alien-son couldn’t have survived the explosion from last season’s finale. This, of course, was a second explosion catapulted by her Humanich son, Ethan, in a government facility on Earth. Ethan saved Molly’s life by risking his to override the escape pod’s system so she could fly home before the Seraphim exploded.

Still in a six-month flashback, we’re introduced to a friend of hers, Tobias “Toby” Shepard. Bonus about this character: He’s the Governor from The Walking Dead. Yes, he looks weird without an eye patch. Toby seems to have a tight relationship with Molly and John and also seemed to have some sort of romantic feels for Molly. It is Halle Berry after all—can you blame the guy? Thinking she can put the past behind her, Molly flies home early and surprises John at the lab, where he and Julie are repairing Ethan’s body. Apparently, Ethan was able to back his mind up to the cloud before he blew up the lab. When Molly arrives, John and Julie are doing some sort of sensual palm reading, giving Molly home wrecker vibes. Molly quickly gets distracted when John tells her that Ethan is ready to be put into his upgraded body. Ethan wakes up, hugs Molly, and Julie storms out of the room. Uh, oh. This is where it gets crazy.

Molly waits for John to fall asleep and grabs a bottle of red, Olivia Pope-style, and heads to check out security cameras. She finds footage of John and Julie having an affair, and John tries to defend himself. Even his season 2 scruff couldn’t save him. This was the beginning of the character development we needed for Molly. She was too safe and too much of a victim last season; she needed some depth.

Immediately after the reveal of the affair, national security arrives at their home and declares that Ethan is now property of the government. Apparently his little stunt last season of breaching national security firewalls and blowing up a government building raised some concerns about Humanichs. Toby can’t help them get Ethan back, so John decides to take matters into his own hands. He visits the lab and discovers he is no longer allowed access. Julie tells him that she is the one who told the government that their Humanichs project could be used for building defense weapons, and this way her and John can still, “live their life together.” This is where I started to have Ali Larter Obsessed flashbacks. Is she insane?

John brushes her neurotic fantasy aside and heads to figure out another plan. After calling Molly twice and her declining his calls, John gets trapped inside his car. His car mysteriously parks on train tracks, leaving John unable to get out. John ends up getting hit by a train and killed. I smell a murder conspiracy!

Queue Molly’s breakdown. Following Ethan’s robot-abduction and John’s death, Molly had several drunk and disorderlies, burned down her house, and attacked Julie with a shovel when she showed up at the funeral. This was so awesome that I thought it deserved its own section. The bold move of making Molly fierce, semi-crazy, and the only hope for humanity was a Hail Mary for Extant writers—and it’s working.

Julie, we don’t like you. Julie is now head of the newly revamped Humanichs divison, in charge of shifting and leading the organization from developing artificially intelligent robots with humanistic qualities into terminators. Grand idea—because that always works! Charlie (the cutie in glasses) is still there, and he still has a major crush on Julie. Julie, however, is too busy harboring Ethan at her home, building her fantasy family sans John. Ethan doesn’t like living with Julie and wants to go home, and we’re left not knowing if he knows John has died or that his mother is being held captive in a psych facility.

NEXT: Bring on Jeffrey Dean Morgan[pagebreak]​

Meet JD Richter. We had to wait until halfway through the episode to see the handsome new character, JD Richter (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), but his ultimate reveal was worth the wait. We’ve seen Morgan play Izzie Stevens’ fan-favorite love interest on Grey’s Anatomy, and of course as the Winchester patriarch on Supernatural. To say that his return to primetime TV was highly anticipated is an understatement. Morgan’s character breathes new—and much-needed—life into the show. JD Richter is a tired old cop who takes on jobs purely for the cash, rocks a badass leather jacket, and has the right amount of salt and pepper hair to sweep a broken Molly off of her feet. His shirtless foreplay intro scene was corny, but in a great way. There’s something about a seasoned, scruffy cop with a dangerous wit that will just never get old. Oh, Hollywood.

Taking a job where a 26-year-old woman has been murdered, JD runs into a conspiracy way above his pay grade. As it turns out, this murder is actually a sign that alien life is still on Earth. Molly gets wind of the murder while still in the holding facility and lures one of the orderlies into showing her the details online. She seems to tease this orderly, Dave, for favors on a frequent basis, as it was obvious this wasn’t the first time she’s flirted her way to information from him. She sees the murder photo on his phone and notices something horrifyingly familiar.

The woman died the same way Katie Sparks did—bleeding out from a gaping hole in her stomach. As a refresher, Katie Sparks was Alan Sparks’ daughter and was the first on the Seraphim to report that crew members were getting infected with some sort of virus, putting them into a murderous rage. In an effort to save herself and the human race, she sent herself into space while in an escape pod, where she was later discovered dead almost two years later. Something had escaped out of her stomach, tearing its way to the surface. The 26-year-old who was murdered had the same thing happen to her, so Molly knew she had to act fast.

Molly steals the orderly’s car and heads to the young woman’s house, where she runs into JD. After a witty flirt-off and Molly getting handcuffed, she tells JD that this woman was pregnant and to check her medical records. Not only that, but the other women in similar murders were also pregnant. The psych ward staff shows up, and JD sends her off.

The duo unites. Of course, he looks into Molly’s tip and discovers that she’s right about the pregnancies, leaving his $20,000 job in the hands of a crazed woman. He finds prenatal vitamins in the home and heads to the psych ward to take Molly into his own custody. Saying she’s needed as part of the case investigation (and with the help of a favor from a judge), JD succeeds in freeing Molly and driving her off into the Extant season we’ve been waiting for.

Oh yeah, before they left Molly smashed in Dave’s car windshield. He wasn’t too happy with her escape stunt and tried to take advantage of her, so payback was due. The fact that JD loved her crazy antic makes their inevitable love affair even more exciting.

Alien update. Through flashbacks, we see that after Molly’s son was picked up by a couple on the road, he was taken to their house while they try to locate his “parents.” In a room with the couple’s screaming child, Molly’s son tries to calm him down by creating a light show of animal creatures. Could this have been a humanistic gesture due to his human mother? We aren’t able to find out, since he went into a seizure shortly after and bled out. Does this mean he is dead?

The WTF moment. The episode ends in a bar, with young twentysomethings using a Tinder-esque app to find a companion for an evening. A hauntingly familiar young man approaches a young woman—who’s alone—and invites her to leave with him. His eyes glow alien-style, and I’m left thinking that this is Molly’s son—all grown up. He did grow at an exceedingly rapid pace, and it’s been six months since we’ve last seen him. Toby did confirm to Molly that her son’s dead body is in government hands, but we all know the government can’t be trusted after the stunts they pulled last season.

Questions:

  • Is Julie really a contender to be this season’s big bad? With Molly’s new fierce-woman mojo, I’m guessing no; however, her phone call before John’s death is fishy. She called someone after her argument with John, saying, “she made a mistake.” Is it naïve to think she wasn’t calling in an order for his death?
  • Ethan might be pushed to the backseat this season? I’m fine with it. Last season focused on family, this season is about the hot new it-couple on television: JD and Molly.
  • Who are these aliens, and what do they want? I’m hoping to get some answers this season. The introduction of JD gives the show an X-Files vibe, which I’m into. I realize nothing will ever compare to the greatness that is X-Files, but if the show’s formula is shifting in that direction, it’s the right move.  

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