Extant recap: The New Frontier
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.
Molly heads to the secret government lair to threaten Toby, fuming about Ethan’s kidnapping and placement with Julie. Toby clearly feels awful, but Molly won’t have it. She tells him she won’t help them produce the virus, and she’ll expose the whole program unless she gets Ethan back. She storms out, and her headaches begin to rush back. She heads home to pour herself a glass of bourbon and cry to old photos of her, John, and Ethan.
While Molly is hitting rock bottom, JD is on the hunt for information about John’s death. He visits an old army buddy, and gives him all the details he has. JD calls Molly and tells her he’s on the case, and he can sense she’s clearly distraught. She starts hallucinating, and JD hangs up and rushes to her apartment. Before he arrives, Toby shows up to apologize to Molly and explain how he had no choice in leaving Ethan with Julie, because he would have had to terminate him otherwise. He tells her that he’s arranged a meeting for the following morning with Fiona Stanton, head of Homeland Security, to discuss getting custody of Ethan. Molly is ecstatic, and when she hugs Toby her blackouts start to happen, and she begins kissing him. Of course, this is when JD shows up. The two men exchange words, and Molly snaps out of it, telling them both to leave.
Molly wakes up late and realizes she blacked out again after Toby and JD left. She puts this aside for now, rushing to her meeting with Fiona. Julie is there (ugh), and the two ladies duke it out for custody of Ethan. Julie has extremely harsh words, and after deliberation, Fiona decides that Ethan will have visits with Molly, ultimately resulting in her full custody. I can only imagine what measures Julie will go to in order to prevent that from ever happening. She was already worried about losing him from her earlier chat with Anna (the “Black Widow”) where she initially discovered that Ethan had turned off his GPS while she was out of town.
Molly sees Ethan after her meeting and tells him about Fiona’s verdict. Unaware the new Humanichs project should be kept a secret, Ethan tells Molly about his “sister” Lucy, and how she’s a soldier. Knowing this agenda will only help Molly and JD inch closer to what really happened to John.
Julie is distracted from the meeting when she’s rushed to the lab. Earlier that day, Lucy convinced Charlie to take her outside the facility for lunch, and while they’re there, Lucy picks up on a hybrid. Earlier in the episode, Lucy aced a virtual simulation of a field test. She identifies the alien-hybrids by their body temperature, then goes in for the kill. Fortunately, Humanichs can go undetected (for now), so the alien-hybrids don’t see them as a threat. Lucy doesn’t think twice about going in for the kill when she sees an alien-hybrid at lunch. She picks up a butter knife, and stabs the alien-hybrid in the back of the neck—killing it instantly.
Anna, Fiona, and all of the employees are extremely impressed with Lucy’s performance (I thought murdering in broad daylight was a bit bold, but what do I know), and Julie and Charlie cheer along with panicked looks on their faces.
Meanwhile, after some investigation, JD’s friend discovers details in the timeline of John’s death. Before John died he left the Humanich’s facility, and after his departure Julie immediately made a call to a top-level clearance government phone number. Ten minutes later, John is killed by a train. Julie, if there were any sliver of redeeming yourself, it just vanished. I don’t think Julie would actually murder John—she was in love with him—but I think she may have unknowingly played a large part in his death.
Feeling guilty from his makeout session with Molly, Toby breaks up with his girlfriend (right after Molly shuts him down for a dinner date and says them kissing was a mistake) and tells her that he will never be able to provide her with a family and commit to what she ultimately wants. Toby had also briefly stopped by his niece’s birthday party earlier that day, further realizing that lifestyle is a luxury he’ll never be able to afford.
Molly gets a text from JD that says he has some information, and on her way to meet him she runs into one of the men she slept with while blacked out. He gets aggressive with her when she tries to leave, and Molly goes alien on him and shines a weird symbol (one we’ve seen before from Adhu) with her eyes, forcing him to see a hallucination of his deceased mother. They man runs into the street and gets hit by a car, and JD shows up. Molly has no idea how she just did that, and we’re left hanging until next week.
- What do the aliens want? I ask this every week. Mostly likely, their agenda is simply to turn every human into a vessel and take over the world. But why? Is their world uninhabitable?
- Where’s Adhu hiding? How many alien-hybrids are there?
- Will Molly regain custody of Ethan?
- What really happened to John? Is there controversy there?