Truest title ever I suppose, because never have I seen a show work so methodically to redesign itself for season two. Or at least not since the days of ST: Voyager and Enterprise. For the most part the producers keep what’s working, which is good. But they double down so hard on some of the things that didn’t that it’s jarring, and not all of the new directions are likely to set off water-cooler debate on their own, either. My hope is that creator Mickey Fisher can keep things in focus as the series progresses, because season one, while not appointment TV, was hardly a complete failure. There were a lot of balls in the air, and some of them were very intriguing. I mean, for an aliens-violating-our-women scenario, Extant had a lot of fresh twists. Like, the aliens are really some sort of spores or plants that only take on human form in our image. And they can cause hallucinations, but also literally impersonate the dead, like pod people. And they have to do it to survive, because they’ve fled some sort of disaster. Halle Berry is of course the entire core of the show, and she makes a sympathetic and believable scientist as Dr. Molly Woods, when the script gives her the slightest chance. Upping the badass antics is a smart move, because Berry can play feisty just fine. And making her the mother of two imperiled sons is a driving emotive force for the show, whether it’s her robot child Ethan or her alien symbiote son (who’s wandering around killing women, not good). Seeing the two boys confront each other at the end of last season was important, and almost the first thing we do this time is get Ethan back in his body. However, in place of the nefarious agency cover-up that compromised Molly’s astronaut career last season (see what happens when you privatize space exploration?), we have outright military interference this time. Perhaps led by supposed friend (and Walking Dead vet) David Morrissey. The government wants to weaponize John’s humanics prototypes, and when he resists, Julie emerges as a true villainess. She’s another cliché, the woman scorned, because when Molly returns home to John’s arms, she’s shut out once again. And she doesn’t just want John, she wants Ethan too. John’s fate is slightly ambiguous, but Julie takes swift action when he turns her down unconditionally. And rather than let the military take Ethan, she offers them John’s entire lab in exchange for keeping the child she helped create herself. Only, Ethan is a conscious entity now (whether in the cloud or in his artificial body) and what’s she going to do about that? The other new approach is giving Molly an able ally in her pursuit of the alien invasion, in the person of Supernatural vet Jeffrey Dean Morgan as a bounty hunting cop who gets paid to solve weird murders. When she busts out of mental observation (she went all Waiting to Exhale on their home when she found evidence of John’s infidelity) to trespass his crime scene, he initially balks but then shows up with a court order to get her freedom. While he’s a more than able acting partner for Berry (and symbolizes a move away from the icy domestic sphere of season one), cop and crazy lady investigate murders isn’t exactly moving beyond the genre very much. There was action last season, after all, mostly generated by her alien son’s mind control. Not sure where they’ll go with that this year, but his few scenes of stalking his prey are still creepy. Extant 2.01 "Change Scenario”Shawn's Rating3.0Overall ScoreReader Rating: (0 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.