The new direction of Extant falls immediately into formula this week, and doesn’t quite keep the full interest it might with more unconventional plotting. The tension between generating a larger audience (the one idea seems to involve more action and adventure, but in very standard cop show modes) and really exploring some of the more interesting sides of futuristic setting is showing. Berry and Morgan have a ready chemistry and are giving it the old college try, but we need to see more action than him repeatedly berating and restraining her. Plenty of that went nowhere last season. The most interesting part of Molly’s life, her status as a pioneering astronaut, has been lost. In its place, she’s a madwoman on a quest to find her son. That could be okay for a while, but said son is a sociopathic alien intent on impregnating women and reproducing as part of a biological alien invasion force. Bad news, the women don’t survive the gestation process. So this week Molly leads the cop to the doctor (a tiny cameo from Enterprise’s John Billingsley, wasted unless he recurs) who is treating a few mysteriously pregnant women (the alien is finding them through singles bars, yuck!). They then try to save the life of a woman hiding her affair from her husband, a typical MOTW scenario for a genre show. More interesting would be to spend more time with the alien lothario (last week’s scene where his younger self in some way attacked a naïve family who took him in was quite creepy), in order to find out something about this mandated plant/spore/people invasion scenario that last season he didn’t want to join. But last season the space agency was actively seeking alien samples, and this season (unable to control what they found I’m guessing) the military wants to eradicate all traces. Molly’s just another loose end, but General Toby Shepherd can’t create a final solution for her (as someone did for her husband) because he cares about her. And besides, his military actions are striking out badly against their foe. The more interesting plot by far is what is going on with her other odd son, little orphan robot Ethan. Having bonded with Molly more than anyone else, he’s not dealing well to having been effectively kidnapped and secreted away by Julie, who’s become a mustache-twirling villain. Grace Gummer is trying to build something out of the science nerd of last season morphing into the woman scorned of this one, but the scripting provides little help. Last season there was a competitive ice queen intent on preventing the eventual robot takeover; this season there’s a new slave driver who wants to start Skynet as quickly as possible. What’s your average advance AI scientist supposed to do? And if Molly has lost her status, must she also lose her mind as well? Getting back to her old home she enjoys a few of the private luxuries her old life offered her, but when she drugs the cop and then has some sort of mind-altering encounter with her son that leaves her passed out on the floor, we don’t know if we can trust her judgment after all. This recalls a similarly bizarre sequence from last season, where the alien hybrid’s mind-control powers led to several deaths at a small resort, with Molly not fully in control of her actions. An action hero who is merely a puppet is a contradiction, and this show would do well to skip the damsel in distress stuff if it really wants Molly to be a strong heroine. Extant 2.02 "Morphoses" Shawn's Rating2.0Overall 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.