July 21st, 2015
Leading up to episode 6 of Extant, we knew Molly’s baby “boy” wasn’t normal, but now it’s clear he is dangerous. Very dangerous.
At the beginning of “Nightmares,” the fetus (still sitting in a vat) compels an International Space Exploration Agency researcher to kill his colleague, after the former seemingly comes under its influence. He later tells ISEA director Alan Sparks that a former researcher named “Sarah” ordered him to commit the murder, and to liberate the fetus. My theory is that “Sarah” was really a vision/hallucination created by the fetus à la Molly’s Marcus sightings.
Alan tells ISEA deputy director Gordon Kern to destroy footage of the killing, though Gordon protests because “this thing” can’t be hidden, and may do even more damage once fully grown. At this point, it seems like the fetus is not really Molly’s baby, but rather a vessel for some sinister extraterrestrial entity that has not yet revealed itself. And it’s growing more powerful every day — something Sparks keenly understands, as demonstrated by his “show her to me” demand, which prompts the fetus to reveal a vision of his dead daughter Katie as a young girl.
Alan is also aware of the damage the fetus is capable of inflicting — but refuses to do anything about it. A record of the transmission from the Aruna (the other ship that the ISEA sent into space) that Harmon Kryger (Brad Beyer) provides to Molly shows Katie Sparks as an adult astronaut just before her death. As with Molly, Katie has the same crop circle-esque rings on her stomach — signaling that she also was pregnant. Katie was on board the Aruna at the same time that Harmon was on the Seraphim.
Unfortunately, Harmon may have come to an ill-fated end in “Nightmares,” after Gordon kills or incapacitates him using a headphone-like weapon. But don’t fear for Harmon’s well-being — at least not yet. The latter outcome is more likely, as his character is slated to appear in a few more episodes of Extant.
With Harmon down and Sam Barton’s betrayal in episode 5, it looked like Molly had no one but John to turn to. However, she eventually reconciles with Sam after finding out why the latter pretended the pregnancy never happened.
The most exciting development in episode 6 is Ethan’s growth. Not only does he have his first nightmare — something the Humanich is not yet programmed to do — but Ethan also successfully decrypts the record of the transmission from the Aruna. Harnessing his evolving supercomputer capabilities, Ethan outclasses his father John, the tech expert, who failed to decrypt the record.
While earlier episodes of Extant foreshadowed Ethan going down a dark path, “Nightmares” suggests that he may actually play the role of savior. In one scene, Ethan meets Odin (Charlie Bewley), a potential love interest of Julie’s, who says people write poems about war because “we love heroes” — a concept that piques the Humanich’s interest. (Even more telling, “Odin” is a major god of war and wisdom in Norse mythology.) This, combined with his palpable dislike of Molly’s crop circle-esque rings (which appear in his nightmare), indicate that Ethan may be the protagonist to the fetus’ antagonist.
On a related note, Halle Berry impressively portrays a mother who is conflicted with parenting a Humanich son. In Molly’s eyes, the nightmare humanizes Ethan, and she warms to him after previously showing reluctance to embrace him (“Sometimes it’s hard to accept what Ethan is”).
Other noteworthy points
- Cool tech in episode 6 of Extant includes: Alan Sparks’ picture frame (featuring a real-life GIF) of Katie as a child, Odin’s artificial arm, the nano-carbon spy microphone that Molly places on Sam’s arm, the drug bar that Gordon patronizes and Harmon’s fingerprint-replacement tech.
- Extant kicked things up a notch this week, but I’m still waiting for that must-see TV moment that the show has yet to deliver.
Extant airs every Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.
Register for an account it’s free to participate in the discussion or share your thoughts in the Facebook.'Extant' Episode 6 Recap: 'We Love Heroes',