Extant Review: Risk and Reward

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Two hours of Extant means we were deluged with information. 

The big issue in Extant Season 1 Episode 7 was Ethan's ability to adapt and in Extant Season 1 Episode 8 it was Molly's search for her baby with the help of (wait for it) Kryger and KERN!

Yep, Kern wasn't just sucking on gas for nuttin'. During a brief visit from his mother (Emmy nominated actress JoBeth Williams) we learn that aliens (or God) have been chatting with the family for years. It's his worry he's taking the path of his father -- who got sick at the same time age. Except he's not sick and he finally does something about it.

Determined to Find Her Baby - Extant

Oh gosh. So much went down. Where to start?

Ethan has begun absorbing so much information that it scares John. John -- who only so shortly ago believed that free reign was the only way he could properly develop as a normal human -- is having serious second thoughts. He decides to take his concerns to a dinner with Yasumoto and Dodd (odd coupling there) where he discovers he's in the minority with his line of thinking.

Molly thinks if that's how Ethan learns, then so be it. Without risk there's no reward (it's a theme). Ethan is kind of badass when he's thinking on his own. I vote he gets to continue.

Yasumoto has more immediate needs (not that he's sharing with the Woods). He's dying because the substance they've been searching for on space expeditions is gone and he cannot recreate it. That substance is what's keeping him alive. He thinks the baby will provide more of the substance, but he also wants a humanic to transcend into, preferably an intelligent one.

There's a bit of chatter about uploading consciousness to somewhere to get it in synch with humanics. I guess nobody but me saw how well this all worked out in Transcendence. That keeps ringing the bell about souls for me (thanks commenter!). Given how Molly and Kryger saw their loved ones just as they left the earth, can their souls be begging for a way to come back?

I have no idea, but it's a really fascinating discussion starter. 

Ethan is one pissed off little humanic. He's had it with John telling him what to do and his thoughts of curbing his intelligence enthusiasm. He's walking on carpet with muddy shoes and giving daddy the stink eye. Will John come out of the wrong side of this argument?`

You shouldn't fret over Ethan rebelling over his programming. You wanted a kid, you got one.


Since both Ethan and Baby Circles (that's how he seems to communicate, so let's call him Circles until he gets a name) are Molly's children, will Circles be able to communicate with Ethan to ensure everything is alright between him and his family? 

There was hardly even a fun guessing game out of whether or not Odin would be using Julie to study her work. He's part of the Dodd crowd worried about machines taking over the world. Interesting, since he has a mechanical arm. I wonder if he whacked it off to better understand what he was studying or just to get close to Julie...or if it came off merely by accident?

While that avenue is something that could be explored, frankly there's no room for it in the discussion. Because we're already talking about extraterrestrial life on top of the humanics, we have enough to keep the conversation flowing. Yes, it's scary and yes John sees how others might view uber-intelligent transcendent Ethan, one man's concern is enough. No need to bring in a fringe group. Let Circles knock then out.

Kryger is so much fun. I love that Kern is with him and Molly now because it's driving Kryger out of his mind. He takes a while to get on board with saving Circles because, well, it's a mean baby.

I'm sorry. It made me flush my mother into space, it ain't the baby Jesus!


With Kern assuring Kryger he's fully on board, it only worries Kryger more. Molly is receiving messages from Circles (as we learn Kern is, as well) and they just want to find and save the intelligent being -- whatever it may be. Kryger thinks Molly was a host, but Molly believes there's more to it. That doesn't mean Kryger embraces a suicide mission to save the babe.

Let's just shoot each other here and save them the trouble.


His ability to lighten the moment while nobody pays him any heed is wonderful.

The puzzle piece that is the most confusing to me is where Sparks fits into Circles' world. Is the same being that was in Katie what came from Molly? That's all I can get from Katie's appearances to Sparks and her requests for her dad to help Circles. 

Obviously it's Circles speaking through Katie, but Sparks is too lost to grasp the enormity of what's happening. One moment he wants to kill Molly (to keep Katie's baby for himself?) and then Katie is asking him to save the baby. He's being governed by sources I just don't understand.

I love the 180 Kern did to join up with Molly and Kryger. He's such a help! Circles has to want its mommy or he wouldn't be saving her and her team, forcing those trying to keep them apart to shoot each other. John is going to be in hot water with Ethan growing into his own person and that leaves Sparks as the wildcard. 

Everything Sparks is doing is for Katie. Surely that will come to an end shortly, right? Who wants to be born, grab humanics bodies and will be in a war against Odin? Will that be the climactic ending? Or will the dusty nanotech just impregnate women everywhere? Giving birth to your own mother doesn't sound appealing. Souls, hmmm.

What do you all think? It's crazy, right? But I can't stop watching. The time just flies while it's on the air. Hit the comments. Do you have any theories? How did Kern's dad hear voices long ago? Was it connected? What's Circles plan?

If you missed any of it or didn't know there was a two-hour extravaganza on tonight, you can watch Extant online via TV Fanatic. Note: Next week is two hours, too!

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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Extant Season 1 Episode 7 Quotes

There's more to heaven and earth than what can be dreamt of in our philosophy.


There's more to heaven and earth? Damn right there is. I've seen it.