Extant Review: Transcendence

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Extant has come to an end for now (at least if fans have their way), and while there was a nice overarching message about connections and humanity, whether it was a satisfying conclusion to season is debatable.

During Extant Season 1 Episode 13 Molly went to space to save the human race. Odin's worse fears were realized although he doesn't know it and Circles is off on a trek of his own.

The takeaway of the series was about the connection between ... not people ... intelligent beings, shall we say. There was an interesting soliloquy by Molly about how we wound up on earth and the miracle that it is.

What was also examined is that there isn't a clear-cut understanding of what makes some intelligent beings connect while others are woefully lacking. Nurture seems to trump nature, but that goes against much of what we tend to thing regarding other issues.

The fungus beings were not kind and not interested in connection, but Circles fought the idea a bit to be with his mother. He was surprised he couldn't do harm to Ethan, but it didn't seem he was willfully stopping himself from doing it, either.

Odin implanted a honeycomb device into Ethan and there was no way to remove it. Ethan was wise beyond his programming, and yet still highly susceptible to suggestion, such as the offer of friendship made by Odin. Just like any boy, he wanted to believe he was special. He rebelled against his parents. 

Odin wanted to kill Ethan's consciousness but instead he instigated that action that uploaded him everywhere. If any of you saw Transcendence this year, you know how well that went. For the mind of a child to have such unfettered access to literally everything? We're very happy he had good parents to teach him right from wrong.

John treating Ethan with respect as he told him about his future was both incredibly sweet and responsible, but painful to watch. No child wants to believe they have been used, and Ethan was in the worst way. Yet he still managed to gain trust, have faith, show love and sacrifice himself for his mother. Pretty amazing.

It's still unclear exactly what Circles was up to. Ethan made a conscious decision to save his "brother" if he could, but I'm not sure the same would have been said about Circles if he had been give the chance to reciprocate. 

We don't know how Ethan transcended. We don't know why the fungus wanted to populate earth. We really don't know why the series was called Extant. However, it was a fun romp for summer and if they could tighten up the storytelling just a bit for season 2, it would be welcomed back next summer.

Seeing little Ethan make the ultimate sacrifice, even saving his erstwhile brother in the process, was worth the hour. A second season would require the return of Pierce Gagnon and his giant soulful eyes. Ethan without that corporeal body wouldn't be nearly as engaging.

This is really all about you and your enjoyment of the series, so have one last go at conversation and make some new friends before you go. If you missed all the fun, you can still catch up and watch Extant online.

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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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