Extant Season 2 Episode 4 Review: Cracking the Code

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Why was Extant Season 2 Episode 4 my favorite kind of Extant episode?

Because the hour was Julie-less and chock full of great plot and character development!

I totally jumped the gun last week; I was sure that Toby was dead, but it turns out he survived thanks to the very reasonable bulletproof vest explanation. His presence ended up being necessary, though, to uncover the government's plan to develop a virus to kill off the alien-human hybrids.

Running Away from Charlie - Extant

Biological warfare – what can possibly go wrong? ... A lot, probably. I'm guessing quite a lot can, and will, go wrong with this plan.

Nate Malone, Molly's fellow geneticist, seems like he's going to be yet another recurring character (his full name was used during his introduction scene and that "Turks and Caicos" line was overly specific information).

But he didn't make a particularly strong impression this way or that, so I'm withholding any kind of judgment on him as of yet.

I did find it shocking and weird that he so nonchalantly told Molly that, should the government find any more in utero test subjects, they wouldn't try to save the women at all.

They're really going hard on characterizing the government in Extant as completely utilitarian in nature – the ends (eradicating the hybrids) justify the means (sketchy human subject testing), in their kind of soulless view. 

Speaking of lack of personality: is Shayna eventually going to have some purpose other than being jealous of Toby's blisteringly obvious love for Molly and arguing with him about her? I sure hope so. She's as one-dimensional as can be at this point.

'Julie thinks.' But what do you think? Don't change me, Charlie. Julie doesn't have to know. It'll be our secret. About Ethan -- everything.


The Lucy plot thickens! Who was she communicating with at the end of the episode, saying that they were right and that "it" worked? And what, exactly, is the "it" that worked?

Personally, I have no theories on this yet except one outlandish, not-fact-based one (it's John! Or John's ghost in a computer), but I'm still very intrigued. What's her game, here?

I loved that Lucy encouraged Ethan to disobey Julie/Charlie and go searching for answers about the mysterious Molly he's been seeing while glitching. Although, I'm not convinced that she has his best interests at heart. I suspect that she is just out to cause trouble, for some grander reason yet to be revealed.

Will Ethan remember any of the memories that came to him while he was glitching at Molly's apartment? I suspect Charlie may re-erase those recovered memories, in an attempt to stay in Julie's good graces.

Lucy also left Molly a message on her bathroom mirror, informing her that Ethan had been there. The Lucy portion of this episode ended on her speed-reading Machiavelli's "The Prince," so that plus her earlier actions characterized where her head-space is at pretty succinctly and severely.

Molly confirmed that Kelsey was not pregnant with an alien hybrid baby – the DNA she tested was normal. Is Kelsey going to stick around, then? I can't help but wonder what her purpose is now that she isn't a potential alien spore victim waiting to happen.

Molly: You have to get out of here. Right now.
One Night Stand Guy: I make a nice frittata.
Molly: Go. Out the back door. Right now. Go.
One Night Stand Guy: Call me.

There were some great comedic moments this hour, which I always appreciate. I think Extant is at its best when there are brief moments of levity injected between all the seriousness. Molly's startled reaction to finding her one-night-stand in bed with her the morning after was laugh out loud funny.

Speaking of those sexcapades: Molly had another moment of sex-craving fugue state this time. The later one led her to kiss JD (!!) who didn't exactly resist her advances at first.

JD: OK, hey... Molly. This is crazy.
Molly: Does it matter? Haven't you ever had crazy before?
JD: Trust me, I am a "show me the crazy" kind of guy, but apparently even I have limits.

That's right – JD was so clearly into it, and into Molly. Fortunately (or unfortunately, for us), he did the gentlemanly thing, realizing that she was experiencing an out of character "episode" and stopping her spore-influenced seduction in its tracks. Oh well. Another week, perhaps. (Definitely.)

It was very cute to hear JD offer to watch over her and be her keeper. He was right; she absolutely needs a keeper at the moment. But Molly is mistrustful of nearly everyone and hesitant to rely on anyone after John's betrayal, and rightfully so. It made sense that she turned down his offer, though it was disappointing to see.

Molly is experiencing many odd symptoms, ostensibly all due to her exposure to the spores: her fingernails are growing at a crazy speed, she's blacking out and having sex with random men, and she can hear voices that no one else can.

She decoded the alien DNA, allowing her to hear an audio recording of voices saying "help me" encoded in their genetic material. I'm not really sure how the mechanics of this worked, technologically or biologically or whatever. They kind of just skimmed over that bit. But it definitely alarmed Toby and Shayna and led to Molly being kicked out of the lab.

Another great comedic moment was JD shooting out Kelsey's car tires, only to have her hop on a motorcycle and drive towards the clinic that way.

Poor Charlie. He's being manipulated this way and that by that conniving Lucy. I found it very unbelievable that he would so easily agree to not install the limiter software on her, especially after his past few weeks monologuing about the dangers of skipping out on the protocols used for developing Ethan.

He obviously loves Julie, and she doesn't feel as strongly, to say the least – that answer to Charlie's "I miss you" was a pretty harsh shutdown. I don't see them working out well, in the long run, though I do think their relationship makes Julie more likeable.

The ending montage was particularly fantastic and a definite highlight. The song used was "Burn" by Cody Crump, and its super creepy lullabyish melody set the tone (the tone being "everybody is feeling odd, things are weird and disjointed") perfectly. 

What did you all think of "Cracking the Code"? What the heck is going on with Lucy? Will Ethan remember his Molly memories? How quickly will Julie find out that Charlie lied to her about Lucy? Chime in to the discussion below and remember that you can watch Extant online to catch up on anything you missed before Extant Season 2 Episode 5 airs next week!

Cracking the Code Review

Editor Rating: 4.15 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (18 Votes)

Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Extant Season 2 Episode 4 Quotes

Molly: You have to get out of here. Right now.
One Night Stand Guy: I make a nice frittata.
Molly: Go. Out the back door. Right now. Go.
One Night Stand Guy: Call me.

  • Permalink: Call me.
  • Added:

Yeah, I looked her up. She's famous, you know. She was in a cuckoo farm recovery center, Dad, which I know in your book means low-hanging fruit, but really?