Several plots that have been simmering all season came to a boiling point on Extant, leading to more than one shocking (apparent) demise.
Adieu, Ahdu! (I had to make the joke, okay? It was right there!)
Extant Season 2 Episode 8 saw the death of Molly's alien-human hybrid child, the being that was the catalyst of the entire series, the one who turned Molly's entire world upside down.
I have to admit that I was not a particular fan of the pacing of Molly and Ahdu's relationship. While it's true that she, from the beginning, was weirdly protective of her son even when he seemed to be straight up evil, I found it difficult to swallow and not very believable that she did such a swift 180 over the course of maybe four episodes.
Ahdu: Thank you.
Molly: For what?
Ahdu: For bringing me here.
Molly: I did this to you Ahdu. I created that virus.
Ahdu: You gave me life. You gave us all life.
Ahdu's death scene and Molly's reaction was surprisingly poignant, though, given the lack of time dedicated to their relationship development this season. I credit that poignancy almost entirely to Halle Berry's acting ability, since we didn't have nearly enough time to see the relationship develop and deepen.
Plus that tired "dies in the midst of a dramatic revelation" trope that they trotted out when Ahdu bit the dust was seriously eye-roll inducing. Why can't Terra, a little (seemingly very innocent) girl, be trusted?! I need to know!! So naturally, Ahdu dies mid-sentence.
The whole arc of Molly's discovery that the hybrids aren't so bad after all feels like it would have been better played if stretched over a longer period of time.
We had all of these very distinct hybrid personalities thrown at us over about one and a half episodes, and now we're being told that all of these brand new characters are not what they appear to be? That would definitely have been more shocking and effective if we hadn't literally just met these people.
I'm almost positive the whole hybrids arc was rushed to this extent based on the fact it's unlikely for Extant to get a third season to cleanly wrap up its storylines – my money is on the fact the show-runners wanted to tie up loose ends with the upcoming finale where possible, while still leaving enough open threads in case the show does manage to eke out a third go.
On the other hand, I was extremely pleased with the pacing of the Lucy storyline and the fact that it wasn't drawn out ad nauseam. There were a few nice mini-twists packed into this storyline, which really brought that arc to a smooth (if largely predictable) conclusion.
For one, Charlie came clean to Julie almost immediately, right after Lucy blackmailed him. You go, Charlie! He's consistently been one of my favorite characters for his ability to act like a rational, real person, and this moment was a great example of that.
Yes, Charlie is fallible, but that's because he's human. That's why Lucy was able to manipulate him so easily for so many weeks. But when it came down to the wire, Charlie 'fessed up to Julie, putting aside the damage to his personal relationship (and possibly his professional career, if word got out) in order to do the right thing and take Lucy down.
On a minor note, Charlie also has some of the best written (and best delivered) lines in this show full of mostly 'meh' (at best) dialogue.
Julie: We're gonna need a decent alibi in shutting Lucy down. More money has gone into her than most fighter jets.
Charlie: You mean 'she went totes bonkers' isn't a good enough reason?
The second great surprise of the Lucy arc in this hour was Ethan's willingness to hear Charlie out after he discovered Charlie and Julie were planning to reboot Lucy. Ethan is another one of my favorite characters, and I love his BHF (best humanich friend) relationship with Charlie, who serves as a sort of combination father/big brother figure to him.
Lucy manipulated Ethan for weeks, just as surely as she manipulated Charlie. And Ethan, like Charlie, totally fell for it all: hook, line, and sinker.
While it was a surprise that Ethan was relatively easily talked down from his whole "I won't let you hurt my big sister, you monsters" thing, I did buy it in the end and didn't think it was out of character for Ethan to behave that way.
Ethan isn't stupid. He's legitimately bonded to Charlie and Julie, and on some level always knew that they are his true family (as John and Molly were before them). I completely bought that Ethan would react instinctively to seeing Lucy choke the life out of his "mother" Julie, saving Julie's life by taking Lucy's. (Maybe? She looked pretty dead, but who really knows with this show.)
Ethan's reaction after "killing" Lucy to save Julie was heartbreaking. His little voice asking "what did I do?" was absolutely wrenching! Pierce Gagnon was killing it, as always.
Though it was a relatively minor part of this installment, I really enjoyed the conversation between JD and Toby when JD was brought in as a prisoner of the state. It provided some excellent, well-woven background information on both of the characters' histories and also enlightened their very opposite motives and ideologies in not-so-ham-handed ways.
I was not in the least surprised to find out that Toby was the type of General to take out an entire village and write it off as a casualty of war in order to eliminate a single terrorist. It was yet another example of his brazenly utilitarian mentality. He's a caricature of a government official and not at all relatable or sympathetic, but it's undeniable that he serves an important purpose in the scheme of things in Extant-land.
- Where did Lucy get the pictures for that Pyxcube of John and Julie's clandestine memories?
- I don't mind Dorothy's character and think that she's well-acted, but I don't really understand why she was necessary here. It literally seemed like she was just present so Ahdu could sound off of her and solidify his actually-a-nice-dude persona. And also to (uselessly, as it turned out) change his cold blankets.
- That said, I did like that Dorothy and Molly bonded. I really didn't want Dorothy to turn out to be another jealous love interest of one of the males, like Shayna. And she wasn't!
- Speaking of, Shayna seems to be really gone. Happy about it!
What did you all think of "Arms and Humanichs"? Is Lucy really out of the picture? Is she no longer re-bootable now that Ethan ripped out her hard drive (or whatever)? Were you sad to see Adhu go? What will become of Molly on Extant Season 2 Episode 9? Sound off in the comments below and remember to watch Extant online if you missed an episode!
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.