Now THAT was an episode well worth our time!
Debris Season 1 Episode 9 successfully blended a case of the week with George's arrival and delivered a humdinger of an ending.
Even better? This is our first two-parter!
Someone mentioned in the comments section of the Debris Season 1 Episode 8 review that George's addition gave them Walter Bishop vibes, and if you were on the fence about that comparison, Debris doubled down on the feeling.
Interestingly, nobody is on to Finola and Bryan yet as they're doing their best to remain normal. Now is the time when Bryan's past with Orbital comes into play. They need to get George somewhere safe that they can also use as a staging location for George's next pass at the device.
That introduces us to Garcia, a man with ties to Orbital and Bryan and George. The more we learn about Orbital, the more shocking it is that Bryan and George have never met or that Bryan knew so little about George's place within Orbital.
For instance, Finola blames Maddox for George's suicide because once the Americans were involved with Orbital, they systematically took George's work away from him. It tore him up to be so removed from what he held so dear.
And even more shockingly, Garcia asked George if he ever regrets creating Orbital.
Garcia was actively participating in Orbital experiments, it seems, and that's how he came to look like he does. And if nothing else, looking like that would make an ordinary life impossible.
But while George blames the Americans for all of his problems, he doesn't think Garcia should blame anyone for his. He said that Garcia knew the risks as well as that the risks outweigh the benefits.
George wishes he could have done more for Garcia, but it's unclear if he failed to do more because his power at Orbital was stripped or because he took his own life.
Garcia commented on Bryan's healthy appearance, wondering if he was still taking the medication. That brief conversation alluded to the fact that Bryan is alive because or despite something debris-related. It also suggests that if someone would offer it to him, a similar medication might help Garcia.
The case was very cool. By the time we witnessed Bryan and Finola arrive at Shelby's door, they had been there many other times before. The debris that Shelby and his sister discovered alters reality itself, but it still plays into people's desires.
Shelby: I'm going to keep using it until it resets properly and I get my sister back.
Bryan: I don't know what you think you know, but that's just not gonna happen.
Shelby: Yeah, you've said that before.
To make a long story short, Shelby and Kathleen are twins, and since Kathleen outshines him routinely, Shelby has had thoughts of a life without her.
It's the ultimate "be careful what you wish for" scenario, as the debris granted his wish. Every time he went into the debris (And dang, was that cliff diving something else? Made my heart skip a beat every single time), he had no idea what he'd be returning to.
His parents were always away, and he'd be moving through different siblings, none of them twins. I loved how George reacted to each one and the confusion from Bryan and Finola each time they witnessed it.
Even George was involved from the start, and that was what made it a very Fringey situation. George doesn't need a suspension of disbelief to understand that someone is altering reality because he believes in the possibility implicitly.
With each jump, Finola and Bryan learned that Shelby was lying to them and that every jump he made wasn't coming closer to finding his reality but nearing the point that the universe itself would unravel.
How cool is that? Space-time business is the very best because of the storylines it can conjure, and when Bryan finally dove off that cliff right behind Shelby to put an end to it, he learned first-hand what it was like to be in Shelby's shoes.
With each passing reality, the fine fabric of the universe got less secure. Not only could snippets of it be witnessed in mirrors because of how glass refracts light, but by the time Bryan and Grace arrived at the house, mirrors weren't even needed to see alternate realities unfolding right before their eyes.
What you're seeing is a bleed-through from another reality. The universe is breaking down.Bryan
Finola was erased from the timeline, but she wasn't necessarily missing like Kathleen. The various differences in realities, such as George's suicide still intact or Bryan following Maddox's orders to kill George during the extraction, resulted in different scenarios and partners every time.
You don't realize it. There's a piece of debris out there in the ocean. It's resetting reality.Bryan
After Bryan did the jump, he understood. He was a part of it, and he chose to call Finola to lay his cards on the table, hoping to understand how the story of the penguin and the soldier that George briefly mentioned could impact what they did next.
Bryan: Finola, I'm trying to get back to somebody who is very important to me. Please. How can I know all this if what I'm saying isn't true? He said that there was something in the story that could help me.
Finola: It's about the soldier who guides a penguin across the desert to be with the one he loves, and over the treacherous passage, the penguin asks the soldier why he risks his life guiding others to their hearts desire. He asks if he wishes he had something to cross the desert for, but the soldier just says no. And once they reach the destination, the penguin thanks the soldier and shares a observation. He tells the soldier, "You fight so bravely because you have nothing, you want nothing because you are afraid to have something to lose because if you did, your heart would no longer be steel. The point of the story-
Bryan: You can spend a lifetime hiding from yourself what you truly want.
Besides reinforcing that desires are tricky, I'm unsure how that story or understanding it will make any difference in how everything plays out.
Did Bryan need to acknowledge how he felt about Finola to stop the process? Must both Shelby and Bryan be on the same page to get their worlds back?
It wasn't Bryan's jump that removed Finola; it was just a byproduct of the worlds' changing. But when he jumped and came back without her, he knew she was gone for the first time, and his heart was broken.
Finola: May I ask? Who's the person you are trying to get back to?
Did anybody see that coming? Is Bryan in love with Finola, or does he just love her? No wonder we need two episodes to get to the bottom of it.
This debris is concerning because if Maddox catches wind of what it does, he'll jump in and out of it, hoping to recreate his happy family even if time itself can't move back far enough to correct what happened to them.
It does give Maddox a more relatable backstory, though. He's been trying to find something to fix his son, not only for his son's sake but for Julia's, too.
Julia, listen to me, honey. A terrible thing happened to our family. I'm not in denial about that. I know what we've been through, but I also know what people can survive. And I know, I know what a strong family can get through. I've seen it. And I know that we can get through this together. I know we can. bEcause what we have? The love that we have for that boy. This is good. We're good. You hear me? You're good. You're good.Maddox
Julia hates herself for being at the wheel of an accident that left their son severely changed. It's too hard for her that Maddox forgives her, and it's driven a wedge between them that he cannot fix. Every attempt only makes her hate herself more since she doesn't think she deserves forgiveness.
That's weighing on my mind. Even if they get the timeline back in order, someone can use it to reinvent reality continually once this debris is recognized.
Heck, it's kind of surprising that the universe is still OK since George warned that even one more trip could be the one to send it over the edge.
And is the damage irreparable? Is the deactivation of the debris with a whole team of people going to set things right while simultaneously alerting people all over the world of its potential?
There is a lot at stake, and I hope that it stays that way. The story is so much more engrossing when a couple of days in a new town don't solve the issue.
Even deactivating the debris didn't change the fates of those from Debris Season 1 Episode 4 who had to be put in stasis with the hope they'll one day find out how to reverse the damage the debris did to their lungs, and they can breathe air again.
This universe business is too big to end quietly, and I hope there are ripples affecting the show that don't easily go away.
It's your turn!
Was this the best episode so far?
What does Bryan feel for Finola?
How will this debris alter the course of Debris?
Hit the comments, and remember that you can watch Debris online right here via TV Fanatic!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.