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Extant – What on Earth Is Wrong – Review

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“Extant” really ramps up its conspiracy thriller themes this week as everyone around Molly conspires to make her look crazy.

While “What on Earth Is Wrong” returns us right to where we left off last week – with Molly’s stomach being sliced into by a laser – the anesthesia or the pain or maybe even the jeopardized baby send Molly into some kind of dream state. It’s an off-kilter blend of her life with John and Ethan and what appears to be her last day with Marcus. Feel free to tuck away for later the knowledge that Marcus was on his way to re-entry training with the ISEA when his accident happened and that Molly was rather far along with her pregnancy when she lost it.

But before you know it, an unconscious Molly is back in the woods where she was abducted, found with the deactivated Ethan by a panicked John the next morning. Their worry about their children both android (the paramedics’ shocked faces when they realized Ethan’s a robot were hilarious) and potentially alien is compounded when Molly’s doctor (who, being played a name actor like Joshua Malina, I kept expecting to be revealed as in league with the ISEA or Yasumoto) tells them that Molly’s tests show she is not and never was pregnant.

It’s a rather ingenious ploy on Sparks’ part, again selling a lie that’s more believable than the truth. As John points out, everything he knows about the pregnancy is second-hand. Sam’s no longer on-side (she expertly lies to her friends’ faces when they seek her help). The rest of the evidence – the warning text on Molly’s phone, the DNA test they were running – has been scrubbed. And with everyone in agreement that Molly’s brain has been altered and that she’s had hallucinations, it’s an explanation that makes sense.

I thought this storyline got both Berry and Visnjic to step up their game. Liked how Berry portrayed Molly’s fraying emotional state with each setback she suffered, as well as the fierce way she snarled in Sam’s face after she betrayed her. And Visnjic really captured John’s inner conflict about whether believing Molly’s story was helpful or harmful. For that reason alone, I actually wish they had let this play out for another week or two.

Alas, as was telegraphed in the previouslies, Molly realizes that there is one piece of evidence Sparks couldn’t have known about – the dog bite she received and the resulting bloody towel. Soon enough, Molly has her proof, though John is sad to see he isn’t the baby’s father. And in a further reveal that felt shoved in when it could have anchored an episode all its own, a lab assistant of Molly’s we’ve never seen before stumbles upon a scanning method that shows scientifically that something was with Molly on the Seraphim.

If all of that wasn’t enough, “What on Earth Is Wrong” was also a big episode for Julie, beginning with the revelation that she’s the legless woman in the futuristic shower from the show’s opening summary. That one caught me by surprise, I’d been speculating it was Femi Dodd. But it shines such a light on Julie – why she’s pursued the line of work she’s in, what she sees when she looks at Ethan, why she’s so worried about him being teased and tormented out in the real world just for being different.

Additionally, the “divorced couple with a child” subtext bubbling between Julie and John becomes text as this episode progresses. Already on edge worrying about Ethan (who’s in something of a comatose state) and unsatisfied with the explanations as to what happened to him, she finally explodes when John again overrules her. And you can see her side. They built Ethan, “birthed” him, together. And they made an agreement that they wouldn’t be his parents, that they would find him a perfect home, but then John up and made a family with him and Molly without even asking. Julie’s sick of being on the outside, the sting of which is surely only worsened when John lays it out that, in his eyes, she’s neither his equal partner nor Ethan’s parent. After that, I was anticipating a twist where Julie altered Ethan’s programming so he would wake up and not remember Molly and/or John so, clearly, still see her as a wild card.

To wrap up, we saw in some quick scenes that Molly’s baby not only survived its premature delivery, but is thriving despite of it. And the episode ends on the little bundle of joy (who we learn is a boy) in a life support cell. Spooky!

So what on Earth did you think was right, or wrong, with this episode? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section.

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