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Salvation - Another Trip Around the Sun - Review

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Salvation “Another Trip Around the Sun” was written by Corey Miller and directed by Ken Fink, whose other credits include The Expanse, Person of Interest, Nikita, and CSI – so he knows science fiction, action, and procedurals. Millers other credits also include CSI and CSI: Miami, as well as Reckless and Body of Proof.

The episode begins with Grace (Jennifer Finnigan) having a nightmare about the asteroid hitting as she’s about to send Zoe (Rachel Drance) off to Africa. Zoe wakes her up to wish her a happy birthday, bringing her a muffin (cupcake?) with a candle to blow out. Is anybody wondering what her wish was?

The action shifts to Washington and picks up with annoying reporter Amanda (Shazi Raja). She knows about Carnahan’s (Bill Turnbull) death and has flagged it as suspicious because there was no autopsy performed. Her editor isn’t intrigued by secret meetings at Darius’ (Santiago Cabrera) house, but Carnahan’s suspicious death does get his attention – and Amanda permission to pursue the story.

At the Pentagon, Grace receives some beautiful flowers for her birthday from an anonymous admirer. They aren’t the only thing that Harris (Ian Anthony Dale) has gotten her. He’s also gotten her A-4 level security clearance so that he can tell her everything, and he actually does tell her that the rocket test failed. He promises no more secrets – and she echoes the sentiment, even as she’s planning to keep secrets from him.

Darius, Grace, and Liam (Charlie Rowe) are all in the Pentagon briefing – so clearly Darius is working with the government as well as on his own. Dr Strauss (Derek Webster) proposes the IO Probe as their best alternative plan. They are going to divert the Probe into the asteroid and divert its path just enough to miss Earth. Darius points out that the high-velocity impact has just as much chance of exploding the asteroid into hundreds of pieces that will do just as much damage. He tells them that they had it right the first time with the gravity tractor.

Harris points out that they don’t have the technology, and Darius tells them he’s going to build an EM-drive – and electro-magnetic drive. Strauss declares he’s insane, and Darius declares he’s not the first to say so! Darius has Liam explain what an EM drive is – it will be faster because it will keep accelerating. Darius asks for $2 billion. And this creates a huge problem as far as secrecy goes – they need congressional oversight to get that much money. Grace speaks for Darius, and Harris says he can get half.

Grace follows Darius out of the meeting. He’s not happy about the red tape, and he insists that she promised that it would be a two way street if he agreed to help the government. She asks what else he needs, and he tells her he needs 100 kilos of uranium. Darius tells her that they need to think bigger than the government or the red tape will kill them before the asteroid. Harris has the access codes that would get them the uranium. But instead of actually asking Harris, he tells her to commit treason and steal his access codes.

Darius sends Liam to find Dr Croft (Dennis Boutsikaris) who has also been experimenting with the EM drive. Darius has been working on it but needs help to finish. Liam thinks he can get some information on Croft’s research from his TA, Diego (Dewshane Williams). I was really hoping we’d get more of Williams as I really enjoyed his performances on Defiance. Darius sends Liam to Boston with – literally – a fist-full of money. Liam is terrified of flying, so doesn’t really appreciate being sent off in the company helicopter! You just know this is going to end with him having to go into space, right?

Darius’ mission for the episode is solving the money problem – he has to find the billion dollars that Harris is short. Darius meets Catherine Adams (Zuleikha Robinson) for dinner. He’s clearly come to her for money before. We learn that Darius may have a lot of toys, but he doesn’t actually have any money. In fact, he’s lost a fortune twice in the past.

Meanwhile, Grace and Harris disagree over Darius’ demands. He’s angry over the amount Darius wants, and this actually does give a nice opening to help explain Grace keeping the uranium a secret. Harris is angry about the $2 billion and asks what’s next? Nuclear weapons? And then makes it very clear that he’d say no. Grace appears to have no choice. Harris is still tied to protocol – it is a government operation after all. Does he want her to go behind his back?

In Boston, Liam finds out that Croft is still just gone. Diego tells him all the research is gone, but Croft always kept a backup drive hidden at his place. Diego asks after Jillian (Jacqueline Byers), and we see that she’s about to read from her novel at her father’s (Jeffrey Nordling) bookstore. Liam breaks into Croft’s house, but the hard drive is already gone. He gets a text from an unknown number to get out of the house, so he runs.

Jillian sends Liam a text, wishing he could be at her reading. He goes to the bookstore but sees Lazlo (Aaron Poole) lurking, so he’s too afraid to go in. He uses the money that Darius gave him to pay passersby to go to Jillian’s reading when he sees how sparse the crowd is.

Grace tries to get in touch with Carnahan to help with getting the uranium. Her message is bounce back, and then Amanda sandbags her in a press briefing by asking about Carnahan’s murder. Grace covers with a no comment, but Amanda sees that Grace is rattled and is determined to follow up. When Grace can’t find Carnahan in his office, she goes to Harris and wants to know if the government killed him! Harris tells her no, and brushes it off as a bit of paranoia.

Grace drops by Darius’s and sees Catherine leaving. It seems clear that they’ve been doing more than just talking. Grace tells Darius that they can’t trust the government – they have to do it on their own. Darius takes Grace to a surveillance proof room, and she shows him the best option for getting the uranium. Darius asks if she’s enlisted Harris’ help, and she tells him that Harris’ hands are tied. Darius realizes that she’s going to steal the code to access the materials. Grace is also determined that she’s taking full responsibility – she refuses to take Harris down with her – but she’s also willing to risk her relationship for the fate of the world.

Amanda sends Grace a picture of her in Darius’ car and tells her to meet before she publishes. The two meet in a parking garage. Amanda tells her she wants the real story. Grace tells her that the body being released was at the ME’s discretion. Amanda pushes that Walter had told his sister that he’d seen a file at work he shouldn’t have and that if anything happened to him it was about “Atlas” – and his sister is sure that what happened wasn’t an accident. Grace insists that what happened to Walter was tragic but not a conspiracy.

Liam gets another text with an address. He arrives to find out that the mysterious texter is Croft! Croft left when spies showed up at his house and tossed it. Luckily, Croft has all of his EM research on a thumb drive.

Grace asks Harris about Atlas, and he tells her that it’s above her security clearance. She dumps wine on him to get him out of the room. She uses her camera to get his fingerprint to open the biometric lock on his briefcase – would that really work? I have my doubts. She gets the information she needs, but of course leaves an earring in his briefcase. Darius calls and insists that Harris come over to help sell the deal to an investor. Naturally, he takes his briefcase with him, but it also gives Grace time to go and get the uranium-235.

Maybe it’s the music, or the fact that most of the tension is from rather stock situations. Grace only has a limited time because the code is going to expire, the officer in charge insists on calling Harris, Liam is being watched, there’s a reporter on the trail, etc. Regardless, I’m having a hard time feeling the tension. It’s also possible that with only 13 episodes, we have to jump into the action pretty quickly, and so far, I’m still getting to know these characters, so it’s hard to know who to really root for and worry about too. What about you? Is the tension working for you or is it a bit strained and over done?

I did like that Darius was able to clone Harris’s phone and save Grace because all government officials use Tanz phones. Grace wants assurance that there will be no blow back on Harris and Darius assures her that because he own his own satellite, all communications have been erased. He sees that Grace really does care for Harris. When Grace gets home, she’s been left a happy birthday video from Zoe that spurs her to cherish those she loves and go back to spend the night with Harris.

Liam returns to Darius’s with Croft. Darius introduces Lazlo as his head of security – he’s been protecting his assets. Darius asks about his money, and Liam says he put it to good use. Darius asks Lazlo about “the girl” when Liam leaves, and Lazlo says Liam went to see her. Darius remarks that she’s going to be more of a problem than he thought.

Grace wakes up and sneaks out of the bedroom to check Harris’ briefcase, but her earring is gone. When she comes back to bed, Harris isn’t asleep – and was anyone surprised by that? And finally, Amanda is starting an evidence board about Atlas.

What did you think of the episode? Are you feeling the tension? I’m still thinking that Harris is a good guy, but I don’t think he’ll be able to get past Grace working behind his back – unless that really is his intention – that she do what he can’t. Maybe he’s counting on it? What do you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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