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Salvation - The Wormwood Prophecy - Review

Salvation “The Wormwood Prophecy” was written by Mike Werb and was directed by Greg Prange, whose credits include No Tomorrow (hilarious!), Rizzoli & Isles, One Tree Hill, and Dawson’s Creek. The episode saw an up-tick in the ratings, but still no word on renewal. There were plenty of little things in this episode that annoyed me – read on – but I also think the show has hooked me with the characters, so overall, I quite enjoyed the episode. I just wish I could completely hand wave away the little annoying bits.

As the episode opens, it becomes pretty clear that should the show continue, it’s almost assuredly going to be on the Salvation. Samson is now 350 million kilometers from earth and we see another asteroid bounce into it and be pulverized. Liam’s (Charlie Rowe) program detects it, and Darius (Santiago Cabrera) deduces that nothing is going to move Samson – it’s core is likely iron and is definitely denser than they’d imagined. He doesn’t rule out the gravity tractor – if they can regain control over it – but Bennett’s (Sasha Roiz) plan is definitely not going to work.

Meanwhile, Zoe (Rachel Drance) comes home, scaring Grace (Jennifer Finnigan), and making me wonder where Hugh (Mark Moses) is – wasn’t he supposed to be protecting her? Regardless, Grace calls Harris (Ian Anthony Dale) to come over, and Zoe tells them that Dylan is dead, and that Dylan and Naomi have a boss named Nero. Darius joins them to tell them about the new information on Samson.

Harris tells Darius that Bennett and Claire (Erica Luttrell) have staged a coup and they have to re-gain control of the country by any means necessary. They are all pretty sure that President Mackenzie (Tovah Feldshuh) was murdered. Harris tells Claire and Bennett about Darius’ theory about Samson’s core, but they don’t believe it. Claire tells him that Strauss has the GT in a secure location.

Claire comes to Harris in his office. She clearly wants to start something with him, and he kisses her, leading her on. Claire assures him that Bennett may be harsh, but they have to do whatever it takes. I thought this was a nice parallel between the two factions. Harris definitely looks like he’s taking one for the team as he kisses Claire and then runs off for a “Dr’s appointment.”

Harris goes to Dr Rasmussen (Tara Nicodemo), President Mackenzie’s personal physician, because he was suspicious of her statement on television. She tells Harris that there had been no need of an autopsy and the body was buried quickly because the President was Jewish. While this works into the quick burial plot, I can’t see the US being liberal enough to elect a Jewish President – let alone a Jewish woman! She does tell Harris that Bennett took all of the tests and records pertaining to the President. The Doctor is clearly scared and won’t say more.

Darius puts his spy tech into Grace’s hand so that she can hack the Pentagon’s servers so that they can find the GT. While I’m still not warming up to Finnigan, it’s clear that there is some great tension between Grace and Darius. She asks him how it went with Tess, and he hedges, but she’s clearly pleased that it doesn’t seem to have amounted to anything.

I did love Harris, Darius and Grace deciding that they would have to dig up the President to get proof and Grace saying, “I know a guy.” One of the other best lines in the episode is when Harris asks what Hugh did for the CIA and Grace just shrugs, but Darius pipes up with “I’m guessing everything!”

Hugh arranges everything, and here was another major glitch for me. They are supposed to be flying under the radar, yet Harris dismisses the soldiers on duty? That is surely going to raise flags. Naturally, the casket is empty. Harris is sure that the head of the Secret Service – Grant (Dean Armstrong) – who Harris thought was a friend, had to be in on it.

Meanwhile, Grace hacks the Pentagon from the situation room, and of course, a situation happens while she’s there. First, she has to get a tech away from his monitor because the data is going to show up on his screen – maybe it was just moving through his terminal? Because he turns up and looks at the monitor while she is still downloading – yet he doesn’t notice anything… Bennett and Claire show up when Russian and Chinese subs come into play. Grace gets the information she needs, but her hand is still glowing when Bennett shakes her hand. Luckily, he doesn’t notice anything.

Meanwhile, Amanda (Shazi Raja) has decoded the President’s speech and knows all about Samson. Here was another strange thing for me. The book cypher turns out to be Lincoln’s King James Bible. While I get the Lincoln connection, it seems odd for a Jewish person to be that connected to it. Also? Lincoln’s edition would likely have been differently paginated than the modern version she uses. I did love her puking as soon as she learned the truth!

Amanda shows up at Bennett’s press conference and texts Grace to tell her she’s going to ask a question about Samson. Why would Grace just shaking her head make her stop? Regardless, the two end up in the parking garage again. Grace insists that Amanda has a moral responsibility to keep the secret because if she reveals what she knows it will turn the entire world order and rule of law upside down. Grace does tell Amanda that she’d been wrong about her – she is a good reporter!

Claire orders the hit on Amanda. She is still debating whether to publish her article, when Ed (Greg Calderone) comes to ask and the fire alarm goes off. The hitman arrives and shoots Amanda – in the shoulder! – and unluckily for Ed, he comes back and is shot multiple times. It’s a bad hitman who doesn’t make sure his target is really dead. He sets fire to the Capitol Eyes offices, but the last shot is Amanda’s bloody hand sending out her article – a little too melodramatic for me.

After Darius takes out the chip, Grace heads home to finally tell Zoe the truth – before she hears it from someone else. There’s a nice moment as he tells her, “It’s never too late to be honest with the people you love.” Zoe is shocked, but insists on going to Kenya to “try to make a difference.” Grace lets her go.

Harris tracks down Grant and forces him at gunpoint to tell him the truth. Grant wants to know what Harris knows first. When Harris reveals he knows the President died of unnatural causes, Grant takes him to a secure nuclear fallout shelter where… big surprise, the President isn’t dead. It’s the price you pay for having a good guest star. You just had to know that Feldshuh wasn’t dead after only one episode!

It turns out that it was mercury poisoning in her inhaler and she got sicker every time she used it. Harris is positive it was Claire who did it. Dr Rasmussen is also in on covering up the President still being alive and is treating her. Grant tells Harris that they are part of a group called the Loyalists. Harris wants President Mackenzie to take back control, but Grant and the Dr insist that she’s still too ill.

Liam is tasked by Darius to vet his own personal picks for the 160 and to get Jillian (Jacqueline Byers) to help him. He wants them to subject each of the candidates to the genetic and psychological testing. I was surprised that Harris was included but not Tess. I have to say that I thought Dylan would be included, and the fact that he wasn’t makes me a bit more sure that he might really be dead. Naturally, Grace, Darius, Liam, and Jillian are included, as well as Zoe – though how she’s going to make it from Africa might be a problem.

        I did like Liam and Jillian worried about the outcome of the testing – what if one got on and one didn’t? The best part of this scene is the clever shout out to Cabrera’s previous show – The Musketeers. As Liam holds the DNA swab like a sword, he says “One for all,” and Jillian finishes, “And all for one!” Naturally, they all pass… except Darius.

Darius uses the hacked Pentagon intel to locate the GT on the USS Pike and is about to ask Liam about the test results when Tess goes absolutely haywire. Darius realizes that Tess has been hacked by Resist – clearly they put in a backdoor when they helped with the Russians. Darius takes drastic measures and shuts Tess down – without knowing if he’ll be able to get her back up and running!

This was a pretty intense episode and really ramps things up leading into what CBS is still calling the season finale. I’m really eager to see the show move onto Salvation and head to Mars! It will be interesting to see who does ultimately end up on the ship. I’m also curious as to whether the show shot two possible endings? Maybe they will just save the Earth? Or maybe they can simply blast off to Mars? What ending are you hoping for? If they do save the world – what will be left on the table for season two? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


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