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Debris - You Are Not Alone - Review

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This week on the seconds episode of Debris, Finola and Bryan are tasked to case in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania that stems around a set of clones, sort of.

The beginning of the episode wastes no time to sending our leads on another assignment, but what was nice about this episode compared to the Pilot's was the more easy going dialogue Bryan begins to bestow on Finola, explaining all of the trivia and subculture aspects Fleetwood, PA has to offer. The Pilot did little to make the deeper emotional implications stick, which usually is better felt if there is some levity given the dark situation at hand. And while it's true that Jonathan Tucker hasn't been used to best of his ability yet, and/or that show may need more than Bryan to make this all really work, it was good start in the right direction.

The situation in Fleetwood begins to unfold in the evacuated town with various metal and/or metal alloy-based objects slowly move across the landscape, but it doesn't take to long for the members of Obital to stumble upon a remaining resident named Eric.

Eric is a bit out of his mind, not being able to express himself clearly, only asking frantically if he can stay behind so that he can remember something about whom he is and/or a big decision he was trying to make. For a time he is left to his own devises, until Bryan and Finola stumble upon him again, but this time covered in blood, suggesting he may have hurt the agent who was watching over him.

But, surprise! Soon there are three versions of Eric all frantically going out of their minds! The on site Orbital task force separates the three Erics and tries to conduct investigations on them respectively. They all end up saying things that are similar, until they don't. The each seem to be concerned on one thing that Bryan quickly deduces is all able to regrets, something he seems to know about from personal experience.

One of the so-called clones then dies. This leads them to the idea that perhaps the original Eric is still out there with the yet-to-be-found debris, but moreover this clones aren't exactly clones, but "fragments" of the series of regrets that the original potentially dying original Eric are sort of shedding until he gets down to his most important regret.

As it turns out, this is absolutely the case! Bryan and Finola then find the original Eric's address, which they now also believe that the debris is collecting metal object to make a wall around Eric's house. And sure enough the debris had fallen through the house and literally hit Eric, but after wrongly thinking he was dead, they realize that he left in car. 

But before Bryan and Finola set out to find Eric, the task force is monitoring the debris itself and not only does it produce another Eric to contend with, but another Bryan too. The two come face to face in a confrontation, in which our Bryan is able to shoot just seconds before his counterpart tried to do the same.

Finola and Bryan have a moment too, where Finola catches Bryan taking the picture of the women he seemingly lost out of his doppelganger's pocket. But unlike Finola, who disclosed information about her struggling relationship with her addict sister in the wake of her father's death, Bryan chooses to keep his regrets extremely close to the vest.

Bryan is able to find the car which is now apart of the big encircling wall of metal objects. He breaks the back windshield trying to get Eric to wake up, so he can more easily get him out of the car. Finola then observes a serge of a ball of light starting to run the track of the metal wall. It eventually hits Bryan and Eric, and Eric seemingly comes too. Everything seems to stop.

Eric then explains to Bryan and Finola that he knows what he has to do, he has to call his love and tell her not to take the job, but to stay with him.

Overall the episode moved at a much better and more consistent pace, allowing us to be able to chew on scenes, especially where Bryan and Finola are concerned. I thought the technology and visuals were also pretty decant.

As for the secondary characters, they still seem rather underused, except for perhaps Bryan's handler Agent Maddox, who continues to be a good vehicle in showing us how Orbital in the US operates, but as for the bigger story and mythology is concerned, the episode makes very little headway. The audience does learn that the criminals who remain from the Pilot may be apart of the terrorist group called INFLUX, and that seems to be the CIA's Oribital Division's big concern. We also learn from a conversation between Bryan and Maddox that Maddox is going to investigate the return of Dr. George Jones (Finala's father) further by having the alleged dead man's body exhumed. 

Honestly this is the biggest draw of the show's mystery so far, since both episodes teased two possibilities in the form of either an astral project or some kind of clone or clone-fragment but that almost seems to easy and perhaps their is another conspiracy, but it's hard to believe that wouldn't have anything to do with the debris itself, but the bigger question then is, was this something accidental that just happened or was the technology of the debris harnessed to make this happen? I'm for the technology angle.

Other mysteries left on the table are INFLUX's overall goals, M16's concerns and self interest, and if Finola's sister is more than just either a foil or character builder and/or could Finola intentionally be misleading Bryan?

We'll have to keep watching to find out! 

The Fringe Factor:

This weeks episode didn't have anything that jumped out at me specifically, say for Bad Robot's overall use of doppelgangers.

However there were defiantly lighter elements or concepts from some episodes that might be worth mentioning: The Ghost Network, Welcome to Westfield, and The Cure.

So all three featured cases where either the victims where becoming super erratic or couldn't properly express information. In The Cure, victims heads began to spontaneously combust, and although it didn't happen here, I almost thought it would during a scene where one of the Erics, the one that first died, became more and more agitated. In The Ghost Network Rob McComb was a one shot character who could see events before they happened, but instead of being able to verbally expressed what he saw, he would draw the event. But it is really Welcome to Westfield that comes closest to this episode, since it was about memory loss and memory gain, as the people of the town began to "merge" with counterparts from the parallel universe. In addition there motif that the characters were encircled and couldn't escape until Walter is able to find a way to stop it, which relied on the emotional struggles of one character. This is also not completely unlike the ongoing love story with Peter & Olivia when Olivia's bigger season 4 story arch when she begins to retain memories from the seasons 1-3 blue Olivia and begins to actually become her, leaving season 4's version behind to be with Peter again...

Speaking of Bad Robot, most fans know that their shows and films tended to often reference each other, including Fringe.  There were two things that came to mind: Super 8 & Cloverfield.

In Super 8 there is alien who had been secretly locked up by a division of the US Government for many years. He is finally able to escape, but in doing so he begins to reap havoc on the town of Lilian, Ohio. But the alien was completely misunderstood and, as intentional homage to E.T., he just wants to go home, but this required him to make a model space craft out of various metal objects in the town. In this case, so far we have the opposite. There is space craft debris reeking havoc on people, but no alien life present. (Also, there was that shot lingering shot of the railroad tracks at the beginning of the episode, cough cough)

Cloverfield on the other hand was about some piece of the debris seemingly coming from outer space (see Cloverrfield Paradox) that brought monster in the ocean that came ashore New York City and started spawning baby monsters. But at the heart of this docu-style monster movie is really a tragic love story about a young man named Rob, who was leaving his home and girlfriend for a new job in Japan. The monster appears on the night of Rob's going away party and the film features his journey with some of his friends trying to reach and save the life his ex, as the city falls apart.  We have a bit of juxtaposition here, but overall this was about a man who was forced to rethink what he really cared about in life and bottom line is the same in this episode of Debris.

It was shot of Eric's ex in his memory that reminded my of the way the audience experiences a day on camera that Rob and Elizabeth spent together, which starts with the two waking up together in bed. (And also this "love on video" concept is also not unlike the Fringe vampire-esque episode Midnight, especially given how vivid Eric's love interest's eyes also were. Super 8 also did this too, capturing a love story and alien destruction on tape.)

This also makes me fixate on Bryan's photo, kind of reminds me of Peter's initial never-fleshed-out backstory again, although we meet Peter's ex, Tess. But maybe more so, since I'm on a Bad Robot rampage, is Sayid and Nadia on LOST.

In addition as mentioned last week, it isn't too surprising that the criminals in Debris' pilot are apart of a terrorist organization just like Fringe's ZFT. But what we don't know yet is how INFLUX wants to use the technology for exactly and if it's leading to a similar place as Fringe did, aka, parallel universes...We also don't know exactly how either one of the Jones is going to fit in or what INFLUX actually means or stands for. But like the 'ball of light' featured in this episode, maybe there is metaphor here or the ball of light is actually some kind of trigger?

When Fringe was on there were a couple of episodes (The Arrival, Brave New World Pt 2) that made me wonder if the show actually was going to have a bigger time-travel related story, because it presented two characters (John Mosley, Jessica Holt) and a mysterious "beacon"  in relation to The Observers that seemed to suggest they had information/futuristic technology that could only be possible if they came from or had access to other timelines/universes/iterations of universes. I really thought maybe the show would go in the direction of time traveling terrorists, something similar to plots of shows like Continuum or Travlers, but the close as it came was a plot about the Observers holding time in one timeline more or less hostage in it's final season. Not saying we have evidence of any such thing, but just something to put out there!


There is also a little bit of a fun food-gimmick here too. As mentioned above, the show so far has been lacking some comic relief that might help make the show have a deeper emotional hook. Walter Bishop was Fringe's biggest comic relief, and unlike other shows that sometimes made that character more of a sidckick, Walter was actually at the heart of the story and probably Fringe's biggest drawl. One of the ways the character Walter brought comedy to the episodes, was his obsession with food--grape vines in particular became a big hit with Walter and Fringe's fanbase and it was nice to see Debris take a step there with Bryan introducing Finola to "very stale" Peeps! I was also reminded of the yellow M&M's from the Child Observer episode, Inner Child.

And lastly, given the ongoing use of orange hazmat suits by the Oribital field team, I was surely reminded of one episode, What Lies Below, when people in a building begin to go sick, seemingly contracting a virus, and Peter ends up one of the infected! Just like the episode The Cure and Eric's, everyone's behavior is erratic to violent as they try to escape the building in hopes to infect others...

Well that's it for this week! What did you think of the episode? Any theories or other easter eggs you would like to shout out or discuss? Sound of in the comments below!!

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