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Debris - Spaceman & Do You Know Icarus - Double Review

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The past few episodes of Debris have been plowing ahead at a mostly good pace and with a lot of intriguing pieces on the table.

Episode 1.08 Spaceman is mostly a straight forward episode with the first half full of action, as a sudden twist at the beginning of the episode slingshots the narrative forward. We left off in the previous episode with the CIA believing they have found Dr. George Jones whereabouts via Anson Ash's memories and are about to send Bryan, Finola, and other Orbital tactical members to this alleged INFLUX experimentation compound. It was no surprise that M16 would want to get their hands on Jones and had ordered Finola and another agent to enact an extraction plan, but what was truly shocking was that the CIA didn't want Jones at all, they wanted him eliminated!

Of course it is left to Bryan and another member of the CIA to carry out this plan, but realizing that Finola is right, that they can't really trust either of their handlers or agencies, Bryan tells Finola straight away and Bryan ultimately chooses to help Finola save Jones!

It takes time to find the way into underground facility where clearly many people were being experimented on, but things end up working out in such a way, that neither one of their partners are in a position to reveal to their handlers that Bryan and Finola found Jones and are going to try and run with him without letting the CIA know.

In the meantime M16 Agent Brill has been left to intercept Jones and Finola, apart of the abstraction, which they never show up. And if anyone doubted that Brill has something "wired" going on, their doubts should of subsided, as Brill seems to be using a clone as a way to "heal" himself from something we don't yet understand. The scene (oh-so-familiar to Fringe fans) was truly horrific as he used his clones skin to place on his own, and his clone seemed to be suffering in the process!!! We don't really know what's going on here and if "Brills" could of been switched already, but I will discuss more in the Fringe Factor section!

The rest of the episode from the point they find Jones doesn't do as much character development for Finola, as it probably should, but there is one plot twist and a plot set-up for the next few episodes!

As it turns out Jones has a piece of debris in his eye and allegedly this is how he was reanimated back to life!! He also seems to not remember much about certain things that came before, claiming that the debris implant may have effected the use of certain parts of his brain, but what Jones does remember is that INFLUX is looking for a very specific piece of debris, --a game changer, and Jones can build a scanner to find it!

Unlike 1.08, 1.09's White Tulip Do You Know Icarus, takes viewers to much more intriguing place.

The episode starts out with Bryan and Finola taking George to Gary Garcia, another early member of Oribital who was removed from the team after an incident involving the debris left him injured. According to Jones, Garcia has all of the resources he needs to make his scanner, but before the audience can really learn to much more, (which generally remains true for the rest of the episode), Bryan and Finola are called to a new debris event, not far away.

Bryan and Finola go to Oceanside believing that Maddox believes that nothing is wrong, that Jones is dead...

But what this case turns out to be about is about a young man named Shelby who found a piece of debris in a lake next to his parents' house, and it has the ability to send someone back in, actually, send someone back to other iterations of the timeline a few hours before. But somehow on one of these trips, when Shelby came back, he found his twin sister is missing and instead he has a little brother!

As it turns out some version of Finola and Bryan have visited Shelby many times over, only for Shelby to dive into the lake and try again! Viewers end up witnessing several more of these, some with rather alternate variations, with Bryan coming to Shelby's home being the solid constant. In several versions Bryan finds himself hilariously with different partners. In some iterations Jones is dead, and that matters because Shelby keeps trying to talk to Jones about how he can reset this timeline so he can end up with a reality with his twin sister back, but many times Jones warns that the more Shelby does this, the more the fabric of the universe will deteriorate!

Towards the end of the episode however, Jones begins to conclude that not only does the color Shelby sees matter in determining what reality he ends up in, or that his sister can briefly be seen in the mirror as proof of the fabric of the universe's breakdown, but moreover the debris may be playing on Shelby's desires, that perhaps some part of him didn't want his sister to be there!

Shelby once again goes diving for the debris, but this time Bryan follows him and finds himself in another reality with yet again another partner, but for Bryan, who like Shelby remembers what came before, he can't shake what has happened to him.

When he and his new partner Lee Grace confront Shelby again, Bryan has a complete meltdown, taking everything out on Shelby. Grace thinks he's completely out of control and calls it in. Bryan proves that some of things he is saying is true and is able to get in contact with an alternate version of Finola.

Despite everything, Finola behaves pretty much the same, but doesn't fully connect with Bryan until he takes about the Soldier and Penguin story her dad had mentioned in the previous iteration. 

The episode then ends on a mass cliffhanger with Bryan stuck in this alternate reality where he ends up beginning to profess his feelings for his Finola to other---explaining, he has to get back to her!

The Fringe Factor:

While there wasn't so much one particular episode that came to mind during 1.08, there surely was a lot of familiar plots taken from Fringe. Obviously, as mentioned several times before in previous reviews, Jones seems to be either a [blue] Walter Bishop or William Bell type, despite his and Finola's surname plays to ZFT villain David Robert Jones.

But really both of these episodes heavily play on the Fringe dynamics between Walter, Bell, Jones, and Thomas Jerome Newton when we throw Agent Brill into the mix.

But whom is whom is still pretty unclear, although Dr. George Jones definitely seems to playing to the broken Walter type (minus the levity), especially when we look to an early plot where Walter's grey matter was removed by Bell, so that ZFT could not figure out how to find Walter's dismantled portal that allows one to cross universes.

And while Gary Garcia doesn't seem to be as myopic as William Bell, he's still acting as a resource man to George's brilliance in which there is missing story about their work before Oribital was co-opted by the CIA just like Fringe's Kelvin Genetics (cortexifan trials) and/or Massive Dynamic.

Speaking of Brill and Newton, Roche's scene in 1.08 is was pretty disturbing, but rather familiar. In Fringe Thomas Jerome Newton was the leader of the shapeshifters and seem to exist by slightly different technology that was used by other shapeshifters. One point of using shapeshifter in Fringe was about looking at identity and how it could stolen from someone else, which becomes a HUGE ongoing Fringe team whether we're taking shapeshifters, espionage infiltration tactics by dopplegangers in an alternate universe, memories taken or received, or even if somehow one conscious to override another's.

Still it's not clear what's happening with Brill --If like a few other characters he's experienced damage from using the debris?? But just like his Fringe character, Brill seems ruthless in his methods to heal himself and that is something we have seen in other characters too like Agent Maddox or even perhaps INFLUX, should we believe they facility Jones was at was really theirs and/or Jones or Garcia couldn't still behind INFLUX' inception.

I'm still holding out that Brill could be misunderstood alien. After all Jones made point that he believes that debris was gift the aliens gave to humanity, a sentiment shared by Anson Ash, but again, just like Brill, the CIA/Maddox, INFLUX's methods seem question extremely questionable. 

As for 1.09 Do You Know Icarus, Fringe episode White Tulip is the clear front runner for the most obvious episode reference.

White Tulip was an episode about a man who was able to turn himself into a time machine, where he was trying to collection enough energy to go further and further back into the time line in order to save someone he loved from dying in a car the end of the episode, Walter convinces him that he needed to accept his fate and to ask for forgiveness. Walter had also divulged what he had done after he lost his son, Peter. He was able to to see into an alternate universe where the alternate Peter was also sick, so he created a portal to cross universes, despite knowing it may begin to rip the fabric between them in order to bring a cure he had found to late to cure the other Peter.

But what ensued was Walter breaking the vile and kidnapping the other Peter and raising him in his own universe as his son. Really a great deal of Fringe relies on these actions and is fundamental to Walter's redemption story and the heart of Fringe. At the end of the episode Walter receives a White Tulip drawn on paper from Alister (the man time traveling) that comes off as mysterious symbol from the unknown, (because it's a new iteration of the blue timeline) that Walter knows means he will be forgiven thanks to Peck.

The white tulip theme runs through Fringe in such episodes as Subject 13 when child Peter and Olivia had unknowing ran away together and sat out in a field of White Tulips...

In Do You Know Icarus, we literally see white tulips in the opening scene, but we have a time loop episode, where someone is trying to change their desires back to save someone they have know lost, but not just with one character, but now two. In fact Bryan's whole situation is pretty similar to when Olivia finally tells Peter her feelings before being swapped out for the alternate Olivia at the end of season or even Peter's season 4 arc where he begins to bleed through and reprint onto an already existing blue universe. The way Walter describes retro casualty as "the event before the cause" or the way Walter sees Peter in the mirror is very similar, if not identical concept.

It's not entirely clear yet, since this episode ended on a cliff hanger, if we are only dealing with iterations of the same universe, or if we are actually crossing universe, but Jones mentioning of the color spectrum, which seems to point to an "amber-esque" spectrum could be telling of something, if not now later, as Fringe's season 4 blue universe was known as "amber timeline/universe".

There is also the little parallel that we learn that Maddox' son was injured in car accident that his wife feels responsible for, very similar to Alistor Peck.

In addition I felt like the Soldier and Penguin story is like it's own white tulip in terms of something meaningful that could maybe run through Debris with deeper meaning? We'll see--but the notion about Bryan being 'the selfless soldier' could point out that Bryan can "reset" or get back to a timeline he knows, if he chooses it, much like Peter in the Wave Sync Device. I kind of love the idea that Bryan may be able to reset the timeline not just for himself, but for Shelby and that he could finally start changing once he does...

But just quickly to point out some other things that aren't exactly Fringey, the episode title in particular is curious.

In Greek mythology Icarus was the son of a famous craftsman who was given wings, but was warned by his father not to fly too high. He didn't listen and lost his wings and fell into the ocean and drowned.

I feel like this is a good metaphor for the alien technology, especially if Jones is right about their intentions and any one could be Icarus, but on the other hand we have Jones and Garcia to consider as Oribital's fathers--and we don't necessarily know what the aliens wanted or if this something they intended.

LOST and Person of Interest are two Bad Robot works that also used Greek Mythology as references or metaphors and speaking of LOST there was something about Shelby and his eventual honesty about how had felt about his twin sister that reminded me greatly of Shannon & Boone. (and the name Shelby kind of makes one think of the beach or ocean, does it not? And the debris was located at "ocenaside" Washington, -Not in Portland!!)

Note: we have a pair of characters name George Jones and Gary Garcia. On LOST one of the most important characters in terms of whom ultimately takes control of the Island in the end was Hurley "Hugo" Reyes played by Jorge Garcia. And while Jorge is not pronounced like George, you could see how someone might get it wrong. But Hurley became the leader in the end, because he was the best well-intended and a character that had to learn that he could make his own fate, or that everything wasn't necessarily a curse. If this potential reference would get personified somehow, then this could play into what Jones was saying about the debris-tech and it just matters HOW humanity chooses to use it!

And lastly, I also thought of Battlestar Galactica and Caprica with the setting remincent of housing on New Caprica (Balter, Greystones). Not sure what exactly this might be hinting at (aliens are coming, the aliens are really humans from another time or place? Just like 13th Tribe or Fringe's First People concept???), but if there's one thing I learned from those series, is if It happened before, it will happen again...and again...and again.

While I thought episode 1.08 was average and could of used Jones better, I thought 1.09 was very good. I for one, like cliff hanger endings, and can't wait for next week to see where this goes and if Bryan will be able "reset" his way out of it!

What did you think? Enjoy theses episodes? Any theories? What do anyone think is going on with m16? Any reference I missed? Sound off in the comments below!

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