Sunday, August 3, 2014

Extant - Gimme Shelter



"Oh, a storm is threat'ning
My very life today
If I don't get some shelter
Oh yeah, I'm gonna fade away
War, children, it's just a shot away."


Thus begins the opening lyrics to the famous Rolling Stones tune, "Gimme Shelter."  It evokes an eerie metaphorical parallel to what Molly and her family are going through in this episode, "Shelter" and is especially singular since last weeks episode, "Wish You Were Here" was the title to a Pink Floyd song.

Maybe we'll get something from The Byrds soon (Eight Miles High?)

Molly and her family are on the run and they seek solace and shelter in once was her family home.  Alas, it proves illusory, (hallucinatory?) more on this soon.


Sparks and Gordon deal with the aftermath of Molly's rescue.  We get our favorite "Skeletal Tree" and there seems to be a shred of regret from Sparks.  I wondered in my last post how someone with such close ties to Molly could call a SWAT team on her but Sparks has an agenda even if it isn't entirely his own.



And speaking of agendas, Yasumoto takes a call from Sparks and we get a revealing look at some now visible grey hairs upon his coif.  Aging are we? 

Domo arigato Mr.Yasumoto!


Yasumoto is on his way to meet two rather comic Russian scientists.  The fact that they are Russian speaks to the global effort Yasumoto is putting behind his efforts.  He's co-opted the American space program so why not the Russian one too.

What is that effort?  We get a big clue as to what is going on in the Extant mythology when the Russians reveal they have been working on the "meteor substance" and it's so called "healing properties."

Now we now why Yasumoto is so interested in Molly and the experiments in space.  Apparently, first contact was made with this mystery substance when a meteor fell to Earth.  We can guess they divined it had some special properties and these properties were especially significant to Yasumoto since he seems to be suffering from some life threatening disease.

How this led to discovering there were Aliens (or whatever they are) out there is still unknown.


What is known is the substance is not ready for prime time as Anton bears out when he breathes in the air the substance has been in contact with.  

Okay to touch just don't inhale!


 The shelter that Molly and her family seeks comes in the form of her once island home where her father still resides.  A great piece of casting of Lou Gossett Jr.  We get another Oscar winner added to the cast and Gossett Jr. excelled at being sympathetic, mistrustful and damaged.  Dr. Quinn Medicine Man!


 Speaking of all things medicinal, Dr. Sam engages in a valiant effort to destroy the DNA sample.  All this does is reveal to Sparks and Yasumoto that Molly is trying to reveal the nature of her fetus through the DNA test.  

Through the phone conversation between Sparks and Yasumoto the meteors properties are now identified as a "Life sustaining substance" and from Yasumoto, "The answers are inside Molly."  

With the failure of progress through the Russians efforts all signs point to Molly now as the highest priority for Yasumoto.  We learn that the substance is not just a cure but possibly much more.  

I seemed to get an immortality vibe from Yasumoto.  Anyone else get that?


We get another sign that home isn't so welcoming after all when the family dog senses there is something different about Molly.  I half expected the circles to appear on Molly's abdomen when danger appeared imminent. We also learn Molly has been away for six years and that her father has had trouble with alcohol abuse.


Mol shows Ethan her old bedroom and it is filled with the hopes and dreams of her former childhood.  


They share a moment where Molly recounts the tale of "The Seven Sisters" from Greek mythology.  This marks our second look at a map of the night sky.  Ethan had a night sky globe in his bedroom from the very first episode.  

This speaks to how important science is to Molly and Ethan.  It knits a thread to their relationship and shows how important space is to the overall storyline.  Both welcoming and threatening.

A deeper link is explored when Molly recounts the mythological story.  Maya was the eldest of the Seven Sisters and it was also her mothers name.  More importantly, Maya and her sisters were changed into doves to escape Orion the Hunter.  A neat parallel to Molly's time on the run and her flight from the hunter, Sparks.

Even neater is the reference to the sisters being turned into Doves.  This relates directly to Ethan's fascination with birds.  He "found" a dead one in the first episode and trapped another in the last episode.  Portentous or is a link being established at a subconscious level between Molly and her artificial son?

As Molly recounted the story she also told Ethan that he looked hard enough he could see a face in the constellations.  He couldn't, but this reminded me of the hallucinatory faces Molly has been seeing.  (This comes into play as the episode progresses.)  Is Molly forcing herself to see "faces" where they are not or are they being forced upon her?  How much of this is really her doing?  This bears watching.


We switch back to the interrogation of Dr. Sam by Sparks.  Sam accuses Sparks of implanting an embryo inside Molly.

Whoa!  I had always thought that Molly was somehow fertilized by the Marcus being aboard the Seraphim station.  This is a new twist.  Was she rally implanted and she really is infertile?  Is she just a host?  It's possible Sam is just guessing but it would blow apart my theory that the "Tether" Molly is forced to wear keeps her infertile and the Alien had "relations" with her.  

That would be too bad.  I liked my theory.  We'll see.

As it is, the little "set to" between Sparks and Dr. Sam leads to implicit threats against Sam's career and her recovering/murderous brother.  (If you watched the teaser for next week the themes of hallucination and trust intertwine to Molly's disadvantage.)


Marcus' name was invoked so naturally he appears in the episode.  He does so as Mol and John begin their homemade DNA experiment.  Was his appearance connected to the real identity of the fetus and it somehow feels threatened?

Marcus isn't as fully realized as Tim was in the last episode but he was lucid enough to say, "Don't let me go."

Molly never said that we know of.  The Seraphim apparitions seem to parrot whatever the astronauts uttered to them.  It made me think this is something Sparks' daughter, Katie, may have said before she died aboard the station.  Of course, we don't fully know what went on with Molly during her "experience."  She may have uttered this and "Marcus" could be pleading with her not to threten the fetus.   

Crackpot theory!

The fetus will develop and evolve to be just like Marcus.  That'll be weird.


Anyway, Molly's reservations about her father proves to be correct as he rehearses for his role in the sequel to "Bad Grandpa."  The lure of money and booze are too much for him and his egregious mistakes lead to Ethan being captured.


Remember when Ethan and Molly were looking at the night sky map in her old bedroom?  It's the last thing Ethan sees before he is deactivated.  These guys are brutal.  I know Ethan is just a robot, (right Sheriff?) but he is her son to Molly and he proves to be the right lure to facilitate Molly's capture.





There was some real pathos here, something that Extant as a show does very well.

As the helicopter swoops in I was reminded of the scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind as the lights appear over Roy Neary's truck.  Are we to think of a similar angle here? Aliens?



Molly is captured and forced into Yasumoto's ship borne laboratory.  We get a very cool look at the symbiotic relationship between Molly and her "child".  Is telekinesis part of the package?  If so, I like it!  Greater depth is added to the relationship between this mother and child.  So much so that the host mother is imbued with special powers.  I bet Yasumoto is counting on this.
 


Molly's use of her new powers recalls how Luke Skywalker freed himself on the ice planet of Hoth before he became Wampa lunch.


It seems Luke fared a little better than Molly as she effects her escape only to stumble right into Yasumoto's "birthing room."


So not fair.






It looks like the evil Yasumoto will go to any lengths to extract his "life sustaining substance."  How will the fetus react to this or is it under anesthesia just like Molly?  It would seem so.


Just before the end we get a look at Sparks and the ad hoc DNA device.


He seems pretty curious as to the results of the test.  Does he still have some sort of paternal feelings towards Molly?  Or is just coldly calculating?   I have a felling these "results" will reveal how closely Molly is related to her child aside from being just a host.  (Was I supposed to exclaim "crackpot theory" just then?)


Before I go, I wanted to share one more bird reference.  As John entered the cabin (Yes! Another cabin on a sci-fi show joining Fringe, Sleepy Hollow and Helix!) We get a little sign with a bird pictured on it saying, "Welcome Home."

Ha, not so much again!

Extant revealed a few more clues as to its mythology and the nature of the conspiracy.  The biggie was the "Substance" where it came from and what it means to Hatake, I mean, Yasumto (nod to Helix fans.)

We still don't know the nature of the Alien/Spirit visitors/Hallucination beings.  That will be a biggie too.  A way bigger biggie I feel.  It looks like we will get a birth of sorts next week.  But of what?

Crackpot theory revisited!


Baby Marcus anyone?


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