Extant begins, a show set in the future, starring Halle Berry. There’s a lot going for this show — artificial intelligence debated and created, mysterious happenings in space, and spontaneous pregnancies! The first episode has a lot going on. Come check out and see what Josh and Violet thought of the new CBS show!
Episode Recap of Extant, Series Premiere: Re-Entry
Molly Returns From Space and is “Adjusting”
The series premiere of Extant begins with a young child playing with a remote controlled space shuttle. Then we see Molly Wood (played by Halle Berry) who appears to be ill in the bathroom, throwing up. The child, her son, asks if she is well enough to come to the party. She responds her body is just readjusting to Earth, so she must have been in space.
At the party, Molly is conversing with some co-workers and friends. Some kids are heard scuffling, when Molly and her husband, John (played by Goran Visnjic) find Ethan, the child from the beginning of the episode, tackling another child. John scolds his kid and makes him apologize for tackling him.
Later that evening, Molly takes out her trash to their futuristic trash bin, when she sees a mysterious figure in the shadows.
Their Son is a Robot…
John, meanwhile, has a talk with his kid, and John explains that Molly may take some time adjusting back to “normal” life. Before John heads out, Ethan tells John that, “I think I need a flip”. This is when the surprise is revealed–Ethan is a robot. John performs the minor repair, and puts Ethan to sleep.
Molly takes a shower and some “hubba, hubba” time takes place as John joins her.
After her shower, Molly watches Ethan sleep, then heads to her room. We see her looking at a photo of herself with a younger man, seemingly a coworker of hers back in the day, and possibly a previous love interest. John walks in, and he asks her about how much she thinks about him–whose name is Marcus.
The next morning, John and Ethan are dressed up, and are heading for a meeting it seems. We learn that John is doing a presentation on Ethan.
Molly Got Pregnant–In Space, Alone?
Molly is meeting with a doctor, and the doctor seems perplexed by something. She seems bent on her confirming that her mission was a solo mission. Molly swears it was, and then the doctor explains why she has her doubts–Molly is pregnant.
The episode then flashes back to Molly being in space. She is performing some tests, when John and Ethan send her a message on her ship. They lose transmission however, and power seems lost aboard the ship. Molly attempts to get things up and running again, when she sees Marcus–the man we saw her lamenting previously in the episode–staring at her through an airlock. He writes in the fog on the window, “Help Me.”
Back in the present, Molly and the doctor discuss the pregnancy, and Molly refuses to acknowledge the pregnancy, and she asks the doctor to keep this quiet temporarily.
Molly leaves, and is approached by a Deputy Director Gordon Kern. He brings in director Sparks to join their meeting–following up on Molly’s mission. The director and deputy director ask why the security camera footage was deleted, and Molly says that the footage was accidentally deleted. She also says nothing that unusual happened during her mission.
Who is This Yasumoto?
Deputy Sparks then heads out for a meeting, and we see him enter some sort of lab, with someone in a weird “cage” like structure, possibly a cryogenic type device. We learn his name is Yasumoto.
Sparks and Yasumoto discuss Molly’s mysterious disappearing camera footage. This occurrence seems important to Yasumoto. Also, the presentation that John is making is to Yasumoto’s investors. Sparks suggests approving John’s request for funding in order to get a closer relationship with Molly, in order to keep an eye on her.
John’s Pro-A.I. Campaign Doesn’t Fair Well
John begins his presentation, discussing robots, and their need for human connection. His goal is to bring “humanity to the machine.” John then brings Ethan to the stage. One of the people asks how robots can be “controlled”, but John says that the robots need to learn “good and bad” and they should have their own choices. He also answers another question–that there is no termination mode for the robots. John and the questioner discuss the meaning of a soul. They get into an argument, and the presentation doesn’t end well.
John Gets his Funding, Molly gets Freaked Out
Back home, Molly, John and Ethan are having family time when Yasumoto Corp gives John a call. Yasumoto meets with John. Yasuomoto says that the board’s decision will have to stand–refusing to fund John. Yasumoto says that he will privately fund is work, however.
Meanwhile, Molly and Ethan have some ice cream. A man delivers a balloon to her, and the gifter of the balloon is a mystery man. Molly is creeped out and wants to leave. Ethan drops his ice cream that he had, throws a fit and takes off running. Molly chases him down, and finds him standing over a dead bird. Ethan says, “It was like this when I found it.” Molly is visibly shaken by the child.
John and Molly have a discussion about Ethan, and Molly is concerned that Ethan has, “changed”. John says it is simply readjusting to Molly being back.
So That’s What Happened…
In another flashback, it picks up where it last left off, with Molly seeing Marcus. She makes sure she isn’t dreaming, and then begins recording the footage. She opens the airlock, and he walks in (bear in mind that Molly is floating from no gravity). Robotically, Marcus asks for help. He doesn’t make any specific requests, however. He then touches her cheek, runs his finger down her body, and stops at her stomach. Marcus repeats, “it’s ok” several times before the screen fades to black.
Back in the present, the next morning, John apologizes to Molly for their argument. Molly heads to her debriefing psychological evaluations. Director Sparks and Yasumoto both are watching video of the sessions as they go on.
Another continuation of the flashback begins, and Molly is alone in the spaceship, and an alarm is sounding. She heads to view the security footage, and looks for Marcus on it. She is unable to find him in any of the footage. In a panic, Molly deletes the footage where she is interacting with the “hallucination” of Marcus.
The Dead Aren’t So Dead–Harmon Kryger Lives
Back home, Molly takes some more garbage out, and sees another mysterious figure. This time the figure waits to speak with her, and his name is Harmon Kryger. Harmon is an astronaut that was supposed to have died in a previous mission, and Yasumoto seems pretty familiar with. Harmon warns Molly to not trust anyone, and the episode ends.
Josh’s Thoughts: Extant, Season 1 Episode 1: Re-Entry
So far I am not sure what the direction this show will be taking, as there is a lot going on in just the first episode. The first is the obvious one–Molly’s mysterious baby that isn’t supposed to exist. I assume that the next episodes will begin to fill in what exactly happened to Molly aboard her ship, and how exactly Yasumoto and Deputy Sparks are involved. They clearly seem to have some sort of idea what is going on with her.
The other big storyline seems to be A.I. and how far it should be taken. This is always a fun concept to explore, and I hope that this will be explored a lot through the show. A big question I have for John would be this however:
One of John’s selling points for his A.I. is children for families unable to have any. But does the child robot grow at all after it is “born”? Are families “stuck” with an 8 year old child for the rest of their lives? What happens when a parent doesn’t want to or is unable to care for the robot child any longer?
There are a lot of other questions that the show as introduced. Why was Yasuomoto cryogenically frozen? What significance will Harmon Kryger being play in the show? Is Ethan a “normal” child experience and exhibiting love? Or is he as Molly said, articulating commands that display love but not exactly experiencing it?
All these questions might make for a good series. A futuristic show featuring space, artificial intelligence and a conspiracy sounds like my kind of show, and so far I am “in”!
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 1 Episode 1 of Extant: Re-Entry
I’m liking the show a lot so far. I always like to see futuristic societies, and this show seems to take place in the not-too-distant future, so that it’s not unrecognizable from where we are now, but has little details of futuristic elements of how things quite possibly be in everyday life, like when she takes out the trash. Going into this, I thought the show was just going to be a mystery about what happened to her in space. I did not expect to see the added element of her having an A.I. child! So that throws another cool futuristic element to the mix. We also see that this future is advanced enough to cryogenically freeze and successfully unfreeze a human, though I wonder if this is something that only Yasumoto and other high level corporations can do, and it’s something that’s more kept secret than is something that is common to the public. At this point, it appears that having an A.I. child, or A.I. at all, is also something unique to this family, since John is the one developing the technology.
So the big mysteries of the show seem to be: how did Molly get pregnant, and what is Yasumoto’s angle with not only Molly, but also with supporting John’s A.I. development? It seems like Molly was impregnated by some sort of alien. So, what’s the baby going to look like? And what is the gestation time for the alien baby? How long can Molly keep it a secret? I definitely want to see where this story goes!