‘Extant’ Season Finale Recap: ‘Ascension’

EXCUSE ME WHILE I SCRAPE MY JAW OFF THE FLOOR! The sometimes sluggishly paced first season of Extant came to end last night with a markedly intense season finale.

Basically, the one and only thing you need to know is that (spoiler alert) ETHAN DIES! That’s all that matters. The unusual little robot child that creeped me out all season was tricked into believing his parents planned to permanently shut him off because he was too smart. The seed of doubt was planted by the man Julie recently started seeing without knowing that he was an anti-robot anarchist seeking to destroy humanics and their makers. Odin — the deranged anarchist in question— planted a detonator inside of Ethan a few episodes back and told him to contact him immediately should be believe John was preparing to shut him down.

After being tipped off about the bomb, John and Julie take Ethan to a lab where they discover what Odin did. For whatever reason, the bomb cannot be removed without killing both Ethan and, presumably, everyone in the vicinity of Ethan. John, who thinks of Ethan as his son, is heartbroken and promises to keep the little creep alive and safe until he can figure out what to do.

Honestly, it’s a tough call.

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This Ethan I would save.

be

This, I would not.

Meanwhile, Molly was sent back into space because she is the only one qualified to stop the Seraphim from exploding. This is important, because the Seraphim is thought to contain the alien-virus responsible for all of the hallucinations we’ve witnessed this season. The ship is programmed to explode when it reaches Earth, which presumably would spread the alien-virus throughout the atmosphere, infecting countless lives and basically destroying the world as we know it #wompwomp. The virus –made up of blue spores- controls the host body by causing hallucinations (like an entire television season of hallucinations.) To protect Molly from becoming infected again while she’s in space, the ISEA created a special space suit that acts as a barrier. As long as she wears the suit, she should be safe and let’s just say it better work because nobody wants a repeat of the first time she was infected (ie. Molly’s encounter with her dead ex-boyfriend Marcus, and then with his friend Tim. Remember that awkward party picture?)

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Houston…I see dead people.

Before she leaves, she promises her husband that when she returns, everything will go back to normal. John has been a little sensitive recently because in the short amount of time that she’s been back on Earth, Molly found out that A) she was pregnant, B) the baby was part-alien and C) the ISEA was to blame. Needless to say, she’s been a little preoccupied with virus-induced hallucinations and the episode(s)-long man hunt to find her alien-baby.

The baby, who we found out last week is aging at an accelerated pace, is now roughly the same age as Ethan. This not-baby-alien-baby has the power to control minds and make people hallucinate because he is from the same planet as the virus. His presence on Earth is potentially deadly to the human race but because he is part human, Molly believes his life is worth protecting.

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Well he looks friendly.

With Molly’s attention turned to the mission to save the Seraphim, the alien-baby is wandering around on his own. He eventually shows up at the ISEA and because he is so dangerous, they are forced to shut down. This, despite the fact that Molly is in space and in need of their assistance. This is kind of like if NASA shut down while Neil Armstrong was on the moon, and also aliens at the time had the power to posses your body and use it to destroy the human race.

Molly encounters the alien-possessed version of Katie Sparks, a physical altercation ensues, in which Molly’s special protection glove falls off and exposes her bare skin to the blue virus spores. She sees them invade her body and hurries to get the ship safely back to Earth before she begins hallucinating.

Ben, Molly’s computer, overrides her request to send the shuttle back to Earth because Molly is now infected and considered a danger to society. Believing she is going to die on the ship, she says goodbye to Ethan and John. But Ethan decides he can’t let that happen and uses his super human robot brain to guide the ship back home. In order to do this, he must raise his internal body temperature, something both Molly and John adamantly warn him not to do because it could overheat his system causing the bomb to go off inside of him.

Ethan declares that his “purpose” is to save Molly, and works his robot magic until the ship is safely home. The alien-baby tries to stop him but because Ethan is a computer, alien-baby is unable to control his mind. Ethan knows he activated the bomb, and warns his alien-baby brother to run before it’s too late.

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NBD, just sitting here crying over a fictional robot.

And then he explodes…

Then, obviously, everyone cries and Molly returns safely. A few days later, Ethan’s voice — just his voice— reappears and a light glows from every screen in the house.

“Where are you?” John asks.

“I’m everywhere!” Ethan’s voice exclaims.

Which, I think, was supposed to be an open-ended silver lining. Perhaps they will be able to use this voice and re-construct a body in the future. Or maybe, it was merely intended to symbolize that you never really lose the people you love. They’re always with you, and because this is Extant, this means always with you on all of your electronic devices? Who knows.

The season concludes with the alien-baby walking alone down the street at night. A concerned family pulls over and asks to give him (it?) a ride home. He gets in the car without saying a word and they drive away, not knowing they’re traveling with an alien capable of destroying the planet.

Bottom line: It’s kind of crazy to me that they would kill Ethan. While it was one of those great “I did not see that coming” TV moments, it felt a little unsettling and very final. One of the main reasons I love to hate this show is because of that little creep and now he’s gone.  I have to give it to the young actor who plays Ethan, Pierce Gagnon. He did an absolutely incredible job portraying the juxtaposition of super-smart machine and naive, innocent little boy. It’s easy to see why his career is already taking off. He’s recently starred in Tomorrowland and notably, A Merry Friggin’ Christmas with the late Robin Williams. Halle Berry too, reminded us why we love her (and no, it’s not that asymmetrical pixie cut she’s been sporting all season.) The scene where she says goodbye to Ethan and John was perfectly executed.

While I can’t say I am looking forward to a second season of Extant, I have to admit the season finale was an emotional roller coaster and well worth the sometimes excruciatingly long wait (*cough* the bird trapping episode *cough*.)

‘Extant’ Season Finale Recap: ‘Ascension’