Extant season 1 finale review
The first season of Extant starring Halle Berry has finally come to a close. I was surprised when I first heard about this series, the day before it aired. I could vaguely remember there being an announcement sometime before that Halle Berry would star in a new sci-fi series but nothing was heard afterwards. Extant’s premise of the female astronaut coming back to earth pregnant with an alien acted as an effective starter to all the other plotlines ranging from government conspiracies, luddite fanatics and a robot/child that gives everyone the creeps. I was kind of forgiving of the first two episodes. I briefly touched upon the fact that the characters were ridiculous and prone to hyperactive melodrama. I hoped that the show would sort itself out but sadly it didn’t. Throughout the entire season the characters were at the mercy of the exposition written by the show’s creators and all they managed is get underneath my skin. Halle Berry is no doubt a gifted actress but her character is either throwing a party in one scene or is walking around with a face that looks as though the boogieman slapped her about. It wasn’t until the last quarter of the season that the show managed to find more solid footing by giving the audience some resolution to various plots. The actors also seemed better at coping with their characters. However, I suspect that all the improvements have been too little too late.
As for the season finale, it’s not very good. Ouch, I know what you’re thinking ‘that is probably the end of Extant’. I think it is, and yet the previous two episodes were more than decent. Is there any hope for a second season? After all Helix had its ups and downs. The Extant finale starts off where last weeks episode stopped. Molly is going back into space to stop the Seraphim from falling to earth. However, quickly viewers will notice some minor inconsistencies with the timeline. The plotline of Ethan being a bomb or placed one somewhere has been pushed to the background. Molly enters the space station and finds Sean alive but Alan Sparks’ daughter Katie is indeed dead. She convinces Sean to help her turn the station around, but he is hesitant as long as fake Katie is still on board. Meanwhile John deals with Odin planning to bomb Yasumoto by using Ethan, his colleagues are against him opening up Ethan but he persists. Ethan however does not want to be examined and almost presses the button on the phone Odin gave to him.
On the Seraphim fake Katie attempts to stall Molly from repairing the station. She only succeeds in infecting Molly with the spores and almost convinces Sean she is Molly. On the ground the ISEA headquarters has been compromised by Molly’s alien offspring. John calls in help from Kern, but Kern can’t defuse the bomb found in Ethan and proposes an evacuation. After Ethan is woken John tells him the bomb can’t be safely diffused. On the Seraphim Molly suffers from increasingly severe hallucinations. Sadly this is where the stories starts to flag. Molly’s motives are muddled, the exposition the writers had intended seems to dominate over common sense. On Earth John agrees to let Ethan into the ISEA headquarters to try and re-establish contact with the Seraphim after the alien offspring has taken over. Molly attempts to escape from the Seraphim but Ben the computer won’t let her. Ethan overrides the computer on Earth just as the Offspring tries to stop him. Ethan allows the bomb inside of him to explode. Five days later Molly and Dr. Barton discuss what happened in the ISEA headquarters. They are convinced the Offspring managed to survive. As Molly ventures into John’s garage the supposed inoperative backup of Ethan starts switches on. The last scene of the episode shows the Offspring had indeed survived the explosion.
While the episode cannot be said to be bad it is not quite good either. The old problem of exaggerated drama and heavy handed exposition combined with a rather predictable ending prevent this episode from being as good as it can be. Extant was and interesting experiment but it was doomed from the start not in the least because of dreary humane sentiment that feels forced on the viewer. I doubt Extant will be back for another season, but if it does there should some vigorous changes made to the creative staff to prevent another debacle. This was Extant season 1 finale review
Score; 6 / 10. Boring and predictable finale.
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