Extant 1.04 Review: “Shelter”


by Daniel Gilligan

There were a lot of different themes that were running throughout this episode of Extant tonight. The first, and most obvious one, is told by Molly to her son Ethan in the story of the seven sisters. In this tale, Orion loves all seven sisters so much that Zeus first turns them to doves and then stars to avoid him but he doesn’t stop trying to find them. This seems to be a direct comparison to Molly’s and the situation at the ISEA, her old job. What’s interesting about this is that the company’s goal has changed from just capturing Molly to now getting her husband, and her doctor, and her son. Like the seven sisters, the numbers keep growing!

Another idea in tonight’s episode was DNA or lack thereof, starting with the baby’s. No matter what, Molly is determined to figure out the baby’s DNA, whoever’s it may be. It just doesn’t click though. First Sam is getting of the blood sample so the ISEA can’t test it. Then Molly and John don’t have a chance to check the new blood sample she gets before everything goes haywire with Molly and her son! Even Sparks wants to know what her tests results are. Next, when Ethan goes missing, we come up against simple-minded racism against Ethan. Is he a robot per se? Yes but that doesn’t mean Molly and Joe love him any less. When the cops though come thinking there’s a missing kid and there’s only a missing machine? Joe loses it and good for him. He’s been having these people debate who his son is and now he finally has a chance to let out some of that frustration. Maybe it shouldn’t have been on a cop but what are you going to do.

The last one is family. We saw Sam’s brother is this episode and realized why, from now on, she will not be helping out Molly. It was nice to see her face when they were finally talking. I wasn’t sure if they hadn’t talked before this or if this was a frequent thing but it was a good job on Camryn Manheim’s part. In that one scene, she pulled off being stubborn, annoyed, frustrated, relieved, and happy. I wanted to say, “Go Camryn!” We also saw Molly’s father here. I did like the actor who played him–Louis Gossett Jr. He played it well but I just felt that it was a very generic, cliché part. I had seen him before in other roles, mostly on TV, and I know he can act. Once I heard he had quit drinking, I immediately knew that at some point before he left, he’d get a drink. I also knew that he’d call Ethan a robot when he was angry. I know that these are just common things that normal people would do but they wouldn’t be something a grandfather like the one he was playing does.

All in all, good episode. I like how they are adding a little more mystery. I hope they know though that they have to clear up one or two of the larger mysteries from earlier before they start new ones. I know that they won’t tell us who the father of the baby actually is, but can they tell us what happened to Molly in space? People know it on the show but are avoiding sharing the knowledge with the audience. Looks like I’m going to stay tuned to find out.

[Photo via CBS]


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