Extant- Episode 6

This is super abridged because I couldn’t/didn’t want to concentrate on the live tweet with the injustice that is Ferguson, MO right now. It took over my twitter, which is good, since Boston news ain’t covering shit.

Man (“top scientist”) gets circles in his head and gets all crazy over Molly’s baby/fetus that’s incubating in a fish tank and murders someone and destroys thousands of dollars worth of equipment..

Ethan is having dreams even though John didn’t invent that yet.

Julie flirts with a babe at the gym (who checks out her stellar bionic legs). She was part of the team that designed her new friend’s bionic joints. And this is the kind of thing that I like, that she’s a woman of science but can use it to flirt -not with her married coworker. 

Molly goes off to the office to nose around. She asks Sam for another session, there’s a security breach. The male astronaut (the other one affected by the spores) is the one who caused it. Molly listens in and hears the dirt that Alan has on Sam. 

Odin, Julie’s crush sees Ethan at the lab. Odin comes in to get his joints checked. Ethan creeped out Molly by breaking all of the pencils to draws those circles. Julie brags about the work she did designing Ethan, and Odin agrees.

Meanwhile, John, Krieger and Molly have a meeting of the minds about “the circles” Krieger thinks it’s a distress signal. Krieger then separates and gets flogged by ISEA’s head of security.

Sparks’s daughter was impregnated by aliens and died on another ship. She ejected herself into space. Molly somehow concludes from this that the baby is still alive. That makes no sense.  

And there will be 2 hours of this next week. ohhh boy.

There are things I enjoy about this show, but the pacing is weirdly slow especially in the past couple episodes. And I wish we would get to the part where things start to make sense… like whose fucking baby is this? And what does it have to do with Sparks’s daughter.

Also I hope that Ethan stopped killing birds. 

Extant- Episode 5

Molly has all manner of crazy dreams involving her, Marcus and “their baby” one ends with an accident, the other ends with a crying baby and a dead Marcus. But Molly was not super pregnant and enjoying morning OJ. Molly is found by John knocked out in the woods. Ethan is intact (which John verifies before tending to his unconscious pregnant wife).

Molly is taken to the hospital where they tell her that she was never pregnant. There is no fetus. There are no pregnancy hormones. They tell her it was a hysterical pregnancy …they tell John it was a con.

Molly wants to see Sam. Sam knew. she did a scan. But she pretends not to remember any of it. The scan, the baby, that she called Molly and told her to run. At John’s workspace, Ethan is not waking up. Julie makes interloping and irrational comments written to sound as if she is under the impression that she is the robot in a coma’s mother. John questions Molly ever being pregnant. Yup. That’s right. Then John tries to wake up Ethan too early to see if Ethan knows what happened to Molly.

But Molly gets a bright idea: when she was at her father’s house a dog bit her and her blood is on a towel. She tests it (the blood on a towel thats been dry for greater than 16 hours) and finds her DNA mixed with someTHING else’s (that can’t be right). The DNA has tentacles. And then John is disappointed that the baby is not his (when a moment ago he didn’t even believe that there was a baby).

Molly goes back to work and some filter that a tech nerd invented sees why all the worms in her sample died. When Molly applies this filter to the footage when Marcus was on board a crazy web of spores is revealed.

Well, that’s weird. 

This show is creepy and atmospheric. But the characters are largely unsympathetic. I like Molly. And that’s about it. John doesn’t even know what to be mad about. Julie flirts with John too much, while simultaneously being ambivalent to his life falling apart. Molly’s bosses are cut out “secretive bad guys in suits.” Marcus is creepy. The other astronaut guy is probably dead. Sam sold her out. I don’t know what’s up with Ethan and birds but it’s fucking weird.

The season got shorter and so did the season finale 

Under The Dome- Season 2 episode 5

Barbie meets up with Rachel, appartently Rachel is willing to talk. He tells her about Melanie. And that she died in the 80s. And that she found the mini-dome. And that Sam was there and knew Melanie.

Sam returns home to see his place wrecked up. By Junior, who is still there. Junior is looking for his mom’s journal. Lyle betrayed him Junior confesses that he got an email from his mom and that she’s alive.

The townsfolk are divide those against Jim, and Jim’s supporters (Julia’s new enemies). I’m noting that a vehement Julia opposer is an “angry black man” archetype. Speaking of UtD’s use of tokenism, Carolyn appears on screen for about 20 seconds ..and volunteers her services to represent Big Jim. 

Julia says that the trial will be fair and impartial… but her gpood intentions don’t mean much where the crowd quickly wants to play judge, jury, and executioner on their own. Phil shoots down a man running at Jim, Rebecca tries vainly to tend to the man. They pronounce him dead. To Julia, Rebecca confesses that Barbie wasn’t involved as Jim had implied. Julia tells Phil to fork over the badge, Barbie backs her up and he accuses them of being drunk on power.

Dome kids bring Melanie to touch the dome. But nothing happens.

Junior finds some pages of the journal and surmises that the theory was that the “4 hands” (he, Norrie, Joe and Angie) have to die. He freaks that he could be the next target and heads out to warn the others. So now, Sam knows that he knows. 

Rebecca and JIm, back in their neighboring cells and Rebecca asks if he’d ever seen a man die before. He has. And he says so. Rebecca confesses that she didn’t have it in her to inflict suffering like that. A drunken Phil shows up and is going to free Big Jim, but he says that he’d have no where to hide and public opinion would mean his head. They decide to “win the crowd over.”

Dome kids brouhaha: Norrie tells Melanie what an immature and vapid twat she thinks Melanie is. Joe chases after the fragile and crying Melanie… and they kiss. A pissed off Norrie catches them and starts a shoving match. Norrie falls in a bush and scrapes her arm… this somehow gives Joe an idea.

Back across town where Barbie and Julia are handing out supplies: Barbie opens a package when there is an explosion. More supplies KO’d, Big Jim’s plan? Definitely. Julia tries to calm the crowd, Phil shows up to antagonize the situation. He says the generator wires were frayed and that it was Julia’s negligence and incompetence. Barbie comforts her …and then they make out. Last ep she thought that Barbie was an up and coming mass murderer, after him being a love interest -he did murder her husband- then she tries to make him Sheriff…. waffler. 

At some point that I forgot to mention, Sam was getting Junior drunk so that he could kill him. But he has a change of heart when a drunken and sleepy Junior says “you’re the only family I’ve got”

Carolyn catches Phil looking in on the place where he moved the food so it wouldn’t explode. He takes her hostage and Barbie saves her after shooting Phil through the shoulder. He should recover quickly. Julia is fully healed -she was shot that same way only 5 or 6 days ago! 

Julia meets with a woman, Andrea, who was handing out food, turns out her husband was a survivalist. Basement filled, cabinets overflowing. Enough food to last everyone a while. Andrea hosts a big meal at the diner, Julia lets Jim out of jail. The power of FORGIVENESS. Julia is such a twit. Jim tells someone to “enjoy the food” like he had any damn thing to do with it.

Rebecca says to Jim that they should “give Julia a chance” which sounds ominous. Alien girl gives Rebecca blood samples from the Dome kids. Barbie decides he’ll be the Sheriff. Norrie tells Joe to get bent after he says that he loves her and Junior and Sam find a tunnel inside Angie’s locker (that makes no sense).

More woes for the WoC- Rebecca is still under Big Jim’s thumb, Carolyn is finally awake on screen for over a minute and she’s a damn hostage, This show also glorifies “purity” and “goodness” in ways I can’t fully articulate yet. Any woman employing logic or science is regarded as nuts while those who are trusting to the point of naivete and immaturity are glorified (Melanie and Julia in particular). 

These characters have no personalities. They make decisions seemingly at random. With the possible exception of Barbie (who is a straight white male action hero… and there’s no way that he’s not some wish fulfilment stand in).

Julia is probably the worst judge of character on earth. Aside from that, a couple episodes ago she was going to kill Big Jim only to immediately change her mind and save him, she decides to put him on trial then says “fuck the trial -let’s forgive!” She was briefly looking like a love triangle would be in her future… but that’s fallen by the wayside after she goes right back to trusting the man that she thought was capable of mass murder YESTERDAY. Junior and Sam: they’re going after Lyle, but Lyle can bring Sam’s transgressions to light. Sam definitely killed Angie. He probably killed Melanie, only to take care of her and be nice to her when she turns up again. Big Jim won back the favor of the town through dubious tactics after trying to repent and contemplating suicide a couple of episodes ago. He’s quick to throw Rebecca under the bus but then acts as if he needs her in the grander scheme of things. Rebecca has witnessed Jim’s deceit but still goes along with his plan, plotting against Julia who saved her life (after trying to fight her and lock her in jail) and then she gets up and leaves to help the Dome kids with their science project. And Joe doesn’t mention Angie ever and makes out with the alien. Norrie understandably pissed (and erratic behavior is very teenage) but then she let’s Joe take a blood sample to help Melanie?!? What?!?! Fuck all this.

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this is Mike Vogel playing guitar on set between takes while filming this episode.

Fantastic Female Friday- Abigail Sciuto (NCIS)

There are many things that are supercool about Abby Sciuto. It’s easy to harp on about her aesthetic, her taste in music, her ability to use unconventional methods to make sure that justice is served! She might not have the action chick flair of Ziva David or Kate Todd…

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..but Abby fights crime. As a lab geek, it would be easy to have her sidelined, cast aside and there to drop cookies for the agents and portray her as nothing more than a quirky Caf-Pow addict.

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But Abby gets storylines all her own. Memorably, in the episode “Cover Story,” back when McGee was secretly an author and based a character after Abby which made her the target of a Thom E Gemcity superfan’s wrath. She and McGee had a brief fling around that time as well, but it didn’t ruin their friendship. In season 2, Abby goes undercover to catch a Black Widow and a serial rapist. Or when gets herself in a tight spot, abducted on her way to testify and defend her evidence, a task for which she vainly attempts to turn down her eye catching style, the men are about to run to her rescue but when they find reach her, she tasers the hell out of her would be attacker and saves her own self.

In the season 3 episode “Bloodbath,” she has a stalker ex-boyfriend, things turn deadly when she has fake evidence left in her lab that triggered a dangerous chemical reaction: She told McGee to drop to the floor and explained what had happened while they crawled across the lab, McGee flips her onto her back and risks his health to drag her out. She does some soul searching in Gibbs’s basement, wondering if it’s all her fault, if she brought this on herself. He lets her find her own answers and a drunken Abby says that it’s not her fault and that he’s a creep. The character is very vulnerable and this terrifying situation is shown without victim blaming and turned out to be a touching and remarkable episode. Abby is embarrassed to tell everyone what she has going on, she questions herself… but in the end, with support, she overcomes the situation. It was wonderfully written and acted, conveying perfectly that partner abuse can affect anyone and how those relationships can influence the victim’s mentality.

Back in season 1, Abby’s fear of autopsy alerts everyone to an emergency after a terrorist infiltrates Ducky’s lab and demands all evidence returned… but this also gets Kate into a dangerous situation when she pretends to be Abby and Gerald shot for playing along with the scheme. (In the end, Abby conquers her fear and sleeps in the morgue.)

In season 5, she saves a military dog who is accused of murder. The dog also took a bite out of McGee -who shot him. Abby defies McGee and Director Shepherd to clear the canine’s name.

And you could be thinking that these plots make Abby seem like a kid sister, and to an extent that isn’t inaccurate. Abby is a very relatable character, what makes that so is that she isn’t perfect, she has struggles. She has family issues (like when she finds out she has a brother she hadn’t known) and abusive exes, she takes loss (of both Kate and Jenny) hard. She hides out at Gibbs’s house on occasion and one time at McGee’s. She let’s personal problems (like when she had body image issues after a little person she was dating said he liked smaller girls) interfere with work persona.

Basically she’s an actual human being.

And if you take a look around at the people you know, you will probably find that some of your favorites are a little much. A little immature, quirky… but cool, compassionate and always waiting with a comforting hug… mine are anyway.

And besides, it’s not always Abby that needs saving.

In season 7 she’s called to Mexico to teach a seminar on forensics in cold cases. Day one she deals with catty co-eds, but soon she’s got more trouble as a cartel leader, Paloma Reynosa, gives her a bullet. The one that killed her father. The case that she’s set to work is that of Gibbs’s deceased wife and daughter. Their killer was Paloma;s father, Pedro. And the bullet that that killed Pedro? Abby finds out that the bullet striations matched Gibbs’s SIG Sauer.

And Abby’s faith is shattered and she’s mad. She’s mad that she’s in a situation where she has to compromise her ethics. Gibbs never confesses. He never says one way or another whether he planned and executed the execution of his family’s killer. But Abby, true to herself, true to her sense of right and wrong, good and evil, decides that Gibbs doesn’t get a pass. Not because he’s saved people. Not because he’s her friend. She submits the report, which Vance then “loses”. And it was there that Abby’s character was proven.

MURRAY PERRETTE WEATHERLY

She’s also a total babe. Not just when she’s playing dress up. Her *unconventional* style gets her plenty of attention as well, aside from the hookup with McGee, she uses her swagger to make connections that gain her access to NASA equipment.

And the babely actress, Pauley Perrette:

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Brings some of herself into the character as well. On the season 1 DVD, talking about her childhood, it’s said that she grew up near a junkyard and would see all the wrecked cars come in. She would analyze where the damage was and what might have happened to the cars. Young Abby appears in flashbacks in the season 10 episode “Hit and Run” where she is shown investigating “her first case.”

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Pauley Perrette also makes music as the front woman of “Stop Making Friends”and her vocals have appeared on NCIS soundtracks.

Perrette has also been well known for her involvement with the NO H8 campaign. NO H8 was started in response to the ban of same sex marriage in California in 2008, it’s a silent protest that uses social media, education and outreach to give a public voice to those struggling with bullying, discrimination and inequality.

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Pauley helped design this dress and wore it to the People’s Choice awards in 2011. She likened this to wearing her heart on her sleeve.

All of this leaves me to wonder if it’s life imitating art or art imitating life that Perrette is as caring and cool as Abby.

Recently the actress suffered a serious allergic reaction to hair dye which inspired me to go back to henna over chemical dyes. The future of Abby’s raven locks may be in jeopardy and the star is weighing her options.

Abby’s character development has taken her from “kid sister” to “best man”, from quirky goth lab tech to indispensible team member, she’s panicked and gotten it together to help her friends, she’s questioned the morality of those in her life and she is cautious about who to trust but once you are in her heart, that’s where you stay. Abby deals with things very humanly, she’s a very well written character. Remember how she famously disliked Ziva at first? This wasn’t because of the “women hate each other” trope, this was because she was still grieving and she could only think of Ziva as Kate’s replacement and she wasn’t ready. And everyone loves Gibbs (and the ass-kicking Ziva David) but it’s Abby who saves the team from mediocrity.

Extant- Episode 3

John comforts Molly with science after her miscarriage. He had already been working on an android and decides that they should raise the program. Molly, in her grief, volunteered to go into space. Molly is remembering all this while she lays in bed.

John wakes up and proposes that they throw Molly a birthday celebration since she missed her birthday in space.

Ethan is nervous about orientation. Molly is going for an invigorated run, her health monitors encourage her to slow down, she sees a spaceship blast off. Orientation doesn’t go so hot, There are angry villagers there who call Ethan “a toaster.” 

Molly tries to see Harman but he’s not there, he’s drawn weird circle patterns (like the one that appeared on Molly’s stomach) on the wall. Sam is disappointed that Molly still hasn’t told John about the pregnancy. She says some version of, “the timing isn’t right.” 

At the party Sam takes Molly’s blood (which is weird). Molly’s dress is fantastic.

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Then Molly collapses and sees herself in space with Marcus. A bit later, John’s lab tech tries to flirt and insert herself into their family structure, but John pays no mind. Marcus’s brother arrives at the party, and Molly has a misunderstanding when he says that he sees Marcus everywhere.

The power goes out. John finds something moving in a box and finds it’s a chicken that Ethan caught earlier. Ethan doesn’t understand what things need food or water. John says, “no more birds and no more secrets.” That prompts Ethan to say that “mom says secrets are okay if you don’t want someone to worry.” John confronts Molly. Then she confesses.

Sparks said that the ISE implanted something in her without her consent. Which is gross and weird. 

As the party wraps up Molly looks for Tim (Marcus’s brother) to say goodbye. Her husband keeps saying that he is not there. She remembers him next to her in a group photo, which is on a screen… but there’s a empty space next to her. SO YOU ARE TELLING ME: THAT NO ONE STOOD NEXT TO HALLE AT HER OWN DAMN BIRTHDAY PARTY?! John tries to calm her but she says she’s losing it, she insists she saw Tim there, saw him talking to other people. The secrets all come out and she manically recounts her hallucinations. She goes off with Sparks because Sam will be there and something bad is happening and she trusts Sam.

Sam tries to go to her office but is held up by security, she sneaks around and shee’s that they are taking her files. Knowing they can’t be trusted she tries to call Molly, she gets John, expresses concern and then texts Molly to get out of the car. 

Molly goes for might over cunning. I thought she would fake morning sickness for sure. Anyway, Molly grabs the wheel, the car swerves and she gets out and runs as we see weird circles protruding on her torso. John is behind them and picks her up.

This show is getting serious. So much craziness, and what could ISE be up to? Halle Berry is just so phenomenal. Her/Molly’s meltdown after discovering the truth about Tim was astonishingly painful to watch. She has no idea who to trust and those she trusts are in danger… with still no clue as to why. And the plot doesn’t center around Ethan. And for Molly the baby she is carrying isn’t even the main focus., she wants to know why she has been betrayed, not gushing over possibilities. 

Which is good, because it’s majorly sick that they implanted something in her against her will and caused her to have abnormal brain scans and jeopardized her physical and mental well being as well as her family life and career ENTIRELY. 

Is Harlan real? 

I hate that Julie is being written as a romantic rival for Molly. I enjoy that John entertains none of it (and that he is supportive of Molly even when dealing with insane situations). Julie being flirty toward John and catty towards Molly her behavior makes it seem as though she is infringing on thei parenting and inserting herself into their family situation. But rather Ethan is her life’s work, too. Not just John’s.It would be nice if she was portrayed as John’s colleague and not a potential hook up.

Extant- Episode 2

Molly is still adjusting to Earth-life. She gets spooked by sneakers in the dryer, Her husband is going out of his way for her, making coffee, planning a fancy meal, picking up a gift for a birthday party for her son’s friend. 

Yasimoto’s money has provided Humanix with a new and glamorous office.

Mr. Woods pitches again to the woman he argued with at the meeting. She still thinks that sharing “humanity” with androids will ruin personal connections. She doesn’t understand why Yasimoto is funding him.

Molly starts having pain/contractions and an expressionless Marcus (her former flame astronaut friend who passed and who came to her on the ship) tells her “it’s ok.” She collapses and Ethan finds her on the floor with crop circles appearing under her shirt.

Molly’s doctor Sam comes to see her at the museum. She has abnormalities in her brain scans. She tells Sam that Harmon is alive, that he didn’t kill himself. Their brain scans were similar. Molly thinks she has hysterical pregnancy and demands an ultrasound to be sure.

Ethan runs off from the museum group and sees and evolution exhibit, he is puzzled by what species he is. Molly finds him and they vow to keep each other’s secrets. Ethan won’t tell John that Molly fell down and Molly won’t tell that Ethan ran off.

Harman is stalking them in the museum and we see a flashback to his pass over the solar flare where he sees his dead mother, Molly returns to work and tries to access Harman’s security footage. She can only view the experiment cameras, She sees him barricading a door but can’t see from what. She removes her “monitoring tether” (a chip which tracks her health and location) and Harman is waiting to pick her up.

Harman and Molly share their stories about seeing someone dead. Molly confronts her employer, the employer tells Yasimoto and Yasimoto says “Then they are already here” and says that it will be harder to hide or dismiss now that Molly is pregnant.

Molly forgot dinner with her husband who has no idea about the world of trouble she is in and is understandably pissed off. Ethan ominously draws a family in a spaceship being saved from extinction.

So much weird stuff is happening but it works well because everything is tied back into each other. But if it’s aliens how are they able to decide which person to disguise as? If the motivation was to impregnate Molly, why did Harman see his mom and not a romantic figure? Why do they only duplicate dead people? So many questions.

Live tweeting the new episode tonight! @Skeletongrrl <–follow me

Extant- episode 1

I’m a little wary of this show. Mostly because the overall premise is that a woman gets impregnated without consenting.

But there are things I immediately like. Halle Berry on primetime network, interracial marriage on prime time network, a mother with a high profile job, a black mother with a high profile STEM job on prime time network. 

Halle Berry’s character, Molly has just returned from space. 13 months alone. When she returns home she’s feeling ill while getting ready for her son’s party. She assumes that she’s just readjusting to earth. Her son’s party goes well, but the child pushes another and his father scolds him (no “boys will be boys” attitude? nice!). Molly’s female friends ask her how her family manages so well, her being away for so long, missing her family, her family doing family things without a matriarch and she is nonplussed. As the father tucks in the child in we see that he is an android.

The son was created, designed and programmed by the father.

Molly wakes up and looks through old news articles, photos of her and Marcus. A former romantic partner who passed away. 

Her friend and doctor, Sam calls her in. Molly’s tests have returned. She’s pregnant. Not only was she alone in space, but she wasn’t able to conceive with her husband. This is what lead her husband to “create”/program Ethan. 

Molly flashes back to an issue on the spaceship when they passed by a solar flare. She lost power and saw Marcus on the ship.13 hours missing from the log, when she meets with the panel she says she accidentally deleted the security footage instead of copying it. They don’t believe her, because she doesn’t make mistakes like that.

Ethan’s father presents his research to Yasimoto Corp, but Humantix is denied funding after he wiles out on a woman for saying his son is not equal to her daughter because Ethan doesn’t have a “soul.” He replies that Ethan has what all children have, synapses, shared experiences. Life.

Molly’s bosses contact Yasimoto and tell him that funding was denied, so Yasimoto reaches out and backs Humantix as a private citizen to get closer to the family.

Molly takes Ethan to the park for icecream, after getting a balloon with a note, Molly tells Ethan that it is time to go. He drops his icecream and lashes out and runs off, Molly chases him and finds him with a dead bird. Ethan says it was like that when he got there.

Molly is creeped out. She relays such to her husband so says Ethan is just adjusting to her return and ends with a hostile “that kid is the closest we will come to having a child!” Which, since Molly is hiding a pregnancy is not true at all.

They make up the next day. Tensions are high and no one said anything that wasn’t true. Molly is scheduled to see a psychiatrist, a previous astronaut committed suicide and now the psych evals are required. She has more flashbacks. She hallucinated Marcus coming to her on the spacecraft, she freaked out and deleted the tapes, on the footage Marcus wasn’t visible, but you could see her reaching out to him.

Then, back at home, the astronaut wo supposedly had killed himself shows up in her yard, he tells her that he is not a hallucination (so he knows about the hallucinations) and tells her not to trust anyone as her husband calls her in for dinner.

So there is a lot going on. How would a hallucination cause her to become pregnant? How would her employers have impregnate her? If that was the goal, why would they send a man first? Is her son really a creep, or did he just find a dead bird? 

Great first episode for something that seemed convoluted.

I enjoyed the next level future science: the synthetic soul (to steal the term from “Almost Human”), private sector space travel. And the it was coupled with societal standards that may never match society’s progress with science no matter how much we know: gender roles (Molly’s friends asking her how she manages to have her career) and the concept of intangible humanity that keeps us separate from other creature (and in this case:robots).

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And that’s just a fabulous haircut that Halle has.