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 

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.

Nightcrawler #1

I don’t much care about Nightcrawler. Never did. But… Chris Claremont. 

Chris Claremont has written huge X-Men storylines. The source material that inspired both The Wolverine and the upcoming Days of Future Past. He’s a ridiculously big deal in the comic book world. He co-created pretty much all my faves (most of the major players in Brian Woods “all girl” X-Men) Kitty Pryde, Psylocke, Rogue, Rachel Summers, Madelyne Pryor (not my fave, but she notably recently resurfaced as a villain), and Jubilee. 

So I figured I would overlook the fact that Nightcrawler is “not my favorite” (and I know Dr. Chris is going to come over here and tell me about the time Nightcrawler fought Dracula, and how he was better at it than Wolverine because Nightcrawler is a man of faith even though he’s a weird looking dude. I know. Still not my fave.) Nightcrawler is not a Claremont creation, he’s the brainchild of Dave Cockrum who conceived the blue teleporting mutant while he was on a Navy ship in Guam.

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The start of the story really drew me in. The recently resurrected Nightcrawler is fighting Wolverine. Wolverine has recently lost his healing power and they’re testing out a new armor suit. Logan’s as fast as ever, Nightcrawler has trouble teleporting away, in fact. So Nightcrawler ramps up. And Wolverine busts out the claws. Without his healing factor this is especially painful and dangerous and Nightcrawler backs off, but Storm has to break up the fight. She then has a heart to heart with Nightcrawler about how things change and people have to decide what they are made of. Face who they are and deal with the consequences. 

Nightcrawler walks around the halls of the Jean Grey School, remembering how they lost Jean Grey and Thunderbird. And some X-kids and Professors wave “hello” (Quentin Quire, Cessily, a flirty? Rachel Grey …that might just be the art style).But then he goes to see Amanda and mini-Nightcrawler Bamfs. They are interrupted by an unknown assailant in a robot suit. Curiously, it becomes clear that he is after Amanda (who has magic powers, not mutant powers) the adorable Bamfs help save the day and Nightcrawler throws the attacker through a wall. And he vanishes. 

And Amanda decides that the creep might be after her fam. She declines calling in the X-Men and they go in pursuit at the close of the issue. 

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Amanda = Magik II/Daytripper (not art from this comic)

Regardless of the fact that the second half of the book was a random mystery to me, I enjoyed this. It was very apparent that Claremont was nostalgically writing Wolverine and it was somewhat overpowering Nightcrawler. Which I was okay with. Write what you know, and all that. But the end of the issue takes Nightcrawler out of his (and my) X-Men comfort zone. 

Todd Nauck’s art is very crisp, the fight scenes were dramatic and easy to follow, the Bamfs were adorbz, all the ladies have big eyes, long lashes and pouty lips. It’s very playful and certainly added to the somewhat surreal vision that Nightcrawler is walking around with while he’s just getting back to his life.

I will be reading.

Fantastic Female Friday- Hot Ice Hilda (Outlaw Star)

The mere mention of her name gets a strong reaction from Outlaws, pirates and space forces alike. She steals and android from notorious Chinese pirate guild, the Kei Pirates, and in an altercation that ends with the death of their leader at her hands.. she loses one of them, and an eye. She gets a cybernetic arm and swears vengeance! Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Sadly, Hot Ice Hilda only lives 2 episodes in to Outlaw Star.

Hilda’s pursued by the Kei pirates across space and crash lands on Sentinel III. With her ship and arm in disrepair she plays innocent under the identity of a blonde rich girl named “Rachel Sweet” and cons Gene Starwind into helping her out with materials and repairs. She also enlists him as a bodyguard. When Kei pirates catch her scent, her true identity as the infamous outlaw is revealed. Gene attempts to complete the job he agreed to. He shoots the pirates with the magical and obsolete Caster Gun while Hilda chucks grenades, they make it to the barn where the ship is hidden, Hilda thanks Gene …and then shoots him and takes Jim hostage to finish repairs.

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Gene doesn’t die and she ends up taking him along into space (which he’s always been afraid of) they get into various shenanigans and the two have sex. Hilda has the stereotypical warrior/traveller viewpoint and just wants a warm body next to hers. She on the “masculine” side, she yells at Gene when he is scared she is demanding and doesn’t do anything in the way of being sympathetic -but she still encourages him. After a brief stop over on Blue Heaven (where guns are not allowed and she fights with her badass robot hand and a taser) she, Gene, Jim and Melfina return back out into space and they are attacked by Kei Pirates and the outlaws The MacDougal Brothers. Hilda proves that she will do anything to the Kei Pirates. Even if it means her own life… Her message to Gene?  “Outlaws never go down easy, now matter what happens to them.” And she dies taking out the last pirate there to fight.

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Hot Ice Hilda is responsible for the whole plot of the series! Hilda was the one searching for the Galactic Leyline. She didn’t know what it was, she just knew Kei pirates wanted it, so she wanted to get it first. And you really can’t argue with that logic. She’s vengeful, but mature and rational, capable, savvy and utterly ruthless. She was the one responsible for getting Gene into space and off Sentinel III where he was a big cocky fish in a small pond. She was the catalyst for so much of the plot. And she was fridged. But she provided more than emotional turmoil for Gene (although there certainly was that), her infamy brought them enemies, her disregard of an order from a Ctarl-Ctarl ship brought the wrath of Aisha Clan-Clan down on Gene and co., her death left Melfina’s existence a mystery and a treasure to be searched for. 

It’s just really awesome to have this REALLY not girly, not conventionally feminine love interest who gets some unassuming man caught up in the adventure of his life. In many adventure fantasies it is a woman getting dragged behind as the plot unfold because of the drive of a man. But in this one everyone else is just along for the ride, whether they want to be or not.

Too bad that she was too badass for a story about some guy with red hair and his 11 year old business partner. (Just kidding I love this show, but it would have been totally different if she hadn’t left Gene alone in space to have his adventure and get vengeance)