Extant ‘Wish You Were Here’ Recap – Episode 01.03

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Sparks and Kern confirm Molly’s pregnancy and discuss how best to allay her fears while they figure out how to bring her in for tests. Meanwhile, Ethan has his first day at school among human children and John and Molly must contend with concerned parents who are afraid of Ethan. Molly continues to investigate the origin of her pregnancy as she begins to experience worsening hallucinations and contemplates how to tell John. Sam then stumbles upon suspicious activity at ICEA.

Ethan

Ethan’s first day at school finally arrives and while the kids are okay with him, the parents are freaked out that Ethan is a robot and don’t want him around their children. John’s scientific assurances naturally did nothing to comfort the frightened parents, but Molly’s impassioned speech about Ethan being her son and how there’s no reason to be afraid of “different” made the parents seem a little sheepish about their prejudice. Of course, Ethan is kind of creepy in a lot of ways – mostly these days because he has this fascination with birds and goes around methodically constructing traps to catch them to play with later. But he’s also kind of cute, and just like any other kid will repeat something an adult has told him at the most inopportune of times when he’s told something by another adult that contradicts it (“But mom said…”).

Julie

One of the subplots this episode is Julie’s attachment to Ethan. It seems that her awkwardness with Molly likely had nothing to do with any kind of attraction to or fling with John, but a kind of motherly jealousy. Julie had more to do with Ethan from birth to present than almost anyone else, nurturing him when he was still only a program without a body, reading to him late into the night after everyone at the lab had gone home. Ethan has an affectionate attachment to her as well, which is clear to see when they snuggle into bed together and she reads to him The Velvetine Rabbit. Julie also seems to have a very good idea of where Ethan is headed as a program, that what and who he is is all based on the nurturing of others and not on any internal instinct. She fears that in an environment of capricious and thoughtless children, Ethan might learn the wrong things, that in a situation like that he has no instinct for knowing right from wrong without instruction.

The Space Baby

Sparks tells Molly that her pregnancy is a result of a covert experiment and that a time release cure was used in combination with her and John’s leftover samples from their infertility course to induce her pregnancy. She mostly believes him, but has Sam take some blood for DNA analysis just to be sure. In the meantime, Molly continues to experience intermittent abdominal pain – mostly when the fetus is threatened in some way, like a defense mechanism. At these times, a circular pattern appears on her abdomen, or in this case at the sight of the threatening wound. Molly finds this same circular pattern drawn on the wall of Harmon’s trailer. Molly finally does tell John about her pregnancy and breaks down when he asks if she’s okay. While this is the first time we’ve seen any real vulnerability on Molly’s part, what was more striking was John’s pained reaction to the fact that Molly was so distressed. It was a really beautiful moment from Goran Visnjic.

The Conspiracy

Kern infiltrates the veterinarian’s office where Molly had her ultrasound to confirm her pregnancy and reports back to Sparks. Sparks gives Molly a phoney explanation for her pregnancy to keep her from asking questions and getting in the way. Meanwhile, Kern wants to forcibly bring her in for testing, but Sparks thinks that would raise too many questions for too many people. Instead he tells Kern he’ll figure out a way to bring her in of her own free will. When Molly fears for her sanity, she calls Sparks to take her in for tests. We learn that Sparks’ daughter Katie died in space. While no further information is given, this could imply that her mysterious sacrifice was probably part of a first contact experience. When Sam returns to her lab to test Molly’s blood sample, she finds access to her office has been blocked off with some phoney excuse about a chemical spill. Somehow she manages to sneak down an alternate, unguarded hallway to her lab and finds that all her files on Molly are being confiscated. Sam is able to send Molly a warning before she is apprehended by the guards. Molly gets the message, escapes from Sparks’ car, and is rescued by John. Sparks infiltrates the Woods house with a security team, but they have already fled.

The Birthday Party

John can’t seem to stop throwing Molly parties, and to the writer’s credit, Molly very smartly addresses the fact with humor, humility, and light exasperation. Nevertheless, another party is thrown in honor of Molly and her missed birthday. It is during this party that Marcus’ brother Tim shows up, saying that he ran into John and that he invited him to the party as a surprise. Molly and Tim have a heart to heart conversation about the loss of Marcus, but how he’s still a very big part of their lives, like he’ll always be with them. Molly, of course, experienced this more literally on the Seraphim and takes it with a touch of irony. Later, when she mentions to John that she wants to say goodbye to Tim, he tells her that Tim was never at the party. She insists that he was and calls for him throughout the house. When she looks at a group photo that had been taken, Tim is not beside her where he should have been in the picture. This is what sends Molly into a state of panic and into the care of Director Sparks. John gets a panicked call from Sam later asking where Molly is, and when Sam immediately hangs up when he says she’s with Sparks, John gets the message and drives full speed after them and is able to pick up Molly along the road moments after her escape.

Watch Extant on CBS every Wednesday night at 9:00 p.m. ET. To learn more about the series, check out their official site on CBS.com.

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About the Author

Bethany Lewis
My cinema education started when, at three years old, Charlie Chaplin's "The Gold Rush" became my earliest memory of cinema. Since then, I've been obsessed with film and television, learning more about it, analyzing it, researching it, and experiencing different kinds of it. After getting my BA in Theater, I went on to get my MFA in Film Studies. I now spend my free time watching and writing about movies.
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