Extant ‘Nightmares’ Recap – Episode 01.06

Extant
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Ethan has a nightmare but isn’t programmed to dream. As John takes Ethan in for testing, Ethan displays signs of increased intelligence and problem solving as a result. Harmon breaks into the ISEA and steals an encrypted file. He sets up a meeting with Molly to give the file to her while Kern aims to intercept their meeting. Molly reconnects with Sam and discovers why she betrayed her, then uses her to cover up her meeting with Harmon. The Space Baby causes problems in the lab, manipulating a scientist into killing a colleague and almost succeeding in having him free it from its incubator. Meanwhile, Julie meets a handsome man at the gym who seems a little too interested in Ethan.

The Space Baby

While the Space Baby thrives in its laboratory incubator, it seems to have an unusual telepathic ability to cause hallucinations and manipulate those around it. The being is still only a fetus, presumably helpless on its own, and yet attempts to escape from its enclosure with the help of one of the scientists. What the Space Baby would or could do once it is freed from its incubator, or why it wishes to be released is unclear. And yet, this scientist is manipulated into killing a colleague before he is stopped from releasing the being. The circular symbol appears on the back of his head while he’s being affected. It is also clear by now that this being is only capable of conjuring hallucinations of the dead. Sparks makes a special visit to the lab just to see his dead daughter for a few moments, knowing that the being would show him an image of her.

The Conspiracy

Molly reconnects with Sam, placing a bug on her under the guise of apologizing. Through the bug, Molly learns that Sam was forced to betray Molly or risk the wellbeing of her brother. Molly tries to tell Sam that she understands why she betrayed her, but in a really roundabout, subtextual way that anyone else listening wouldn’t understand. Later, when Harmon arranges to meet Molly and their meeting is endangered by the appearance of Kern, Molly calls Sam and feeds her misinformation to feed back to Sparks. Kern is called away, allowing Molly and Harmon to meet in secrecy, where he gives her an encrypted file he stole from the ISEA. It turns out to be the last transmission from Katie Sparks’ mission. The entire crew had been infected with a virus that caused them to hallucinate and turn on each other. Katie can’t risk contaminating Earth so she destroys the space station. Katie displays the same circular symbol on her belly as Molly did when she passed out, leading Molly to believe that Katie was pregnant too. Molly reasons that if Sparks lied about the fate of his daughter and allowed Molly to go into space as bait for the alien being/virus, that the baby they stole from her must still be alive somewhere.

Harmon

Harmon pays off an attendant at a drugs lounge to scan Kern’s fingerprints when he comes to indulge in his drug habit. Kern is addicted to a gas based drug with the hilarious name of Absalom. As he passes out, Harmon scans his hand with a handheld device. Harmon then burns off his own fingerprints and has the device replace them with Kern’s. Harmon infiltrates the ISEA using Kern’s fingerprints and steals an encrypted file. He gives it to Molly, hoping that she can somehow unencrypt the file and help solve the mystery of the conspiracy. Molly asks Harmon about the circular symbol and he says he saw it first on the Seraphim during his mission. It had been transmitted to him, but then seemingly intercepted by the ISEA with instructions to disregard. Molly and John get away with the file without being noticed, but Kern finds Harmon and knocks him out with some kind of electrical device and captures him.

Ethan

Ethan screams in his sleep as he appears to have some kind of nightmare. When he awakes he is confused by his ability to see things with his eyes closed, never having dreamed before. John is anxious to get Ethan to the lab, saying that he didn’t and couldn’t program Ethan to dream and that there was no way for his programming to learn that on its own. Molly is more motherly and insists they treat it like a normal childhood occurrence for the night. She climbs into bed with Ethan so he can sleep. John takes Ethan to the lab the next morning where there is no record of his dream, but Ethan seems to be faster and more intelligent than he was before. Later, when Molly hears strange noises coming from Ethan’s room, she goes to investigate and finds him drawing the circular symbol. When she asks why he’s drawing that, he says it was his nightmare, and that he saw it on her belly when she passed out. Ethan later breaks the encryption on the file for John and Molly.

Julie and Odin

Julie meets a handsome young guy at the gym named Odin. She is kickboxing and he comments she is very good. He admits that he just started and is terrible, giving the punching bag a couple pathetic tries. He has a prosthetic arm and Julie gives him advice on how to keep it from being noisy, sharing that her legs are both prosthetics and that she works for the team that designed his arm. She gives him her number. He comes by the lab to get some more help with his arm, and when she leaves the room to get something he goes to talk with Ethan. Their talk is more or less innocent – about the game Ethan is playing, or how Odin is the Norse god of war and poetry – but there is something creepy about the intensity of his interest in Ethan and something somehow significant in the way he talks about things, like there’s a hidden meaning behind his words that we have yet to understand. His claim that he’s terrible at kickboxing and the half-hearted pathetic display of unskilled athleticism seems showy and put on – like a feign in order to lure Julie in and lower her defenses. My first guess is that Odin is a spy for another company wanting to steal John’s Humanic design. Maybe he’s a spy for Yasumoto, but he seems far too invested to be a detached spy. Odin has some kind of invested interest in Ethan and it doesn’t seem like innocent fascination. There is a promise of menace there.

 

 

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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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