Debris Episode 2 You Are Not Alone Review- A Fresh Take On An X Files Great In Fleetwood, PA.
Debris Episode 2 You Are Not Alone raised the stakes in a tense episode that felt as chaotic as the storyline. Stick with this show; it is heating up.
Debris is quickly becoming the kind of show you look forward to watching each week. It is a nice setup for Manifest, which also is a delicious bite of ambiguous sci-fi strangeness. Episode 1 delivered a few genuinely arresting visuals, but Debris Episode 2 brought an unexpected bit of weirdness with a bizarre set of circumstances and more emotion than you would expect only two episodes in. NBC’s early hit has the potential to be huge.
The partners are headed to Fleetwood, PA, where something is causing vast volumes of metal to form a ring around the town. The home of the Peep(gross) and once the Fleetwood Metal Body company, which was bought and integrated into General Motors. It’s all being sucked into position by some unseen force in an eerie opening scene that coveys the entire episode’s overall feel. There is no sign of debris, and not everything in town is affected. Who or what is trying to keep people out? Are they maybe trying to keep someone in? The only person left in town is a man who has little memory of who he is and why he is there. To make matters worse, there are multiple versions of him.
Twins are never a good thing in a freaky sci-fi show. Triplets are even worse. Throw in a nasty bout of cloning, and you’ve got a creepy night of television reminiscent of The X-Files great “Eve.” The cloned man played by David Alpay(Castle Rock) has a ton to chew on in Debris Episode 2, playing multiple versions of the same man. He has little recollection of himself or what he needs to do. He is extremely agitated and obsessed with doing “something” if he could just remember what that was. Finola and Tom don’t know what they are looking at, and each is dealing with personal issues of their own.
Tom feels guilty for concealing Finola’s father’s existence, and Finola is trying to come to terms with her father’s massive debt. Jonathon Tucker and Riann Steele have quickly found chemistry and found a rhythm to their partnership. These two are hiding secrets from one another, but they seem to care about the other honestly. It is a testament to Tucker and Steele that they ring true so early in the series with so much undiscovered. Tucker’s Tom is as real as his scar. There is nothing contrived about Steele’s performance. She is a smart, capable woman who leads with her heart. Knowing the CIA is digging up Finola’s father’s grave, this is one secret that won’t stay hidden long. How will she handle the news that her father has possibly betrayed her?
The junk wall is hardly the biggest problem in town. The cloned men appear to be replicating at an alarming rate, and some of the copies are far from perfect. From an effects standpoint, the splitting is disturbing. The most arresting scene of the episode has to be Tom’s clone staring back at him. Having to shoot yourself is terrible. That is going to leave some deep psychological trauma.
Why does the debris connect in such an emotional way to humans? This is an entirely fresh angle from anything we have seen thus far. X-Files and Battlestar Galactica were outstanding because they focused on the emotional toll war and trauma imposed on the humans and the few Cylons who were sentient. X-Files focused solely on Moulder and Scully and their relationship with each other and their investigations. Debris is taking a brand new tactic and expanding on Arrival’s thematic weight. What if the extraterrestrials can transcend our communication? How does that shape the narrative if they choose to echo back our grief, pain, fears, and ambition? Is that a good thing?
That appears to be Debris’ sweet spot. The psychological effect of extraterrestrials on Earth and how they choose to communicate is an under-explored concept. Life is seldom black and white. It is more interesting to conceptualize the hows and whys rather than the big badda booms. For Debris to succeed, they need to continue to dive deep into the alien’s potential motivation while still keeping the inherent dread of the unknown. If they can continue to surprise us with shocking moments like watching the protagonist shoot himself, they will have something with longevity. Follow all of our Debris coverage here.
As the TV/Streaming Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre tv. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. When I’m not watching and writing about my favorite movies and series, I’m introducing my family to the wonderful world of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. My only regret, there is not enough time in the day to watch everything.