Debris Episode 4 Universe Review- Emotion Continues To Rule In A Gorgeous Yet Heartbreaking Episode
Debris Episode 4 introduced a whole new wrinkle in the space junk mystery and, this time, changes things in ways that no one saw coming. The drama is just beginning to heat up.
For a science fiction series about space junk, there is a surprising amount of emotion. Showrunner J. H. Wyman has infused a great deal of the human in with the alien. Debris Episode 4 is no exception. The hows and the whys of the science are less important than the shoulds. NBC’s thoughtful show is more Lost than Fringe and that isn’t such a bad thing. Likely if you came looking for something harder science, you were disappointed in the first three episodes. Stick it out though, the payoff will be worth it. The casts of Lost and Fringe you genuinely cared about. Debris looks to be no different. Debris continues to forge new genre ground and maintain its foothold on our hearts.
Everything leads back to the debris. Where did it come from? Where was it going? What is its purpose? Is it safe? These are big questions asked not in a vacuum of sci-fi trickery but in the real world where actual people’s lives are affected. In Debris Episode 4, we were introduced to two pieces of the alien ship. Both have medical applications and implications that could be manipulated for future use. It also raises some serious questions about the government agencies that have the debris and the alien race that built it.
More debris has landed in yet another town in the middle of America’s farmland. A piece has fallen and changed the atmosphere’s chemical makeup and, more curiously, the people in that space. Earth is an oxygen-rich planet. Everything here requires oxygen to breathe. Scientists have speculated that chlorine could be the gas of choice on other planets, though. That theory was proven correct when everything inside the storm was turned into chlorine-based life firms. The rain and the light looked weird in this new space, changed by the debris. Isaac Asimov’s C-Chute, in fact, wrote about aliens that breathe chlorine instead of oxygen. Considering how little we understand about alternate life forms even on our planet, it isn’t inconceivable that there are all kinds of possibilities out there.
Something has changed the atmosphere from oxygen-rich to chlorine-based. A force field holds the two zones apart. The problem is there are living people who are inside the contaminated zone that have been fundamentally changed. If the debris is removed and the zones reunited, these people would suffocate and die. It’s another complicated problem, and this time there isn’t a happy ending. When the storm begins expanding, they are forced to decide to save the farmworkers or save the entire community. As usual, Finola and Brian come at the problem from opposite viewpoints. She thinks everyone deserves a chance while he is trying to preserve the largest number of lives, even if that means sacrificing a few.
It is why Finola and Brian are so compelling to watch. Riann Steele and Jonothan Tucker play their respective characters as fully fleshed-out people instead of cardboard cutouts of generic necessities. These two are nuanced and complex. Brian is the more practical of the two, not because he doesn’t care but maybe because he cares too much. He has seen things in the past and had to do things that left him scarred. Finola is an idealist who, until recently, hasn’t had that fundamental hopefulness questioned. Their dynamic relationship continues to be a highlight of the show and the reason it will succeed.
Brian and Finola’s relationship is the glue that holds everything together. Brian has been keeping a secret from Finola, and not only is she reeling from the betrayal, but she is dealing with the shock of her father’s resurrection. These two have shown strong respect for one another that is being tested for the first time. It feels like the pair have developed a rapport that feels more substantial than superficial in only four episodes. They were on opposite sides of the Suspensia argument. Finola wanted to offer hope and honesty while Brian is concerned with maintaining the most safety for the most people.
In reality, neither one is wrong, and Finola is more like Brian than she thinks. If she really were only concerned with giving the farmhands a chance, she would have told those who would be put in stasis what was happening. She didn’t and instead left that discussion up to a grieving surrogate father. Brian doesn’t understand why she told him and let him return to his family and become contaminated. He was, in effect, giving up his life to stay with them in Suspension until a cure could be found.
For Finola, the choice is about family and trust. When she tells him people have the right to know the truth about the people they love she is talking about both her father and the family at the farm. Brian tells her he just wants to understand and she tells him he may never understand. They both are hurt and at this point, neither trusts the other.
Debris Episode 4 was a turning point for the partners and the show. To this point, everything has been wrapped up in the forty-five-minute run time, and Brian and Finola have worked together amicably. All of that has changed now that Finola knows what Brian has been keeping from her. There are also looming medical applications and complications to the debris beyond a simple containment issue. This isn’t Warehouse 13, where things can be sealed and forgotten. The debris is changing things on a molecular level. We don’t know what that means yet for the series, but world-changing introductions like this will profoundly affect everyone and everything. Finola and Brian need to find a way to trust each other for any of us to have any hope. Find all our Debris coverage here.
- Is no one concerned about a piece of Debris that can terraform the Earth and change the chemical makeup of the living things there?
- Who is this Jules, and how significant was he to Brian?
- How long before Finola confronts Brian about what he knew about her father and when?
- Does Craig Maddox want the debris to cure his son? That personal connection makes him more interesting than just a villainous government head and far more dangerous.
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.