Television

Debris Episode 7

Debris Episode 7 You Can Call Her Caroline Review- Things Are Finally Clicking On All Cylinders

Debris Episode 7 captured much of the same allusive appeal of Fringe in a tight episode filled with wet-tech and mind control that opened the door for back half mysteries.

Like most of J.H. Wyman’s shows, there is a steep learning curve. The first couple of episodes requires so much world-building that there is hardly time to find your footing, much less develop a relationship with the characters. Debris has avoided some of the coldness of that by infusing a surprising amount of emotion in the one-off storylines. Most of the people who are affected by the debris are innocents. They also have very sympathetic backstories. This focus on the feeling as much as the thinking has filled the gaps until the mysteries and our main characters were developed enough to care about. The villains needed to grow in mythos and dangerousness, and the good guys needed time to show us their personal demons. That’s when a series hits its stride. Everything has been building toward this, and Debris Episode 7 delivered in a big way.

The catastrophic cold opens have become a calling card for Debris. It was no different in Debris Episode 7, which displayed a red herring of sorts. Initially giving as a paralyzing power, or perhaps time-freezing one, was actually the ability to control minds. A man with a blue duffel bag was made to surrender his bag and then shoot himself. The woman lost the bag by the time Brian and Finola caught up with her and had no recollection of what happened.

The biggest concern here is that Anson Ash called the man with the duffel bag shortly before being captured by Maddox. Ash is a fantastic villain who Scroobius Pip plays with restraint. Rather than presenting an overly snarky or angry leader of Influx, he is subtly relateable. By making Ash idealistic and borderline altruistic, he becomes scarier and infinitely more interesting to watch. Now that Maddox can retrieve information whenever he wants, I am curious how that will change the dynamic.

The debris powers are becoming more frightening. Mind control is bad, always, full stop. Even in the “right” hands, it has terrible potential. The idea of either government agencies or shady scientific groups having it is horrifying. Finola, Brian, and the entire group were gently redirected from searching the house. That’s a massive amount of juice to control that many people and moving parts. If the artifacts become more powerful when put together and each has its uses, what happens when the entire structure is rebuilt? The possibilities are limitless, and that should give everyone pause.

Debris Episode 7
DEBRIS — “You Can Call Her Caroline” Episode: 107 — Pictured: (l-r) Riann Steele as Finola Jones, Evelyn Burke as Caroline Packard — (Photo by: James Dittiger/NBC)

Debris loves to use kids. Creepy kids, sad kids, dead kids, and silent kids. In Debris Episode 7, Caroline is a little girl whose ability to find and draw debris to her puts her in her Uncle’s crosshairs. He works with Influx, and he needs the artifacts like an addict needs a drug. The more he has, the more he needs to manage the growing numbers of those interested in his brother’s death, Caroline’s abilities, and the dangerous ship parts. How and why certain people are affected more than others can and should be explored moving forward. The idea that there is a loose order to abject chaos is intriguing. Randomness is scary because it can’t be predicted.

Finola and Brian are continuing to grow their partnership. They have good chemistry together, and the series relies on them building both their trust and the audience’s admiration. By creating an”us versus them” scenario, Brian and Finola are allowed to operate outside the rigid governmental lines and enable the audience to find a point of view that puts us in the action with the partners. More of those suspenseful plot beats and less manipulative moments forcing Finola’s sensitive side to be frontlined would propel the series more successfully.

We are starting to learn more about what Maddox is capable of. A wet-wired device is inserted under the scalp of Ash. It is connected to a box that translated what the person is thinking into a visual picture. It means no matter what Ash wants to hide; he can’t. There is no reason to torture anyone or deal favors because everything is available with just a suggestion. The device felt very much like some of the pseudo-science concoctions of Walter Bishop, and that’s a good thing. It levels the playing field while also continuing to establish Maddox probably can’t be trusted.

What’s not so good is both Maddox and Ferris have questionable morals. Maddox felt none of the same glee at the wonder of it, like Walter, just grim determination sprinkled with a bit of sadism while Ferris is deceptive and scheming. Neither government head is enjoyable to watch, and it’s hard to imagine either has a backstory that makes them any other than annoying shrewd bureaucrats.

What is Ferris up to? Why is she using Finola’s sister to call her back to England? Ferris could call her back anytime she wanted. Why devise this con to lure her home? Her sister wisely used a childhood code to alert Finola that something was wrong. At this point, both Brian and Finola don’t fully trust their bosses and barely trust each other. The time is coming rapidly when they will have to choose who to stand with. As with any of Wyman’s previous shows, that is where the genius emerges.

With each discovery and each new person introduced, introduced Wyman’s series is heating up. Debris Episode 7 set up the family reunion hinted at from the pilot. Finola’s father, George, is back. Which side of the aisle does he sit through, and is will he be the same man Finola remembers? Catch up on all our Debris coverage here while you wait.

Scattered Wreckage:

  • Which George did Maddox find, and was he willing to go with them peacefully? Can he be trusted? Would he lie to Finola?
  • What is the debris field the plane flies over in the closing credits? What fresh hell are we heading to next week?

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