Television

Debris Episode 9

Debris Episode 9 Do You Know Icarus Review-Finola And Brian Go Multiverse Hunting Through The Looking Glass

Debris Episode 9 throws caution to the wind in pursuit of a compelling story with far-reaching consequences. In any reality, it’s a hit.

JH Wyman’s hit has been accused of being a slow starter. Something that tested our patience with minimal reward. In the last two weeks, the little sci-fi show with enormous heart kicked it into overdrive and delivered a premise with longevity and a concept that will drive viewership. Keeping the emotional weight of the early episodes and adding a hard science concept like alternate realities, Debris Episode 9 was everything we have loved about the series from the beginning, plus everything we have been hoping for.

In Oceanside, Washington, a young man found a large piece of wreckage just off the coast from his house. Initially, he had been exploring it with his twin sister until she went missing. Shelby has repeatedly tried to recreate the experiment in a desperate bid to get his sister back, but each time he finds himself in yet another universe. Making things even more interesting, he has met Finola and Brian before, many times. When Brian and Finola question him, he claims to know them and George and tells them they have to help him return to his reality. If he can’t get back to where he belongs, entropy will occur, and the world will be doomed.

However, George is telling Finola the exact opposite. This expanded use of George is classic Wyman and spells good things moving forward. A strange lab, an excentric academic, and a shadow government agency(or two) mixed together is always plot gold. With George in hiding and whatever happened to Dr. Garcia, their side plots could easily be some of the most creative beats we have seen in years. Their potential is limitless

Do you know Icarus?

Hubris always makes for compelling drama. Whether the risk turns out to be worth the price doesn’t matter. Either way, it is always intriguing. In Debris Episode 9, the title works on many levels. In Greek mythology, Icarus was the son of Daedalus. Daedalus was a famous craftsman and the creator of the labyrinth where the Minotaur lived. To keep the labyrinth secret, he imprisoned Daedalus and his son Icarus. To escape, Daedalus made two sets of wings they could use to fly away. He warned Icarus not to fly too high, or his wings would melt and not too low, or they would become wet. The wings worked, but Icarus ignored his father’s advice and flew higher and higher until the wings melted and he fell into the sea and drowned.

Icarus is drawn to power and forgets caution. Shelby is the same. He and his sister Kathleen were drunk on the power that time travel and alternate realities promised. Just like Icarus, Shelby is burned by his false confidence. Similarly, George and his research with Orbital is also potentially dangerous. Judging by Dr. Garcia’s eyes and the off-the-grid nature of his cabin, they are very dangerous. Finola should be wary of Maddox.

The man in charge is under a tremendous amount of stress that is getting worse, not better. Whatever happened to Maddox’s child was a terrible accident, and Maddox’s wife blames herself. She also needs someone to share the burden, not just sweep it under the rug. Maddox can’t provide that, and as a result, she wants a divorce. This wrinkle brings new layers to Maddox and should allow for the man in charge to have nuance to his treachery. Desperate men do desperate things.

Debris Episode 9
DEBRIS — “Do You Know Icarus” Episode: 109 — Pictured: (l-r) Riann Steele as Finola Jones, Keenan Tracey as Shelby, Jonathan Tucker as Bryan Beneventi — (Photo by: James Dittiger/NBC)

The interesting properties of glass and mirrors.

Shelby begins to see his sister in mirrors all around the house. He can’t interact with the reflections, but they show another reality bleeding through their own. George speculates that the unique properties of glass allow this peek into another reality. The more times Shelby uses the debris, the worse the melding of the multiple universes becomes. In every universe, George warns Brian to stop Shelby from using the debris again. Countless times, Brian fails, bringing a change each time. Sometimes they are minor, but later Finola is replaced by other partners, she occasionally works elsewhere, and George is dead. This affects Shelby but also Brian, even if he doesn’t know it. All of that changes when Brian goes with Shelby and finds himself in the same reality as Shelby with yet another partner.

Glass is a tricky thing. It is a solid that is transparent. Our eyes process the wavelengths that emanate from objects which is how we “see”. Our eyes only detect specific wavelengths. With glass, light passes straight through it without being absorbed or reflected, allowing us to see through the glass. George thinks they can see the other dimensions bleeding through because glass allows the strange wavelengths to show ghost images of the other universes. An obscure paper that was never published postulated that a partner reality mirrors our own. As it is dubbed, the mirror universe is a widely debated concept that has the power to waste hours down a rabbit hole and enough creepiness to give you nightmares. Let’s hope this multiverse is more forgiving.

Entropy, cascading effects, and the end of the world as we know it.

George warns everyone that the more times the universes are mixed together, the worse it will be for everyone. Reflections could become full influences that have disastrous effects. All of the universes could collapse in on themselves, rendering them all dead. Another option is multiple Brian’s who all appear in and out of their correct times. Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of time travel knows how bad it is to see your other selves. Christopher Nolan’s Tenet employed a similar technique with reverse time travel and the concept of entropy. Now that Brian is stuck in the wrong reality with Shelby, there are even more variables to manage. How they will get back to their respective “right” realities should be interesting.

Like the soldier guiding the penguin, Brian has been afraid to want anything. He has been too scared to get close to anyone and conditioned himself to be a hardened soldier. You can’t spend your life hiding who you are, or you will never have what your heart truly wants. Brian needs to be honest with himself before it is too late. He has accepted how important his partner is to him. Hopefully, that will be the key to getting him home.

The spaceship debris seems to be drawn to our deepest desires. It coaxes our wants, needs, hopes, and dreams out of us and then uses them against us. In Debris Episode 9, the debris preys on your darkest desire. In Shelby’s case, this was the disappearance of his sister. He loved her but always felt second best. The wreckage picked up on that and gave him what he had always wanted, to not be a twin. It has done similar things before with Finola and her mother, with the elderly scientist and his wife, and Brian and the clones. The bigger question is not how the wreckage can tap into our minds, but why? Perhaps the alien race behind the debris is not as altruistic as we would like to believe, or humans are just too flawed to use it properly.

The combination of emotional plot beats and hard science theories has been successful before and looks to be here as well. After nine episodes, Debris has found its footing and its numbers. Viewership is trending up, and the cliffhanger tonight should continue that upward swing. Keep listening through the credits each week as the brief audio snippets have to be clues. Find all our Debris coverage here while we wait for next week’s episode.

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