Emergence Episode 10: 15 Years-Review and Recap- Liquid Metals and Symbols On Televisions
Emergence Episode 10 opens in the aftermath of Benny’s betrayal and Piper’s disappearance. Where have they gone and what is with the symbols?
The title of the episode, 15 years, gives away clues that reveal timelines but lead to even more questions. Agent Brooks(Enver Gjokaj) who has become a series returner and Jo, have continued their search for Piper, Splinter, and Benny. Jo has left no stone unturned for her girl. When Brooks finds his apartment and records dating back fifteen years but no further they know he must be involved in more than a casual way. Finding Piper’s blue jacket in his apartment renews her faith in their ability to find her.
Four weeks later they are stuck in the same dead-end they were before though and it is wearing on the family. Piper had become very close with the two women in the house. Grandpa and Alex felt protective of her. Mia and Jo had formed a bond with her. She was a sister and a child and now she was missing. The whole family is grieving.
In a short period of time, Agent Brooks has become a friend, ally, and potentially something more to Jo. How their relationship will play out remains to be seen, but they do have undeniable chemistry. It just isn’t clear if their chemistry is respectful admiration or romantic. With his reluctant return back to the FBI it will be interesting to see what excuses he makes to visit Jo.
For shippers of Alex and Jo(and who isn’t), a peek inside their troubled marriage emerges. Theirs was not a marriage that was violent or dishonest. It was simply a case of Alex needing something from Jo she couldn’t give. She closed herself off. Partly to protect him, but mostly to protect herself. A defense mechanism built on control and a hero complex, it is obviously a problem that has plagued their relationship.
Just as she is finally breaking down about her fears and sadness over the dead child found in the Bronx, the lights start flickering. Her television begins flashing symbols just before everything shuts down. A telling scene shortly after shows just how isolated Jo and Alex are now. He chooses to sleep on the couch instead of their previous marital bed even though she will be gone.
Everyone’s favorite Dad(Donald Faison) and Jo will not be getting back together anytime soon. Faison who has been known for playing hilarious overt characters is playing a more subtle character that is no less likable. This more nuanced approach lends an air of realism to the relationship that plays nicely on the series.
After Jo tasks Officer Chris and then Agent Brooks with determining the source of the bizarre power surges in her house a possible location is found. Piper, or someone like her, is trying to communicate with Jo through satellites. Her manipulation of the satellite destroyed it, but not before they were able to track the source of the pulse.
Jo and Agent Brooks travel to Pennsylvania to try to find Piper. Jo and Mia are optimistic that Piper will be coming home and pack an overstuffed bag of Piper’s things. Between weird flirty moments and diner meals, they discover another AI the local gas station owner Charlie. He runs off and is hit by a car before they can question him.
With the confirmation of additional AI, the two discuss what is next. Understandably Jo is concerned there is no one she can trust. A cool test with the chip reminiscent of The Thing’s famous blood test scene solidifies that Brooks and Jo are not AI. The scene is a smart nod to a genre classic that was well-timed and tense without being manipulative. The idea that AI have been dropped in random places fifteen years ago raises questions. Why were they placed in the equivalent of computer witness protection? How many of them are there and are they part of the group from the abandoned street?
Finally, finding Piper doesn’t solve any of Jo’s problems. Piper is a willing collaborator of Helen(Rowena King) and Benny’s. She betrayed Jo by dismantling her gun and holding the doors closed so she could escape with them. Alexa Swinton(Piper)had barely a full minute on-screen tonight and yet she stole the episode with her preternaturally calm and mature demeanor. She is a little girl with the soul(if AI’s have souls)of someone who has been through a lot.
The mysteries are continuing to come hard and fast. When the cutest team up on the planet between Officer Chris the immensely sweet Robert Bailey Jr. and Donald Faison’s Alex finds a floating liquid substance in a blue crate they know they have found something unusual and significant.
Not only is the finding of the strange magnetic substance important but Officer Chris proved he could be smart and adaptable. He is developing into a character that is both lovable and loyal, but also very capable. Alex’s brain and Chris’s ingenuity are a good combination and that should be explored more. Hopefully, we will find the location of the crate next week and the super duo can team up again.
Around the same time that Piper is escaping from Jo and Agent Brooks someone begins sending binary code via Grandpa’s Ham radio. It would be easy to assume Piper was contacting Mia, but with what she said to Jo she isn’t looking for rescue or help. Who else could be contacting Mia and why?
There is someone else out there with the skills to send a message via Ham radio. Emily is still out there and scary smart. I predicted Emily would not be gone forever. Maria Dizzia is too captivating an actress to be gone for good. Her manic intellectualism is a nice foil for Jo’s stoicism. She is both villain and ally and could be fun to watch in the final two episodes.
With only two episodes of Emergence left things are heating up. Time is running out in season one and there are too many loose threads to follow. If ABC understands genre fans can appreciate more than Lost they will renew this series for a second season. Follow all our weekly coverage here until next week for all your favorite color theories and strange facts.
- The symbol from the television is reminiscent of Egyptian scarab beetles a symbol of immortality. It also looks suspiciously like alien hieroglyphs. We know the AI came from Kindred and company, but maybe the tech came from someplace extraterrestrial.
- Liquified metal is a real thing. In 2017 researchers discovered a liquid metal with magnetic particles that mirror the conditions found in the core of planets and stars. We still don’t understand how the magnetic poles work or why they flip every thousand years or so but the discovery may help understand how and why that happens. That liquid has five times the magnetic energy of previously known liquid metals. It’s possible this substance or a variation on that is what Alex and Officer Chris find in the crate.
- It was nice to see Jo make a joke. Of course, Piper isn’t in the TV like Carolanne from Poltergeist. She’s just a garden variety AI.
- Best line of the night goes to Agent Booker who declares the third location gas station Charlie visited as, “Cool place. very Texas Chainsaw Massacre”.
- When Piper removed the chip from behind her ear she gained control and rewrote her own code. When Charlie attempted to remove his chip he died. Did he die from the self-surgery or from his car accident injuries? Or did he become aware that he was something not quite human thus activating the Fatal Exception?
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.