Television

Emergence Episode 11

Emergence Episode 11: Applied Sciences-Recap and Review-4 Burning Questions

Emergence Episode 11 is as exciting as it gets with action, humor, betrayal, revelations, and a literal bang leaving everything in question.

Still, on the hunt for Piper, Jo enlists the help of her doctor friend Abby Fraiser(Zabryna Guevara) and old frenemy Emily. Dr. Fraiser is called in to perform an autopsy on Charlie. Finally making another appearance in Emergence Episode 11 is Emily. Agent Brooks got her out of prison to decode the binary message left by Piper and be her usual quirky uber helpful self. Maria Dizzia(Emily) brings such an odd intensity to her role every scene she is in feels bigger and more important.

Some well-timed borrowing from evidence lockup allows Jo to communicate with Piper through the same backdoor Emily used earlier in the season. Emily convinces Jo to find and destroy her golden book. Essentially trash her most recent folder wiping her memories of the last month. It feels like a betrayal to Jo because it is. Piper is gurt when she sees Jo try to destroy her memory.

Emily is a pragmatist by nature. The ends justify the means makes more sense to her than free will. This is why she can so clearly see Piper is emulating Jo when she wants to save Benny and the rest of the AI’s. Jo’s purpose is to serve and protect. Piper’s behavior is a nod to nurture over nature. Emily’s big brain offers a lot this week to further the plot as it also allows for Piper’s eventual rescue.

Helen gains access to Isodyne Defense Systems where she overplays her hand. She kills a fellow AI right in front of Piper. After a wholly unnecessary speech earlier in the episode about using emotions against humans and then her cold-blooded killing, Piper is done. She was willing to helo when she thought there was good left to uncover. Helen seriously underestimates Piper’s ability and pays for that mistake when Piper escapes.

All the major players are on the board now. Emily has been taken by Helen, Piper is safe with Jo, and Agent Brooks has been shot. With Benny in lock up and Alex conflicted about his future there are a lot of loose ends to tie up in the next two episodes. Here are the five biggest questions remaining?

Is Alex leaving the show?

That would be a big fat no! He would never leave Mia for weeks at a time, he is too hands-on for that. Alex also still has a torch for Jo so as much as he would love to move on he can’t. He will probably take the job in some capacity for a short time because adding yet another shady government contractor to the mix is good for the show. It allows Alex to take a much larger role in the action. His intelligence has been more an afterthought so far. Basically a plot device that is trotted out like a show pony when the story dictated. By allowing him his own life and access to cutting edge tech he can become an active participant.

Is Agent Brooks dead?

He is slated to appear in Episode 12: Killshot Part 1 and Episode 13: Killshot Part 2, but in what capacity? He was shot down in front of Emily as the credits rolled so things don’t look good for him. A synopsis for the finale reads Jo and Brooks are in danger and Piper recruits an unlikely team to help. That seems to point to his survival through the finale at the very least. As much as everyone would love to see Enver Gjokja’s handsome Agent grace the screen in season two some retooling needs to happen with his plotline.

The spark between Brooks and Jo needs to be squashed to allow Alex and Jo to find their way back to each other. The writers have been very transparent that that is what we have been leading up to. Jo and Alex still care about each other and Alex can’t let go. Alex’s cute buddy cop team up with Officer Chris is a highlight and if he is written off the show it couldn’t continue.

The clunky treatment of this burgeoning love triangle is the least successful part of the series. I forgive them because Allison Tollman’s(Jo) commitment to being an independent woman saves things. Watching a smart, strong, attractive woman who is typically sized is refreshing even if the love angle is forced. If I’m being honest, both Alex(Donald Faison) and Agent Brooks(Gjokja) are so darn cute and likable I don’t blame them for getting a little lost.

Is Benny a good guy now?

In Emergence Episode 11’s final act Piper is found and returned to Jo’s house and Benny broke his own programming. Piper seems to recognize that he disobeyed his orders when he started to put his gun away. He didn’t act like he wanted to shoot Jo or hurt Piper. He was programmed for a purpose and he had to complete it. Piper sure thinks he is redeemable and believes he has rewritten his own code just like she did.

He still has the chip in his neck though so it remains to be seen if he only appeared to be disobeying his orders. It is also a possibility that he can only control himself for short periods of time or under extreme circumstances. As much as I love Benny, and Owain Yeoman is as cute as they come, they better keep him cuffed with the same type of device used on Piper.

What is Helen and Splinter’s end game?

This is pretty easy. Helen wants to rule the world. With the kind of power, Piper possesses she could control everything from banking to politics. She and the rest of the disenfranchised AI’s would be nearly unstoppable with infinite amounts of juice. They would basically be the very thing Wilkrs and Emily were so afraid of. Think the beginning of Skynet from the Terminator franchise. There are certainly plenty of AI running wild in all kinds of convenient positions so if Helen was able to do what Piper does, she and her army of soldiers would be in place to take over and get revenge on the evil humans who built them.

Will there be a season two?

As of right now, there has been no word on renewal or cancellation. Basically it will be a game-time decision. The Emergence season finale numbers need to be great to get the bump needed to renew it. The ratings have been decent, but not earth-shattering to date and ABC has not shown a lot of patience with genre shows. The Crossing FlashForward and Whispers were all axed quickly. Emergence may be the latest on the chopping block. Critics mostly like the series and the cast is beyond reproach. Hopefully, that will be enough to save this fledgling sci-fi show from the trash heap.

There are only two episodes left and Rowena King’s Splinter head Helen is just getting started. Catch up on all our coverage here.

2 comments

  1. Excellent recap & analysis. Thanks!

    I hope they renew. This show is different enough from the usual fare in this scifi subgenre to keep me intrigued thus far.

    Particularly happy to see the character & casting of Jo. No, we’re not all 25 year old size 2 single girls, or moms with no sex lives and no moxie or skills. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Please renew. This is a great show!

    Reply

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