Emergence Episode 3: 2 MG CU BID-Recap and Review Breaking Down All The Spoilers
Piper’s secret is out and it is a doozy as Emergence goes all in on A. I. after only three episodes.
Terminator robodogs, shadowy CEO’s, and the biggest secrets spilled made for a satisfying third episode that was anything but boring. The first two episodes were slower. They were content to lay the groundwork and develop characters. Episode three changed all of that as Piper’s true nature was revealed, leaving more questions in the aftermath. Last night was a game-changer for many reasons. The biggest is Piper’s reveal, but also the quicker pacing, which went from zero to sixty. Everything felt different, more urgent despite the lack of chase scenes this week. A caper and medical mystery filled the hour with more than enough action. New and old players got screen time, and alliances solidified in this pivotal installment.
Jo has managed to isolate the card’s transmission tones but has no idea what they are. Alex is still staying at the house and offers to help, which is both helpful and weird. In just three episodes, Jo and Alex have become fully fleshed people. Their arguments and discussions feel authentic, which is a testament to the patience of the writers to allow them time to grow before throwing the most surprising details at them. When a resolution to their argument comes quickly, and Alex says he will move back to his own home, it feels natural. These are two people who care about each other and their family. A lot happened this week, but in between, relationships flourished, and side plots deepened.
Piper is having terrible nightmares and is running a fever. Something is wreaking havoc with her system. Jo’s father is having his six-month cancer check today and can’t keep Piper, so Alex volunteers. Alexa Swinton continues to play Piper with extreme vulnerability and simultaneous strength. It is a tricky balancing act that could come off as annoying if she was a touch too much of either. Her self awareness allows for both to shine as she is both child to be protected and potential monster to be protected from.
Donald Faison continues to be a highlight as the same intense likability he brought to Scrubs; he brings to Emergence as Alex. This week, he was able to step up and show his worth. Emergence has been engaging in its character dynamic for portraying a female lead as capable while allowing her husband to be something other than a stereotypical male counterpart. Alex is very present in their daughter’s life and is the one to stay home with sick kids. It is a role reversal that is important to show as gender roles change and these two actors bring authenticity to Jo and Alex that is needed.
Old habits are hard to break, especially when they are a necessity, and he keeps getting pulled back into Jo’s world. Like every good science fiction show, characters aren’t wasted, and Alex has skills of his own to bring to the table. Beyond being understanding and committed, he is smart. It is no surprise when Piper decodes the message subconsciously while coloring, but it could just as easily have been Alex if given enough time. Whom or what she is we don’t know. It could be an employee code, as in Dr. someone, or a unit of injections, or with the final shocking reveal a bit of Elite speak. The surprise reveals just created more pathways and branching spots for the plot to continue.
The partnership between Benny and Jo got a much-needed shot to the arm. Underutilized in the first two thus far, he got more screen time, and the series is better for it. The Mentalist alum Owain Yeoman has a boyish charm that plays nicely off of Jo’s wary Police Chief. They have a duality to them both that makes them a good partnership. He is likable but not entirely trustworthy, and she is much tougher than those outside of town realize.
The eventual secret facility caper that transpires at the end is fun and necessary to drive the plot forward. Both as a plot device and relationship gauge, the caper was useful in the same way that Syfy’ s The Magicians uses those episodes each season. With the help of sympathetic but potentially morally ambiguous Emily, Jo and Benny were able to save Piper, who was deteriorating rapidly at the hospital. It remains to be seen if her help both with the secret text of copper dosage and chip download was entirely selfless, but with a boss like Lost’s Terry O’Quinn, you can be sure there is more to her story. With colossal reach, unbelievable technology, extreme intelligence, and limitless wealth, he and his corporation will be a formidable foe moving forward. No one does passive menace like O’Quinn.The deadly ginger agent Ken(Ptolemy Slocum), who was recuperating in the hospital, showed just how vulnerable everyone is to Kindred’s influences. He admits to Jo he went to her house to recover the company’s tech and not to injure Piper. Shortly after, his morphine drip was hacked, and he dies tying up another of Kindred’s loose ends. He was not your typical bad guy, but with Kindred now in the picture, there are much bigger fish to fry.
A rapid pace and unexpected twists created a great departure from the previous episodes. Far from stalling, the reveal spiraled off in many directions at once and proved Emergence is just getting started.
Lingering Questions:Jo’s Dad is lying about something. With the odd look, Piper gave him when he said his doctor’s appointment went great; it is assured that he is anything but healthy. How Piper will come into play is yet undetermined, but perhaps she carries some sort of CRISPR gene in her code that could cure him? Now that we know Piper is more than human, will she continue to need upgrades? She seems to have emotions, but will she mature into a Data or Lore? The chip used to upload an antivirus or upgrade program into Piper might have also inputted a piece of behavior modification. Will that play out, and why can’t she be hacked? Can’t we all be friends with Chrissy Teigen? I feel like we could. Call me, girl.
Tyler has been the editor in chief of Signal Horizon since its conception. He is also the Director of Monsters 101 at Truman State University a class that pairs horror movie criticism with survival skills to help middle and high school students learn critical thinking. When he is not watching, teaching or thinking about horror he is the Director of Debate and Forensics at a high school in Kansas City, Missouri.