Emergence Episode 6: Mile Marker 14- Recap and Review- Theories On Nanotechnology
Our perspective shifts this week as the true source of evil is exposed in a literal last minute twist.
A lot happened in episode six to prepare for the remainder of the season. Pretty much everything up to this point has been smoke and mirrors orchestrated by a very cunning mind. Terry O’Quinn’s Richard Kindred although enjoyably devious was really nothing more than just one more pompous egotist who overestimated his reach. Now that he isn’t the one to truly be feared what role will he play? With the final act twist no one saw coming, he could become an antihero of sorts. There is not another actor on television who could pull off that kind of character arch.
A large amount of the action was strictly plot devices. Pieces on a chess board that needed to be pushed and placed into position so the next move can occur. That isn’t to say the episode was not entertaining, because it was great, just that most of it doesn’t need discussing. The always interesting Tamara Tunie gave a quick cameo as Wilkis’ wife Maria. With talent like her I sincerely hope we see more of her in the future.Allison Tolman continues to shine as a strong, capable woman we can all relate too and Piper is wide-eyed innocence hiding a potential monster. Donald Faison(Alex) has not been so likable since his days on Scrubs. Jo’s father Clancy Brown finally got to flex his dramatic muscles with a tender scene with Jo which brings huge potential. The real standout is Maria Dizzia who has hidden in plain site for weeks now. First presented as a brilliant young woman on the spectrum, she now appears to be a sociopath with zero remorse or empathy. More computer that human she is dangerous and knows it. Now that she has unfettered access to Piper and potential leverage over Wilkis she has everything she needs to create the perfect child, or so she thinks. As anyone with children can tell you, they rarely do exactly what you want them to.
Emily gave signs all along that she wasn’t exactly altruistic. Let’s not forget it was her that MacGyvered the modem out of random junk that probably contacted the all black wearing goons. She manipulated Benny and Jo into retrieving Piper’s upgrade from Kindred’s bunker which probably led to the backdoor she has been using since, and she ingrained herself right into the investigation to get information and access. It’s not too much of a stretch to assume she may have also added a few extra lines of code allowing for complete control, or at least enhanced abilities and unstable emotions. Her hacking led to Kindred being caught for wire fraud getting him effectively out of the way. She has been several steps ahead of everyone.
With the family divided it is a perfect atmosphere for Emily to manipulate Piper. Moving forward it appears she is taking Piper from Jo and hoping Wilkis can provide a love upgrade of sorts which will “make” Piper love and obey her. I sure hope there is a computer version of this because parents have been trying to crack that code since the beginning of time. Wilkis has genius level skills but is terrified of what Piper represents. If history can teach us anything power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. When that power is housed in a young impressionable mind anything is possible. Just ask James Gunn’s Brightburn from this past summer. Even children can break bad.
What is Wilkis so afraid of? As the smartest person in most any room he has a unique knowledge of what Piper is capable of and what the means for the world on a larger scale. She is the flesh and blood(maybe?) embodiment of Ray Kurzweil’s Singularity. An author, engineer, and Futurist he has predicted that humans will transcend biology and overcome the limitations of our brains and bodies. Sounds a lot like a freckled little girl, right? His theory on Singularity posits that by 2045 humans and machines will merge expanding our advances in intelligence a billion fold. By the year 2029 valid artificial intelligence(AI) will exist and be capable of passing the Turing Test to determine true human thinking. Kurweil’s sees that eventuality as a natural evolution of humans and nothing to fear. Wilkis has a different perspective and I’m not so sure he’s wrong. Everyone has seen at least one Terminator movie right?
That brings us to the experiments themselves. What exactly did they do to Piper and is it possible today? The answer may surprise you. Doctors are currently using nanotechnology in combination with gene therapy to cure diseases and injuries. For example it is used to cure certain forms of retinopathy. Materials used for nanotechnology right now include gold, silver, calcium phosphate, graphene oxide, quantum dots, and magnetic nanomaterials such as iron oxides. The non-biological materials allow for coded genes to replace the damaged ones with lower toxicity and immuno-suppressant rates. In layman’s terms the nanotech delivers the new gene to replace the damaged one without causing our bodies to fight it like it would the previous delivery system, viruses. It doesn’t come without some risks, however. Nanotech exposure can lead to nanopollution which is normally presents in the lungs where nanites are most attracted. This is a real risk that is possible in our future with nanotechnology already being used on consumer market. An extreme theory foretells of a Gray Goo that will consume everything in it’s path in a quest to assimilate all.
The future is now, and Piper is the result of that eventuality. There is a thinking, feeling young girl inside all that code and computer chip. I hope, sooner rather than later she remembers who has treated her with kindness and who has done nothing but try to create David from Steven Spielberg’s A.I..It appears Annie Wilkes has nothing on Emily in the need to be loved department.
- Action Jeeves is the best super hero name ever. That is on par with Cisco’s naming ability on The Flash!
- Dr. Fraiser is right Jo and Alex are the weirdest divorced couple ever. They most definitely still care about each other so what gives? I find it hard to believe one or the other cheated. They don’t look like the simply fell out of love with each other either.
- What happened to the fourteen people who they experimented on first? Did they live in the abandoned town with Piper at some point? What went wrong and why was Piper special?
- Does it surprise you to learn there are nanites in the toothpaste you brushed your teeth with this morning?
- What was wrong with Piper before Emily orchestrated the upgrade? Did she really need an upgrade and if so, why?
- Is Emily Piper’s biological mother or donor as it were?
As the Television 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 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.