Short-lived Quibi’s survivors have been slowly making their way to other platforms. The streaming platform that strived to deliver bite-sized episodes of stories that could be watched on the way to work, during a break, or while waiting in line at the DMV didn’t fail because of its content. In fact, many of the offerings were quite good. Unfortunately, the streamer didn’t catch on because they came in too hot demanding money for something that wasn’t proven at a time when the competition for viewers is at an all-time high. That being said, thankfully, the star-studded, surprisingly good content is getting a new lease on life courtesy of Roku’s free channel. One series that deserves a look is The Expecting starring AnnaSophia Robb and Rory Culkin.
All of the series that Quibi rolled out felt like book chapters played out on camera. It was a good idea that those who love to read will appreciate. Now that they are all available to binge on Roku, it is a thrilling watch that flies by. The Expecting is the kind of show that you keep telling yourself just one more episode until an hour has flown by and you’ve watched the whole thing. With the potential for aliens, secret societies, demons, and mental illness, a lot is packed into the short run time. While the chances of a second season are slim to none, the ride is fun while it lasts. Here’s everything you need to know about Emma’s baby, Dr. Green, Ty, and what was inside Emma.
Robb plays Emma, a down-on-her-luck young woman who wakes up in the morning in the middle of the woods, naked and torn to hell. She partied with her work friend with benefits Ty(Culkin) the night before and chalked it up to a wild night that got way out of hand. Shortly after finding Ty and getting back home, she discovers she is pregnant, and that’s when things really get weird. As with most pregnancy horror, you never quite know if what is happening is because of the anxiety of pregnancy coupled with the parasitic nature of baby growing. As someone with two children, I can tell you pregnancy is bizarre, scary, and the strangest thing a woman will ever go through.
Throughout eleven short-form episodes that run ten minutes or less, each episode we watch as Emma grows more and more paranoid about what is happening to her and what might be inside her. It doesn’t help that the kindly doctor, an icy Mira Sorvino, seems too good to be true, and her perpetually intoxicated Dad, a delightfully grizzled and indifferent Michael Gaston(Blindspot), is keeping secrets about her dead mother. As Emma’s body goes through some disturbing changes, she can’t help but feel that something is very wrong and the people around her are gaslighting her.
The ending of The Expecting explained
Emma did what her doctor and Ty told her to for eight months. She regularly exorcised, saw her doctor, and tried not to worry despite her stomach being riddled with large black veins and bleeding jags that should have put someone in the hospital. All of that ends when she goes to Dr. Green for help and winds up restrained and locked inside her office. After breaking a picture and using it to cut her bindings, she escapes from the office and steals Dr. Green’s car. After a few unfortunate stops, including her father, who was kind enough to show Emma pictures of her mother shortly before her suicide. She was dangerously thin, bald like Emma, whose hair had been falling out since the beginning, and haunted.
Her father tells Emma her mother had schizophrenia and tried to drown Emma one morning when she was a baby. Convinced that she also has schizophrenia, she accepts her father’s money and help and drives to a back alley abortionist who takes one look at what is inside Emma and kicks her out. Finding herself back in the woods being chased by Ty, she bashed him over the head with a rock and delivered her baby next to his dead body. Dr. Green and her henchmen Lance take Emma’s baby and try to run away with it. Instead, Emma uses Ty’s knife to stab them and drives off with her baby into the night.
We next catch up with Emma in a hotel room where she is doting on her sweet daughter. Her daughter, Hope, is beautiful and looks very human. It seems everything Emma did, including killing Dr. Green and Ty, was unnecessary. Emma was the problem all along. Emma places her baby in the bathtub and begins to clean her carefully. As she lovingly caresses her, Hope makes an awful warbling sound, and the skin of her mouth pulls back to reveal something black and monstrous inside.
Who was the father of Emma’s baby in The Expecting?
Emma only has bits and pieces from the night she was impregnated. She remembers something over her contorting itself while she struggled, and it reminded her of Ty, which is why she became so scared and kicked him out of the house the night he cooked dinner for her. Assuming she was not hallucinating Hope’s transformation at the end, Ty is the father or part of an organization that protects the fathers of these weird babies. He may or may not be a demon or an alien. It’s also possible but not plausible that Ty is an entirely innocent man who got involved with the wrong woman.
Did Emma have an alien baby?
Everything that Emma goes through could be explained by pregnancy psychosis or schizophrenia. Emma’s stomach may not look as weird as she thinks it does. We see everything from her point of view, and therefore, we see things as she sees them as opposed to how they really are. The same could be true of everything that happens. Hope doesn’t shed her skin and turn into a monster, and Emma doesn’t bleed as badly as she thinks she does. Hair changes and teeth softness are all things that pregnant women often experience.
Emma’s mother was convinced she was a monster which is why she tried to drown her. Unless Emma has a monster under her skin, that is not true. The same could be true of Emma. All of it could have been in her head. Nervous about the baby and losing control, she could be projecting concerns into the world and manifesting her endangered reality.
Some of the strange events could have reasonable explanations. For example, the pregnant young woman Emma contacts claims to be experiencing the same pregnancy problems. She seems a little nutty, and her drug use in front of Emma is more than a little alarming, but she has the same bald-headed, hollow-eyed look of someone who has lost control over her life and body. Is she like Emma and being hunted for what she is carrying?
The man who was going to perform a late-term abortion on Emma at the end of The Expecting reacted violently to whatever he saw inside Emma. Was he horrified that she could die with a ruptured uterus, or did he see a black demon inside her? Lastly, Emma’s dog, who had been sweet and gentle, turned into a Cujo aimed at Emma’s belly. Something had him spooked. Some dogs have been known to bark and bite at their owners when they have cancer.
On the other hand, the fact that a young woman with a partial uterine rupture should be hospitalized gives me pause. There is no question about that. Additionally, the prescribed sedative Clonazepam is controversial. Whether the DVD Emma found is of her baby or a recording of one she passed off as hers is in question. It seems more likely that everything that happens is real. Dr. Green and probably Ty are in a secret society that impregnates vulnerable young women with something otherworldly. The only question is, was the baby the devil or a Xenomorph?
Dr. Green and Ty’s tattoos
One night, while Ty was cooking for Emma, things got a little steamy and off came his shirt. Emma saw a strange tattoo on his chest that kept her attention. Later, Emma saw the same tattoo behind the ear of Dr. Green. Is it coincidence or proof of a larger conspiracy? It could go either way, depending on how you view the end of The Expecting. Dr. Green warns Emma as she stabs her and drives off with her baby that they will never let her keep her baby. Emma asks her who the “they” are, but she dies before answering. Although it would be easy to write off all of Emma’s behavior as symptoms of a troubled mind, the matching tattoos are odd.
We know Dr. Green and Ty had some relationship prior to Emma because he is the one who introduced them. Ty says Dr. Green helped his sister with her children. It could be as simple as one or the other seeing the tattoo and liking it enough to get their own matching one, but that feels lazy. There would not be an appropriate time for Ty to have his shirt off for Dr. Green to see, and the tattoo design would hardly warrant copying. The fact they both have the same tattoo seems to indicate they are part of something bigger, and Emma was right to be paranoid.
The tattoo is reminiscent of the scythe and hammer used by several communist parties. It also vaguely resembles something you would expect to see in a book of runes. Is it a sign that something from another world is here to infiltrate us, one baby at a time? Are those who have the tattoo Free Masons or demon worshippers who trade wombs for favors?
Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. In The Expecting, we get a dose of both. Maybe Emma does have a mental illness, and she gave birth to an alien/demon creature. There are just too many coincidences for it to mean nothing. Not everything can be explained away. Then again, as they say, the expecting is the worst part. Since we are all but guaranteed that this series is dead, we may never know. I choose to think Max knew. There was evil in her belly, and he was wise to peace out. The Expecting is available for free on the Roku app right now.
As the Managing Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old-school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the Editor in Chief.