TV Review: “Extant” – Out of This World

Written by Emily Stewart August 24, 2014

Halle Berry in "Extant"

“Extant”, starring and co-produced by Halle Berry, might save her post-Oscar career. Granted, I’m pretty sure the only film I’ve seen by her is the first “X-Men”. Still, I haven’t heard much positive feedback on films such as box-office bomb “Catwoman” and Razzie hoarder “Movie 43”. “Extant” is slow to start, but the narrative is quite interesting and slightly relevant to our modern society. After a few episodes, you’ll want to know what’s going to happen to Molly (Berry) and her family. This sci-fi drama sparks questions, especially as the plot becomes more complex. In fact, your questions will change throughout the course of the narrative. “Extant” takes you on a crazy journey which includes a woman reuniting with her family, and alien mysteries.

“It’s Okay, It’s Okay”….Well, Maybe Eventually

“Extant” focuses on Molly Woods, a woman who comes back from a 13-month space mission to focus on her husband, John (Goran Visnjic), and their son, Ethan (Pierce Gangon). She brought back a souvenir even she didn’t expect: a baby! Before you ask, yes, she is carrying the baby of an alien. The premise seems a bit farfetched at first, and you’ll wonder what on earth you’re watching; however, it’s a good brain teaser. The baby hasn’t been born yet, but it was stolen and hidden from her. Alan Sparks (Michael O’Neill), who sent her on the mission, took the baby while she was unconscious to hide her pregnancy. Afterwards, Molly appeared as though she was hallucinating her pregnancy. Sam (Camryn Manheim), the one who informed her of her pregnancy in the first place, denied she even conceived a child in the first place!

Halle Berry (Molly Woods) in "Extant"

It’ll be interesting to see what happens to the baby once found. Before the baby was stolen from Molly’s body, I wanted to know how the birth would impact her health and her family. She clearly cares about her family and is a likable and warm character, so it would be nice for her to have her baby. Cliché? Sure, but it works. However, since she was shot by Sparks, and his late daughter Katie (Tessa Ferrer) appeared, it’s hard to know if Molly’s still alive. Let’s just say “Extant” gets complicated.

Tired, True, and Still Relevant

Speaking of “Extant” getting complicated, lets move on to another major plot. Ethan isn’t a human boy, but in fact a prototype of an android John and his work partner Julie (Grace Gummer) made. The idea of raising a robot child has been done before in the anime “Astro Boy”, but it’s still relevant. Plus, it could happen outside of film and television in the future since the topic’s been introduced plenty of times before. The character was too robotic and emotionless in the beginning, even for an android. Ethan starts to develop more human-like characteristics, including dreaming and asking what is his life purpose. His character development is interesting to watch, as are the politics surrounding if John or another family should raise him. It’s understandable why John wants to raise something he created, especially since he and Molly can’t have biological children. Still, it does bring an interesting question of how to determine who’s going to raise an android child properly.

Goran Visnijc (John Woods) and Pierce Gangon (Ethan Woods) in "Extant"

It may take a few episodes, but “Extant” will restore your faith in Berry’s career. The plot will keep you interested throughout. If you need a show to end your summer with, let it be this one. “Extant” can get very complicated, however, so don’t be surprised if you feel lost. Hopefully, “Extant” can tie up those loose ends when the show wraps up. If not, here’s to hoping that it gets picked up for a second mission.

My Rating: 7.5/10


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About Emily Stewart

Emily is a Media, Information and Technoculture student at Western University who likes to put her critical thinking skills and passion for writing to good use, including reviewing TV shows for We Eat Films.

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