This episode of Extant was a super trippy look into Molly's mind that gave us some interesting (and long overdue!) back-story for our Dr. Woods.
Let's be honest: Extant Season 2 Episode 9 was a weird one. I'll admit that after the last few action-packed, plot-driving installments, this one felt like a bit of a let down, since it was so intrinsic and not very action-based. It for sure slowed things down, rather than amped everything into overdrive going in to the final few hours of the season.
Granted, that's an odd complaint to have about an hour that ended with our main character apparently dying. But more on that later.
That's not to say there weren't overall developments I really enjoyed. For one, Ethan finally got his memories back! Thank god for backup memory disks!
I've been pretty vocal about my dislike for Julie. She was essentially unbearable for the entirety of Extant Season 1, mooning around John and shooting Molly constant dirty looks. During Extant Season 2, at the forefront of the Humanichs story and juxtaposed against villainous Lucy, Julie was successfully humanized and definite strides were made in creating a sympathetic secondary protagonist out of her.
Of all the ways for Ethan to have gotten his memories back, this was the best possible one. Julie realized that she was being selfish, on some level, in taking Ethan's memories away. She did a selfless thing in restoring his memories prior to taking Ethan to see ailing Molly. A+ for Julie, finally coming to her senses.
I also found Julie's speech to an unconscious, dying Molly, in particular, to be pretty moving. It was absolutely essential for Julie's character growth to be made complete. It's clear that she truly regrets her past actions – betraying John and his vision for the Humanichs project, for one. She also confirmed what JD has begun to suspect: that somehow, she inadvertently may have set John's death in motion.
I've made so many wrong choices, Molly. But I promise you, I won't ever do that again.Julie
Her assurance to Molly that she won't make any more mistakes was also a nice set up to Julie immediately after calling Charlie to tell him to shut down the Humanichs program for good, despite the potential personal consequences.
Who killed John? We still don't know. Toby insists up and down that it wasn't him, and as wishy-washy a character as Toby is, I'm inclined to believe him. He hasn't been shown to be as outright duplicitous as that, and doesn't typically lie to someone's face (let alone several someones, all with the same lie).
It was exceedingly weird that JD and Toby would casually chat over a few glasses of scotch. It was very out of character for JD, and I didn't find it believable that Molly's precarious health would compel JD to seemingly bury the hatchet with Toby and buddy up over a couple of drinks.
JD has been vocal all along that Toby is the cause of Molly dying. Heck, Toby essentially kidnapped JD's daughter to force him out of hiding and into giving himself up. Why would JD suddenly change his tune just because Toby was acting all sad panda about Molly? Flimsy reasoning, there.
Who is more of a threat at this point? The Humanichs, who, with Lucy's unlimited programming, have somehow evolved to be able to resist deactivation? Or the vengeful virus-releasing hybrids led by Ares and Terra?
There's a poetry to it, isn't there? They make a virus to destroy us, we release viruses to destroy them.Ares
Clearly something is going to go very wrong now that Charlie was forced to suspend deactivation of the Humanichs and to deploy them to act as resistance to the marauding hybrids. Charlie's reaction after reluctantly giving the order said it all, but it was also believable that he'd suspend his trepidation in order to save Julie's and Ethan's lives.
Wouldn't it be hilarious if the hybrids and Humanichs realized mid-fight who their common enemy was and teamed up against the humans? I mean, like Molly said, maybe in the Extant universe the human faction just isn't the one worth saving.
What I'm really curious about (and what we'll likely never know) is how Ahdu knew that tiny, adorable little Terra was a threat. I mean, the girl spent all her onscreen time being cute and having bedtime stories read to her by Molly. There were no glaring clues pointing to the fact that she'd be Ares' right-hand woman in the anti-human initiative.
I do recall that one spooky moment where Terra showed Molly the crayon drawing of the dead moms near the hybrids. I didn't read that as malicious at the time, but in retrospect that could be read as foreshadowing of some kind.
Another thing: if Ahdu knew that Ares and Terra were threats, why didn't he act or say something prior to the 30 seconds before he died? I get that Ahdu was all lovey-dovey peace-keeper kumbaya and whatnot, but he was also clearly an effective leader. I'm surprised that he was so ineffective at keeping his people in line.
Loving doesn't come easy to me. Can't you see, Daddy? I've been running from you and Mrs. Kaber my whole life.Molly
The big reveal of the episode (I guess? It was played like a bigger deal than I actually thought it was...) was that Molly's father was cheating on his wife with a neighbor lady and used taking little Molly to the carnival as his cover for the trysts, and that Molly's mother died the same night that Molly saw the illicit encounter.
Sure, it was a scummy thing to do, but I felt like that storyline was shoehorned in to address Molly and John's odd, slightly cold relationship. Again, it was well-acted because Halle Berry is Halle Berry, but the whole thing felt a bit silly and oddly timed given the more immediate, life-threatening issues at play here. This foray into Molly's sad history and why she has trouble connecting felt too separate from the larger current storylines.
Was anyone else expecting John to be the ride operator at the front of the Final Destination Tilt o' Whirl to heaven? I feel like that was an obvious missed opportunity to have a fun little surprise cameo, but maybe I just wanted to see Goran Visnjic's face again.
So is Molly dead? I'm saving this for last and not bothering to really entertain the notion because she looked pretty alive in the promo for next week's Extant Season 2 Episode 10.
I am curious to see how they'll manage to resurrect her in the opening minutes of next week's episode, and I'm absolutely looking forward to her eventual reunion with a memory-restored Ethan! (Also maybe that long-overdue JD/Molly kiss. Maybe that, too.)
What did you all think of "The Other Side"? Any predictions as we head into the final few episodes of the season? Sound off in the comments below, and remember that you can watch Extant online to catch up on any episodes you've missed so far.
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.