Extant Season 1 Review “Care and Feeding”

Extant Season 1 Episode 9 & 10 Care and Feeding; A Pack of Cards-3

On the first of two new episodes of “Extant,” we picked up right where we left off in the aptly-titled “Care and Feeding,” with Sparks being confronted with his daughter Katie, first as an adult, then as a child pleading for his help. He readily agreed and off they went, alien baby in tow. Meanwhile, Molly and Kryger faced off, with the former livid that the latter had tried to kill the baby, resulting in the two parting ways as Kryger locked Molly in the lab and gave chase to Sparks and the baby, soon thereafter hooking up with Kern and lying about Molly’s whereabouts, saying she’d made it out already and that they would meet up with her later.

From there on out, the show basically became an extended chase sequence, with Sparks lying to Yasumoto and telling him the baby was gone and that Claypool had been compromised and that he had failed him and therefore he quit. Destroying his phone and dismantling the tracker on his car, he headed to an old family destination, the oddball Wimberley Woods hotel, which featured globe-like tents instead of the typical rooms. Once there, he called ex-wife Anya and told her to come quickly, that he had something she needed to see. This proved to be somewhat of a mistake, as Anya still had a tracker on her car, which allowed Yasumoto to get a bead on where Sparks was hiding out.

Molly eventually gets out of the lab, knocking out one of the guys Yasumoto sent after her and taking his van, with him in it. He tells her that he knows where her family is and puts her in touch with Yasumoto, who offers to help her find the baby, admitting that they went about handling the baby situation all wrong. He sends her and Dr. Mason, an extraterrestrial expert, after Sparks, after Molly puzzles out where he must be headed via Anya’s route to meet Sparks, knowing all about Wimberley Woods, and off they go after them.

Meanwhile, Sparks holes up at the hotel, accidentally killing the owner, Esther when she mistakes the baby for a coyote and goes after it with a shotgun! A local sheriff shows up to check up on Esther and Sparks knocks him out and “feeds” him to the baby, who apparently can power up by doing something or the other to humans that leaves them under its control, which is what happened in the lab when various people ended up killing one another.

Beyond that, the only other major thing of note was that Dr. Woods went to Yasumoto for help with the Molly situation and basically ended up being under house arrest with Ethan after Yasumoto insisted they stay put until Molly got back. Needless to say, this didn’t go over well with Dr. Woods, who immediately started plotting how to get out of there without alerting Yasumoto or his people. Also, Odin continued to bond with Ethan, subtly turning him against his father, which directly resulted in him acting like a sullen teen, which didn’t help matters.

This was a reasonably exciting episode, with some cool sequences, notably the efforts of Molly to escape the lab via an elevator shaft, and the subsequent showdown between her and one of the guys Yasumoto sent after her, involving his turning out the lights at the lab facility and hunting her in the dark using night vision contacts. That part kind of reminded me of the climatic end sequence of “The Silence of the Lambs,” in which Buffalo Bill attempted a similar gambit with Clarice. I liked that Molly basically foiled the guy stalking her with a flashlight!

Also tense were the scenes with Odin and Ethan, as he bonded with him in a way that we knew wasn’t exactly on the up-and-up but Ethan did not. Every time they were alone, I was convinced that Odin was going to do something to destroy him, but it never quite happened- yet. Odin does know how to power him down now, as Ethan showed him his back panel and how to change out his batteries or whatever, so I’m thinking that will come into play later on. We also know that Odin and Femi are in cahoots, so I imagine that will also lead to trouble later on as well.

Given that this episode and the following one tied into one another so closely, I’m really glad that they chose to air them together, even if it’s not exactly a vote of confidence for the show itself. It seems like even CBS recognizes that the show functions better as a binge-watch type thing. The often-erratic pacing doesn’t exactly help matters, either.

I do like the show, and I don’t think anyone would disagree that it’s gotten better as it’s gone along, but there’s no denying that it’s a mixed bag, and not for everyone, which is why I think the ratings have slipped so much after a strong initial showing. Not everyone has the patience these days to stick with a show like this, which often sacrifices forward momentum with quiet character-driven moments. While I admire that quality in “Extant,” it also can be a double-edged sword in that it can grind things to a halt, which is not exactly what you want when you’re trying to keep viewers watching.

Be sure and check out my take on the second half of the night’s twofer here, and thanks for reading!