Ascension Night Two Review

Ascension - Season 1

Night two of Ascension came dangerously close to going off the rails, and it’s almost entirely the fault of the shortened format. The story is much too big and complex for this small format. If anything, I think it would’ve been better to save the reveal about the ship being on Earth until the end of the third night. Now it just feels like everything is being rushed.

There’s a lot going on. There’s the murder mystery on Ascension, Viondra’s marital drama, stewardess v. stewardess, creepy kid with powers, creepy scientist who’s obsessed with Dr. Bryce, the mysterious fire, young love, terrorists, a complex caste system, child abduction, and an obnoxious consultant. There’s too much!

I like the untangling of the murder mystery and the political intrigue aboard the ship. I also liked the twist that Dr. Bryce’s husband is the “man on the inside.” Next time, he should try using a tranq gun to take down that little girl. I am hoping that Viondra is more clever than she seems to be. I want her to take down the councilman and Jackie. There is something unsettling (offensive to the modern sensibility) of the Captain’s wife pimping herself out and a group of young women. Women on the ship all seem to have normal jobs, so you would think the sexual revolution risen up. I’m enjoying Gill Bellows as Enzmann. I loved the moment when the consultant is attacked and he just stands by and watches.

The love story is growing on me, but it was awfully quick and convenient that James was able to go from digging in the mud to officer’s school. Wouldn’t it have been more romantic to let him stay a “lower decker” and have Nora throw it all away to be with him?

I am still not loving Christa. Her screaming and fit-pitching is irritating. With only 2 hours left, I don’t know how they’re going to explain her psychic powers. The consultant is what bothered me the most about this episode. This is a project that’s been kept secret for over 50 years, which means there must be a strict vetting process for who can be in on the secret. This lady’s only on the scene a couple days before she’s hooking up with an internet conspiracy theorist and spilling all the top secret information on the project. She also opens up about her sexuality after being on the job for all of 5 minutes. What authority does she really have? And why was Enzmann talking so much to her? He entered into way over share mode.

There are a couple more mysteries still hanging about. There was an odd focus on the Globus cameras throughout the episode – even outside the ship. I wonder if there’s an AI twist that might be coming. I’m also not fully understanding the Captain mutiny drama. Why would Councilman Rose want to take the ship? What would he gain? As far as they know, the ship is on its one-way journey and there are limited resources on board. Along these lines, the Captain seems exceptionally weak. If only Viondra could take over the ship.