Extant Season 2 Episode 2 Review: Morphoses

Hop aboard because we're going full steam ahead with all of the craziness that went down this week on Extant Season 2 Episode 2!

As we found out at the end of the last episode, Molly's alien child was actually alive, and had continued to age. My guess that he had begun body jumping turned out to be wrong, though -- Toby confirmed that the body they had in custody (the one he told Molly, before the time jump, was 100%, no question, dead) was actually a little less dead than they'd realized.

JD and Molly Make a Discovery - Extant

The Offspring's corpse had revived and escaped the detainment facility, continuing to rapidly age. And presumably, Toby had spent the last six months tracking it (poorly, might I add).

I find Toby distinctly unlikable. As I understand it, he's supposed to be partially redeemed by his love for and "history" with Molly, but I don't buy it. He is willing to take out over fifty civilians, including Molly, by the end of this week's episode. That's definitely not okay.

On the one hand, I like that the show is going full throttle and narrowing in on two major plot lines (Ethan/Julie/the Humanichs militarization, and Molly/JD/Alien Babydaddy). On the other hand, it leads to some confusion like the one I had about the Offspring body jumping.

Too much exposition will slow the show and bog it down, but not breaking occasionally and allowing the watcher time to digest will lead to massive confusion and difficulty focusing. This speed is okay for now, but they need to find a balance.

Molly: If you signed a drooling maniac out of "Crazy Acres," that's because I'm your only hope to solve this case. So if you want me to help you and tell you how I know she was pregnant, for example, then I have to think clearly and that means no pills.
JD: Start talking.
Molly: Feed me first.

JD and Molly's chemistry continues to be the single best thing about this new season. John Woods who? (Just kidding. I am certainly missing Goran Visnjic's handsome face, if not his complete lack of chemistry with Halle Berry. He was not a particularly bad husband, for the most part -- just not the right one for Molly, at all.)

I didn't realize how much season 1 was lacking a certain sex appeal until they amped it up in spades right off the bat this season. The interactions between Molly and JD, and Molly's new look, are going a long way with the more-sexy initiative.

Even more than Molly's new look, I'm loving Molly's new attitude. She's just chock-full of spitfire, isn't she? A few of those one-liner comebacks she threw at JD were pretty fantastic. Her successful plan to drug JD and escape to confront Zoe solo was pretty crafty, too.

JD: By the way, I'm the investigator, you're the sidekick that doesn't talk.
Molly: You have control issues.

In confronting her fellow alien baby incubator Zoe, Molly pulled no punches. She straight up told Zoe that she needed to abort the pregnancy, or that she would die, in no uncertain terms. It felt perfectly believable that Molly would behave frantically, and not downplay the severity of the situation, after all that had happened to her.

But what is going on with the delayed effect of the alien spores on Molly? She spent the better part of the episode scratching up a storm and exhibiting possessed-zombie behavior, making her way to random biker bars and hooking up with random men, with no memory of how she'd gotten there and back.

That, paired with the small bit of exposition given via the virtual-doc program regarding Space Madness (aka Cosmic Radiation Syndrome), is making me very nervous for Molly. Yet, this is one mystery where I'm okay with the writers doing a slow-burn reveal. 

The one aspect of the show that has distinctly not improved is the character of Julie. I have never enjoyed the character, or her painfully obviously moony-eyed gazes at John in the first season, so a big part of me would have preferred that they tossed the whole Humanichs team out altogether after John's death and brought in a new crew to watch over Ethan.

I do like Charlie though, and I'm glad he's stuck around. Especially when he calls Julie out on her nonsense.

Julie wiping Ethan's memory (or, more precisely, overriding his deep neural net) was basically the last straw for me with her. She is clearly not in a mindset to be anyone's parent -- she took the easy way out and reprogrammed Ethan, removing his pain but also conveniently adding in an ability to love and accept her as his mother, basically, rather than take the time to work through Ethan's issues with him. She essentially lobotomized the kid!

I'm eagerly awaiting New-Attitude Molly's reaction once she makes her way back to Ethan and discovers the effects of what Julie has done. It will be heartbreaking if Ethan doesn't recognize or feel emotionally connected to his mother anymore -- but man, I am really hoping for an on-screen Julie-Molly showdown now that Molly is a little bit crazy.

It was really difficult for me to take Peyton Sawyer seriously, tapping around the Humanichs lab in serious-business stilettos and being overly brusque with Julie. Not only that, the character of Anna is basically a caricature of a blindly ambitious government-military crony.

Anna: I need to see a test. Today.
Julie: That's impossible. We're still fine-tuning the ethical algorithms. They didn't even exist when Ethan was built. He learned right and wrong from us. This Humanich is learning from an equation.

As annoying as Julie is, she was making some good points about the dangers of militarizing the Humanichs on a rush basis. I feel like 90% of John's season 1 dialogue dealt with emphasizing the importance of making sure the Humanichs develop human codes of morality by living amongst humans. So all of these shortcuts that Anna is demanding? Guaranteed to go poorly.

The newly-introduced character of Lucy is definitely intriguing. I couldn't tell what her age was supposed to be, but she was definitely significantly older than Ethan. Will she end up being a force of good, like Ethan, or an instrument to demonstrate the ill-advised ways of the power-hungry government like Anna?

And did anyone else notice the very brief sexual vibe between Lucy and Charlie when they were "reintroduced," or did I imagine that? I'm talking about the moments prior to the distinctly non-sexual hand-crushing, of course.

You're telling me that my perp is a spore? I can't put a spore in a line-up.


I enjoyed seeing JD gradually coming to terms with the truth of what Molly spent all episode trying to tell him. The fact that he didn't immediately believe what she was telling him about the aliens seemed perfectly believable and provided a good, realistic amount of tension between the two of them.

I'm looking forward to seeing how their relationship will continue to develop in Extant Season 2 Episode 3 and beyond, as JD becomes more ensnared in the alien storyline.

What did you all think of this week's episode? Do you like the new direction the show is continuing on with? What parts of the first season do you wish they had carried over/scrapped?

Remember that you can see full episodes right here when you watch Extant online at TV Fanatic. Catch up on the latest, and then join in the conversation in the comments below!

Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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