It’s a shame that Extant had to be cancelled so soon. I honestly would’ve enjoyed a third season. On the bright side, the show ended on a pretty satisfying note. Maybe it’s for the best that Season 2 was the finale, or else the show could’ve ended up becoming stale and over-done. Extant was an underrated concept that got swept under the radar with its first season, and while the second season was far from perfect, it still had plenty of strong moments. (spoilers ahead!)
Season 2 starts off with some flashbacks (yes, even more flashbacks – why, oh why, must it always come back to flashbacks?). A few months have passed since the end of Season 1, and during that time, some major shit has gone down in the world of Molly Woods and her family. As you may recall from Season 1, Ethan Woods, Molly’s android son, lost his physical body and uploaded his identity into the Woods’ home system. Before the season started, I assumed that the first half of Season 2 would consist of the Woods trying to find a way to bring Ethan back to his old self. Instead, he gets his body almost immediately. So much for that build-up. I was expecting there to be a bigger conflict with getting him back into a body. Oh, well. It was probably for the best. The season ended up having plenty of other things to worry about.
While Ethan has managed to come back into Molly and John Woods’ life, the loving family reunion is short-lived. While out driving, someone remotely hacks into John’s car and causes it to stop on train tracks. At first, you think that he’ll crawl out at the last minute so that he can go back and be reunited with his family all safe and sound. Nope. John gets killed at the beginning of Season 2.
At the end of last season, we saw Molly’s alien “son” getting picked up on the side of the road. The Offspring, taking on the name “Ahdu”, matures rapidly and starts to gather other alien hybrids such as himself so that they can all flourish and co-exist on Earth. About halfway through the season, Molly finds out about her son (in a rather odd and disturbing way that borders on the line of incest), and starts to succumb to ill side-effects from the alien spores’ infection from her time in space. It gets a little crazy at times, but it eventually comes together into a cohesive narrative; however, if you turn away for even five minutes, it’s very likely that you’ll miss out on something crucial to the plot.
On the other end of the story is the subplot concerning the Humanichs. The government decides to turn John Woods’ android prototype into a legion of soldiers who will covertly combat the alien threat. The leader of the Humanich army is Ethan’s “sister”, Lucy, played by the charming and talented Kiersey Clemons. Lucy is creepy. Super creepy. The best way I can describe her personality is like Niccolo Machiavelli (which is funny because she’s seen reading Machiavelli’s The Prince at one point). Clemons does an exemplary job of portraying a subtly lethal, manipulative android that gets whatever it wants. Her role as one of the antagonists of the season was one of the more enjoyable aspects.
Someone else I rather loved in Season 2 of Extant was JD Richter, a former-soldier-turned-bounty-hunter played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. I think that out of all the characters in the entire season (and possibly the show), JD has to be my favorite. He’s the badass with the heart of gold who you keep rooting for, like Daryl Dixon of The Walking Dead. JD teams up with Molly to help her through the danger and the despair, and he ultimately wants to do right by his daughter and ex-wife. But he’s also not going to hesitate to enjoy a one-night-stand if given the opportunity. He’s just a cool guy.
The season really picks up at the very last episode (isn’t that usually the case?). The real villain of the season turns out to be an evil supercomputer named Taylor, who wants to order the Humanichs to kill off the humans and the alien hybrids in order to achieve true peace. Molly and her rag-tag team fight their way through a Humanich-controlled building, taking out anything that stands in their way. One of the Humanichs assumes Molly’s appearance and gets into a fist-fight with the real Molly. When JD confronts them, we see a brief stand-off where he must decide which one is the real Molly and which one is the Humanich. I wish they hadn’t gone this route since it’s such a tired, over-used trope: two identical twins get mixed up and they have to convince their loved one which one is real and which one is the evil clone. Obviously, JD picks the right Molly and shoots the Humanich dead. And that’s the big, exciting finale. We ended it all on a cliche.
It was also a bit anti-climactic how Taylor was “defeated”, but we get a nice little scene at the end where it appears that he’s not truly gone after all…
Extant was ahead of its time. The great acting choices and fresh take on the futuristic concept could’ve been a hit had the show been on a more mainstream network, like the CW or even NBC. Alas, we can only wish and hope, but it won’t bring back the show. At least it ended on an open-ended note so that there’s the possibility of a continuation sometime in the future.
Final Grade: B
+ There was some great acting this season, especially with Jeffrey Dean Morgan, David Morrissey, Kiersey Clemons, and Halle Berry.
+ The scene with Molly and co. fighting their way through the Humanich-controlled building was enjoyable.
+ I liked the concept of Taylor the evil supercomputer; he reminded me of a mix between HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey and ARIIA from Eagle Eye.
– I expected there to be a bigger build-up with Ethan’s return; instead, he’s back almost instantly.
– I couldn’t stand Charlie or Julie this season.
– The final scene with Molly and Humanich-Molly had to rely on the cliche “which one of us is real” scenario; it’s 2015 and we’re still using that old trope?
– I’d love to see a spin-off about JD and his adventures in bounty hunting.
How did you feel about the season finale of Extant? Did you wish that the show got renewed for another season? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!