Emergence Season 1 Episode 4: No Outlet Recap

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In episode 4 of Emergence, Jo spends the hour trying to solve a dilemma that many parents have faced- is my child the normal amount or evil, or do I need to do something about this spawn of Satan? She mulls over Piper’s true nature with the help of a newly assigned social worker, Lily Salgado, Auger Industries head Richard Kindred and, separately, his former employee Emily; Benny and a hacker friend of Benny’s named April; police officer and right hand man Chris, and her family. By the end of the episode, she’s made a decision, and Piper truly becomes part of the family with the support of Mia, Alex and Ed. But Kindred isn’t ready to give up his ownership claim and Benny and April pay a price.

Recap

Episode 4 begins late at night, with Piper laying in bed, facing the window. Jo has placed a nannycam in the dollhouse, and is watching the feed in the kitchen. From her perspective, it looks like Piper is asleep.

The camera is easy to spot in the dollhouse. It’s not cleverly hidden in a Teddy bear, like a normal nannycam, so Piper knows it’s there.

Jo gets a text from Benny telling her that Emily is packing her things and getting ready to leave town. Before Jo can text back, Piper appears and asks for a glass of water.

This show and the CBS show Evil both love to use their little girls to make references to the original Exorcist film/book.

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Emergence Season 1 Episode 1: Pilot Recap

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Emergence is my favorite of the four new dramas I watched this week (also Prodigal Son, Stumptown and Evil). It has a compelling mystery with its own twist, characters I already care about who aren’t dark and cynical and a diverse, gender-balanced cast.

I really like the philosophy the show exhibited in the pilot. It’s not overly sweet or dark, but there’s a certain warmth and optimism. I get the sense that Piper is the main clue to a larger mystery, not a unique magical child who’s meant to save the world by herself. Hopefully the characters and mystery plot will stay in the forefront, while shoot outs and gore will be kept to a minimum.

And I love this new mother-daughter team of soft-hearted, unlikely bad*sses, who are part of a family of flawed but caring people. Real moms with good judgement for the win. I was so proud of Jo for being the one with the gun who could protect her family when an intruder broke into their beachhouse, but also for getting the family out without firing a shot. She put the safety of her family and solving crimes and mysteries first, as she should.

Recap

Emergence begins late at night in the sleepy Long Island, NY town of Southold, when there’s a town-wide power outage at the same time that a plane crashes on the beach. Police chief Jo Evans (Allison Tolman) is awakened by the outage. She and her family go outside to see what’s going on and notice an ionized glow, similar to the Aurora Borealis, rising from the site of the plane crash. Jo gets a call about the crash and says she’ll be right there. She tells her young teen daughter, Mia (Ashley Aufderheide), and her father, Ed Sawyer (Clancy Brown), that she’s leaving and sends them back to bed.

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Stumptown Season 1 Episode 1: ‘Forget it Dex, It’s Stumptown’ Recap

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Stumptown is ABC’s highly anticipated new show starring Cobie Smulders as Dex Parios, an unorthodox private investigator in Portland, Oregon. Dex has a chip on her shoulder and deep roots in the community. Unlike many TV and film private detectives, she’s not afraid to show a little vulnerability, though she’s also suffering from PTSD due to her 5 tours in Afghanistan. She’s new at the PI game, so she leans on her military experience, local contacts and well-honed instincts while she’s learning the tricks of the trade.

The show is created by Jason Richman, based on the the graphic novel series of the same name by Greg Rucka, with art by Matthew Southworth and Justin Greenwood. Stumptown also stars Jake Johnson as Dex’s best friend, Grey, who owns the bar Bad Alibi; Cole Sibus as the younger brother with Down Syndrome who lives with her, Ansel Parios; Tantoo Cardinal as Sue Lynn Blackbird, who runs the Native American casino where Dex frequently gambles and runs up a debt; Michael Ealy as police Detective Miles Hoffman, who encourages Dex to become a PI and is a potential love interest; Camryn Manheim as police Lieutenant Cosgrove, Hoffman’s boss; and Adrian Martinez as Tookie, a food truck operator and one of Dex’s sources of unofficial information.

Recap

The episode begins at the end, with a couple of thugs driving Dex’s car while taste testing coffee. This is Portland, after all. Dex is locked in the trunk. She gets the upper hand by spraying the thugs with a fire extinguisher, then climbing into the front to fight both of them while the car is still moving. Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline plays over it all.

I haven’t figured out yet whether Dex is a little bit psychic and she’s unconsciously controlling the car’s malfunctioning stereo, or if the car is a little bit sentient, so it’s consciously choosing the perfect song for each moment. Whichever one it is, they did great at matching 20th century pop songs to particular moments in the episode.

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The Crossing Season 1 Episode 9: Hope Smiles from the Threshold Recap

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As The Crossing gears up for next week’s double episode series finale, this week the penultimate episode, Hope Smiles from the Threshold, crams in as much plot as possible to prepare us for the end. There are several big reveals, more new characters introduced, and background characters given new prominence.

And it’s made clear that this world is a dangerous place for black men. The show started with 3 named black men, and has killed one (Beaumont), kept one physically safe in the current time (Caleb), so far, and has now critically wounded Bryce Foster, Emma Ren’s replacement as head of the refugee camp. Emma died from a less serious gunshot wound to the shoulder than Bryce’s shot to the abdomen, which has left him quickly bleeding out in the woods.

But don’t worry, the white folks, other than Sophie, are all physically fine. As a matter of fact, one of them, Lindauer, appears to have stolen  hidden exploited the talents of rescued Caleb and Rebecca’s missing daughter, Rachel, who is revealed to be a cryptographer. That’s a handy skill for someone trying to amass government and financial power.

I’m sure Greta Eve and Lindauer Noah rescued her from Apex out of the goodness of their hearts, though. And they’ll return Rachel to her birth parents right after they fake the suicides of the refugees in the camp. Oops. This multiracial girl was kidnapped from one form of enslavement into a more subtle form of exploitation. A gilded cage is still a cage.

We also find out more details about the crossing itself, and how the refugees ended up in the water.

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The Crossing Season 1 Episode 8: The Long Morrow Recap

In episode 8 of The Crossing, we finally get official confirmation that Emma was fridged way back in episode 4. No one onscreen cares much about her death, but I’m pretty pissed off about it. Lindauer brings Sophie back in from the cold to help him break Reese, with the promise that she can continue her research. Naomi and Rebecca get serious about forming a cult, while Caleb tries to stay grounded amidst the madness surrounding him. Does that ever work? Paul, who is an innocent Hufflepuff, gets framed for murder, but believes everything his evil wife Greta tells him. I wonder what caused his brain damage.

And, oh look, now that we’ve for sure gotten rid of the woman who was in charge of the refugee camp, a new, powerless, nameless female character is introduced and held prisoner by Jude and Nestor, for no reason, in another male abuse of power.

Does everyone feel more comfortable, now that the powerful women are either evil or dying, and the rest are powerless and also probably either evil, crazy or stupid? Comfortable isn’t the word I’d use for my state of mind, but I’m apparently hard to please, what with expecting women to be treated like equal human beings and all.

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The Long Morrow starts by giving us an update on Reese. She’s being held hostage by Lindauer and his henchmen in a well equipped and organized lab. The doctor in charge of Reese says that they can’t wake her. Reese is bound to a gurney and in a self-induced twilight state where she appears unconscious but can still hear some of the noises from the outside environment. She dreams of a combination of her work as an Apex enforcer and snippets of her history in the present day.

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The Crossing Season 1 Episode 7: Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream Recap

The one and only promo photo released for this episode. He’s dreaming a golden dream.

In case anyone hasn’t heard yet, there will only be one season of The Crossing. This episode is an example of the uneven writing that probably turned viewers away and got it cancelled, along with a main character who’s a patsy and a screw up, and not even charming while he’s doing it.

The women of The Crossing continue to be fascinating and amazing, but, after only 7 episodes, the show has developed an alarming tendency to disappear them. One of the supposed leads, Emma Ren, disappeared a few episodes ago. Now Sophie Forbin is also gone, fired from her job and hospitalized with a heart attack. This week we don’t even get an update on her condition. The other important female character, Reece, is written so inconsistently that you’d never believe she’s from a superior race. Tonight, even though she was told point-blank by Beaumont that the 1st wavers are hunting her, it doesn’t occur to her that she’s able to get her daughter back so easily because it’s a trap. Reece also disappears for long stretches of time, despite being a lead.

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The Crossing Season 1 Episode 4: The Face of Oblivion Recap

104_the-crossing_photo02Alliances shift and more secrets are revealed in this episode of The Crossing, but Nestor can still be counted on to keep the town of Port Canaan running and Marshall calm, while his boss deals with the crisis of the day. Unfortunately, Nestor’s counterpart at Camp Tomanowas, Emma’s assistant Bryce, has faded into the background, and the operations run by the Department of Homeland Security are a mess. The villains are running amok at every level, from the Undersecretary, who was no doubt appointed by the president himself, down to the riffraff among the survivors. Emma’s dealing with the truth on her own within DHS, and the burden grows larger by the hour.

Episode 4 picks up not long after the end of episode 3, with Jude using his GPS to track Oliver’s cell phone while Reece takes Oliver on the run. Presumably Jude called Nestor to handle the Apex hunter’s body and the investigation into his murder, before Jude took off after Reece and Oliver.

Reece calls Jude from Oliver’s phone to make her demands. Jude gets the festivities started by threatening to hurt her should anything happen to Oliver. She’d laugh in his face if he were in front of her, but he’s not, so she settles for pointing out that he’s already led her into a trap and left her for dead while assuring her that he could be trusted. Anything he says to her is beyond meaningless.

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The Crossing Season 1 Episode 3: Pax Americana Recap

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This week on The Crossing, the refugees are on the move. Thomas returns to the others with stories to tell, while Hannah makes a break for it. Reece continues to wander the countryside, being misunderstood everywhere she goes. Leah is still in isolation, so she stays put and her new doctor is brought to the camp. In order to understand Leah’s illness, the doctor’s mind has to go places she never thought it would go. Jude’s son Oliver serves as the wandering child this episode, as he gets more adventure than he expected during his visit with his dad. Emma feels railroaded by her boss, Lindauer, who’s become worryingly secretive. And Nestor continues to be the rock that holds this small town together.

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The Crossing Season 1 Episode 2: A Shadow Out of Time Recap

SANDRINE HOLT, STEVE ZAHN, NATALIE MARTINEZ

This episode continues the world building begun in the pilot, using flashforwards* to follow Reece’s future memories from her adoption of Leah to her decision to come back to the 21st century.  In the present day, the hunt for Reece continues, Leah’s illness is discovered, and Lindauer’s questionable motives continue to surface.

This episode spends time getting to know the characters better as individuals in a way that the pilot didn’t have time for. It’s could almost be seen as a part 2 in that sense, since it finishes the set up of the story and gives us insight into why we should care about these people. We get a sense of the factions at play in the future and how they’re being transferred to the present day. The stakes are made more immediate, drawing the viewer into the suspense and intrigue inherent in the premise, but kept at a distance in the pilot.

There’s nothing like a killer future plague to make you sit up and take notice, except maybe morally ambiguous future people accidentally trying to keep the cure from reaching Patient Zero. Or are they preventing the cure from reaching Leah on purpose?

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The Crossing Season 1 Episode 1: Pilot Recap

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The Crossing is ABC’s latest outing in the summer(ish) scifi popcorn genre. It’s frequently a short-lived genre, as ABC’s series Prey and Resurrection prove. In fact, TV critics were skeptical about why they should commit to a series that had a good chance of being pulled after the first, or at most second, season, and posed those questions to the showrunners, who tried to reassure them that the show had potential.

I’ve been burned by the big three TV networks myself, and don’t watch them much anymore*. The cancellation of NBC’s Revolution on a major cliffhanger was the one that did it for me. I’m giving The Crossing a chance because Mr Metawitches really likes it. I’ve seen the first two episodes, and while it’s far from prestige television, it is entertaining, with a fun time travel, plague, evil mutant vs good human vs evil human vs good mutant plot. There are two female leads, and minor female characters abound. A child from the future is involved as a major plot point, meaning the show should stay more than just a procedural in scifi drag. This season has 11 episodes, described as the pilot plus 10. So, let’s give these recaps a whirl, and I’ll try to grade on a broadcast network curve!

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