TV Show Review

TV Review: EXTANT: Season 2, Episode 8: Arms & The Humanich [CBS]

Halle Berry Henderson Wade Jeffrey Dean Morgan Extant Arms and the Humanich

CBS’ Extant Arms & the Humanich TV Show ReviewExtant: Season 2, Episode 8: ‘Arms & the Humanich’ turned a number of corners so fast, I worry that a number of passengers might’ve been tossed, along the way.

With Lucy (Kiersey Clemons) having already drawn first blood, it was time to send in the (cyber) Clones. The humanizing of the Hybrids included a sense of panic, making Terra (McKenna Roberts) the victim, Ares (Cleo Anthony) the aggressor, and Adhu (Henderson Wade) the moderator. Newly promoted Hybrid, Molly’s (Halle Berry) first instinct proved correct; but my assessments of Ares, Terra, and Adhu wouldn’t have been borne out had they simply followed her lead.

Humanichs don’t get tired; so I imagine that the assaulting force could’ve afforded being landed far enough away to not be heard, then walking the rest of the way. As it happened, a Hybrid-Humanich face-off needed to go into effect, and a certain someone had to know to make an about-face rescue.

Time dilation is a thing, for anyone who may have figured Molly took too long to recognize the obvious peril. My bigger concern was over how messy the whole affair turned out. I know the idea was to let the virus do most of the work, but for androids with scoped rifles, the Humanichs seemed to spray-and-pray, quite a bit. Like Lucy issuing verbal commands, I’m thinking this was done for viewer benefit – maybe even for Lucy’s personal satisfaction. Singling out Molly certainly made it personal, on Lucy’s part; but while she didn’t waste a whole lot of time on being smug, she did leave enough room for a last minute rescue.

A last minute rescue that left Terra M.I.A., and Lucas (Patrick Johnson) retrieving Lucy with a hint of murder face. No doubt, both signs of things to come. At one point, Ares had scolded Molly for “thinking like a Human.” Given the outcome of acting like a Hybrid, Ares & the surviving Hybrids may have to reconsider how they operate, going forward. Add to this Lucy’s gospel, of Humans as inherently untrustworthy, and both sides of this showdown may be headed to something of a role revision.

The hit on Hybrid Haven seemed to close the ‘Hybrids are people, too’ narrative before it really got started. In fact, the only thing Molly’s stay had accomplished was consolidating her own role, while setting up a Hawks v Dove divide, between Hybrids – with Hawk Ares, and unknown quantity, Terra, left as the heirs to the Hybrid thread. I’m almost tempted to bid a fond adieu to… a certain someone; but I’m not going to. He went out in a fashion that was actually redeeming – even taking the time to help JD’s domestic situation.

JD’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) ex, Dorothy (Melina Kanakaredes), was having a bit of Kansas withdrawal, over events. Learning about the Hybrid situation, and the role it played in JD being a fugitive & their daughter being detained, was not reassuring (less so when Magic Molly briefly went into effect). She did, however, make for a useful therapy foil; facilitating a key character’s productive exit, while adding an extra dimension to JD’s eventual sacrificial play.

Once face-to-face, JD’s back-and-forth with Tobias (David Morrissey) was clearly a re-litigation of The War on Terror. When Molly’s condition forced her to turn herself in as well, however, it was Tobias’ cue to rediscover his soft spot. I really wish the showrunners would stop trying to have it both ways, regarding his character. Going from at-all-costs absolutism, to I-break-for-Molly wears hard on the gears.

Lucy’s thread remained the most interesting thing, this episode – and the liability of that fact was later made apparent. Her set back, at Hybrid Haven, provided another opportunity to manipulate Ethan (Pierce Gagnon); but since nothing facilitates haste like impending mortality, her scheming hit critical mass.

Between Julie’s (Grace Gummer) concerns, over John’s legacy, and Charlie’s (Tyler Hilton) concerns, over Lucy now directly threatening him, the two finally compared notes, and got on the same page.

Ethan issuing a thinly veiled threat of his own, to Julie, may have contributed to her ability to get past Charlie’s near indiscretion, and focus on the lengths & depths of Lucy’s scheming. Charlie, however, didn’t learn from Lucy’s last entrapment – Ethan compromised them by the same means, from the same angle, for the Pit’s sake.

Of course, Ethan’s innocence still matters considerably, to this show; meaning that it’s been on folks like Julie to keep him straight, by being straight. Julie doing so did manage a break through; so by the time the Lucy-Ethan alliance went full Replicant, Ethan resorted to doing something regrettably Human.

As much as Ethan will have to deal with the consequences, I apply the term regrettable more so to my own feelings on the outcome.

‘Arms & the Humanich’ not only closed out the Hybrid community arc, it closed out the Lolita Lucy arc – and all rather suddenly. There is certainly more to come, as fallout from both; but there is reason to worry that these would constitute more of a resolution to, than an evolution of events. When the wrath of Ares, Terra, and Lucy falls, will it contribute to wrapping up season 2, or setting up season 3?

Beyond that fallout, I see a lot of regret & recrimination, serving as the driving element to Extant’s second season resolution. Hardly a fitting end, to a season that seemed poised to deliver a Hybrid-Humanich revolution of epic proportions. Bait & switch is never a badge of honor for any show to wear.

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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