Extant Finale Recap: This Boy Is on Fire

Extant Season 1 Finale Recap

Never underestimate the things a son will do for his mama.

That’s the takeaway from the Extant series finale, in which both of Molly’s (for lack of a better term) “kids” play a significant role — and one of them sacrifices himself to protect her and the rest of the world.

But which non-human saved the world: the robot or the alien? Read on to find out.

RELATED Fall TV Spectacular: Exclusive Scoop and Photos on 42 of Your Returning Favorites

BACK IN THE SADDLE | Molly preps to go back into space, because she’s the only person on the planet who can bring home Sean Glass and Katie Sparks – provided they’re still alive. (Well, one outta two ain’t bad…) Oh, and she’s going to make sure the Seraphim doesn’t enter Earth’s orbit. She gets a fancy second-skin suit and a shiny helmet protect her from the spores’ mind-control capabilities, then blasts off while Ethan and John watch from home. Why aren’t they there to bid her adieu, you ask?

THE DANGER WITHIN | Well, John’s pretty sure Odin put something very bad, possibly a bomb, inside Ethan. So the two Woods men stay home in order to keep everyone at ISEA safe. Later, though Julie and Other Tech Dude want him to call the bomb squad, John chooses to open Ethan up himself; the police will just do a controlled explosion, he argues, which will end Ethan’s life-or-something-like-it. But with Odin’s words echoing inside his little tin head, Ethan pulls out the special phone and prepares to hit buttons to call his buddy – and John freaks when he realizes the phone is most likely a detonator. He promises the humanic he’ll wake him up after shutting him off, and Ethan eventually believes his dad, handing over the device.

RELATED CBS Lands Things They Left Behind Pilot, Based on Stephen King Story

SPACE INVADERS | Up in orbit, Molly finds Sean, who her helmet tells her is the real deal. But Katie, who appears just as Molls finds a piece of mission-critical technology, certainly is not. When the two women tussle, Molly loses a glove and becomes infected with spore badness. Though this causes her to hallucinate, see Marcus and otherwise become the victim of camera work that makes me nauseous, she eventually tranquilizes an also-infected Sean, whom she straps into a pod and then resumes her work planting explosives all over the space station. But when Molly jumps in the driver’s seat and tells B.E.N. to get them the heck outta there, the computer refuses: They’re infected, and the probability of things going well is very, very small – especially because ISEA has been evacuated, given that the offspring is running rampant inside. It looks like Molly’s mission is going to have a very terrible end, until…Extant Series Finale Recap

HOT, NOT BOTHERED | … Ethan realizes that his non-human status makes him the perfect entity to get into ISEA and help Mom out: Because he’s not made of flesh and blood, the offspring can’t work its mojo on him. John is all, “No! You can’t! You can’t! OK, maybe you can.” They have a tearful farewell, then the kiddo rides his scooter through the facility’s hallways (truth be told, that visual was the only thing I genuinely enjoyed in the hour) and patches into the computer, hailing Molly.

She sadly tells him and John – the humanic is also a conference-calling system! – that she’s not going to make it home, because an anti-virus failsafe means that only a human being can override B.E.N. Against John’s wishes, Ethan heats his warmers to 98.6 and places them on the sensors (“I think this is my purpose,” he says, calmly), ultimately gaining control of mission control and allowing Molly to fly away from the space station, which blows up behind her. (Wait, aren’t flames in space scientifically impossible? Nevermind.)

But Ethan’s too hot for anyone – even himself – to handle. And while the offspring watches, John and Molly’s son overheats and goes to that great big blue screen in the sky.

BUT WAIT… | Five days later, Molly and Sam discuss the possibility of the offspring having escaped before the Ethan-splosion. Molly thinks he made it – and he did! We watch a nice couple in a car pull over and pick the boy up while he’s walking on a bridge, and he must be thankful, because he doesn’t immediately suck out their life force while they’re zooming away.

Back at the Woods’ house, Molly’s voiceover tells us that “In those final moments, Ethan taught us something about what it means to be human.” (Side note: Ugh. Did Hallmark script-doctor this thing?) And as she mourns the robo-son she never really liked (oh come ON, Molls, admit it!), Ethan’s metrics suddenly appear on every screen in their home. “I’m here,” the boy’s voice happily announces as John and Molly cry happy tears in their living room. “I’m everywhere.”

Now it’s your turn. Grade both tonight’s finale and the entire season of Extant via the polls below, then hit the comments for detailed discussion of your picks. 

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

64 Comments
  1. Tran says:

    I have no idea that Extant was going to end up as a “series” finale because I never saw it coming. Did CBS planned the Halle Berry led series as a “limited series” event? Guess that someone may have answers.

    • Phillip says:

      It hasn’t been renewed or cancelled.

    • herman1959 says:

      It was only billed as a Summer series of 13 episodes.

    • Jay says:

      I remember seeing an interview with Goran Visnjic where he said he was under contract for multiple series so it was clearly meant to keep going if the ratings supported it.

    • Margarethe says:

      Halle Berry said in multiple interviews that the show was not a limited series or event, as did Goran Visnjic. CBS never billed it as a “limited series.” I have read many reviewers (not just commenters) make the mistake of stating that it was. The producers did make a “hurry up” finale to try to give closure as much as possible due to renewal concerns, but left the series open for future story lines if renewed. I’ve been very annoyed by reviewers complaining about the season finale leaving loose ends – ALL series do that at the end of their seasons. It was not a limited series. BTW, I quite liked it. It wasn’t perfect, but I love sci fi and “Extant” was decent sci fi. It was nowhere near the ridiculousness of “Under the Dome” and those comparisons annoy me as well – every time I read a reviewer or any media story calling “Under the Dome” a sci fi show, I want to slap them kinda pretty much really hard.

  2. donholley77 says:

    Biggest disappointment of my summer season! Too predictable. Even with Halle Berry, The ‘Spielberg Magic still doesn’t translate to TV.:(

  3. donholley77 says:

    Yes Tran. Extant was billed as a ‘limited series

  4. laurelnev says:

    It started off WAY too slow, then sped up all of the sudden w/o time for proper character development. If they had cut all the chaff at the beginning, it could have been a MUCH better show. As ir ran though, I’d give it a big “MEH!” Another show with too little at first, too late when it got promising, and sloppy ends.

    I think it would have been MUCH better if they’d focused on the Molly/Ethan plot and cut the whole Dude-seeking-eternal-life and Terrorist-Boyfriend plots, instead using the time to build the characters that ended up being important in the end. The characters never developed, and in the end, it was all thrown-together at the last minute plot.

    Too bad; I had high hopes. But quite frankly, I’d rather see them revive “The Event” than do another season of THIS. Time to cut the losses on something that just never really developed into its niche.

  5. TvPeong says:

    Ethan (Pierce Gagnon) was awesome. I can see a big career ahead for him.
    .
    It would be great to see the same cast in a different story next summer ( a la American Horror Story)

  6. Phillip says:

    You’re getting a little ahead of yourself, Kimberly. It hasn’t been cancelled or renewed.

  7. Myrna B says:

    The hour goes by TOOOOOOO FAST!!!
    Hurry up and get it back on the air soon!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)
    Thank you to all the actors for a great series…..and the Producers.

  8. hi!,I really like your writing so a lot! percentage we keep in touch more approximately your post on AOL?
    I require an expert in this area to resolve my problem.
    May be that is you! Having a look forward
    to peer you.

  9. Carla Krae says:

    Really loved and enjoyed the show. Haven’t gotten to watch true sci-fi in quite a while and this was a breath of fresh air this summer.

  10. herman1959 says:

    The finale was great, as were the last few episodes. Overall, the series was based on an interesting premise with great actors, but it could have used the services of a good editor and re-write person for the early episodes. The lack of both didn’t allow for the continuity and exposition required to help viewers relate to the characters or care until the series was half-way through its run. I wondered if this was because it was rushed into production – that’s what it felt like to me. Too bad, Extant could have been a contender, but I do like the idea of it coming back with a new storyline over another 13 episodes IF they have a better editor.

  11. christopher bee says:

    Just needed a place to comment on the Franklin & Bash yesterdays episode, because that was an epic Castle/Firefly like blast from the past. Kevin McKidd meets Reed Diamond ” I know you from somewhere… Yes my Brother…”. Journeyman´s Brothers reunited, congrats and a big Thank you to the writers and the productionteam, that was uplifting.

  12. Ty says:

    I actually really enjoyed this series. The show has two main arcs, an alien arc and an AI arc, the latter being the more interesting element. It was not perfect by any stretch, but the themes around artificial life and how such a being interacts with the world was engaging to see on screen.

  13. It helps about 25 percent of men and 20 percent of women to grow
    back moderate amounts of hair very gradually, mostly on the very
    top of the head. Study shows that psoralea extract and exposure to ultra violet light will help to restore hair
    loss and promote hair regrowth with a 33%
    success rate. Ginseng is said to have the power of rejuvenating and energizing the body.

  14. Anitamaria Jones says:

    I love shows like Extant that starts out slow, allowing the viewers to keep guessing as to what will happen next. The entire cast was great, especially Pierce Gagnon as Ethan-he’s going to have an awesome career as he gets older.

    • S-Kate Royan says:

      I agree. This was must-see TV for me every week. I’m truly puzzled by all the negativity towards this show. You had no idea where the show was going the first few episodes (a good thing), and I thought the actors had great chemistry. I felt the story arc was very well structured. I wonder if the formulaic blockbusters that bloom in the summer have spoiled people’s expectations for a good sci fi story.

  15. Jeff Preuss says:

    I just…there were so many threads on this show that overlapped, but really didn’t. And, I left the series wondering what was the point of it all.

    Is the alien baby good? Bad? I left the series not knowing, and not exactly caring either way.
    Yasumoto was set up to be a major player in the overall story, then was just kinda gone. Odin and the other anti-tech Luddites? Barely to be seen in the finale.

    There were SO many ideas and concepts at play here, and if they had ever actually felt like they really linked instead of serving as plot devices for the impenetrable alien invasion story, this MIGHT have been a compelling show.

    • Lisa Benwitz says:

      I completely agree, Jeff. When “the Offspring” convinced Molly to go into space and stop the spores, it seemed like he was scared of them and trying to help… and we don’t really know if he was trying to stop Ethan or help him. I took the leap of deciding to believe that the Offspring somehow was able to… upload/download, whatever the correct term is, Ethan’s programming, which John and the lab couldn’t do, and that is what allowed him to come back. The biggest problem I had with the whole thing was that since Molly and the other guy were infected, there’s no WAY they would have let them just come back to Earth and resume their lives. In the end, that is the one thing I couldn’t suspend my disbelief for.

  16. gigohead says:

    I really liked this series. I am not sure how it would work for another season but I did like that the “soul” of Ethan recovered.

  17. DDN says:

    I hope “EXTANT” will be brought back. I see good things for a season 2. Sometimes it takes a whole season to really get a show going.
    Give it a chance, please!!!!

  18. Red says:

    I think the finale should have ended with Molly running out of the garage after the signs of Ethan first reappeared. Overall I think the show was awesome. It’s unfortunate that the pacing of the story lost a lot of viewers in the beginning.

  19. Fred says:

    This finale was so full of illogical plot holes that it was barely watchable.

    – Molly goes into space to blow up the ship and prevent the spores from reaching earth. But then she allows herself and her fellow astronaut to be contaminated by those very same spores, and then returns to earth, bringing the spores with her.

    – Ethan blows himself up, then suddenly is “everywhere”. How? They had stated several times that his program couldn’t be downloaded. And if he had somehow managed to download his program into the ISEA computer at the lab, he blew up the lab! So how did he survive, and where exactly is he supposed to be, other than some cosmic ghost?

    – About that bomb… Supposedly they couldn’t disarm it (fairly unbelievable by itself, given the future technology of the day). But since Ethan is an android, and has an electronic brain which contains his program, why didn’t they simply remove Ethan’s head, blow up his body in a safe place, build him a new body with those nifty interchangeable parts they’re always showing off, then reattach his head?

  20. Judy says:

    As a frequent sci-fi watcher, I found this series interesting and well acted. Since it was so brief, there were a lot of unanswered questions at the end, but it was still worth watching.

  21. uk-usa-tvaddict says:

    Halle Berry can not act. That was a fact that was painfully apparent for every episode of this show.

    The feeling I couldn’t shake was that they wrote the husband as if he was a woman. He bonded with the son whilst his wife chased her dream of going to space. Molly ran off and did crazy and dangerous things and they talked on the phone. They had several conversations that I had seen in shows both sci-fi and regular where the d-bag male character has to deal with the overly emotional wife.

    Now that this has ended Camryn Manheim can go back to Person of Interest :-)

    • CountryQueen says:

      Oh my God! They showed a man staying home, taking care of their child, while the mom worked (though really – dad worked too – in a very high tech field). You sound like a d-bag male character to me. smh

  22. GuessWhat says:

    I gave the season (or more likely, series) finale a C and the overall season a D.
    The poll now shows most said C for both.
    So I wasn’t so off!

  23. Helen says:

    I truly could not quite wrap my mind around the show. I love sci-fi, but something was just missing in this show. I did not love any of the characters (other than maybe Ethan). They did not seem very well developed. Is it coming back next season? Or can I go to bed at 9 instead of 10 – in the Chicago market?

  24. Jadi Omowale says:

    liked the series, did not expect ethan to die and loved the way they handled it. love the two kids and hope both the alien baby and ethan come back next season. well done!

  25. Jimmy says:

    I only watched bits and pieces of this show and never really got into it. What I did notice, though, is that the acting was really good, even if the writing was slow-paced. As with most sci-fi shows and movies, there are a lot of questions, and particularly with TV shows (I’m looking at you, Under the Dome) there are much fewer answers than questions.

  26. Ray says:

    I was hoping Molly would blow up in space, and Ethan would detonate his own bomb and blow the creepy alien spawn, his too-stupid-for-words scientist father and “me so I can’t see past my own nose” Julia to bits. That would have been ideal!

  27. BJMusil says:

    I was most moved during the series by Ethan’s journey of discovery and questioning the reasons behind human responses. I found Ethan’s choices at the end very touching and most regretted his demise. I was found myself mad at Molly for not telling him that she did love him especially when he sacrificed himself for his mom. She’s way too fixated on the strange alien/human child who has no problem killing humans to sustain himself. When Ethan turned up on the computer screens I found I was hopeful that if the show does manage another season, Ethan can be resurrected now that his memory/computer brain is duplicated in the computers – hopefully it can be uploaded into a new robotic body. He’s almost the only feature of the show that I really worried about.

  28. I thought the series started out strong and then seem to take a U-turn to a weak, and “hurried” ending. The little boy did a good job of acting in his part, and was so cute you just wanted to take him home. I think Halle Berry also did a very good job. She is such an exceptional actress who really deserved better than “Extant.” I’ll just have to wait for Halle’s next venture.

  29. Pamela Rogers says:

    I really loved this show although it had a slow start. I tape it every week and get up at 5am to watch it on Thursday morning before leaving for work.
    I enjoy the multiple plot threads through out the show and all of the characters play well off of each other. Please don’t cancel Extant. I can’t wait to see how they bring back young Ethan and that new creepy kid gives me goosebumps.

    I am so sick of reality shows-I get enough reality drama during the day!

  30. Bob says:

    I really think it went off the rails. It got too confusing and uncomfortable to watch. Disappointing

  31. Paula says:

    I loved Ethan on this show and I hope it returns and I hope they bring back Ethan

  32. I loved watching this show and I really loved Ethan in this show. I liked him from the very beginning and grew quite attached to him by season’s end. I admit, I shed a tear and was upset that he died. It lifted my spirits….just a tad….when he came back (sort of). I hope the series was not limited and that it will return. Pierce Cagnon, the kid who played Ethan, is a phenomenal actor. I see him going far.

  33. Who is the little curly haired boy who plays the half alien?

  34. JoAnne Houlsen says:

    I like this show A LOT and hope it continues. Halle Berry was great as was the rest of the cast. EXTANT has immense potential and look forward to seeing it progress.

  35. Mary Rasmussen says:

    I’m sitting here trying to figure out what it is about this show that I liked so much. It must be the characters. I came to care about all of them, even John’s co-workers. They were flawed as we all are but they were basically good, kind people. I don’t care for shows where you don’t know who to like because the characters switch back and forth between good and evil. I hope the series continues!

  36. guest says:

    ethan took the starring role in the lasr episode now just recast the role of molly, this os an waful series especially with halle but the writer wrote perfect this episode and gave the starring role to who it really belonged to the kid ETHAN and the ALIEN

  37. Charity says:

    It was very strange and very bad.

  38. mary salazar says:

    I really like the show. I look forward to watch it every week. The only thing I don’t like is its kind of confusing at times. When scenes change that don’t make sence. It makes me loose interest when that happens. But over all I enjoy the show. Halle Berry is great love her! And Grace Hummer with her removable legs. Cant wait to see the new episodes.

  39. Slawka says:

    Great programme, still on over here in Great Britain. Good to hear there’s a second series coming. As good as under the dome!!!!!!

  40. Slawka says:

    Great programme. Still on in Britain good to hear second season is in progress. As good as under the dome!

  41. Sandra L says:

    I like the story, the season was overall really good. I didn’t miss an episode. I however didn’t like the end with ethan on the monitors. That was too weird. He should just be gone.

  42. stella rebello says:

    Stick to the story line. Please don’t try fixing what’s not broke.