Extant 1.01 Review: “Re-Entry”

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In Extant, Halle Berry plays an astronaut who, after being away in space for a thirteen-month solo mission, is pregnant upon arrival. Sounds intriguing.

I was about ninety-five percent right. Being a pilot, every show has to set up a storylines to keep the audience tuning in every week. This episode actually did a good job at that. It, obviously, brought up the fact that she was pregnant. It showed us that her and her husband had a robot son named Ethan. It showed us her tests after re-entry, including her medical one. It did a good job of keeping all of them in line and giving us enough information about each one to keep enthralled but also to make sure the viewer comes back for more. The only plot line that I thought was unnecessary was the regeneration or re-animation of the rich billionaire. I’m not even sure if that’s what it was. You got no more information about it especially because later, he just seemed to be a regular person. I wish we could either have gotten more out of that storyline or saved it for next week. However, the storylines did serve well for giving back story for the plots without force-feeding it to us. We saw Berry as her character getting sick. We saw her husband displaying their son at a fundraising convention. I liked seeing rather than hearing.

Now, because it is an event or limited run series, bigger celebrities tend to do these types of show. Besides Halle Berry, we’ve got Goran Visnjic, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Camryn Manheim. These are just a few big shots we’ve got in the show. In this episode (and hopefully all of them), the storyline dictated who got more screen time and who didn’t. It wasn’t the fact that this one’s a bigger star so he has to be in more shots. The casting followed the story and felt very smooth. Berry did do a nice job as Molly, the astronaut. Again, in this episode and hopefully in this series, she has to pull off a range of emotions but she did it well tonight.

Overall I think the show is good. I think that as long as they stay at this pace, (as far as the plot, pacing, character development, etc.) it is going to turn to be a good show. I can tell you that Berry succeeded. At times I felt like it was a family drama when she was arguing with her husband while at others it seemed more like a thriller, like when she saw her dead ex-boyfriend in the shuttle. She was still able to pull it off. I’m curious as to how other actors are going to react when they find out what Molly’s done and then act against Berry when she’s acting like that to them.

[Photo via CBS]

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