Is the debris revealing its purpose?
by Chuck Duncan
Guest Cast: Erin Karpluck, Zarina Sterling
This week's episode, 'A Message From Ground Control', has a pretty gruesome opening as we see debris stored in containers in a warehouse/lab facility start moving on their own. Getting a bit too close to one of the containers, a lab tech gets a hole in his head as a ball of light bursts through the container, his head other containers and a wall before hitting the partially reconstructed alien ship in the Orbital facility. Then the lights go out. If they wanted to get our attention, that's one way to do it.
George has finally arrived at the antenna field in Arco, Virginia, rendezvousing with Finola and Bryan. The place was the location for Voice of America transmissions. Finola gives her father the Ligari files she received and he's eager to find the one bit of information he needs to help jog his memory of what needs to be done to find the one piece of debris everyone is looking for because it is believed this single piece can pinpoint the location of all the other pieces that have fallen to Earth. But to find it, he needs to redirect a UK satellite and use the Earth's magnetic field over the US to pinpopint its location. But Finola has a question for her father that's been nagging at her -- why does Maddonx want him dead? George can only answer that perhaps Maddox fears what he can't control, then he warns her to beware of the coalition between the US and UK. She tells him she believes in Bryan, but Orbital doesn't feel like a coalition at all. But duty calls as Bryan and Finola get called back to Orbital to look into the incident that shut down the power and forced everyone to evacuate the building.
Eight scientists are still unaccounted for inside the facility, and Maddox believes Influx may be behind the incident, somehow controlling the debris from afar, supporting Finola's hypothesis that the debris is connected somehow. Five of the techs are found inside, facing a wall in a hallway, in some sort of a trance state. They also find the unfortunate tech with the large hole in his head, and two more techs also in a trance are moving containers of debris, lining them up in a row. Confused about what's happening, Bryan and Finola are taken by surprise when one of the containers flies toward them, vanishing in mid-air, then reappearing a second later from the same spot, falling to the floor smashed with the debris inside missing. There is already a pile of smashed containers on the floor and the other cases in the line are also doing the same thing. Assuming the containers are entering a 'pocket dimension' that is creating a strong gravitational field, they try to shut it down with the MUs but it doesn't work because there are too many different pieces to lock onto one so they need to inventory the pieces that have gone missing to see what might link them. But what it does seem to do is awaken the techs in a trance, though still in a trance, with Bryan ordering the team to let the techs go and follow them. They go to another area and all stand in front of a glass wall just like they did in the hallway.
Nothing seems to link any of the missing pieces, and an attempt to remove the containers already lined up proves futile as one member of the team gets zapped into a trance-like state as the others, joining them at the glass wall. Bryan tries to find anything in the warehouse where the alien ship is partially reconstructed, but there's nothing to be found. While they wonder if there is something inside the pocket trying to use the debris to destroy them all, one of the techs convulses and dies.
Finola tries to get more help from George regarding the random pieces but when she begins to read off the numbers of the pieces, he tells her they aren't random but are a harmonic sequence, and that constant contact with those Ligari harmonics can cause catastrophic brain damage. Whatever is being constructed with the debris could emit a kinetic pulse that could throw the Earth off its axis. Reversing the polarity of the MUs could be the only way to shut down the debris and give them a chance to figure out what's going on. And it works as the next case is drawn to the pocket area but basically bounces off undamaged. But new Ligaru readings show that there is something happening beneath them. Bryan and Finola find a lab they didn't know existed along with schematics -- it's a weapons lab! Orbital is weaponizing the debris, and Finola finds a notebook with her father's notes and realizes they are using his work to do it. They also find a big chunk of the missing debris.
Finola confronts Maddox and he tells her they'd doing it to protect their assets. And they aren't the only ones. China is doing, Russia is doing ... the UK is doing it too, and that's why he's been trying to locate George so no one else can use him to create their weapons. Finola reminds Maddox that George took his own life because of all this. A second tech collapses, and the others at the glass wall are on the move to shut down the MUs ... but touching one of the devices vaporizes one of the techs. The power fluctuates, Bryan suddenly sees Asalah, and then the power goes out. Under the emergency lighting, he then sees the chair in which Mariel had been sitting, then he sees her and again asks 'why?'
We don't see what Bryan saw, but whatever it was it totally enlightened him as to the debris' actions, and also his need to protect people. He says they need to let the debris finish what it started and if they prevent it from finishing they'll end up killing more people. Finola is a bit shocked by Bryan's sudden turn around -- perhaps her own as well as their opinions of the debris have reversed just like the polarity of the MUs -- but Bryan assures her he know what the debris is doing, he just can't put into words what he learned from connecting with Mariel. The takeaway is the debris is doing something good, just like Finola once believed. And Finola puts all of her faith in Bryan, never once questioning if the debris showed him what it wanted him to see rather than showing him the truth.
They shut down the MUs, the rest of the cases fly through and reappear crushed, but there is one final piece of debris missing. Bryan is allowed to retrieve it from the lab and he has the piece released to connect with the large piece in the lab. The piece then transports through the floor, into the pocket and is transformed into a small glowing orb. Finola and Bryan watch it for a moment then it shoots upward and phases through the roof of the building. Outside, everyone watches the orb in awe as it hovers above them, then suddenly it flies off into the night. Everyone is released from their trances, and out of the blue George has located the debris they're looking for -- it's in Virginia.
There was a development with Ash this week as he tricked a guard into taking him to a doctor at the facility because he wasn't feeling well. An X-ray showed Ash's body filled with ... something (probably the pills he'd been ingesting to transport from place to place), and was preparing to operate. Ash killed the guard and forced the doctor to fire up some AEDs. The doctor says using them will kill Ash, but he zaps himself ... and disappears, transporting to a parking lot where he steals a car and meets up with a henchman. Unfortunately for George, Ash knows that he's located the debris. Someone else seems to know as well as Maddox's Russian contact calls to ask if he's ready. For what, we don't know.
With only one episode left this season, it will be interesting to see how this wraps up. But will we get a satisfactory ending or a cliffhanger that may never be resolved if the show is not renewed for a second season?