Last night’s Debris showed the first glimmerings of what we can expect if the show makes it to the end of its planned first season (those ratings took a battering overnight. Ouch!) with X-Files level bizarre phenomenon intercut with touching emotional beats, and just a smidge more on Bryan’s mysterious and tragic past.
In episode 2, “You Are Not Alone” Fi and Bry (yes, I’m going to call them that) grapple with their latest case — a small town that can’t seem to keep its metal and metal alloy objects from uprooting themselves and trekking off to the edge of town to form a protective ring.
At first we assume the metal must be attracted to a powerful piece of debris, but then we realize the debris is pushing the objects away from itself in order to create a barrier to the outside world.
While the town’s inhabitants have been evacuated, one man still remains, albeit in a confused mental and emotional state. (Hats off to this week’s guest star David Alpay, who heroically takes on the many roles of confused townsperson Eric King.)
The team take Eric into custody, and attempt to learn what exactly is going on in this town. However, moments after being led away, he reappears, his clothes blood-soaked, and with no sign of his handler. The guys assume the worst, but they are mistaken. When they give chase, both Bry and Fi (get used to it) each track down their own version of the absconder. Eric is a clone, and there are 3 of him.
Orbital brings each clone in for questioning and discovers that each is preoccupied with a different all consuming urge (to succeed, to reconnect, to find something missing) that is driving them to the brink of insanity. We watch as two of the clones succumb to deep distress and die from heart attacks brought about by their extreme mental states of agitation. Only Finola is able to successfully connect with the third clone and placate him into a state of calm. They subsequently learn that none of these guys is the original Eric.
Bryan and Finola check out Eric’s house, where they discover a giant chunk of debris resting ominously in the basement, after it apparently crashed through the roof at some earlier point. While Bryan investigates the debris (shouldn’t get too close Bryan!) Finola checks out a sound upstairs and discovers another clone, this one, consumed by fear.
Now it’s Bryan’s turn to hear an ominous sound upstairs. Damn but those floorboards are creaky! He goes to investigate, and meets … himself. Because who ever said Eric should be the only one to have a clone?
Not taking any chances Bryan draws his gun. Clone Bryan draws his gun. Clone Bryan is deeply agitated and tells regular Bryan he “has to find her” before attempting to gun down his counterpart. Our Bryan shoots first. Like Han Solo gunning down Greedo in the Mos Eisley cantina.
Unlike Han, the incident however has left Bryan deeply rattled. But we get the feeling it’s not because he had to shoot himself, but more because of what the clone said. Who is her, Bryan? And how can she be saved? Why didn’t you save her Bryan? Why?!?
Just like last week, it’s Finola who puts it all together. Evidence in the house suggests Eric, its original occupant (who is still generating clones that literally drop at intervals like apples from a tree — or in this case the ceiling) is still alive somewhere in the town, and that he is injured (judging from the tell-tale blood trail he has left behind.) Probably out there dying somewhere, he is “shedding” parts of his ego he no longer needs or wants. Each clone represents a part of himself the dying man is willing to give up. Only the clone searching desperately for someone is alive and well. Apparently, the man refuses to let go of someone from his past. (Is that ringing any bells with you, Bryan? Hey don’t shoot me, I was just asking.)
Bryan thinks the most likely place the injured man could be is in the mangled metal wreckage at the edge of town. After some (literal) digging he finds the injured man’s car with its unconscious passenger still inside. Bryan kicks in the window, and attempts to pull him out.
Unfortunately for Bryan, his actions are timed with Orbital’s attempt to extract the basement debris across town, and in an effort to protect itself, the debris exacts a metal-crushing wave that pulls the town’s boundary tighter, threatening to crush Bryan and Eric to death inside the car wreckage.
Finola radios the team and tells them to stop and … eventually… they do. (Someone needs to have a word with those guys. Seriously!)
All’s well that ends well. Although we’re not exactly sure what happened to all the clones. Maybe they can be put to use in cleaning up the place? Awake, and being treated for his injuries, Eric phones a mystery woman (who, and I’m reaching a bit here, left him because he was so obsessed with work and never really knew what a great thing he had until she was walking out the door), with the entreaty “Stay!”
Like a faithful Labrador Retriever, the woman pulls her car over to consider the (not very romantic actually) offer. Perhaps he’ll send a clone to go pick her up?
Bryan mulls over his own dead clone body laid out neatly in an Orbital field clinic. If that were me I would be straight up assessing how big my bum looks in that outfit. Or what my head looks like from behind. Or if I should perhaps snurch my clone clothes? (Never hurts to own a second pair of really great shoes. You know I’m right.) But Bryan doesn’t need to consider such things. Instead, he extracts a photo of a woman from dead Bryan’s jacket pocket, and stares at it sadly for a while.
Finola interrupts his reverie, and prompts Bryan to tell her what his final clone might have been like. What is the last thing he would be willing to give up if he was dying? Well, it’s not the truth obviously, as Bryan is still keeping the startling nugget that Fi’s dead Dad is out there somewhere walking around like a very much alive person all to himself.
The pair have a
shipping bonding moment in the car, eating some stale Peeps, while Bryan holds back on all the juicy truths … for now.
- Fi has a sister named Dee-Dee who appears to be a junkie, but this side-story is not as engaging we might like it to be.
- Wow, Bryan really shot Clone Bryan faster than you can say “I have to save her.”
Pew! Pew! No more backstory for you, audience.
- Seriously, what happened to all the clones. Some of those guys were not alright at the end. Has someone from Orbital at least put them out of their misery?
- Isn’t asking someone how their ‘final clone’ might behave one the most deeply personal questions you could ask another person? All things considered, there’s no way Bryan was ever going to respond to that one.