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What Went Down On The 'Emergence' Season Finale (As Mostly Explained By My Nephew)

By Dan Hamamura | TV | January 29, 2020 |

By Dan Hamamura | TV | January 29, 2020 |


The first season of the Allison Tolman-led sci-fi/family drama Emergence ended last night on ABC, and although it was one of the network shows I was most excited about back in the fall, it’s struggled to find an audience, which means that I haven’t had anyone to discuss the show with.

Or so I thought.

Turns out, my nephew, [NAME REDACTED FOR PRIVACY REASONS, but we’ll call him K] is a fan of the show, which was a shock to me, because I assumed that all he did was play Fortnite, or watch Youtube, or watch Fortnite clips on Youtube. You know, like a youth.

But since this is one of the few things we both have interest in (especially since I haven’t caught up yet on Supernatural, which he also enjoys), I reached out to him after the season finale to get his thoughts. [Spoilers, obviously.]

D: Hey, K.

K: Hey uncle.

D: Before we get into the season finale, how would you describe Emergence as a show?

K: Um, it’s about this little girl who’s kind of like a robot and has special powers, like she can lift things with her mind and protect people. And then this cop finds her and tries to protect her from the bad guys who want her because of her powers.

D: Okay. Who’s the bad guys?

K: Well, it started off that there was this bald guy—

D: Terry O’Quinn. From Lost.

K: I guess?

D: Lost was a popular show about ten years ago.

K: I was very little. I wasn’t watching TV yet.

D: Fair enough. Sorry, I’ll just insert the names later, so I don’t keep interrupting you.

K: What are you talking about?

D: Never mind. You were saying?

K: So the bald guy was after them because he wanted the little girl back, but then his daughter killed him because she wanted the little girl to be her daughter. But the little girl didn’t like her and she liked the cop because the cop was nice, and that lady was sad. And then this other lady showed up and she wanted the little girl also, and then the little girl goes with her and the reporter guy—

D: Owain Yeoman, from—

K: You said you wouldn’t interrupt again.

D: Sorry. (Note: from here I actually stopped naming actors, so character names will be inserted as parentheticals)

K: It’s okay. Oh, so the reporter guy (Benny, played by Owen Yeomain) was also a robot. And a bunch of other people were robots too. But then the little girl (Piper, played by Alexa Swinton) goes with him and the evil lady (Helen, played by Rowena King) because she wants to save the other robots, but the evil lady keeps killing them.

D: She sounds really evil.

K: Yeah, she’s way more evil than the others, I think.

D: So are we caught up to last night’s episode?

K: Almost. Umm, the cop (Jo, played by Allison Tolman) was able to get the little girl back and then they decide they want to hunt down the evil lady, so they go to a science lab but then they get trapped there and the evil lady is after them, because they stole the battery she needs for her plan.

D: Okay, so now we’re at the start of the finale?

K: Yes.

D: What’s the evil lady’s plan?

K: Umm, I think she’s trying to upload the others to a cloud or something. She tried it once already and it makes their bodies float.

D: Spooky.

K: Yeah.

D: Now that we’re here, what happens in the finale?

K: So first the cop and the FBI guy (Brooks, played by Enver Gjokaj) are trying to escape with the battery, but the evil lady can turn herself into little nanobots now—

D: Wait, could she always do that?

K: I forget.

D: Me too.

K: So she turns herself into nanobots and gets through the door. Then they run some more until one of the nanobots gets inside the cop’s skin.

D: Oh, I remember that part. That was gross.

K: I liked it.

D: You did?

K: Um, obviously. It was crawling around inside her. That was so creepy and cool!

D: I guess so.

K: Well anyway, the FBI guy had to cut the nanobot out of her, but luckily they were in the kitchen so there was a knife he could use.

D: That is lucky.

K: I know! So that’s when the little girl, the reporter, the dad (Alex, played by Turk Donald Faison), and the young cop (Chris, played by Robert Bailey, Jr.) show up and they all seal themselves inside a lab because that’s the only place where the evil robot can’t get in. But then the reporter left with the poison because he wanted to stop the evil lady himself.

D: Okay, I have a question here. When he left, did you think he was doing it because he wanted to be on their side? Or because he was still helping the evil lady?

K: Umm, I wasn’t sure to be honest. But because the little girl said that he was good, I figured he probably was.

D: That seems reasonable. So then what happened?

K: So the cop finds him but he tells her to let him try to kill the evil lady, and he does, but it doesn’t work and she kills him, and then the evil lady tries to trick the dad and the FBI guy into giving her the battery by pretending to be the cop, and they figure out it’s not her, but she gets the battery back anyway.

D: I have another question. Did you think it was the cop?

K: No. She looked kind of weird.

D: Yeah, I thought so too. And she wasn’t with Chris.

K: Yeah.

D: Alright, so what happened next?

K: So then evil lady tries to start her big upload, and the girl starts to float, but then the cop put that bracelet on the evil lady so she couldn’t turn into nanobots and punched her. But then the orb thing got broken, and was about to explode, so the little girl built a shield around it so everyone else would live, but she got destroyed.

D: That was pretty sad.

K: I guess, except I knew already that she was going to come back, because they had another copy of the girl’s code.

D: Oh right, the copy that the government was after, right?

K: Yeah. So then they use that code on the evil lady…

D: Sorry, I have to interrupt one more time here. Didn’t that seem like a bad idea?

K: Why?

D: I mean, she’s pretty powerful, and it didn’t seem like they knew if it would even work. What if they accidentally just wake up the evil lady?

K: I guess, but they wanted the little girl back, so they had to do it. And anyway, it worked, because she did come back, and now she has nanobots, and she said she can cure the grandpa’s cancer!

D: Oh right, I forgot that he (Clancy Brown) was sick.

K: Me too, to be honest.

D: So it had a happy ending?

K: Well, mostly. But the dad said he was moving for a job, and then at the very end the government people looked like they had a remote control or something that could connect to the girl, so she might be evil now!

D: Now THAT was scary.

K: Yeah, I hope she doesn’t turn evil.

D: So what did you think of the show overall?

K: Um, I thought it was fun. And there were a lot of twists the whole time. Did you like it?

D: I did, mostly. I was confused at some points, but I want to know what happens next.

K: Me too.

D: Now that the show’s done, is there something else you’re going to watch?

K: I dunno. Oh, but let me show you this Fortnite video…

[He then proceeded to show me a series of Fortnite videos. I have never played Fortnite. I do not understand Fortnite, beyond the vague notion of its popularity. I don’t know how long I was watching Fortnite videos. An hour, perhaps a week. A month? Time means nothing now. Eventually, I woke up in a small puddle of drool, which thankfully missed both my laptop and my notes of the conversation, since that was the point of the call in the first place.]

Header Image Source: Hulu/ABC