Debris – Season 1 Episode 9 Recap & Review

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Episode 9 of Debris is titled ‘Do You Know Icarus?’ and it’s one heck of an episode. This is the first of a planned two-parter and the debris piece this week is the most dangerous we’ve encountered thus far.

We begin with a boy called Shelby sprinting to the edge of a cliff, diving underwater and holding on for dear life. As he sputters, we cut back to the house inside. Shelby is confused, calling out for his sister Kathleen. Only, it turns out he doesn’t actually have a sister in this reality, as the truth hits home for Shelby.

Meanwhile, Finola and Bryan drive George up to Garcia’s, intending to pick up some gear. With both agents working rogue against their own organizations, the pair receive a ping regarding a brand new event. This one includes atmospheric inconsistencies near Oceanside in Washington State. They need to head up and make appearances to make sure they don’t seem suspicious. They also leave George with the Garcia.

Finola and Bryan head up to this house, where they find Shelby. Apparently he’s been stuck in a time loop and keeps repeating the previous two days.

On one of these loops he lost his sister Kathleen. It also turns out this isn’t the first time he’s seen the pair. He knows all about George and believes this piece of debris has plucked him out from the timeline; akin to picking a card out of a constantly rotating deck.

Getting Shelby back to his correct reality with his sister will be like trying to put that aforementioned card back where it was before. While Finola is on the phone, Shelby slips out and jumps back in time. There are subtle differences every time he does this, as the cycle continues to repeat. Several times Finola is replaced with a different companion.

When Finola finally does return to the fray it’s in another revised timeline. She notices Shelby has mirrors up around the living room. Within that, she also spies Kathleen walking past. This mirror could well be a manifestation of “bleed throughs”; a manifestation of the damage Shelby is doing with these jumps through time.

As Shelby looks set to jump back again, Bryan suddenly follows, heading underwater and wrestling with the boy. Only, he gets pushed back in the exact same way as Shelby.

Bryan gets caught up in the loop, forced to repeat the few hours again. He’s thrown into a different reality this time, and in this reality Finola is back in Langley. Bryan instead is lumped with a new partner in Grace. She phones Maddox, who tells her to keep him around and make sure he doesn’t jump back again. Now we’re stuck with a difficult dilemma and a big cliffhanger.

The Episode Review

There have been a lot of time-loop shows and episodes over the years and it’s perhaps unsurprising that Debris pulls the same gimmick here. However, the entire episode is actually constructed really cleverly, with subtle differences in every loop.

As Finola and Bryan become more aware of this, the changes are more profound but there’s definitely something intriguing with these differing realities.

The debris pieces have been used as a hook for these writers to get away with a number of different sci-fi concepts. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, it’s also a show that hasn’t given us any definitive answers yet as to how this is possible.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen time distorted though, especially with that early season bus jump, but this chapter is far more cleverly written.

It’s also one of the best episodes of the season too, and while it’s certainly no 12 Monkeys, there’s a uniqueness to this time jumping that really helps give it some much-needed creativity. The ending certainly leaves the door open for next week, where the follow-up to this looks like it’s going to be a very good episode.

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