I mentioned last week that Emergence has intrigued me so far and this week only further accentuates that with another solid episode, blending more questions with drip-fed answers. As Jo and Benny learn more about Piper’s origin, our AI girl begins to flex her mental muscles, leading up to a big reveal during the climax that leaves things on a very interesting and tantalizing note.
While Piper tests the extent of her power at home, Jo heads out and speaks to Alan’s wife regarding Kindred. It turns out he may be a fraud and not be the one responsible for creating Piper as Alan is the one who had all the research. Given his house was broken into not long after Kindred was released from custody, this could all be linked together.
Meanwhile, Piper hurries out of her room with Mia but as she runs through the door, she arrives in her mental museum again, with Kindred standing infront of her. Effortlessly, she peels away the layers of the museum to reveal a pier and together, they discuss Jo. She tells Kindred that she feels drawn to the police chief because with her, it reminds her of home. Back in the real world, she continues to explore her powers with Mia.
As Jo discusses matters with Emily, Chris tells Jo that Alan is actually still alive. While they search through stacks of paper, Jo eventually sits Chris down and tells him about Piper being an AI. He takes the news well too, leading to a package addressed to Benny arriving at the station. Inside is a key for a safety deposit box. Heading to the station, Benny and Jo are given instructions to leave their phones behind and drive to a marked location in a car outside. Reluctantly, they follow the instructions which leads them to middle of a forest, where they’re knocked out and bundled into another car.
When Jo wakes up, they’re greeted by a very-much-alive Alan, who tells them Kindred didn’t create the AI. However, Alan was the one who set out to destroy his own work to prevent the end of the world from occuring. With Piper constantly evolving and learning, this makes her a very dangerous asset and acts as the catalyst for the aforementioned apocalypse foreshadowed here. When he learns Jo’s named her Piper, he pauses momentarily before telling them more about the experiment, knowing just what they need to get through to Kindred.
Partway through formulating a plan, armed guards rush the facility, forcing Alan and the others to scramble to safety. Utilizing the familiar sound waves as before, Benny and Jo manage to leave the facility and force the door shut while helplessly watching Alan leave them behind. As the police arrive on scene, they breathe a sigh of relief while Alex brings Piper and Mia back home, but not before spotting the video of Piper moving metal with her mind.
After the incident at the facility, Kindred is arrested for wire fraud, facing a possible 20 years in jail. While the group celebrate their victory, for Jo it feels like a shallow victory given they still don’t know much about Piper’s potential and Alan himself managed to slip away.
Back home, Jo talks to her Father about his illness before Alex arrives and shows Jo the video of Piper. She hurriedly deletes the evidence though, breathing heavily, as Alex confronts her about the truth. Unfortunately this leads Alex to take Mia away while Piper stays with Jo. Upset, Piper buries her head in her pillow, before the scene fades back to her subconscious world. Standing on the pier, Kindred’s form changes to Emily as she smiles, “You’ve passed the test”.
What test is this referring to? Could it be the turing test? Or is there something more sinister at work here? Emergence is certainly building a credible mystery here and although a few of the supporting cast lack the same characterisation as Jo and the central cast, the shocking reveal at the end should be enough to squash any concerns. It’s this growing mystery that makes Emergence such a fascinating series but whether it’ll land the ending or not may just determine whether this show ends with a roar or a whimper. Let’s hope it’s the former!