Following a week’s hiatus, Emergence returns for a slightly shorter episode but one that packs the same dramatic punch as previous weeks. As the truth behind Piper is finally revealed, Jo finds herself making a difficult choice while Emily’s motives finally come to light too.
The episode itself begins with Emily in the virtual world with Piper, asking her what she likes as they wander around a fairground. Despite her best intentions, Piper senses something is up with her and goes on to proclaim she’s going to remember everything after her past before leaving the vision. Emily slams the VR headset on the table and after a monologue about power, we pan out to see she’s taken Alan hostage and intends to question him around Piper’s origin, determined to make the AI love her.
Meanwhile, Jo and Piper head to the station together where she mentions the dream involving Emily. Jo immediately perks up upon hearing this before Chris phones and tells them he found Alan’s car off the road some way out of town. As they begin piecing everything together, they realize Emily may well have been planning this the whole time, leaving Kindred as a third wheel.
Needing answers, Jo heads to the prison to speak to Kindred himself. After doing her research she reveals the truth to him – that Kindred is Emily’s Father and asks him for help in stopping her plan. However, he refuses to turn on his own flesh and blood and leaves her frustrated. More crucially, it also leaves her without definitive answers.
While Emily uses a new program to try and rewrite Piper’s memories, Chris breaks into Alan’s house and manages to save his wife from the armed guard currently holding her hostage. At the same time, Piper glitches out with a message from Alan telling Jo to find her. As she hurries to his location, the program appears to be successful as Emily hijacks Piper, who sees her instead of Jo in their house. Unfortunately she has no knowledge of Jo anymore leaving the real Jo with a difficult choice over what to do with Piper as she speaks to Alan.
Either she can manually “factory reset” Piper and she lose all memory of her or alternatively bite the bullet and take down Emily, knowing she’ll never know her or have knowledge of who she is. Eventually Jo makes her decision and shoots the computer. However Piper exhibits free will and manages to overwrite her mental library, regaining her memories and prompting Emily to scamper away before she’s caught.
As the episode closes out, Emily phones Kindred and tells him the mission was unsuccessful; Piper will never love her. As he pleads with her to let him clean up her mess, she instead runs out of patience and has him killed by one of the guards.
With Kindred out of the picture and Piper seemingly able to course-correct any sort of hack from here on out, what does the future hold for our AI child? Given what we know already, and her capacity for learning and growing, is it possible that Piper may start to show resentment and anger toward Emily? Especially given the way she tried to manipulate her this week. It’s certainly something worth noting while the death of Kindred is, for me at least, a little disappointing. I get that he was essentially the red herring, with him fronting as the main antagonist for most of the season, but Emily just doesn’t exhibit the same charisma and menace that Kindred does.
Now that he’s out of the picture, it looks like we’ll be getting a straight forward cat and mouse game as Jo tries to find and stop Emily before she attempts another hack. Still, there’s plenty left up for debate and quite what direction Emergence will go next remains to be seen. For now though, the show bows out with another strong episode, even if some of the decisions made here may not be the strongest decisions going forward with the story.