As the weeks go by, I find myself caring less and less about Emergence. This is incredibly frustrating too because I actually really liked the story early on and the cast are all pretty good in their roles. Having said that, comparing the early episodes of mystery to these latter wheel-spinning slices of drama clearly shows a shift in storytelling, and not for the better. With comedy creeping into the story and a muddled plot line that feels like its clutching at straws to remain mysterious after the Piper reveal, Emergence looks like it’ll end with a whimper rather than a roar.
We begin with Emily talking to an AI; a strange cube which she places a disk on and watches as it switches off. Piper contemplates her actions back home as she notices a shard of glass on the floor and after speaking to Jo about Emily’s voice in her head, she heads off to help with Mia’s birthday party. Meanwhile, Jo runs into an FBI agent, Brooks, who tells her about Kindred’s murder.
Heading up to see Benny and Alan afterwards, Jo asks him to remove the fatal exception and informs them about the issue with Kindred. Given Piper can rewrite her own code, this may be easier said than done. Before she can press on the matter though, she gets a call from Chris who invites her along to the Auger Industries warehouse, now burnt down to the ground. Reluctantly, she teams up with the FBI in a bid to get to Emily first whilst sharing resources. When he mentions knowledge around Alan being alive, Jo co-ordinates with Benny to move him out of town.
Back at the station, Emily’s mum is brought in for questioning, where she reveals a picture of Emily aged 10 – looking identical to Piper. While Jo tasks Chris to comb through her phone records, Benny and Alan hit a flat on the road. He implores Benny to kill the AI to prevent it spreading but when he refuses, Alan knocks him out.
Piper and Alex head off to the site of her past, rekindling old memories on an impromptu road-trip, while Jo runs into Emily at one of the Auger Industry facilities. It’s here we find out Emily wasn’t the one responsible for burning them down. As masked guards hurry into the building, Jo and Emily try to evade their presence. With the bombs ready to go off at any minute, Agent Brooks arrives and helps them escape before arresting Emily.
After Mia’s party is a success, Jo learns that someone has sent Piper a present. That present appears to be the same tech we saw at the start of the episode. As a brilliant blue light descends over Piper’s body, she returns to normal after now “knowing” who she is. At the motel, Alan is killed by a new woman who appears to be taking the role of antagonist where we leave the episode, and series, hanging in the balance.
Emergence’s strong suit has always been its mystery surrounding Piper but since spilling the beans over who and what she is, the show has failed to rekindle that same early-season cloud of intrigue, which has all but dissipated now. The past few episodes have really felt like the writers have been desperate to inject more mystery, with Emily and now this strange lady taking the reigns of antagonistic duties after Kindred was killed off.
Personally I feel this is the biggest problem with Emergence. Killing off Kindred felt like it was done for shocks rather than a genuine narrative purpose and this lack of a focal villain for these final few episodes has really hurt the show. I actually enjoyed the last episode and felt the changed focus to Emily offered something interesting, keeping me intrigued and excited that they’d dive a bit deeper into this character. With Alan now killed off and Emily in custody, I’m struggling to see where the show goes from here. It’s a shame because I genuinely really like the cast but right now, the writing is holding this back from being a better offering.