Pilot -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Camera Wheelbarrow Tiger Pillow -| Review Score – 4/5
2 MG CU BID -| Review Score – 3.5/5
No Outlet -| Review Score – 3.5/5
RDZ9021 -| Review Score – 4/5
Mile Marker 14 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Fatal Exception -| Review Score – 4/5
American Chestnut -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Where You Belong -| Review Score – 3/5
15 Years -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Applied Sciences -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Killshot Pt. 1 -| Review Score – 3/5
Killshot Pt. 2 -| Review Score – 3/5
Emergence is a show with a serious identity problem. Beginning as a mystery with elements of Stranger Things included, across the 13 episode story multiple antagonists and different angled plots have wrestled for control, resulting in a messy and oftentimes tonally confused narrative that’s failed to settle into a consistent rhythm. It’s frustrating too because the show has a lot of positives, including a diverse, likable cast and some nice twists along the way. The early season promise is subsequently squandered by one too many deviations from the main plot line, ending the series in a very different place than the one it began in.
The story begins with a good dose of mystery. A small child is found amongst wreckage on a beach with no knowledge of who she is and why she’s there. As powerful forces try to snatch her away, police chief Jo finds herself wrapped up a conspiracy that spans all the way through to powerful forces operating in the shadows. As the series progresses, we learn more about Piper and just who or what she is, before throwing in multiple plot twists, surprises and cliffhangers that over-eagerly charge through to the action-packed two-part finale.
The problem with this style of shock-factor storytelling is that consistency and pacing are lost, especially during a binge-watch rather than a week-to-week story. The season finale is tonally very different from the opening and while some may like the progression into action-packed thriller territory, the early season mystery and more methodical pace is what made the show such a good hook to begin with.
Thankfully the characters are one of the saving graces of the show. Allison Tolman is fantastic in her role as the police chief and alongside Alexa Swinton (who plays Piper) the two have a good chemistry that keeps this one ticking along nicely. The rest of the supporting players do well too and for that alone, Emergence is a fun ride while it lasts.
With a cliffhanger ending and no word on whether this will be renewed for a second season or not, it’s questionable that the show would leave things hanging the way it has – especially given how trigger happy some networks are over cancellations and low ratings. Despite that, Emergence is a good enough show to watch but not something that’s likely to ignite the mystery or thriller genre anytime soon.
It’s not a bad show per-se but it’s not a particularly great one either. Emergence’s story is one that dips into several different styles of storytelling until settling on light sci-fi, struggling to find a good balance and subsequently resulting in something very different from what it began as all those weeks ago. Perhaps with a second season this one will settle into a more consistent rhythm but for now, the first is a bit of a rocky road and one that not everyone will enjoy driving down.
|Emergence is available to watch on ABC Network. Feel free to click here to check this show out!|