So last night, I watched the very hyped new ABC mystery thriller sci-fi drama Emergence. Or maybe it was a Lost spinoff. Or maybe it was a Stranger Things spinoff. Or maybe it was a Firefly spinoff. I’m not sure yet.
So here’s what I saw.
A police chief, Jo Ellis (Alison Tolman) receive news of a plane crash on the beach. She goes to investigate – only to find hundreds of people who survived the crash of Oceanic Flight 815 – no wait, that’s not right – she finds a scared, young preteen girl hiding in the woods. Meanwhile, there’s some sort of weird electrical disturbance, as lights flash and flicker whenever this teen girl (now named Eleven – no, wait, that’s not right – Piper by the police chief) becomes scared or frightened.
Police Chief Ellis takes Piper home, amidst fears that mysterious people are trying to find and take the girl for their own nefarious purposes. Eventually, the girl gets captured by two of these mysterious people, and almost escapes, driving away with Police Chief Ellis in custody … until suddenly the car Police Chief Ellis chases suddenly flips over and crashes. Piper is rescued … and a mystery ensues. This has to be the work of the Blue Sky Corporation, you know, two by two, hands of blue …
So what’s happening? What’s going on here?
Okay … there’s a lot to unpack. There’s a mystery, this girl has some sort of eletrokinetic power that manifests whenever she becomes stressed. Is this going to be explained? Is there some nefarious multinational corporation – Rossum, Blue Sky, Dharma, Hydra, KAOS – that manufactured the girl and wants her back? And was this girl constructed as a lab experiment, as a weapon of war, as a gun who suddenly doesn’t want to be a gun?
All I can say is … the show’s producers better have a fully-explainable and over-arcing storyline that makes sense and doesn’t simply do the “we’ll figure it out as we go” route that Lost did. And they’d better have a trapdoor for this series, in case the show is canceled, so that we don’t have hanging plotlines a la Threshold or Firefly or some of the other genre series that died in mid-season.
I’ll give Emergence a chance. But I’m kinda hoping that there’s a payoff to all this mystery. Something that puts a coda to this introduction.
Don’t make me regret my decision to give this show a chance, ABC. Five weeks into this series, I don’t want to block out my Tuesday night and find that the show got cancelled and replaced with reruns of Match Game.