“RDZ9021” proved a pacey, intriguing episode that was worth the extra week’s wait, as the mystery gets even twistier.
This recap of Emergence Season 1, Episode 5, “RDZ9021”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
We had to wait two weeks to find out if Benny (Owain Yeoman) survived the last-minute shooting which closed the previous episode, but it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that he did. He’s got a bullet in his shoulder and some cuts and bruises, but his plot armor kept him alive. His friend April (Ashlie Atkinson), however, fared quite a bit worse. She’s dead.
Both Benny and his would-be assassin fled the scene, the latter to who-knows-where, and the former to Jo’s (Allison Tolman) house, because where else is safe? Terry O’Quinn’s enigmatic Richard Kindred had one of his employees killed at the hospital without much fuss and has been strutting around melting bodies and fanning himself with wads of hundreds, which is what I assume all billionaires do. At Jo’s, he gets patched up by Abby (Zabryna Guevara) and terrifies the kids with his injuries, but also reveals he caught the assassin’s license plate. Emergence Episode 5 takes its title from it: “RDZ9021”.
Shook up, Benny wants to go into hiding, but how can you hide from the guy who controls half the city and has robot dogs patrolling his warehouses? The only way to be safe is to take Kindred down, and with the license plate which leads directly to his company, that’s now a possibility. Jo went and smugly arrested him, having apparently never seen a show or movie before in which the humble good guys take on a moneyed lawbreaker with bottomless pockets, and acts remarkably surprised when the District Attorney turned up at the station and said her story sounds a bit farfetched.
And he’s not wrong, really. Assassinations? Melting bodies? And that’s without any mention of the robot masquerading as a human currently staying in Jo’s house. The DA has no choice but to order Jo to let Kindred go, and Jo has no choice but to do what she’s told. And now not only is Kindred loose, but he’s supremely annoyed about having been tested. You how the 1% are. Petty.
So petty, in fact, that he buys Alex’s (Donald Faison) company just to lay him off. That’s a hilariously extravagant baller move. But Alex is the most understanding ex-husband in TV history, so he just tells Jo to keep at it. And keep at it she does. First, she goes to Emily (Maria Dizzia), who has nothing else to do besides repeatedly almost get herself killed with her hubris. She might as well put her restless energy to good use finding evidence against Kindred. Benny, meanwhile, now back on his feet, tracks down the assassin’s vehicle and gets easily whooped in a fight, proving his usefulness is not in combat but in stealing valuable items while getting beaten up — in this case the guy’s apartment keys.
Luckily he’s a list guy. A name rings a bell for Benny, who recognizes his old source on Kindred, his former partner, now dead. The assassin had an interest in his widow. But their investigation is cut short a bit prematurely by Ed (Clancy Brown) passing out at the wheel of his car — his cancer is back, worse this time — and almost getting Mia (Ashley Aufderheide) and Piper (Alexa Swinton) killed by an oncoming truck. Luckily Piper’s robo-powers activated at the last minute to hoist the vehicle into the air, troublingly in full view of Mia, who confronts her at the end of “RDZ9021”, asking her outright if she has superpowers.
That’ll be an awkward conversation. But even more awkward will be the one that inevitably comes up when it’s discovered that Kindred seemingly wrote a backdoor into Piper’s code, and has been meeting with her in secret. Emergence Season 1, Episode 5 leaves us with even more mysteries than usual.