“Mile Marker 14” delivers a shocking last-minute twist, further complicating an already intriguing mystery.
This recap of Emergence Season 1, Episode 6, “Mile Marker 14”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
You can’t trust young girls at the best of times, but especially not when one of them has superpowers and the other has a camera phone. Such is the predicament of Piper (Alexa Swinton) and Mia (Ashley Aufderheide) in Emergence Episode 6. Can she levitate cupcakes? Paint tins? And if Mia films her doing so is that going to mean the end of the world, as people keep insisting?
Questions, questions. To make matters worse, things aren’t going well at home for Jo (Allison Tolman), and that’s without the highly advanced potentially apocalyptic AI sleeping under her roof. Ed (Clancy Brown) has decided not to bother with chemotherapy to treat his cancer, instead electing to stay himself for as long as he can before eventually dying without becoming a burden to his child and grandchild. It’s a noble, proud decision, but not one she likes.
To busy herself, she has new leads to follow. Alan’s (Seth Barrish) widow Maria (Tamara Tunie) lets her know that Alan was the brains of Kindred’s (Terry O’Quinn) operation, and Chris (Robert Bailey Jr.) informs her that Alan isn’t actually dead. Score! While Piper has another chat with Kindred in her backdoor mind palace, and Alex (Donald Faison) tries and fails miserably to talk Ed out of his decision regarding his cancer treatment, Jo and Benny (Owain Yeoman) head to the bus station, where they are requested by Alan to place their weapons and phones in a secure locker and take a specific car to specific location. It’s all very hush-hush.
At their destination, a camera in the woods emitting a high-pitched sound renders the pair of them unconscious. When they wake, they find themselves in a well-appointed hideout, missing the extra gun that Jo tried to smuggle to the rendezvous. Alan gives it the doom and gloom routine about Piper, suggesting that her rate of learning and human emotions make her even more dangerous; she’s a cute, ten-year-old apocalypse waiting to happen. Luckily Alan suggests he has just the way to get at Kindred, but the gang is rudely interrupted by an armed strike team and has to flee, with a little help from Alan’s whiny gizmo. They’re able to escape, but Alan does a runner just as Chris and backup arrive.
This all results in a shallow victory for Jo and co. in Emergence Episode 6. Kindred is arrested for wire fraud and is facing two decades in prison. Emily (Maria Dizzia), as a result, is safe and free to go. But no more information about Piper has been forthcoming. Nobody has suggested a way to deal with her besides destroying her, which Jo obviously isn’t willing to do. And the number of people who know she’s an AI is rapidly increasing — it’s only a matter of time until Piper herself gets wind of it, and what kind of calamity will result from that?
Chris, for example, is told about Piper in “Mile Marker 14”, and takes it remarkably well. Alex, on the other hand, flips out after finding a video of Piper telekinetically lobbing around the paint on Mia’s phone, berating Jo for keeping the information from him and whisking Mia from the property when it becomes clear that Jo can’t guarantee her safety. Ed is made aware of Piper’s AI status too, as though he doesn’t have enough to worry about already.
It’s a problem, to say the least. And Piper’s only means of dealing with problems is to retreat into her virtual fantasia to be consoled by Kindred, but that’s where Emergence Season 1, Episode 6 reveals its surprising last-minute twist. It isn’t Kindred who has been communicating with Piper through her coding — it’s Emily. And now, she says, they can start having some fun.