Debris season 1, episode 5 recap – “Earthshine” here and there

March 30, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Weekly TV
3.5

Summary

Influx make another move in “Earthshine”, as Finola continues to grapple with what she learned last week.

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3.5

Summary

Influx make another move in “Earthshine”, as Finola continues to grapple with what she learned last week.

This recap of Debris season 1, episode 5, “Earthshine”, contains spoilers.


I think it’s safe to say things are heating up in Debris episode 5. I still have minor criticisms, obviously, but then again I always do — ultimately, though, I can see the shape of a bigger, more ambitious story in the margins of each week’s case, the pieces beginning to slot neatly into place. As the plotting coheres, the character writing is seeming to as well. “Earthshine” represents a torrent of personal revelations and crises for Finola, who is still grappling with what she learned in last week’s episode.

The focus does remain on Finola in this episode, perhaps to Bryan’s detriment — the way to characterize someone who’s aloof is not, I think, to keep them out of the way — but it makes sense at this stage to emphasize the feeling of her world suddenly collapsing in on itself. And that brings me neatly to the debris-related mystery of “Earthshine”, which sees wormholes being deliberately opened in order to transport increasingly large objects, beginning with a bus and progressing to God-knows-what — the case is solved before we have to chance to find out exactly what Influx was hoping to achieve.

Influx is more explicitly to blame this week, and we see a bunch of the organization’s members going about their clandestine business. This debris seems to have connections to a piece stolen from Germany that had similar, though less refined effects. The fact that the powers of the pieces can be harnessed and improved is a pretty big deal in itself, but also ties into what Finola learned about her father — she speculates, and I think she’s correct, that he’s being forced into working for Influx for precisely this purpose.

But there’s much more going on than that. To be frank, there isn’t even that much mystery relating to the core plot — Finola and Bryan quickly figure out that giant steel conductors are being used to create the wormholes, and that a tell-tale high-pitched whine is basically a charging-up process as it gets into gear. Preventing a second, larger wormhole from being opened made for a breathless, action-packed finale. But the devil, as they say, is in the details.

For one thing, there’s the obvious tension between Finola and Bryan given she knows that he has been concealing information about her father. She can’t help but be distant from him, which doesn’t go unnoticed, but for now, he thinks it’s because they disagreed on the last case and she’s happy to let him keep believing that. But even Priya Ferris, Finola’s MI6 superior who spilled the beans in the first place, doesn’t seem all too trustworthy in light of Debris episode 5 — she sends Finola a crucial piece of intel via a guy in a van, but he drops the USB drive off with a message that Ferris is hiding something and that Finola’s dad isn’t a clone.

There’s also the increasing portrayal of Influx as a bunch of zealots. A key suspect commits suicide rather than be captured, but before he does he says, ominously, that “another will rise in my place” and “this technology will be free.” Footage of this guy arriving in the country sets alarm bells off for Finola since she recognizes the men he meets with as the same men who took her father.

Scroobius Pip also debuts in “Earthshine” as Anson Ash, the leader of the Influx team trying to reopen the wormhole, and he’s especially weird. During the finale, Finola is able to corner him, and he smilingly declares that she looks like her father right before sound in the area is abruptly curtailed by the charging debris. Bryan is able to stop the process, but when the sound returns, Ash is tackled to the ground by police officers before he can say anymore. Crucially, one of his men is also able to teleport by swallowing something, which I believe is a small piece of debris, but repeating the process is obviously killing him in some way. Again, this reinforces the zealotry idea. Whatever these guys believe in, they believe in it more than their own wellbeing.

But Debris season 1, episode 5 saves its weirdest turn for the very end. After the debris has been recovered and the suspects have been captured, Ash is put in a van to be taken somewhere “nobody will hear him scream”, according to Bryan. Finola, meanwhile, receives a video from Dee Dee of the pair of them singing and dancing as children to a very particular song. In the van, Ash is singing along.

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