Debris season 1, episode 9 recap – “Do You Know Icarus?”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: April 27, 2021
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Debris season 1, episode 9 recap - "Do You Know Icarus?"


“Do You Know Icarus?” plays the time loop concept in order to make a pretty significant breakthrough with Bryan’s character, but a major cliffhanger leaves him stranded.

This recap of Debris season 1, episode 9, “Do You Know Icarus?”, contains spoilers.

I’m quite scared of drowning, so the fact that Debris episode 9 opens with a man diving into some water and remaining submerged until the lack of oxygen — or something else? — gives him a story setup flashback was a little disconcerting. In the vision, during which he’s sobbing, he fails to recognize a young lad who claims to be his brother and then inquires after his sister, who seems to be missing.

Bryan and Finola, meanwhile, are still on the road with George, on their way to get him the equipment he needs and debating the fact that they’re both betraying their countries and neither of them particularly cares. Governments have probably earned a little payback at this point, right? A new event comes in, though, in Oceanside near Washington State, and Bryan and Finola have to respond to it in order to keep up appearances with Maddox, so they leave George with Gary Garcia (Zak Santiago), a scientist who was injured in a debris accident who is going to procure George’s items for him. They also know each other.

At Oceanside, Bryan and Finola find Shelby, the young man from the cold open, who is staying in his very nice and modern-looking house with his “brother”, Steven. He comes outright with the fact he found debris wreckage with his sister, Kathleen, and it transported them two days into the past. Then they kept doing it. But one time he came back and his sister was gone; no matter how many times he repeats the process, and how many new siblings he seems to gain, his sister never comes back. Quite the predicament.

“Do You Know Icarus?” complicates matters because Shelby has already met Bryan and Finola, and indeed George, who has determined that it isn’t time travel, but that the debris is allowing him to “pluck out cards from the deck of reality”, and that the fabric of that reality is going to degrade at an alarming rate if he doesn’t get back to his own life. Bryan and Finola get George on the blower, and he asks if Shelby saw any colours when he triggered the debris. That’s important, apparently. George asks to speak to Finola privately and tells her that she has to convince Shelby to accept his fate since repeated jumps are causing a cumulative strain on space-time. It’s the opposite of what Shelby claimed. He’s lying so they help him get back to his sister, and when they turn around, he has fled for the water. He’s able to jump and we cut back to Bryan and Finola receiving the call in the first place. This time, the deer that they almost ran over at the start of Debris episode 9 stays put.

At Garcia’s place, Bryan and Finola once again tell George they’re responding to the debris call, and this time find a sign on Shelby’s door reading, simply, “Come in.” This time, Shelby’s brother is called Mack. In the call to George this time — he and Garcia have an illuminating conversation about the formation of Orbital and the dangers and upsides of new technology and knowledge — Shelby describes the colours he saw when activating the debris, but not in the level of detail that George would like. So, Shelby legs it upstairs for another jump while Finola and Bryan once again fail to stop him — on his way out, though, he catches a glimpse of presumably his sister in the mirror.

This time, Bryan has a different partner, Nils, who Shelby is surprised to see. He’s also surprised to learn that George is dead in this timeline, having committed suicide six months prior. He runs out and jumps again. Montage time! Bryan keeps showing up with different partners, and Shelby keeps jumping until he once again arrives with Finola. This time Shelby’s living room is full of mirrors, which he’s using to look for his sister. In one of them, Finola sees her.

Elsewhere in Debris season 1, episode 9, Maddox is distressed to learn that his wife, Julia (Jennifer Copping), has hired a divorce attorney. They discuss “the accident”, which is still kept nebulous, but it’s clear that Maddox is determined to keep his family together despite the fact that Julia barely ever sees him and can’t get over what happened. She very much blames herself: “I broke us,” she repeats, tearfully, mentioning she was the one driving the car.

Back with Shelby, George is back on the phone, and thanks to a clearer description of the colors he’s able to deduce that the debris is a large piece, a fragment of which he has already encountered. It can sense one’s desires and shift reality around to accommodate them. This time, though, the mirrors give George a new theory, that the gaps in the molecular structure of glass are allowing glimpses of things from alternate realities, such as Shelby’s sister. When he tips Finola off about not letting Shelby jump again, this time Bryan has enough time to dive into the water after him, but they both end up going through the debris together.

Bryan arrives at Shelby’s place with a new partner, but now he remembers everything. He’s on Shelby as soon as he opens the door, but the bleedthrough in the lounge is getting much worse. And his new partner, Grace, isn’t buying anything that he’s saying. In this reality, George was killed in an INFLUX raid. At a loss, Bryan calls Finola at MI6 and starts giving her as much information as he can, particularly that he’s from a reality where her father is still alive. He relates a story about a soldier and a penguin that George mentioned to Finola earlier in “Do You Know Icarus?”, which will do for proof. The story is a fable about opening one’s heart to love, despite the risk of being hurt in the process. You can’t hide how you really feel, in other words, which seems a fitting time for Bryan to confess that the person who is very important to him, who he’s trying to get back to his reality for, is her. That’s where Debris season 1, episode 9 chooses to end, leaving audiences with a major cliffhanger

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