“I Am Icarus” closes out a clever two-part storyline and ends with another tantalizing cliffhanger.
This recap of Debris season 1, episode 10, “I Am Icarus”, contains spoilers.
After last week’s pretty shocking cliffhanger, it’s welcome that “I Am Icarus” picks up directly from it. No time is wasted on a teasing cold open or checking in with other characters to postpone the main event. Instead, Bryan and Shelby are both on the same page, with a clear objective, and jump together into the water outside Shelby’s house to travel back through the debris and into whatever reality it spits them into. Brian takes a bullet on the way this time, though, which might explain why this time, when Bryan emerges, he’s surprised to see Shelby’s previously-erased sister, Kathleen, answer the door.
Kathleen’s reality isn’t holding up too well either. The universe is degrading and collapsing in on itself, so the various realities are bleeding through into Kathleen’s lounge. Bryan thinks the only way to fix what’s happening is to find George Jones, but his partner in this reality reminds him that George Jones is dead. Before long, Kathleen has gone for a swim and triggered a new reality with Finola and a new partner, Gibson (Garfield Wilson). When they meet Kathleen, she asks Finola about her father, and it turns out in this reality he’s alive. Score! Kathleen gives her the lowdown on everything Bryan told her, and Finola takes it to George, who’s alive and well, and gives her much the same advice as he gave everyone last week. More jumps are only going to make the situation worse, and Kathleen has to accept her reality; accept the loss of her brother. This time, though, one of the tears in the living room allows Bryan and Shelby to see through into this reality, holding up a sign that says so. Bryan writes another message, but before anyone gets a chance to read it, the tear closes right up again.
Kathleen has the same habit as Shelby — whenever a conversation gets awkward, she sprints out of the house and into the water to trigger another jump, space-time continuum be damned. In the next go-around, she’s able to tell Shelby she loves him through the tear, and they reach out to touch hands… which seems to trigger another reset.
This time, Bryan and Finola are able to communicate through the tear for much longer, but when he prompts her to ask George for help, she reveals he’s dead. Blimey, this is frustrating, and Debris episode 10 really gets that across. When Bryan and Finola communicate here they’re mere feet away, but the space seems insurmountable. The limitations of a pen and paper are deeply felt. When the tear closes again, it’s a hair-pulling moment. Another jump complicates the situation further still. This time, Finola respawns with a new partner but all her memories from the previous reality. When she mentions her father being dead, she learns he isn’t. When Kathleen opens the door, she knows immediately that Finola remembers. This is progress.
Shelby and Bryan aren’t visible this time, but Finola is able to get George on the blower. The buzz term she recalls is “bilateral deviation”, a phenomenon caused by twins jumping through realities at the exact same time. That’s the key. Each of the siblings has been trying to get back to the other separately. They need to pass through the debris at the same time in both realities. Finola and Kathleen are able to find Bryan and Shelby through the tear and tell them all to synchronize their watches for two minutes. They’re going to jump together.
The jump is perfectly synchronized, and just like that, Bryan and Finola emerge at Shelby and Kathleen’s house together, partners once more. The degradation readings are faint now. This time, Shelby and Kathleen answer the door together, their memories obviously intact, even though Bryan’s and Finola’s aren’t. They’re happy to explain.
Of course, Debris season 1, episode 10 has to end with a cliffhanger — two, actually. In the first, Maddox returns home to find a divorce agreement on the kitchen table. Yikes. And in the second, Anson Ash toys with his cell guard when handing back his food tray, grabbing his wrist for a few seconds. It seems pretty innocuous until the guard then punches in the security code to get out of the room, and Ash, reclined on his bed and smiling, recites the numbers as they’re entered. He can see, or maybe feel, what the guard can. I think an escape is imminent.