I honestly don’t know how I missed this scifi show. I caught up on it three weeks ago and was impressed by the show, the acting and pretty much everything. The fact is that I wasn’t expecting much.
For the first few weeks in August, I kept seeing Defying Gravity in queues. I expected it to be some kind of extreme sports show. That is until I stumbled upon someone mentioning it as scifi. I did my homework and started watching the 7 episodes that I had missed.
I was surprised at how interesting this show was.
Warning: spoilers ahead
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The show is all about a mission in space, in the near future, by astronauts. They are on a grand tour, visiting all of the planets of our solar system. The mission will take six years. The astronauts don’t know the whole truth behind the mission, as they will all discover in episode 9.
Until then, they have unexplained hallucinations, which endanger the mission. Meanwhile, the backstory of the show is also shown. It goes back 5 years when the mission was being planned. Donner and Ted are two of the astronauts that went to Mars 10 years ago. Two of their fellow astronauts were still outside when a storm hit. They had to leave the planet. They were ordered by Mike Gauss, who was still on the spaceship. Donner and Ted complied, but under extreme duress.
Donner’s lover was left on Mars, as well as another astronaut. This has haunted and tainted them ever since. They were part of the training team, but Mike was under orders that they should never be able to go to Venus. As it happens, at the last minute, Donner and Ted were taken aboard after two of the astronauts developed health problems.
Eve goes on about how they were chosen for this. Eve is now married to Ted, who was involved with Jen five years ago. Right now, Jen is married to Rollie, one of the two astronauts who was grounded. Donner is involved sexually with Nadia, the German astronaut, but is in love with Zoe, who was also involved with Donner 5 years ago.
Anyway, there is quite a lot happening in the past to explain the situation of all of the astronauts. It’s quite intriguing. I’ve watched nine episodes and I’m still hooked.
There are only a couple of issues that I see. Sometimes, the recaps are long. By recaps, I mean when the astronauts talk about their past. The astronauts are all linked. Beta is making both Zoe and Donner dream the same dream, although their hallucinations are different. Donner keeps seeing Sharon while Zoe keeps hearing a baby crying.
Even if some people at Mission Control, those being Claire, Eve, Mike, Rollie, and other unnamed higher-ups know of the real mission, the astronauts have still to discover what it really is. We discover it at the same time when they finally open up pod 4 and bask in the glory of alien life.
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Mike tries to reassure the astronauts about the “bad batch” of HALO (Hormone Activated Libido Oppressors) that they ingested. They say that the HALOs were the cause for the hallucinations. Shaw doesn’t say anything about Beta.
Mike tells Claire that the astronauts will be told after the launch.
Nadia tells Ted that she has never taken any HALO. Ted isn’t telling her the truth. She has been hallucinating as bad as everyone else. Ted doesn’t say anything.
Donner hallucinates Sharon Lewis.
Zoe tells Jen that the HALOs aren’t the cause. Zoe tells her that she has been having the same dream as Donner for over two months.
5 years earlier, Ted is talking with Donner about what Eve discovered. He tells him that Sharon and Walker weren’t going to make it, no matter what. Donner doesn’t trust her. He tells Ted that Eve is working him over.
Donner sees Zoe in the locker room. She is recovering from her night. She’s got a hangover. Ted implies to Jen that she won’t want to do anything after work today. Mike briefs the astronauts about following orders.
The candidates do a grueling test where they get an electrical shock if they make an error.
Donner talks with AJ. He doesn’t know anything. He says that he isn’t in the loop. Gauss, Eve, Claire and Rollie are in the loop. AJ tells him that there is nothing but to follow orders.
Donner and Zoe are talking. She starts hearing her auditory hallucination. She leads Donner to pod 4. Beta is inside. It triggers an alert at mission control. They cannot open pod 4.
Mike tells Ted that he needs to stop Donner and Zoe from opening pod 4.
While the candidates are running, Donner talks with Eve. She knows he knows, but he isn’t convinced. He still thinks that Sharon and Walker could have made it. It feels shitty to be told that this was the right thing to do.
Right afterward, AJ and Barnes are once against put in the chair. If AJ fails, Zoe gets shocked. Nadia says that this is based upon what the Nazis have done. While Claire and Mintz are in the chairs, a fire alarm breaks out.
Tim intercepts Donner. They argue about pod 4. Before they can hash things out, they are going to be hit by a solar flare. Jen is going back for Rufus. Zoe goes after against Donner’s orders. A flare will prevent radio communication. Ted has to drag Donner into the shelter almost by force. Zoe and Jen didn’t make it back in time. This is all because of Jen’s stupid rabbit. Two lives in jeopardy because of that.
AJ has some suspicions. It turns out that this solar event was identical to the one in 2036. They receive the all clear. The neutron detectors aren’t detecting any radiation. Mike tells them that this was an exercise based on a solar event from 2036. Mike is pretty happy. The reason was the fact that the crew was trying to get into pod 4. In the bio lab, all of the fruit plants have bloomed into fractal shapes.
Eve tells Claire and Mike that Beta wants the crew to know. Ted says that the drill was staged to get Donner off his back. Pod 4 was filled with by Eve’s company, who’s got 3 trillion dollars invested in this mission. Ted goes against orders and tells the crew what the mission is all about. Ted says that the answer is in pod 4. When Mike orders them to stand down, a strange noise sounds throughout the ship. Eve says that this is Beta, who is singing. They all go to pod 4. A bright yellow light shines in their eyes.
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