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. That being said, it wasn’t very surprising that this show got canceled pretty quickly. It’s off ABC for now and the remaining 5 episodes are being aired on the SPACE channel in Canada, which isn’t available to the US. Luckily, enterprising viewers will be able to find the latest episodes of Defying Gravity easily enough.
Honestly, I’m annoyed that this series got canceled. Naturally, it was foreseeable, but if it would have been on another network, like Syfy, it could have easily continued its full run. Anyway, the initial order was for only 14 episodes, so we should be grateful that we can watch these episodes.
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 back story 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 eleven 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.
Donner seems connected to Beta in some fashion. He believes that he is destined to go to Venus, not Paula. He believes that he should have gone on the rover on Mars 10 years ago. He didn’t and Walker went. Both Sharon and Walker were stranded on Mars. In this episode, Donner seems to have the gift of prophecy, as something happens to Paula’s Venusian ambitions. Wass is trying to understand the effects that Beta has, on a quantum level.
Meanwhile, the crew is still trying to cope with what was revealed in episode 9. Jen still can’t hear or see Beta. She starts telling some of the crew about this. All of them deal with it in their own way. This episode lets viewers assimilate the big discoveries of the last episode and their impact, even though we don’t really know what Beta is and what it wants.
In this episode, Rolly gets out of jail but Jen is left alone in space wondering what’s up with him. The flashbacks reveal more information about why Jen is no longer with Ted and why she can’t see Beta. Also, we see Nadia’s hallucinations. Paul was ordered to get a psych eval by Mintz and she reveals her Hector miracle. Donner helped Zoe in the past, and now she helps him relax so that he can pass the most difficult landing simulation.
Also, I don’t like how they addressed the gravity issue. In space, there is barely any gravity. Usually, spaceship designs include rotating habitats to simulate gravity with centrifugal force. However, in the rest of the ship, the gravity is simulated by their high-tech jumpsuits, which are made out of some nano-fiber that “clings” to surfaces. I don’t really know much more, as it’s only been mentioned a few times.
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.
The crew knows of the real mission now. They are on an alien treasure hunt to collect alien living objects. The objects communicate via hallucinations. They won’t be able to do anything except what the object wants. This was a good episode, setting the tone for the Venusian landing, which will most probably happen in the next episode which is called Venus. Donner and Zoe will be on the lander together.
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Rollie is being processed by the cops. Jen isn’t happy that Rollie didn’t call and that she didn’t call Rolly. She doesn’t know what happened to him. The astronauts are getting ready for the Venus landing. Everybody is walking on eggshells around Paula. She says that she is OK. She’s been ordered to get a psych eval by Mintz.
The reporter gets testimony from someone who is involved with HALOs. He says that ISO’s statement is BS. The HALOs weren’t responsible. It’s a lie. He’ll need to get someone from ISO to corroborate.
Gauss has gone to see Rollie. His blood alcohol level was twice the legal level. If she dies, he’ll going to get charged with vehicular manslaughter. He’ll get 25 years. The girl is still alive and in a coma.
5 years ago, the astronauts are going into sensory deprivation tanks. The trainees are getting into the tanks. When Jen gets into the tank, she starts freaking out and bolts out. She saw herself as a child lost in a train station, or something like that. It’s childhood trauma and it’s difficult to overcome, especially if it buries. Rollie tells her that she needs to pass in order to proceed. If she doesn’t pass, she’s out.
The trainees discuss their time in the sensory deprivation tank. Jen is in bed with Ted. She lasted 42 seconds. Rolly calls her to go back in. Ted doesn’t get the message. She wants him there. Nadia gives the appearance as if wasn’t anything special, but it was really hard for her.
Claire asks Mintz out on a date, but he says that she doesn’t want get involved with him. He says that he likes her a lot. Jen is getting in to the tank. Rollie gives her a tongue twister to practice.
Nadia comes to Major Tom’s dressed up to the nines. She wants to have sex with him now. Donner helps Jen with some darts. Nadia wants to leave to have wild sex. Ted comes to see Jen after she finished her time in the sensory deprivation tank. She asked him to be there for her, but he wasn’t. She closes the door on him.
Zoe is ordered to take it easy. She’s getting fidgety and antsy. Donner is practicing the landing. He fails 1 out of 4 simulations and decides to work at it some more. He continues to fail them. Ted tries to get him to relax.
Paula is taking with Mintz. She says that she hallucinated Hector, her miracle. Mintz saw the girl he was trying to help in the war. She firmly believes that God brought her dog Hector back from the dead. She’s completely delusional. I don’t have problems with faith, but she blindly believes the wrong thing. She walks out after a while, even though the psych eval isn’t finished.
Claire finally finds Gauss. She is concerned about the genetic mutations that are happening to the astronauts. There is a great shot of Jen in the past trying to say the tongue twister, Rolly says it in the present and Jen says it also right before calling Rolly. She can’t reach him. They tell her that he’s at Bertram.
Rollie is told by Gauss that he is back on the floor tomorrow. He says that it never happened. It cost ISO a little fortune.
Paula remembers a man in her memory. She comes to see Wass and breaks down. She’s crying. Mintz tells Claire that Paula is hiding something, repressing it.
Zoe is struggling with her speech and Donner is struggling with his landing simulation. He’s been trying the same simulation over and over again. He finally lands when Zoe comes to see him. She tells him the same thing that he told her to play darts.
Nadia hallucinates some other astronaut while getting ready to leave the fight deck. Nadia is waiting for Donner in his cabin. She says that she is terrified.
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