Defying Gravity Venus S01E12 (ABC)

Defying Gravity intertitle, image via Wikipedia
Defying Gravity intertitle, image via Wikipedia

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 13 episodes, so we should be grateful that we can watch these episodes.

Warning: spoilers ahead

* * * * *

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. The Beta object was discovered in 2038 and has been communicating with 5 other objects since then.

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 twelve 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 is all about the Venusian landing. However, 5 years ago, Zoe was cut from the team. I wonder how she came back onto it after being cut.

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.

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 happened in this episode. All of the preparations are in vain, as they land too far from the object to retrieve it. But Zoe goes after it nonetheless, after she hears the crying baby hallucination on Venus.

* * * * *

Nadia and Donner slept together without having sex. Today’s the day they land on Venus. Zoe catches them. Nadia’s hallucinations continue. Wass goes to see Paula. They are both feeling left out. Wass is Paula’s new camera man.

Miracles are reality with parts missing.
Wass

Gauss is briefing the Mission Control staff. Ted is doing the same on the Antares. There is pre-recorded footage from a fake Venus landing. They will use this in conjunction with the live feed to prevent the public from seeing Gamma. Jen tells Zoe that Rollie is acting weird. Zoe tells Jen that Donner slept with Nadia and that she isn’t troubled about it. Jen says that she would die if she lost Zoe. Zoe says that she doesn’t care, but she bugs Donner about sleeping with Zoe. Meanwhile, Jen is in Nadia’s face about screwing Donner. Nadia says that she only slept with him, no sex was involved.

Rollie talks with Eve about his guilt. If Zoe doesn’t make it, the mission is over. The British ass is interviewing AJ and Arnell. Claire tells Mintz that there are some weird physiological changes happening to the astronauts. She has been ordered not to talk about them. She is sending them in a personal file. It’s also happening to Eve.

Zoe and Donner are getting ready for their landing. On Earth, Eve says that it was always Donner and Zoe. They start the landing procedure. Paula says a prayer. They are off trajectory and Donner has to go manual. If they miss, they cannot collect Gamma. Zoe has got about 20 minutes on Venus before she has to come back to the lander. Donner is missing the landing site. They land safely. They are 286m from the object. They can’t get it from here. There was a strong crosswind. Zoe receives orders to make a good show for the people back home, but I think that she is going to go for Gamma. Zoe is stepping out of the craft. While she is out, she hears her hallucination of the baby crying. She starts walking towards the object.

5 years ago, Nadia and Donner are in bed together. Eve and Gauss are talking about the cut. It’s between Barnes, Spence, and Dereux. Eve has to cut one of them in order to get Wass in. Zoe is freaking out. Jen comes by.

Gauss is giving the results to the trainees. Zoe didn’t make it. Jen did. Claire, Wass, Mintz, Paula, AJ all made it into the cut. Nadia is 1st. The astronauts are saying goodbye to Zoe. Donner tells her that they are making a big mistake by cutting Zoe. She tells him to come to Major Tom’s. Donner says that Nadia wants to celebrate.

That night, everyone is partying. Claire calls Mintz a misogynist and hopeless jerk. She still wants to go out with him. He warned her about his emotional and physical scars. Donner leaves to see Zoe. She is crying. They kiss and make love. He wants her to stay, but she wants her own life. She says goodbye. The next day, AJ, Rollie, and Jen help her to move out. At the train station, she decides to get a tattoo of an eagle.

Donner finds Arnell moving into Zoe’s flat. He’s got two legs. Somehow, in 5 years, he loses a leg.

* * * * *

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Author: range

I'm mathematician/IT strategist/blogger from Canada living in Taipei.

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