Ever since Lost went big, various networks try to come up with the “viral” show that will hold viewers. Alcatraz. Time travellers. Time loops. Plane disappearances and reappearances. So not surprisingly, the networks are trying again this year. I already wrote about one (Series premiere – The I-Land) and why I passed. Emergence had a slightly different take on it, which was a plane crash of some sort with only one survivor. A girl. With supposed amnesia and not a scratch on her.
But that wouldn’t be enough for the weird. Just before the plane crash, all the electronics in the nearby town went haywire. After the crash, some supposed NTSB people showed up and tried to take the girl, before the real NTSB people showed up. Meanwhile, the local police chief is protecting the girl. Dun dun dun. There’s other stuff happening, people trying to kidnap the girl, etc., and a reporter guy running around. Plus the girl seems to have some weird abilities — communicating with the TV, freaking out and causing stuff to move (telekinesis), and stopping a moving vehicle dead. Plus she never gets hurt. Cool beans. At the end of the episode, she goes into the bathroom and CUTS HER NECK to remove some sort of tracking tube or interface module that was glowing, without screaming or crying. DUN DUN DUN. Oh, and btw, she also can look at the police chief’s father and see that he has cancer that isn’t being cured.
Allison Tolman plays the police chief, Joanne Evans. She’s separated from her husband, and living with her daughter and dad. For her acting, I have to divide it in three segments. When she’s investigating, she’s a bit meek, but fine to watch. When she’s interacting with family and others, she’s quiet and speaks way too slowly. It’s like watching paint dry. And then when she’s with the girl, she seems like Ellen Degeneres voicing Dory. If I close my eyes, I hear Ellen. It’s very relaxing, and it works. But she does it like FOUR times in the episode. I get it, you can bond with the kid. Please stop. I’ve seen her in nothing else, but some parts here are hard to take.
Alexa Swinton plays the young girl, nicknamed Piper since they don’t know her real name. Swinton is fine, but she really doesn’t have much to do except look scared for most of the episode, with no emotional range except for one freak-out scene. Definitely need more scenes between her and the chief’s daughter. Haven’t seen her in anything before, she’s okay here.
Other actors and characters include:
- Ashley Aufderheide as the chief’s daughter, okay;
- Robert Bailey, Jr, as a young police officer, also okay;
- Zabryna Guevera as a doctor, although I liked her better on New Amsterdam and Gotham; and,
- Donald Faison as the ex-husband, who has a lot of series experience, none of which I saw, also okay.
Clancy Brown plays the Dad, and I liked him a lot in Sleepy Hollow as Sheriff Corbin. He’s always solid, even way back to Highlander as Kurgan, although he’s a bit of a caricature as a General on The Flash. Nice to see him here, although not sure about the role of the character.
The other main character is the supposed reporter, Benny, played by Owain Yeoman. I loved him on The Mentalist, and love him using his natural accent here. He doesn’t have a huge part yet, but I’m hoping that grows. I’m curious if he is supposed to develop a love interest with the Chief, but I hope not, she had no chemistry with him at all.
So where does that leave us? A couple of solid veterans to support the relatively newbie cast, two leads with limited emotive range, and a decent plot. Except I don’t see where it can go after Season 1. My original prediction was cancellation, and I’m going to stick with that. But I like it enough to watch for the plot.