Emergence Season 1 Episode 8 Review: American Chestnut

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There's a new key player on Emergence Season 1 Episode 8, and she knows everything. 

Even worse, she (or her dark army, as I'm going to refer to them until we know more) has been blowing up all the Augur Industries buildings. 

Why?

Things Get Complicated - Emergence

This new development adds layers of mystery on top of the abundance of answers the series has already given us. 

We're not complaining that the series has been forthcoming with answers, but we also don't exactly know what to do with all this newfound information. 

The introduction of yet another vital character is concerning considering how underutilized both Wilkins and Kindred were and how swiftly they were killed off. 

Partnership - Emergence Season 1 Episode 8

This mystery woman was introduced as the "big boss" of sorts since she seems to wield more power than Wilkins or Kindred ever did.

In the final scene, she confronted Wilkins who made good on his claim that he's a coward.

She accused him of taking something from her, he assured her that he'll try to get it back and that he "didn't know," to which she replied, "you knew enough," right before gutting him in the throat. 

Vicious. 

The only concrete fact about her is that she did not come to play.

Agent Brooks  - Emergence Season 1 Episode 8

What is the thing that Wilkins could have taken?

Could it be Piper?

The fact that she and her dark army are burning down building means that Piper might not be Augur's tech at all. 

Maybe she was a stolen prototype?

Currently, this mystery woman's connection to Piper and the overall storyline of protecting her and/or destroying her remains unclear. 

Is Jo Lying? - Emergence Season 1 Episode 8

If Wilkins is right, I'm leaning towards destroying Piper.

He was adamant about eliminating the threat of AI before all of humankind becomes extinct. 

And his warnings shouldn't fall on deaf ears because his assumption that the AI will become more powerful and knowledgable with each passing day is logical.

Piper's analogy -- a bubble grows bigger but the bubble is me -- underlines what Wilkins said about her absorbing knowledge. 

The Dark Army - Emergence Season 1 Episode 8

Piper proved her powers on Emergence Season 1 Episode 7 when she managed to overwrite her own code. 

That accomplishment was more impressive than it was terrifying, but things have changed now that was fine after learning the truth about herself.

The fatal exception was the fail-safe, and Piper somehow managed to override it. 

And excuse me if all my AI/tech lingo isn't accurate, but the point is, Piper's doing things that she wasn't programmed to do. 

Piper keeps convincing everyone with her humanlike qualities such as love, concern, fear, hopefulness, but we cannot forget what she is. 

Jo assumes that she's evolving because of all the human exposure, and though I do think there's some truth to it, we cannot ignore the very reality that Piper is a piece of technology that's advancing at lightning speeds. 

Emily tested the fatal exception on a prototype and saw that it worked, so what happened in Piper's case?

Hiding in Plain Sight - Emergence Season 1 Episode 8

Did Emily eliminate the fatal exception? And if so, why would Piper know the truth about her identity?

For now, she lives to see another day. 

Piper's also remembering where she came from thanks to Alex. 

Being left out is a terrible feeling, but Alex should have known better than to venture out to some undisclosed location to seek out answers about Piper. 

Jo: I need you to get into Piper's code and eliminate the fatal exception.
Alan: Even if I could, I wouldn't.
Jo: Why not?
Alan: Do you have a full understanding of how she was able to get Emily out of her head?
Jo: She did it herself.
Alan: Which means she rewrote her own code.

They both wanted to know the truth, but neither of them was ready for the truth. 

Aside from not knowing what they'd find there, Alex didn't even know how Piper would react or what it would do to her. 

It was irresponsible on his part, as was not telling Jo about their little adventure. 

Fatal Exception - Emergence Season 1 Episode 8

He said it himself, Jo would much rather tell the truth, so there's a valid reason why she's keeping secrets. 

If he knew the extent of what she was investigating, she'd be putting him in danger. 

In addition to the mystery woman at the end of the episode, we're also introduced to the devilishly handsome Agent Brooks, who started as a friend and quickly ended up a foe. 

Jo: I've been here before.
Chris: What was inside?
Jo: It's kind of a long story. They had robot dogs, though.
Chris: I just really wish I could have seen that.
Jo: I know.

Unlike Jo's partnership with Benny, it was evident that her relationship with Brooks wouldn't blossom into anything promising.

Jo's in too deep, and Brooks wants to know too much.

She was attempting to keep him close, but having him too close poses a threat to Piper.

It's not worth the risk, especially since Jo prioritizes Piper's safety over getting answers. 

Reporting for Duty - Emergence Season 1 Episode 8

Plus, everything Brooks wants to investigate leads right back to the girl. 

Agent Brooks needed Jo more than she needed him; she was able to do in a few months what he's attempting to do for three years. 

He didn't even realize she beat him to dumping Vanessa's phone. How did this guy get into the FBI?

Chris: So are we chalking this up in the win column or the loss column?
Jo: Yes.

His only upper hand is that Emily is now in federal custody, and there's no guarantee that she won't sing like a canary. 

And why wouldn't she? She killed her father, she thinks she killed Piper, and she doesn't have anything left to lose. 

If the FBI does find out about Piper, it will likely make things much more complicated for Jo, if that's even possible at this point.

Uncuff Me - Emergence Season 1 Episode 8

Even so, the new key player has already taken Emily's spotlight as the imminent threat, so the FBI might be the least of Jo's concerns. 

Other Musings

  • Mia turned 15 and somehow, Jo thought it was a good idea to bring a bunch of teenagers into her home that she shares with an unpredictable robot. Good idea. 
  • There's little to no fallout from Kindred's murder. But we do know he was melted into goo, so that's nice. 
  • Where is Benny? It was frustrating to see him make such a rookie mistake and turn his back on his Wilkins for the slightest second. 
Feeling Lonely  - Emergence Season 1 Episode 8
  • Piper looks just like a young Emily. Whoa. That probably doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of things, but it threw me for a loop! 
  • Could the mystery woman be Janet/Jeanine, the roommate Emily's mother told us about? Or was that just a random tidbit that was included for no reason?

The midseason finale is up next. Catch up on episodes and watch Emergence online!

What major reveals do you anticipate?

Is Piper getting too dangerous?

Who is the new mystery woman? 

Are we done with Emily?

American Chestnut Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (15 Votes)

Lizzy Buczak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and read her personal blog at CraveYouTV.

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Emergence Season 1 Episode 8 Quotes

Jo: I need you to get into Piper's code and eliminate the fatal exception.
Alan: Even if I could, I wouldn't.
Jo: Why not?
Alan: Do you have a full understanding of how she was able to get Emily out of her head?
Jo: She did it herself.
Alan: Which means she rewrote her own code.

Jo: I've been here before.
Chris: What was inside?
Jo: It's kind of a long story. They had robot dogs, though.
Chris: I just really wish I could have seen that.
Jo: I know.