Our Exclusive-by-Default coverage of Defying Gravity continues with this, the show’s penultimate episode. To all our visitors from Canada and the UK, we bid you welcome.
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The Ascans are facing the first cut - of the 30 of them in the program, ten will not survive to the next round. We’re told that Zoe and a couple others are on the cusp, but Eve wants Wassenfelder on the mission for some undisclosed reason, which means someone else has to get bumped.
Zoe wakes up to see a big bald eagle hovering over her window. She goes in to the space center nervous, knowing she has little chance, and sure enough, she’s cut. She takes the news apparently quite well, and more-or-less brushes off everyone else’s condolences. Nadia, of course, was ranked #1. That night everyone (Excepting Zoe) heads to Major Toms to celebrate, but Nadia tells Donner that he’s no fun, and can go if he wants. He wants. He leaves - to Nadia’s obvious disdain - and then he and Zoe evidently knock spaceboots all knight long. The next morning, the eagle is back, so she kicks Donner out saying, essentially, “If I can’t be an astronaut, then I can’t stand to be around people who are.” He leaves. Evram and Claire finally hooked up the night before as well.
Several of the others show up to help her move, and lug all her crap to the train station. She’s got five hours to kill, and sees some people with a lot of tattoos, so she decides to get one. It’s a massive Eskimo eagle dealie, which she wants done all in one session, and so the tattoist gets started.
Nadia and Donner didn’t have sex. Neither did Paula and Wassenfelder, obviously. Both spent their nights chastely in each other’s arms. Zoe assumes otherwise (Naturally) and teases Donner about it. Jen, meanwhile, gets bitchier and bitchier, and is almost deliberately trying to drive Rollie away, and though she recognizes something is wrong with him, she doesn’t care what it is. In a rare non-pissy moment, she does tell Zoe that she would die if she had to live without her.
Nadia, meanwhile, is continuing to have hallucinations of herself with a baseball cap and a beard. In one of these, the doppelganger looks at her rather accusingly I think. Paula, obviously rattled, asks Wassenfelder if he believes in Miracles, and he says “Miracles are just the stuff we know with pieces missing” (Which fits Paula’s situation to a T) and the two of them get in a discussion of faith culminating with him saying that the most religious, faithful people he knows are physicists, who’s work convinces them there’s a higher power.
Claire, meanwhile, defies orders (Go, Claire! Yes! Finally someone in this show who does the right thing!) and tells Evram about the “Genome Changes” they’re experiencing. Evram is very upset by this, but they agree to conspiratorially keep watching the changes, as there’s nothing more they can do. Meanwhile, on earth, the English reporter dude is sensing a story, and he’s pushing hard to get details from AJ and Arnell.
The mission has a very short clock: they can’t stay on the surface for more than 20 minutes or else the caustic atmosphere will start to disintegrate the lander. Zoe’s mobility is limited to about 100 meters. They also don’t want people on earth to see “Gamma”, so they conspire (Groan) to fake part of the landing - one half of it will be real stuff, the other half will be stock footage of the team scuttling around in Arizona, gussied up with some special effects. (Extra groan!) Paula reacts not at all well to this, but rolls with it. She says a prayer for the mission.
The lander goes down, and they loose contact with the ship during entry (why?) and are getting a massive crosswind, and they land more than 200 meters from Gamma. They’re screwed. They resign themselves to collecting some rocks, but then Zoe hears a baby crying, and goes off following it, straight to Gamma on foot, but there’s no way in hell she can get there and back before the heat and pressure and acidic atmosphere kill them all…
To Be Continued…
Man, this was an unusually smarmy episode - a lot more smut-talk than usual, a lot more overt dialog using words like “Screwed” and stuff that weren’t allowed on TV just a couple years ago. It wasn’t terribly