Debris Review – Do You Know Icarus? Timeline versus Timeline!


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Hello, my fellow Debris fans.

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This latest episode was a great one. Had many different philosophical themes written in it. The name of the episode is “Do You Know Icarus?” and my answer would be yes, we do.

We all have had a bit of Icarus in us at different points in our lives, we would be remiss to say that we have not. We have all been complacent and countless times in our lives showed our great hubris.

I really enjoyed this episode as it explores desires and wants and wishes. The cliché of “be careful what you wish for” is underlined in this episode. Our wants and needs are questioned to the maximum degree in this episode as well.

What do we truly need and what do we think we need? It is also nice to see that George Jones (Tyrone Benskin) plays a prominent role in this episode. I am happy to see him finally getting to be a part of the team.

The Debris in this episode has a function of being able to alter realities or desires. In a way this episode reminded me of the movie Groundhog Day but on a more serious note.

The Debris is altering the reality of Shelby (Keenan Tracey) and erasing his sister Kathleen. Instead, Shelby comes back and finds that he has a brother and not a sister.

Desperate to find her, he keeps trying to alter the timelines over and over to obtain the result he wants with disastrous results for our heroes in specific, and the universe in general!

Do You Know Icarus:

Debris S1x09 Zak Santiago as Gary Garcia
Zak Santiago as Gary Garcia. Image courtesy NBC

Finola (Riann Steele), Bryan (Jonathan Tucker) and George drive out to see a former Orbital scientist named Gary Garcia (Zak Santiago) who obviously has some devastating effects of being in close proximity to the Debris. Garcia has the necessary equipment to help George build the machine he was forced to build when he was captured by “Influx”.

Aside from having no irises in his eyes, Gary has multiple scars on his face, no doubt from exposure to the Debris. He also asks Bryan if he is still taking the injections that we have seen Bryan taking in previous episodes we have reviewed? I assume the medication(s) keep the side effects of the Debris at bay? I am curious if we will ever see the effects of the Debris at their fullest and learn exactly what happened to Bryan to require them?

Debris S1x09 Finola and Bryan meet Shelby's new brother named Mac
Azriel Dalman as Mac, Jonathan Tucker as Bryan, Riann Steele as Finola. Image by James Dittiger, courtesy NBC

After dropping George with Gary to work on the machine device, Bryan and Finola go to visit a young man near the latest report of Debris in Oceanside, Washington. The young man is named Shelby who has just learned that he now has a new little brother named Mac (Azriel Dalman).

Before Finola and Bryan arrive, Shelby is seen arguing with Mac that he wants to know where his sister Kathleen (Jessica McLeod) is?

Mac tells Shelby it’s not funny anymore and that he doesn’t have a sister.

Later we learn that Shelby’s little brother’s are changing too!

Debris S1x09 Bryan and Finola meet Shelby
Jonathan Tucker as Bryan, Keenan Tracey as Shelby, Riann Steele as Finola. Image by James Dittiger, courtesy NBC

Shelby is pretty straight forward with them, he somehow knows it is a crashed alien spaceship. He knows because he found it two days earlier, but the debris keeps transporting him forward, without his sister Kathleen who has seemingly been erased from his life and from the current timeline.

Shelby keeps trying and trying to alter the timeline, but every time he does things end up different again. Shelby reveals that he has been talking to George and that George has been helping him try and get back to the original timeline. Shelby must get back to the original timeline or reality.

Finola and Bryan are shocked when Shelby has been told George that If not, the fabric of the realities and universe will degrade at an increasing rate!

Debris S1x09 Shelby tells Bryan and Finola and the things he has done to try and get his sister back
Riann Steele as Finola, Jonathan Tucker as Bryan, Keenan Tracey as Shelby. Image by James Dittiger, courtesy NBC

The different timelines or time jumps that Shelby takes every time, will no doubt yield different results. Story lines like that make me think of the decisions we make as humans, the what if’s? What if I just slightly change something, how does it effect my life and those around me or does it at all?

“Do You Know Icarus” also reminds me of another show that was a favorite of mine called Seven Days. It was about a Chrononaut Frank Parker (Jonathan LaPaglia) who, through alien technology, is able to go back in time seven days to right a wrong or prevent a catastrophic disaster. Only with Frank, he remembers what happens, but those he works with do not. Every time he goes back in time, his body gets ravaged. Frank will know what happens and will prevent it from happening thus altering the timeline.

Shelby is frustrated because each time he tries to get his sister back by returning at the exact time, he fails. George however informs him that he may not be doing it at the exact precise time (4:03:22:98:3). If he does, then he may have better results.

Debris S1x09 George works with Gary Garcia as they set off to recreate the machine George built for Influx
George works with Gary Garcia as they set off to recreate the machine George built for Influx. Image courtesy NBC

George however makes sure that Finola knows that the more Shelby jumps, the more the space time continuum becomes frayed. The damage to the current timeline would ultimately be irreversible. Things change, time changes, and events change that is inevitable and potentially catastrophic for everyone involved.

“There are no rewards without some element of risk” George says to Garcia as they are using the equipment Garcia has. How true that statement is in our lives? How many times have we taken chances on something that we were not certain of the outcome?

Risk is a part of life, it is what we gamble with every single day, the choices we make will change us and those around us. Again, like Groundhog Day, what you decide to do, where to go, who to talk to will change and subsequently so will your life.

Debris S1x09 Shelby jumps to the Debris over and over without success
Keenan Tracey as Shelby. Image by James Dittiger, courtesy NBC

As Shelby tries and tries again to get back to the reality with is sister by jumping off a nearby cliff, he does so but ends up seeing different color patterns every time he goes into the the large alien Debris object.

George asks him which colors in particular does he see, and Shelby tells him white. yellow and red which are the colors of the sun and which Icarus had gotten too close to.

Also, certain colors give off a certain frequency light frequency wave that I am sure has a lot to do with the timelines and the energy that is given off. Shelby ultimately does see his sister a glimpse of her rather in a mirror that is in the living room.

As he desperately wants to get her back, he jumps yet again into the water to get her back, and subsequently Bryan ends up jumping in with him to stop Shelby from causing further damage to the fabric of the realities.

Rewind the timeline again, however this time it is Bryan’s timeline and his reality that has been altered, because he entered the Debris at the same time as Shelby.

We do not see him with Finola anymore we see him with a new partner named Niels (Byron Noble) and in that new reality George Jones is dead. The only consistent thing in that timeline is Shelby and Bryan’s reality keeps changing every time Shelby jumps.

I love the fact that during these sequences, the producers used one of my favorite Rolling Stones songs “Gimme Shelter” which is such a powerful song. In an NPR interview in 2012 Mick Jagger had said that the song “it’s a very moody piece about the world closing in on you a bit” we can all relate to that there have been times in our lives where we do feel the walls closing in. And that is how Shelby felt and feels without his sister, sad and seeking shelter for what he has done.

Debris S1x09 Bryan jumps in to stop Shelby from activating the reality changes
Jonathan Tucker as Bryan. Image by James Dittiger/NBC

Rewind reality once again after Bryan jumps in to the ocean to and we see Brian with yet another partner named Raheem (Kunal Jaggi).

Bryan goes through a number of other partners in the same scenarios, only slightly different as he repeats the time loop jumping off the cliff to try and stop Shelby without success.

In total Bryan goes through seven more different partners, in addition to Niels and Raheem.

We see Bryan with partners named Roberta (Melita Sekgwa), Jafar (Navid Charkhi), Claire (Anna Baker), Maria (Natasha Prasad), and Alvin (Carlo Yu).

Debris S1x09 The mirrors show different reality reflections
Debris S1x09 The mirrors show different reality reflections. Image by James Dittiger, courtesy NBC

With the last timeline we finally go back to Finola as his partner with great relief. It was actually quite a wonderful set of scenes to see him with different partners and how he interacted with them even though it was a very minute scene or minute interaction with each different partner.

This last time is when we see that Shelby has filled the living room full of mirrors because he knows that he saw his sister once in the reflection. Shelby confesses to Finola and Bryan that it is his fault that his sister was erased from his reality because he was envious of her and had wished that she has never been born! 

Shelby is hoping to see her again to try to draw her out so to speak, into his reality that he is in currently. Finola also sese Shelby’s sister Kathleen increasing his belief that if he keeps trying, Kathleen will eventually return to “his” reality.

Debris S1x09 We learn that Julia Maddox feels guilt for an automobile accident that crippled their son
We learn that Julia Maddox feels guilt for an automobile accident that crippled their son. Image courtesy NBC

One of the great scenes in this episode is between Craig Maddox (Norbert Leo Butz) and his wife Julia (Jennifer Copping). It is such a heartbreaking scene because Julia Maddox talks about the tragedy of the automobile accident that crippled their son, and what people can survive, what strong families can survive.

It is a really powerful scene, and it goes back to what is happening currently with Shelby and his life and his reality and his own tragedy.

As Shelby is talking to George Jones once again the questions of colors come up this time the colors are white, orange, yellow and back to orange. And each of those colors represents a desire a feeling and emotion he is shifting the reality that fits the colors or vice versa. “Desire is a funny thing sometimes what we think we want and what we actually want could be two different things”.

Debris S1x09 George tries to help Shelby
George tries to help Shelby. Image courtesy NBC

George tells Shelby a lesson on life, he also tells Finola it is like the story of the Penguin and the Soldier.  Is that not the truth? We often think we need something or want something when in reality fate and the universe gives us exactly what we need. We then find out that Shelby’s sister is his twin, that makes a bit more sense now that we know that. Shelby goes on to describe his sister, how she is smart and funny and pretty much a better person than he is. He even admitted that he wishes she were not born sometimes which it looks like the universe has granted him that wish. Again, careful what you wish for.

The mirrors are reflecting the different realities that have come forth through Shelby’s jumps. When Finola asks her father why is it that we can see the reflections coming through he tells her that the mirror is made out of glass, it has flaws, those imperfections of the molecular structure of the glass causes gaps in the flow of the light waves and that allows the gaps to project or glimpse the other realities, it is “A promise of what’s to come”?

Debris S1x09 Aliyah O'Brien as Grace
Aliyah O’Brien as Grace. Image courtesy NBC

With the last and final jump, the universe is breaking down further and further. Bryan finds himself with his last partner, Grace (Aliyah O’Brien) who apparently has been his partner for five years. He asks about George Jones and Grace tells him that he was killed…last week.

Bryan is aware of this timeline and is desperate to get back to the real, true timeline. We abandon the Shelby storyline at this point as he has accepted that his reality now does not include his sister and that he must go on without her.

Bryan on the other hand is not taking too kindly to his new reality. In this reality Bryan calls MI-6 and talks to Finola, who does not know who he is, he starts out by saying how this may sound crazy but…proceeds to tell her what has been happening.

Debris S1x09 Finola at MI6 in an alternate timeline
Finola at MI6 in an alternate timeline. Image courtesy NBC

Bryan also mentions that her father (who I assume was dead in this timeline) told her about the Penguin and the Soldier. This gets Finola’s attention since it is a private memory. Bryan asks Finola what that story is about, she tells him.

“A soldier guides a penguin across the desert to the one he loves. Over the treacherous passage the penguin asks the soldier why he would risk his life guiding others to their hearts desire? He asks if he wishes that he had something to cross the desert for, but the soldier says no. Once they reach their destination the penguin shares an observation. He tells the soldier you fight so bravely because you have nothing, you want nothing, because you are afraid to have something to lose. Because if you did, your heart would no longer be steel”

As Finola is telling him the moral of the story, Bryan interjects and says, “You can spend a lifetime hiding from yourself what you truly want.”

Debris S1x09 In an alternate timeline Grace calls Maddox at Orbital
In an alternate timeline Grace calls Maddox at Orbital. Image courtesy NBC

Grace ends up calling Maddox and lets him know that Bryan maybe effected by the Debris. Maddox tells her that she needs to stop him “whatever the cost”. That is not good, those types of situations are never good.

The episode ends with Finola asking Bryan who the person is that he is trying to get back to and he answers her…” You”. It is no doubt a powerful episode, especially that particular last line and last part. We can spend a lifetime hiding from what we genuinely want because until we are desperate enough or truly enlightened do, we actually know.

It makes you think about your life and what your choices and the consequences of those choices. I have always admired Joel Wyman for posing those kinds of questions to the viewer. He has always been very profound with talking about spirituality talking about realities and choices and life and love and death and redemption.

Debris S1x09 Maddox tells Grace to stop Bryan whatever the cost
Maddox tells Grace to stop Bryan whatever the cost. Image courtesy NBC

It is what Fringe was about it and is what Debris is about. Finding those places in yourself that hold those desires, hold those needs and really trying to flesh out what it is you truly genuinely want.

The only, I guess if you want to call it entity, or the only force that absolutely knows with 100% certainty what it is that you need want and desire is the universe.

And that will be at one point in your life, whether it is now, whether it is next week or 25 years from now reveal exactly what it is that you need. Thank you so much for reading my hope that you enjoyed the episode.

We are certain to learn more next week in the second part of the two part episode “I am Icarus”! Make sure to watch Debris on NBC or you can watch the next day on Peacock TV. See you next week!

Click to visit and follow WormholeRiders News Agency on Twitter!Thank you for visiting WormholeRiders News Agency. Thanks to Kenn for video embedding and adding images for my feature article. I will be back later this season to provide additional analysis about Debris as we learn more about this fabulous new science fiction series on NBC!

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Until next time,



One thought on “Debris Review – Do You Know Icarus? Timeline versus Timeline!

  1. Hi Lori,
    Thank you for an outstanding analysis of #Debris episode 9! This was the most intense episode of the season although every #DebrisNBC has been great! Thanks again.
    Best Regards,
    Kenn of #TeamWHR

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