Welcome Back The Ark Science Fiction Lovers,
The characters in the series provide drama, mystery and action that is balanced with interspersed flashbacks and comic relief making this new science fiction space drama a pure joy to watch each week. As a result of this outstanding work, the Team WHR rade for The Ark is a straight A!
The investment in character development continues to be a success for viewers of The Ark thanks to Dean Devlin and his team of producers, costumers, special effects teams and his superb showrunner Jonathan Glassner!
In this episode, that investment pays off with the crew interactions revealing the conflicts that drive each of them in their individual, as well as their team endeavors.
Of special interest is the comeuppance that one scheming character receives while at the same time getting what is deserved, a good slap in the face by the Ark-1 Command Team. Most revealing is that this character discovers a secret hidden element, the real mission of Ark-1!
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back:
The fifth exciting episode is aptly titled “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back” was written by Dean Devlin, and was directed by Milan Todorovic. The episode opens with Dr. Sanjivni Kabir (Shalini Peiris) who appears as exhausted as ever. Just before Lt. Spencer Lane (Reece Ritchie) enters the Med Bay to visit her, we observe that Dr. Kabir is reaching for a bottle of pills.
We do not know for certain, but suspect that due to her hiding the pill bottle on his unanticipated arrival, the good doctor may be taking stimulants to enable her to stay awake. Will this become a problem later? Could Dr. Kabir be addicted to amphetimins? We shall see. Spencer says he is visiting to thank her from saving them from the LSD like hallucination virus that contaminated the water supply that was harvested from the comet during the third episode “Get Out And Push”. Dr. Kabir says it was a team effort and only her six months of infectious viral education enabled her to identify the virus and synthesize a cure.
At this point only the Dr. Kabir and Security Chief Felix Strickland (Pavle Jerinic) know that Lt. Sharon Garnet (Christie Burke) is a clone that the High Command placed aboard Ark-1 as part of their clinical trials on clone enhanced humans increased survivability in outer space. As viewers know it was the fact that Sharon is an experimental clone with immunity to the virus that Dr. Kabir isolated the virus antibodies that saved the passenger and crew. Importantly, clones are not only frowned upon by the general human population on Earth, they are illegal! What is obvious is that Spencer is digging for dirt to increase his influence on Ark-1 including finding leverage on the doctor. He convinces Dr. Kabir that she should get some rest by volunteering to stand watch in the Med Bay. What Spencer is really doing is planning on ransacking the Med Bay computer system for information.
Unfortunately, Dr. Kabir was so tired that it appears that she forgot to logout of her medical computer. Will Spencer find out that Sharon is a clone? No doubt. Immediately afterwards Spencer jumps Sharon in the hallway stating that “you’re an illegal clone” and threatens her. Sharon immediately strikes back accusing Spencer of illegally accessing her classified medical files while he was in the Med Bay. Spencer demands that Sharon relinquish command since she may snap like her clone sister Denise did. Sharon hits Spencer hard with a direct verbal insult “I don’t think you can handle the job”. Conniving scheming blackmailer Spencer says he will call for a vote to relieve Sharon of command even though revealing classified information is a courts martial offense.
Following through on his threat to demand a vote to remove Sharon as the leader, Spencer calls a Command Team hearing with Felix, Dr. Kabir, Lt. James Brice (Richard Fleeshman), Alicia Nevins (Stacey Read) and Eva Markovic (Tiana Upcheva) in attendance at the meeting.
As stated above: Spencer is obviously a conniving dirt bag who will likely stop at nothing to increase his power on Ark-1!.
Alicia wants to know why clones are bad and forbidden and why have a vote. James and Felix explain that in the past military experiments resulted in dangerous behavioral anomalies that were caused by multi generational cloning. Sharon counters that she is a first generation clone and is not subject to that aspect of cloning. Spencer counters with her sister Denise’s murderous rampage. Viewers, Felix and Dr. Kabir know that Sharon and Denise were created with different chemical cloning compounds that caused Denise to go crazy.
Dr. Kabir states bluntly that Spencer violated her trust by accessing Sharon’s classified medical files that he was not authorized to see. Dr. Kabir also accuses Spencer of having “small penis syndrome” which is not only true, but added some well played comic relief to the scene. Dr. Kabir expresses her vote by leaving the meeting with everyone voting against Spencer effectively leaving Sharon in command. We can see that the unanimous vote against scheming Spencer ensure that he is not happy, no doubt cooking up some other contrivance to increase his influence on Ark-1.
Felix refers to Sharon as acting Captain Garnet saying “the floor is yours”. With Spencer fuming, Sharon rightly focuses on asking Eva what they need to do to get Ark-1 back up to Light Speed?
Eva states that only one engine is working at full capacity. As such it may be dangerous to push it to achieve Light Speed.
Captain Sharon makes a decision instructing Eva to bring them to Light Speed because otherwise it will take Ark-1 ten years to reach the colony planet Proxima B.
Sharon issues additional orders: Felix to continue his murder investigation, Alicia to work with Angus Medford (Ryan Adams) to determine if the substance that attacked Ark-1 can be turned into a weapon (be synthesized) to use against whoever launched the attack, and for James to take the bridge in the meantime while Sharon attended to a much needed one on one with Spencer.
This leaves Sharon alone with Spencer who wonders if she is going to Courts Martial him? Sharon replies that “I should throw you out of the airlock”, that he has had it in for her long before he discovered she is a clone, and demands to know what his problem is? Spencer finally admits he has been resentful of Sharon ever since she assumed command. Sharon orders Spencer into therapy with Cat Brandice (Christina Wolfe) so he can get his “Mommy issues” straightened out. Spencer, now outvoted by everyone, but with a scowl on his face hears Sharon out: “Then you are going to swallow your pride and be my second in command”. This surprises Spencer who becomes cooperative.
Next we are in the engine room with Eva and her assistant Ralph Gregor (Arsenije Beric). They are in process of cautiously bringing Ark-1 up to Light Speed in gradual percentages. Eva instructs her assistant to pull the emergency breakers at the first sign of trouble and heads off to attend to other technical details and a meeting she has been called to with Felix. This will ensure that poor Ralph is the next Red Shirt on Ark-1.
We segue to Felix and Cat who are discussing the ongoing murder investigation. Cat has been providing grief therapy to Eva, suspecting (incorrectly) that Eva is the prime suspect because her murdered boyfriend was being blackmailed and therefore the imposter Jasper (Chris Leask) deserved to die according to Eva’s own words.
Cat has misgivings about revealing details regarding any of her therapy sessions, but Felix says that he needs to confirm the motivations of the killer and thanks Cat for the information.
Felix calls for Eva to join him near the locker where the incident occurred to ask a few questions about where she was during the time of the murder. Indignant Eva promptly locks Felix in the storage locker and begins to evacuate the air from that compartment! Eva tells Felix that is how, if she was the murderer, she would have done it, making it look like a heart attack. With Felix gasping for air, Eva opens the door saving Felix from suffocation. Eva follows up with the fact that she wouldn’t have been stupid enough to use a knife, then throw it into the water system where it would be easily found and that she is “smarter than this” stalking off as the gasping Felix says “point made”!
Meanwhile in the engine room things go badly wrong when a radioactive system in the reactor begins leaking a green liquid that appears to have killed Eva’s assistant Ralph. On the bridge, James and Sharon notice that the engine thrust is dropping slightly leading them to deduce the reactor is indeed leaking. Sharon and James alert Eva who high tails it to engineering where she finds her assistant dead and the radiation spreading throughout Ark-1 threatening to kill everyone onboard!
We then experience a flashback with Baylor Trent (Miles Barrow) and Susan Ingram (Lisa Brenner) which is triggered when Alicia and he are recalling things before they joined the Ark-1 mission. Here we learn that Baylor and Susan were not only lovers, but that Susan selected Baylor for the “real mission”.
Alicia is told by a lying Baylor is that Susan was only his mentor, so Alicia gives him a kiss. Confessing that she had never kissed a boy before, Alicia is, as usual talking too much, motivating Baylor to kiss her again.
After her kiss, Alicia is in falling in love heaven and oblivious to her assignment with Angus to fabricate a weapon and a shield against the substance that attacked Ark-1. Coming back to reality, Alicia and Angus hypothesis is that the alien substance was shot at, actually targeting Ark-1. During their time together, Alicia shyly asks Angus what he thinks about Baylor while they attempt to develop a shield.
Two things then happen.
First scheming Spencer reluctantly visits Cat for his first therapy session insulting her in the process stating that she doesn’t deserve her job as counselor either because she is a female!
Cat continues her therapy session despite the fact that Spencer truly is scheming sexist slime ball!
Second, Felix tracks down the message sent warning Spencer to a tablet that was being operated by (or owned) by Alicia.
Felix arrests Alicia while Angus looks on in disbelief. Felix takes Alicia to a private room and tells her that she is innocent, and that Baylor forged her (Alicia’s) credentials to send the video of Denise to Spencer when he borrowed her tablet computer. Baylor flees when confronted but is captured, and admits that he is the murderer because he has to “restore the (mission) balance” and that he would do anything to do so. Obviously, Baylor is a planted agent by Susan and or the High Command to subvert the mission. Or is he? Perhaps there is another “real mission” that we do not yet know about?
As we move to the conclusion of the episode, we learn that the radiation leak has damaged the electronic relays that can seal off the leak. Only a person willing to sacrifice themselves can go into the containment and save the ship. Amazingly, Baylor volunteers with good reason, he is suffering from a condition that is killing him, emotionally! Baylor runs through the hallways finding many radiation victims already dead with radiation blisters bubbling up on Baylor’s face. Baylor is forced to hot wire the final door with his suit helmet making his way to the manual emergency switch that stops the radiation leak, sacrificing himself in the process.
The episode moves to a conclusion with the murder being solved as Sharon and Spencer end their feud. Spencer seemingly agrees to discuss what motivated Baylor. Spencer makes up (out of thin air) that he didn’t want Alicia to miss her entire life ahead of her due to his errors in judgment that put everyone in jeopardy. Alicia breaks down in tears since she really did care for Baylor despite what he had done. Ark-1 gets some good news: Angus and Alicia have developed an early warning system for the alien substance that can be installed on the ships sensors.
Next we are with Cat and Sharon in a private therapy session. Before beginning, Sharon informs Cat that her giant self aggrandizing life size poster has to go.
Cat then tells Sharon that based on her therapy of Spencer, he is the person that could actually lose control of his behavior, not her.
Finally, Cat asks Sharon what it is that she is really afraid of? Sharon admits that she is afraid she could lose control of her emotions like her clone sister Denise did.
The final scene is with Spencer. He is recalling what Baylor really said to him, that he (Baylor) had to sacrifice himself to help complete their real mission. What is the real mission?
We witness Spencer open a doorway to a room where two additional cryogenic sleep canisters are located. One contains William Trust (Paul Leonard Murray) and the other a woman, apparently his wife, who were secretly stashed in the secret stasis compartment onboard Ark-1.
And there we have it and now we know! Next up is episode six “Two By Two” (originally named “No Secrets” in development) next week on SYFY in the United States and CTVSciFi in Canada. Hope to see you then!
We will be back in the near future with more of The Ark as well as our favorite television series and movie analysis. In the meantime, please feel free to share this article with your friends, co-workers and or family and leave your comments! We look forward to you visiting our dedicated review and analysis web site here in the future! Or as many of our readers and visitors often do, visit TeamWHR on Twitter, or visit me on Twitter by clicking the text links or images avatars in this news story. I and TeamWHR look forward to Seeing You on The Other Side!“
Kenn of #TeamWHR