Welcome Back The Ark Science Fiction Lovers,
Our grade for this series remains a straight A for excellent work by the developers, writers, and directors regarding their conscientious character development and realistic interactions, fast moving well thought out story arcs, and for the fabulous fun of bringing science fiction space drama back to our screens in 2023! The superb sixth episode finds us with our heroes some 3.2 months subsequent to “One Step Forward Two Steps Back” when the command crew is still settling in to working cooperatively with each other for their mutual benefit.
The daily routine of long term space travel on Ark-1 to their destination on the colony planet Proxima B (in orbit around the red dwarf star of Proxima Centauri) has occurred after Lt. Sharon Garnet (Christie Burke), now acting captain of Ark-1, has forgiven Lt. Spencer Lane (Reece Ritchie) for his past often recalcitrant behaviors against Sharon.
Spencer moved beyond his jealous behavior when he found motivation by discovering two cryogenic sleep canisters in the secret compartment onboard Ark-1 that contains William Trust (Paul Leonard Murray) and his wife who were secreted aboard the ship and the fact that Sharon promoted him to second in command.
In “Two By Two” we learn that the room has a secret chamber that is also the repository of life that will be crucial to the survival of the crew and passengers on their adventure to a new life on the colony planet. In effect, Ark-1 is not unlike our history on Earth that mirrors ancient civilizations such as America, Babylonia, China, Hawaii, India, Peru, Polynesia, Russia, Scandinavia, Sumatra, Wales, and others who all have a Noah’s Ark type of historical tale subsequent to a flood disaster. Inside the room are pairs of biological samples that will be needed to repopulate the all the species when the ship reaches Proxima B.
Two By Two:
Written by Dean Devlin, Jonathan Glassner, and Rebecca Rosenberg, and directed by Milan Konjevic, the episode opens at a staff meeting led by Sharon, Spencer, Security Chief Felix Strickland (Pavle Jerinic), Dr. Sanjivni Kabir (Shalini Peiris), Lt. James Brice (Richard Fleeshman), Alicia Nevins (Stacey Read) and Eva Markovic (Tiana Upcheva) in attendance.
As observed in the previous episode, Dr Kabir is as exhausted as ever, literally nodding out, and we soon find out why. The good doctor has been taking methamphetamine stimulants to enable her to stay awake and service the needs of the Ark-1 crew and passengers. Dr. Kabir’s addiction to methamphetamine has reduced the backlog in the Med Bay to zero albeit at a heavy toll to her own life and health.
A bit later, well after the staff meeting, Felix confronts Dr. Kabir when he confiscates all of the stimulants in the medical facility and tells her that he has known about her condition for some time.
At first denying the facts, then angry that her drugs are no longer available, Felix promises to help her with her secret by tending to the Med bay while she deals with the dreaded effects of narcotic withdrawal so our good doctor can return to leading a normal life.
The staff meeting reveals some challenging news in that Ark-1 had to eject a significant portion of their fuel source, Uranium 238 (U-238) to avoid a disaster when the fuel bins began leaking radiation during the “One Step Forward Two Steps Back” episode.
When everyone at the staff meeting demands to know how long they have before Ark-1 will run out of fuel, Eva calmly informs them that they have one to two weeks. James and Alicia reassure the team that U-238 is a “plentiful mineral in the universe” and are “running a spectral analysis on every chunk of rock we pass” they encounter to find replacement supply.
There is good news when Sharon announces that “plant boy” Angus Medford (Ryan Adams) has a surprise for everyone in the mess hall. Viewers will recall that Angus has successfully created a “Bio Shelter” garden in space using dead people for fertilizer.
Angus is a fun character who brings a bit of comic relief to what is often a never ending series of setbacks for the crew and passengers. The surprise Angus has? Space potatoes for everyone! Even our space therapist Cat Brandice (Christina Wolfe) claps and cheers for their latest victory over circumstances.
Originally entitled “No Secrets” in development, viewers learn of several secrets including the aforementioned items. Another of those secrets is that James has an incurable disease that results in symptoms that causes him to pass out. James is defensive about his secret and has been snapping at people as a result. After the potato party, James passes out in a hallway but wakes up back to his bunk. Seeking out a friend across the way named Jelena Griff (Tamara Radovanovic) James asks if she saw who brought him back to his bunk? Apparently someone knows James secret but has not revealed it to anyone including James himself!
Our two former adversaries, Spencer and Sharon have grown to respect each other as colleagues in the past 3.2 months. Sharon invites Spencer to her quarters. Spencer thinks he is in trouble (again). Instead, Sharon shares another secret with him. Sharon found some contraband among former Captain Samantha Lester (Ana Sofrenovic) possessions, a bottle of fine Single Malt Scotch.
Spencer opens up about his “old man”, drinking Scotch with him, and how he became part of the expedition after his father’s untimely death to serve a noble cause of trying to save humanity from itself. Sharon toasts to “noble causes” with Spencer and her memories of drinking Kentucky bourbon with Dr. Edward Hall (Jonathan English) prior to launch. It is here we learn that Dr. Hall, deceased since in the initial episode, is the person who had cloned Sharon originally for his space travel experiments. While it is nice to see these two getting along and bonding subsequent to their rough start, the question is will Spencer reveal his secret; that William Trust is in stasis sleep in a cryogenic cabinet on Ark-1? Sharon thanks Spencer and each toast to “No Secrets” between them.
James then calls the command team to the bridge to announce he has found a planet apparently with large amounts U-238 that is on their way to Proxima B. Eva tempers the good news with reality. They do not have sufficient U-238 to get there! Our resident space genius, Alicia who has a secret that she has a degree in astrophysics, comes up with a plan to “gravitational sling shot” Ark-1 around a “yellow binary dwarf (star) system” James has found and then use the solar sails on Ark-1 to obtain sufficient velocity to reach the planet with the U-238.
James and Eva head of to check ships seals and fuel levels. We then learn that it was Eva who found James passed out in the hallway. Eva thinks James had been drinking “booze” which is why he passed out. James denies he was drinking.
Eva says she should have taken him to Dr. Kabir for medical tests. James overreacts and threatens to make Eva’s “life on the ship a living hell” to which Eva presses the matter making James promise whatever his secret is, he must promise it will not endanger the crew.
We segue to Spencer who is seeking advice from Cat about his secret of William Trust being onboard Ark-1. Cat shares that many of the passengers on the ship may hate William Trust, blaming him as the person ultimately responsible for the deaths of their loved ones.
Cat pressures Spencer to not reveal his secret to anyone else for the time being. Spencer then visits his secret chamber and finds an equally secret additional room containing the “Two By Two” biological samples.
Meanwhile, the crew focuses on Eva’s sling shot maneuver. Eva questions James without revealing his secret as they undertake the task at hand. Unfortunately, as Ark-1 is rounding the binary star, a solar flare damages one of Ark-1 solar sails.
James volunteers to repair the damaged sail, but Sharon says she is the only crew member with enhanced clone DNA to withstand increased radiation. Sharon succeeds with her mission but barely makes it back to the ship suffering severe radiation burns saved by Jelena and Spencer leaving him as the acting captain.
As we move to the conclusion of the episode, Alicia reveals that the alien element that attacked Ark-1 and nearly killed James on a spacewalk has been detected on the planet they are approaching. Suspecting a trap, James volunteers to pilot the shuttle ahead of Ark-1 to conduct reconnaissance.
Eva volunteers to accompany James using an excuse that she is not certain the repairs she made with hold up to cover James possibility of passing out (which he does but is revived by Eva on the shuttle).
Acting captain Spencer agrees with nobody suspecting James illness is the real reason that Eva volunteered. During their trip to the planet James suffers an episode and passes out. Eva is able to bring him back to consciousness just before they arrive at the planet.
The final scenes are with James and Eva approaching the planet. On arrival they scan unsuccessfully for U-238 and the alien weapon element. Strangely they find no trace of either substance? They suspect that perhaps the elements are only on one side of the planet and swing around in orbit to check. As they do so, the elements appear on their scanners but with a horrific discovery for the viewers who observe that Ark-3 has obviously been attacked by the alien weapon and appears to be drifting in space!
Next up for The Ark is episode seven “A Slow Death Is Worse” on SYFY in the United States and CTVSciFi in Canada when we will learn about the fate of Ark-3. We include the sneak peak below look forward to seeing you for live tweeting since every episode is getting better and better!
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