The Ark Review A Slow Death Is Worse With A Floating Coffin Curse!

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Welcome Back The Ark Science Fiction Lovers,

The Ark Season 1 Poster
Image courtesy SYFY

The scintillating seventh episode presents our heroes with a conundrum, the discovery of Ark-3 which launched from Earth years after their ship, Ark-1 pivots in a story arc turning point for viewers. Yet somehow Ark-3 is ahead of them subsequent to the “Two By Two” episode when they discovered it dead in space, covered in “Aliciaminium” (the name given to the element that attacked their own ship).

Their sister ship Ark-3 was found orbiting the planet that was attacked as they were exploring for Uranium 238 fuel needed for their journey to the colony planet Proxima B. Several questions arise:

How did Ark-3 get there before they did?
Why were Ark-3 and Ark-1 both attacked?
What do the attackers really want?

During “A Slow Death Is Worse” we begin to learn the answers to these questions and more about a secret chamber containing William Trust (Paul Leonard Murray) and his wife (Mercedes De La Cruz) that is also a repository of biological sample that will be crucial to the survival of the crew and passengers on their adventure to a new life on the colony planet when and if Ark-1 safely reaches Proxima B.



A Slow Death Is Worse:

The Ark S1x07 Sharon back in command recovering from radiation burns
Image courtesy SYFY

The episode was written by John-Paul Nickel and Rebecca Rosenberg and directed by Milan Konjevic. Episode seven opens with acting Captain Sharon Garnet (Christie Burke) back in command of Ark-1 after nearly perishing when she went on a spacewalk to repair the ships solar sails that allowed them to reach the planet where Ark-3 has been found.

The Ark S1x07 Ark-1 command team on the bridge
Image by Ark TV Holdings Inc courtesy SYFY

Sharon is healing but should she be on the bridge in what appears to Med Bay robe? Although she is still bearing physical evidence of her harrowing experience, Sharon has decided to rejoin the team of Lt. Spencer Lane (Reece Ritchie), Security Chief Felix Strickland (Pavle Jerinic), Lt. James Brice (Richard Fleeshman), Alicia Nevins (Stacey Read) and Eva Markovic (Tiana Upcheva) on the bridge to make a decision about what their next steps regarding finding Ark-3 will be.

The Ark S1x07 James and Eva move in close to Ark-3
Image courtesy SYFY

The team discusses options while James and Eva are scanning Ark-3. All agree that a boarding party must be sent over to Ark-3 in order to investigate what happened to their sister ship. In a moment of understanding between Sharon and Spencer, both thank each other for their support of each other during their recent challenges. Sharon tells Spencer to be careful on the boarding party. This change in demeanor to one of trust between the two is a good thing from their initial, often hostile, interactions.

The Ark S1x07 Cat tells Angus to get over his crush on Sharon
Image courtesy SYFY

Fun comic relief character Angus Medford (Ryan Adams) aka “plant boy” has a surprise for Sharon. He has grown Aloe plants in the “Bio Shelter” and is trying to deliver one to Sharon on the bridge to sooth her radiation burn injuries. Cat Brandice (Christina Wolfe) runs into Angus with his Aloe plant in the hallway and tells him to get over his crush on Sharon. Angus at first denies, then admits that he does have a crush on Sharon “is it that obvious?”

The Ark S1x07 Eva confronts James about his risk taking
Image courtesy SYFY

The boarding party is made up of Spencer, Eva, Felix, James, Stella Cogner (Jelena Moore), and Sasha Novak (Milos Cvetkovic) who will likely end up as a Red Shirt. In the hallway to the shuttle James is confronted by Eva about his health and why in the heck he volunteered for the Ark-3 boarding party where he could die? Viewers will recall that James admitted to Eva in “Two By Two” that he has a currently incurable disease that may cause him to pass out. James responds that “everyone is dying” and “what is the difference if I die on Ark-1 or Ark-3?”. Eva expresses since concern “what if you pass out again?” to which he quips, “you’ll be there, quite clearly you can’t leave me alone!” which causes Eva to fume in frustration. Why? Because it appears that Eva and James are romantically attracted to each other.

The Ark S1x07 Spencer leads the boarding party- Season 1
Image by Ark TV Holdings Inc courtesy SYFY

As the boarding party arrives on Ark-3, which of course has the lights out to make it spooky for the viewers, and with hatches that require manual effort to open, second in command Spencer is leading the group stating “we do this by the book, standard search and rescue”.

The group does not have long to wait when they discover there will be no search and rescue. All over the ship they find dead victims on Ark-3, all of whom have suffocated as a result of the hull breach caused by the element “Aliciaminium”.

The Ark S1x07 Spencer finds the bridge crew of Ark-3 dead
Image courtesy SYFY

Although the hull breaches were sealed after the fact, at this point it appears that everyone on Ark-3 has perished! Spencer heads to the Ark-3 bridge where he finds the commander and two lieutenants dead asphyxiated by the hull breaches.

Spencer goes to the bridge in an attempt to the Ark-3 computer system and examine files to determine exact cause of the disaster.

The Ark S1x07 Stasis pod areas have been converted with everyone there found dead
Image courtesy SYFY

With Sharon and Alicia monitoring from Ark-1, the majority of the boarding party head to the cryogenic stasis pod bays to see if there are any survivors there that can help explain what has happened when they encounter a major problem; there are no sleeper stasis pods in the two cryogenic areas of Ark-3.

Instead, the cryogenic pod area on Ark-3 has all been converted to crew quarters. Everyone there is dead too!

The Ark S1x07 Spencer is locked out of the Ark-3 computers
Image courtesy SYFY

On the bridge Spencer discovers that his command codes do not work, he cannot access the Ark-3 computers because they have been locked out. In the captains quarters Sasha discovers that the captain has been stuffed in his closet and is also dead. Suddenly the computer activates, closes the door to the captains quarters and begins evacuating the atmosphere with a bio-hazard warning suffocating Sasha!

The Ark S1x07 James and Eva find the seven dead in the Med Bay
Image courtesy SYFY

Eva is able to override the door controls and James provides cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) chest compressions and breathes into Sasha saving his life! The real question is why did the computer malfunction and trap Sasha to begin with? Eva is able to access the captains computer terminal to confirm the malfunction; an incorrect determination of a bio-hazard.

Meanwhile, Felix is sending data to Sharon and Alicia about the dead that have been found. Alicia ascertains that everyone checked so far were never to be assigned to Ark-3 to begin with including Felix’s husband Robert Strickland (Davor Perunovic).

The Ark S1x07 Spencer makes a shocking discovery
Image by Ark TV Holdings Inc courtesy SYFY

Continuing the search of Ark-3, Spencer heads to the Med Bay when he makes a shocking discovery finding a dead body that has been stabbed to death, meaning that not all the people on board Ark-3 died of asphyxiation.

Suddenly the bulkhead hatches begin closing behind Spencer who runs towards a hatchway just up ahead and gets through just in time. Based on what happened in the captain’s quarters, it becomes obvious that someone is controlling the computers on Ark-3.

The Ark S1x07 Felix asks the young woman about his family
Image courtesy SYFY

As Spencer dives into the next hallway, he finds a young woman with an oxygen helmet running away. The woman is named Kelly Fowler (Samantha Glassner). Kelly tells Spencer that a group of seven survivors are responsible for everything that has happened. The seven killed three others with she and one other managed to escape their rampage. The seven have set up in the Med Bay with James informing Spencer that the seven perpetrators are no longer a problem since they are all dead from narcotic overdoses, but at this point we do not know why they killed themselves! The one other survivor is found but was severely beaten by the seven.

The Ark S1x07 Felix asks Dr Kabir is she can perform the surgery
Image courtesy SYFY

Upon return to Ark-1 we are pleased to catch up with Dr. Sanjivni Kabir (Shalini Peiris) who is still recovering from her addiction to methamphetamine. As Dr. Kabir begins to prepare for surgery on the male survivor to staunch his internal bleeding injuries, Felix asks if she can perform the surgery since she is still in methamphetamine withdrawal? Dr. Kabir says “I have to be”. Our assessment is that a relationship between Felix and Dr. Kabir is a definite possibility.

The Ark S1x07 A second survivor is taken to the Ark-1 Med Bay
Image courtesy SYFY

Unfortunately, the patient dies on the operating table leaving only one survivor. Kelly shares with Felix that she knew his spouse who was found dead on Ark-3. The good news for Felix is that no children were part of the Ark-3 passenger list, so it is possible that his daughter may be alive on Earth. In a heartbreaking moment, Felix blames himself telling Dr. Kabir that his spouse wouldn’t have left his daughter on Earth if she was alive and that he should have disobeyed orders to ensure his daughter survived.

The Ark S1x07 Staff meeting to question Kelly the lone survivor
Image courtesy SYFY

Next we are with the command team who is questioning Kelly in the briefing room. Kelly reveals that she was an engineer supporting Faster Than Light (FTL) speed travel on Ark-3. The use of FTL was perfected by a scientist named Evelyn Maddox who worked for William Trust subsequent to the departure of Ark-1.

This explains why no one was in stasis on Ark-3, none were needed. The mission profile for Ark-3 was modified since they would have arrived at Proxima B with only a nine month travel time. This would have allowed Ark-3 to arrive before Ark-1 had they not been attacked by the aliens. We also learn from Kelly that the FTL technology suffered a major disaster when it was first attempted. Unfortunately, the another ship, Ark-2 was vaporized when FTL was used killing everyone on board.

The Ark S1x07 Kelly is questioned by the passengers on Ark-1 as Sharon tells them to back off
Image courtesy SYFY

Sharon calls for a break and welcomes Kelly on board Ark-3. In the lounge area, Sharon shares the Ark-3 crew manifest with Cat informing her that her friend was not one of the casualties. Kelly enters the area escorted by Felix’s trusted assistant Jelena and is surrounded by passengers who are bombarding her with questions about Earth and Ark-3.

Jelena asks the passengers to give her some space to no avail. Sharon and Cat come to Kelly’s aid telling the passengers to back off for the time being. However, Kelly, understanding their need to know about Earth shares that the situation on the planet had become not survivable with horrific death tolls. With the entire crew listening, and tears in her eyes, Kelly relates that when Ark-3 departed, there were twelve other Ark’s built, but Kelly does not know if they were actually able to successfully evacuate the Earth and that Ark-1 may be all that is left of humanity!

The Ark S1x07 U-238 is salvaged from Ark-3
Image courtesy SYFY

Our heroes prepare to return to Ark-3 to salvage all food and medical supplies as well as the FTL technology installed on Ark-3 to retrofit Ark-1 and critically, the U-238 needed to refuel Ark-1 for it’s journey to Proxima B.

Despite his losses, Felix requests this assignment to take his mind off of the loss of his family. Kelly volunteers to help Felix locate all weapons they may need for defense against the whoever attacked them that could show up at any moment.

The Ark S1x07 Kabir finds more amphetamines from Ark-3
Image courtesy SYFY

As we move to the conclusion of this heartrending episode, in a surprise, and for the first time in the series almost everything goes smoothly on the salvage operation. First, Dr. Kabir accepts medical supplies delivers to the Ark-1 Med Bay. Among the supplies are containers of methamphetamine’s which she looks at longingly since she is still addicted to the substance. Will Dr. Kabir succumb once again? We hope she doesn’t start taking the pills again, but we shall see in the future.

The Ark S1x07 Felix sword is found
Image courtesy SYFY

Second, Jelena finds Felix’s Samurai fighting sword that his spouse was bringing to him on Proxima B. Felix accepts this treasured item proudly. During clearing of the weapons locker that only open with Felix’s security code, Kelly makes a tearful confession that his daughter is no longer alive, killed by a stray bullet during a riot back on Earth. On hearing this tragic news of his daughter accidental death, Felix, without permission from Sharon decides to place the Ark-3 weapons in an airlock and eject them into space. However, Kelly has stashed a pistol without Felix’s knowledge. What’s up with that?

The Ark S1x07 Ark-15 fires on Ark-3
Image courtesy SYFY

Next we are with Angus and Alicia who are in process of extracting video regarding the attack on Ark-3. In a devastating revelation the video clearly shows that the attacking ship is an Ark, Ark-15 to be exact!

Had Ark-15 been captured by aliens, or is there another sinister reason for the attack? Only the future episodes will tell us about this tale of terror!

The Ark S1x07 James and Eva move in to kiss
Image courtesy SYFY

The final scenes first finds us with Eva and James on Ark-3 examining the FTL technology equipment for use on Ark-1.

When Eva begins to disconnect the equipment she triggers a failsafe mechanism that begins a lock down on Ark-3 with a five minute countdown to self destruct!

During this period, Eva and James attraction to each other builds to a climax and they move to kiss.

The Ark S1x07 Spencer wakes William Trust who has the abort code
Image courtesy SYFY

Suddenly and rather unexpectedly Spencer screams out the self destruct abort code saving everyone on Ark-3 from being blown to smithereens. The question is how did Spencer know the code? Simple! Spencer went to the secret room on Ark-1 and woke up William Trust from his stasis pod who asks “where the hell am I and why?” Talk about a classic cliffhanger down to the last second. A well done sequence of events by the writers. Bravo!

Next on The Ark is episode eight “Every Single Person Matters” which occurs after William Trust has been revived and when we should get to see the FTL technology activated on Ark-1 to speed the process of arriving at Proxima B and accelerate space seductress Kelly who is planning on stealing Angus from Alicia! All of this will no doubt make every future episode better and better!


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