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Last night, on Ascension we learned that the outside world has had more of an effect on the station than we could have ever imagined, as Robert Bryce was outed as Harris Enzmann's spy and Lorelai Wright's murderer. We also learned that Christa Valis is a genetically-engineered experiment with psychokinetic powers, and that she's one of the main reasons Ascension is in existence. And, of course, there was the pre-requisite persons of interest trying to find the truth, as opposed to “the truth."
This all set up Night Three to be a night that would either go down in the history books as the biggest anticlimax in Syfy history, or a promising start to a viable franchise. Where does Night Three really stand? The blunt and honest truth is that it stands right in the middle of the road.
Interestingly enough, we find out why Lorelai Wright was killed, and it's the same reason Harris' superiors tried to kill Christa Valis: they both knew the world they inhabited was a good fake. Thankfully, Christa is more resourceful than her adversaries and manages to not only evade capture, but somehow transport her would-be assassin off of the ship. Unfortunately, she sent her savior, the honorable Aaron Gault, along with him... and to another planet!
Come to think of it, poor Gault couldn't catch a break through any of the nights Ascension aired. He was pretty much labeled as unfit for breeding stock by Harris' eugenics friendly guidelines, and he got his ass kicked repeatedly during the three installments. The most recent ass-kicking was at the hand of Duke Vanderhaus, his good friend, colleague, and husband to the woman he had an illicit affair with. (The lovely Emily.) Here's hoping that if this show goes to series, he'll get to become king of that new planet he's on, because he's earned it throughout his heroic tenure.
Meanwhile, in the known world, we had to say goodbye to Samantha Krueger, as she was taken out by someone she trusted, obviously in league with the wrong people. The last words she hears are another cryptic tease as to what the future might hold, “The star child must be born.” Either someone's a big 2001: A Space Odyssey fan, or someone's a huge believer in the Ascension project. Kind of like Project Mastermind Harris, who went from losing control to gaining it back and securing his position with minimal effort...and a good shove of his boss off of the railing.
So Harris has the stick with Ascension, which means he'll either continue to believe in these people as the benevolent man he's been made out to be in Night Three, or he'll become the creeper we were made to believe he was in Nights One and Two. Even money at this point.
Then there's the Dennigers, William and Viondra. Yet another pair of characters that started as selfish, power hungry social climbers; but turned into heroes at the drop of an oxygen level. Both not only showed themselves as actually decent people during the huge crisis caused by Christa's gigantic electrical discharge, but they proved to be as politically adept as they look, as they foiled Councilman Rose's attempt to unseat them. How'd they do it? The Truth!
By the end of Ascension's third night, the crew and citizens still have the illusion banked as gospel in their minds, Harris has control, and Gault is on a strange new world. The ending, while kind of cool, is extremely frustrating, because we don't know if we'll ever receive closure on this show's mysteries. Ascension also manages to continue entertaining with some novel twists, redemptions, and foreshadowing. It's just unfortunate that the entire three-night run feels like six hour-long episodes were cut in half and then reassembled into three hours with pieces that feel like they're missing linking narrative.
While Ascension was interesting, it was severely disjointed. If the ratings are high enough, and season 2 does actually go into production, it'd be nice to see more detail paid to not jumping so quickly from plotline to plotline. Regardless, it's been a blast recapping Ascension, and it looks like we'll have an undetermined amount of time to wait for news on whether another go around can be had. Until next time, let's hope that 12 Monkeys turns out better than we all expect.