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Defying Gravity’s Beta revealed … blame Canada

Defying Gravity observatory

Friday night, Canada’s CTV aired the ninth episode of Defying Gravity, an episode we in the U.S. may not ever see until the series makes its way to DVD. By other means — be it via a friend with a SlingBox or dowloading via torrents — some of you may (or will) get a chance to see that episode and the few more to follow. For those who were hanging on just to know what this “Beta” thing is, well, I’ll go ahead and tell you.

SPOILER ALERT! If you continue reading on or even looking below, you’re basically at risk of having the gist of the entire episode revealed to you, including what Beta is, how they have it and what it means for the rest of the show!

Seriously! Don’t complain now if you read on further! I used bold above on purpose!

Alright, here we go. In the episode titled “Eve Ate the Apple,” we get a quick flashback to 15 years prior to the Antares mission, where a couple of guys at an observatory catch an intelligent signal from space, all very Contact-like. It turns out this signal — more of a sound, really — is coming from the surface of Mars. As that signal is going off, they track a similar one coming from the surface of Earth in reply, from somewhere in Peru. As they are tracking these sounds, they label Mars as “Alpha” and Peru as “Beta.” There you have where the name came from.

Cut to Eve Weller-Shaw, on a humanitarian mission in Peru. She can’t sleep at night and figures out that it’s because of this music she’s hearing that nobody else can hear. She sets off at night, on foot, to find the source of it. It turns out it’s underground and she starts to dig for it. Suddenly the U.S. military happens upon her, takes her in and hears her story. They ask her to show them where this sound is, as it’s clear they are there to find it as well. The soldiers begin to dig and then, out from the ground, comes tiny Beta, hovering in the air and glowing golden.

The crew of Antares enter Pod 4 and find seven smaller pods inside. Only one pod is glowing, and they open it to reveal Beta:

Defying Gravity Beta

It’s sorta swirling around in a very fractal way, folding into itself and singing a whale-like song. All of the crew can see and hear it … except Jen. And she doesn’t tell anyone that she can’t. Meanwhile, as they approach Venus, they can hear a similar sound coming from the outside of the ship — from nearby Venus (it’s noted that sound in space is impossible, but that this is “new science” they are experiencing now.)

The team then learns their real mission, from Goss. There are seven of these things total, in our solar system. There’s Beta, from Earth, and Alpha, from Mars. But there’s been signals detected from Venus, Mercury, Europa, the rings of Saturn and Pluto. They are out to retrieve them all, and the only reason for doing so is that it’s what they feel compelled they need to do — that these things (which we learn are organic but not made of any elements known to man) need to be collected and brought together in order to know their true purpose.

Meanwhile, we learn that the Mars mission Donner, Shaw and Goss were on together was actually to retrieve Alpha, and at least Donner and Shaw didn’t know that at the time.

That’s pretty much all we know at this point. They know that, should this news get out to the world, there could be riots in the streets not only from the thought that alien life was discovered, but that trillions of dollars were spent on this mission that has no clearly defined purpose or goal.

What I really dug about this episode was that the plucky, awkward Grey’s-like stuff wasn’t present. We had a good dose of science fiction and a feel for how grand this mission (and this show) could be, if we got to see it all develop. As Ivey said last week, these people are all changed now, and any of that kooky crap that turned people off from this show before is probably all but gone.

I honestly think this show could turn out to be a hit on another network, with some tweaking. While the science isn’t completely authentic feeling, I give the writers big props for filling in every hole they can, no matter how odd it may seem, like the floating hair and degraded communication signal. ABC not giving it a further chance doesn’t mean it couldn’t thrive elsewhere.

Dare I say this episode was where Defying Gravity Blew the Hatch for me? I might.

Photo Credit: CTV

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Categories: | Blowing the Hatch | Clack | Episode Reviews | Features | General | TV Shows |

15 Responses to “Defying Gravity’s Beta revealed … blame Canada”

September 20, 2009 at 10:40 AM

I thought what I saw of the show was shit, but it they did this a little sooner, and there wasn’t so much extra garbage in the show i think it would have been a really great show.

September 20, 2009 at 11:19 AM

Question: If Beta is on board the ship, what does Eve see when her door opens back on Earth?

I still think she’s hiding information.

And Jen. She’s angry that she does not feel connected/chosen by Beta. Bye, Bye tomatoes! What other disobedient things might she do now? Hmmm.

September 20, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Have they shown Eve sit at that chair in front of the door in the present? or is it just in flashbacks. I believe that is where they were keeping beta before launching it into orbit. Eve still is connected though as she is still able to see ghosts from her past (dead kids).

As for whether or not the Mars mission was indeed to retrieve Alpha … it might just be a coincidence … right now we just have Donner’s speculation as the Alpha landing site is nearby the Mars landing site … but there has been no confirmation as of yet.

September 20, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Possible. Now I have to go back and check!

September 20, 2009 at 12:02 PM

I was not really enjoying the show except for small bits here and there. But, the last two eps got me hooked. I agree with Oreo that if the reveal was earlier and some of the extra garbage was taken out, it would have been so much better. I also think the buzz would have gotten more viewers and some who left wouldn’t have.

People have so many options now on tv, that they don’t give shows a chance to find their groove has they may have in the past. Same with the networks, they are so quick to cancel.

This ep was definitely the “blowing the hatch” moment. Too bad, most in the US will have to wait awhile, if not, forever to see it.

September 20, 2009 at 4:03 PM

The reveal should have been in the 3rd or 4th episode. Lost, in my eyes, did this kind of thing perfectly with the Locke-centric episode “Walkabout.”

Eve still isn’t a very interesting character, despite her connection to Beta.

Not impressed with where Jen’s story is going, I think that one Beta-Hater in the group (Nadia) was enough.

Ajay I think still has a very important role to play. Or he better. Too interesting of a character to leave purposeless.

Love to see Donner and Shaw being informed they’re not on the crew.

Not so sure I agree with Keith that they were sent to Mars originally to pick up Alpha. Not a coincidence, but don’t believe that was THEIR intention (and if it was, really don’t like that piece of writing). Mars story is relevant enough because of their guilt to layer it back into the Alpha/Beta story.

September 20, 2009 at 8:22 PM

Some predictions of mine, though I doubt we’d ever get to see them:

– Ajay should be on Antares, not Jen, because she’s not “chosen” to be there and is why she can’t see nor hear it. So, to get Ajay on the mission, they change the Antares flight pattern to pass by Earth on its way to Mars from (I presume) Mercury, so Ajay can hop aboard.

– When the crew hits Mars, we find that these things that Beta is part of are able to sustain life in some way, and the old crew members that Donner and Shaw left behind are still there … somehow.

I say it’s possible that the Mars mission was to obtain Alpha, though it was the two left behind who knew about the mission and not the others.

September 21, 2009 at 6:08 PM

I agree with Keith on his Mars prediction. Alpha, keeps the left behinds alive somehow.

September 21, 2009 at 2:51 AM

Donner’s hallucinations freak me out … don’t like the idea of seeing dead people … especially when they talk to you

September 22, 2009 at 7:17 PM

Nadia doesn’t hate Beta. She think’s its God’s trumpet and that she’s got an in to paradise.

Also, if Beta didn’t want Jen on the ship it would’ve given her health issues just like she did Raleigh and AJ.

I’m glad though that I didn’t have to sit through seasons and seasons to get at least ONE question answered. That’s where LOST lost me.

There’s an insane amount of flashbacks, but for some reason this show hooked me. I’m a pretty patient person when it comes to television. Maybe that’s why it hooked me. I thought it was awesome from the get go.

September 23, 2009 at 12:21 AM

TheGoddessCazul, Paula Morales thinks it’s God’s trumpet. Nadia Schilling is very antagonistic toward Beta.

If Alpha has kept the astronauts on Mars alive: Maddux is screwed. Bad enough having 2 ex-lovers on board, but 3? Awkward.

I love this show. And I’m so glad that ctv has continued to air the episodes. It’s awesome.

September 27, 2009 at 3:15 PM

I love this show. I don’t have a tv, so I’ve been downloading the episodes off of a torrent site and only found out this weekend it’s been “probably” cancelled by ABC. I have enjoyed the character development. It’s what gives us a chance to like/dislike characters and relate to them (or not). It’s science FICTION, and I think the writers have done a great job creating an other world for us. The introduction of Beta was icing on the cake. Would love to see many years of this show till the crew fulfills its mission.

September 28, 2009 at 10:17 AM

Ill bet that the 2 astronauts they left on MArs are still alive.
We see how Beta can produce things like food. I wouldn’t put it past them to have those 2 still alive

October 18, 2009 at 11:01 AM

I’m in the US and have been watching DG on ch131.com but it seems that it has either been removed completely or is having some sort technical difficulties. I am very disgusted with ABC for canceling the show and don’t want to miss any episodes.Does any one know where I could find the newest episode online?

October 21, 2009 at 5:18 PM

I have to say it was good, and the sci-fi bit was there, it made me wonder and my mind is going crazy with what could be… and what might be… good going :-)