Defying Gravity

Season 1 Episode 2

Natural Selection

2
Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Aug 02, 2009 on ABC
7.9
out of 10
User Rating
185 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
An unaccounted hatch failure puts Zoe's life at risk. Meanwhile, the new mission commander Ted Shaw is asked to visit the mysterious element in Storage Pod 4.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • We learn more about the mystery surrounding the mission.

    8.0
    So the plot thickens. What is in Storage Pod 4? What or who is the mysterious 'Beta'? Is it leading this mission? Where is taking the crew or what will it do when they arrive on Venus? Did it choose the crew? Is this why 2 crew members suddenly developed matching heart conditions and had to be replaced?



    As for the characters we were given a better insight into their journey to this point. Once again romantic relationships play a major role. The relationship between Rollie and Jen is quite sweet and it appears that they really love each other. However Rollie is clearly aware of the mysterious 'Beta' and appears to be holding something back from Jen that could affect her or their marriage. This is evident from his expression when she mentions her desire to have kids. We also see how Donner and Zoe got together 5 years ago back at the training stage. Some parts of this are funny, such as when Shaw and Rollie rate Donner's chances of scoring or when Jen tries to guess who Zoe was with. Donner appears to have a cocky edge to him, something that is missing or has been worked on by the Antares timeframe. There are some interesting aspects too in the training flashbacks such as how Wassenfelder nearly failed to qualify even back at the very early training days and almost drowned Zoe in the process. There are constant references to his lack of ability and hints that he should not be on Antares. Did 'Beta' play a part in this? This episode gives us our second emergency situation (following Ajay's impromptu spacewalk) with the airlock door opening and Zoe being blasted out into space. Donner is the person who has to rescue her and the use of flashbacks here is poetic, even going so far as to re-use some of their original conversation such as Zoe's answers to the pysch test and the comments on the constellations. There are some more mysterious revelations here as Zoe comments on how she feels she and Donner have 'been here several times' and done this before and that she knew Donner would be with her. Even the way that Wassenfelder comes up with the spit idea to save Zoe leading to Mrs. Shaw commenting on why he is onboard. Is there an element of pre-destined journeys or deja-vu here or is this an effect of 'Beta'? This episode raises far more questions than it does answer them, such as what the hell happened in the final shot when Ted enters Pod 4 and is faced with what appeared to be the red dust of Mars? Is that Beta? However as a long-time fan of sci-fi, long and complicated arcs and unanswered questions courtesy of X-Files I am enjoying this programme and look forward to seeing where it takes us...moreless
  • still no good.....

    1.0
    it did not feel any better than the pilot, dare i say it.. yes i do, it is getting even worse than the pilot in the second episode of this crapstick soap. i can still not believe that someone approved this show without being at gun point, it is just derision of everything a si-fi show stands for. the maker of star trek will turn in his grave when he find out about this unbelievable bad show that they call a si-fi. i hope this will be cancelled soon, this is really getting patethic, how can they sink so low, is beyond me.moreless
  • Why watch if you don't like it? I go to t.v. for fun. If it's not fun for someone, why bother? Just to keep grumping about it? Move on!

    9.5
    I like this show. I like the characters, I like the acting and I like the nuances. The plot is gripping for me and several others I know. I enjoy each episode. I don't watch shows I don't like. Why do others who dislike it turn in? I wouldn't. It's easy to determine if a show will suit a viewer. Why come back if it's not fun to watch? There are many shows I never watched in full because I didn't like them: Survivor, Lost, Dancing with Whomever, Losing Weight, in fact most of what's on the tube. I like sci fi and the real interactions between very competitive astronauts.moreless
  • It felt better than pilot

    8.0
    I most say that episode felt little stronger than pilot. Maybe I am wrong and maybe just knowing the chars and the setting did it's part but that episode had much more logic, that kind of steady going, excitement and mixed with those flashbacks - it had quite an unique feeling and motion and I most say I liked it.



    I also liked the whole space thing.. I mean.. they getting into the routines and doing their everyday stuff.. and even if I was not sure what they will come up, it wasn't bad storyline.. maybe too plain and too predictable after all those visions but good one, better than expected. Maybe when you do not expect much, the result is better and you are positively surprised.



    Anyway, the good development were also on the "secret" side. I am still not getting what they are talking about but.. exciting.moreless
  • It seems that the title of this episode is prophetic. Something or someone creates a heart problem for two of the eight astronauts and Donner and Shaw who were on the ground crew must take their place before the Antares leaves orbit for its mission.moreless

    8.5
    A little more revealing in the second hour of the first night of this show. There is something on the ship in Pod 4 which is steering the destiny or direction of the ship and its crew. Shaw who's wife Eve (Karen LeBlanc) is the Mission Director informs him as the new Mission Commander of the specifics of the mission. This information is not revealed to the viewer but it seems they will eventually reveal what is going on.



    Zoe (Laura Harris) has obviously had an abortion as it is revealed she had a relationship with Donner (Livingston) and even though he did have a vasectomy he got her pregnant. Something is causing her to hear a baby crying on the ship. No one else can hear it and to be honest it is a little creepy.



    Donner and Shaw make it to the Antares and Donner saves Ajay (Zahf Hajee) from committing suicide in space when he is removed from the crew because of a heart problem. Both he and the Mission Commander Rollie Crane (Ty Olsson) seemed to have developed the same heart problem within the first few days in space. Another manipulation from the entity? As the Mission Physician stated the odds were astronomical that two crew members would develop this same problem like they did.



    Donner and Zoe seem to having related dreams and their fates seemed to be tied together somehow. Zoe gets shot out of a air lock even though no one triggered the door. Luckily Donner had tethered her. He ends up pulling her back in and she is alright after some hysterical moments.



    I like this series so far and would recommend it. Unlike Virtuality it doesn't seem to have the quirkiness that Pilot had with the virtual reality equipment. Though this Pilot and series does seem to have something manipulating the people, but more like testing them maybe. We'll have to see how far they take this. In a lot of ways a six year mission through our solar system is exciting enough without petty problems and situations. We'll see. Thanks for reading...moreless
Paul Boyle

Paul Boyle

Psychologist

Guest Star

Tyler McClendon

Tyler McClendon

Bartender

Guest Star

Kathleen Duborg

Kathleen Duborg

Middle-Aged Woman

Guest Star

William C. Vaughan

William C. Vaughan

Arnel Poe

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Donner: (voice-over) You would think that there'd be a sadness when you start to pull away from Earth. An ache for the mountains, what's left of the beaches, for the sweet smell of fresh air. My guess, there's a little bit of that. But when you're an astronaut, you start asking yourself questions like - How the hell did I get here? Was it hard work? Fate? Was it the hand of God? You ask yourself - Why am I one of the lucky suckers leaving, not one of the poor bastards being left behind?

    • Donner: (voice-over) Sometimes, I think the only natural selection happens in a Petri dish. But it's in a Petri dish, that's not really natural, is it?

  • NOTES (2)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic: Přirozený výběr (Natural Selection)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Canada: August 2, 2009 on CTV
      United Kingdom: October 21, 2009 on BBC2/BBC HD
      Czech Republic: September 11, 2010 on Prima COOL
      Germany: October 7, 2012 on Sixx

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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