Defying Gravity

Season 1 Episode 5


Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Aug 23, 2009 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
165 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Antares crosses a point of no return and turning back to Earth is no longer an option. In the meantime, each of the crew members has to cope with a personal point of no return.

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  • this is just ridiculous...

    so people still think this show will thread them good, guess what it will not. it is unbelievable that they let this garbage tv soap keep on going and have not been axed yet. i have said it before that this tv show is all garbag tv soap and a totally waste of peoples time. they have not fooled me yet and i have seen how ridiculous this show have been from the start. i see alot of people vote me down but you know what, in the end i will get me "i told you so" revenge so i dont really care about your down voting. i come with one recommendation to all you down voters go watch "INVASION" and YOU will see what a great sci-fi tv show is all about.moreless
  • A very touching episode and my favourite so far.

    Episode 5 and the crew of the Antares have reached the point where a return to Earth is no longer an option or as they call it: Rubicon. Donner is still seeing visions of Sharon and their other colleague which is causing some concern in the team. He also sees Mars dust on all the water filtration containers which actually helps solve this week's emergency – an issue with water filtration controls before Rubicon occurs.

    Relationships come to the fore once again in this episode. Things are becoming strained between Ted and Eve. He resents being forced to keep the 'Beta' secret from the team and regards Eve's directions to keep quiet as an order from the boss rather than a request from his wife. Jen finally reveals her secret project to Rollie, a 'baby' she is growing for them, a rabbit embryo. Rollie seems more concerned with telling Jen that it is not allowed rather than the fact that she is lonely and trying to find a way to bond them during this separation. Jen is finding the separation hard which is understandable, 6 years is a long time. In flashbacks we see Jen and Ted are still an item and Rollie is still observing them in a weird way. I'm not sure if this is the writer's way of showing us jealousy but it is more creepy than illuminating. When Rollie asks her out (and that is what he's doing - watch the finger touching) it still has the creepy vibe, especially when Ted shows up. However the message he leaves her after their fight is sweet so I will be interested to see how they write their relationship in the flashbacks.

    As per usual in current time Nadia's main interest is hitting on Donner rather than ensuring the systems are all in working order. It's funny to watch her try to turn the word nominal into something sexy especially when Donner is having none of it. However she does bring up the topic of Sharon and says that is the reason why Donner always pulls back from her. In flashback to 5 years ago at the training stage we see Nadia basically offer herself on a plate to Donner, Friends with Benefits, no strings, no dinner. In flashbacks we see that she does get her way eventually. She also raises the thorny issue of the group being rated, trainees and instructors alike by Goss. The ratings themselves probably mean nothing but these are the main ones:

    Nadia –1; Evram – 8; Jen – 9; Ajay – 10; Donner – 12; Ted – 13; Paula – 15; Zoe – 28; Wassenfelder – 32 (last). Quite a mixed bunch that ended up on the Antares. Still in flashback Zoe meets with a doctor who can provide her with a pill to induce an abortion. I think this issue is handled well by the writers. It is sensitive without being overly judgemental or preachy and it Zoe's agonising over the decision is pretty true to life. We get to meet Zoe's Mom who turns out to be very different to Zoe, kooky, into Tarot cards and convinced her husband is leaving her every time he goes on an archaeological dig. She is astute enough to notice that Zoe is pregnant, deduced from her ice-cream eating and non-drinking. Her appearance at the bar is great fun, pretending to be Zoe's friend to meet a hot astronaut. I liked the scene when Donner went to her apartment to talk her out of quitting even though a part of me wanted them to just hop on each other!

    The time capsule also raises some interesting questions for the team. What do you choose to leave behind? It's clear immediately that for Donner it will be his baseball as it is a constant feature in every episode. In flashback we get to see why it is so important to him when Evram returns the ball to him in the bar. The story behind it is really touching and it is emotional watching him visit Sharon's Mom to return the ball to her. It was even more emotional watching him put it in the capsule knowing what it meant to him. For the other crew members their choices were less obvious. It was sweet to see Paula torn between her faith and the love of her pet dog. Wassenfelder's digs at Paula with all her religious stuff are just annoying. I'm not sure if the writers are trying to say he has a crush on her and he's doing the schoolboy thing of making fun of her to show it but it's getting old. She's always having to help him out and bar his spit idea I'm really failing to see why he's on board bar to be a pain in the butt.

    We get to see again how much of an a*****e Goss really is when Donner and Ted challenge him about their ratings. Watching Donner then lose it in front of all the trainees shows us just how much Mars continues to affect him 5 years on. The most important part of this episode though is when Eve, possibly prompted by her attraction to Ted, starts digging into the Mars expedition and discovers the 'official' video of the communication between Goss in control and Ted and Donner in the ship has been edited. The unedited version shows that Goss panicked and that the 2 team members would have had time to make it to the ship. The edits were signed off by Goss and a member of the National Security Council, possibly one of the suits we see observing Eve? Why is Goss continuing to ensure that Ted and Donner are publicly blamed for leaving the 2 astronauts behind when it was his decision? After all he likes to remind them that he was and still is in charge so clearly it was his mistake. Is it a suit decision or something to do with 'Beta'? I like that Eve tells him to back off Ted and Donner, it's just a shame he doesn't do that.

    My favourite part of this episode though is the end when Ted has sent off the capsule but has returned all the personal items declaring the willingness to let go is more important than actually letting go. When he picks up the ball, Donner sees Mars dust on his hands. We see how Sharon's mother returned the ball to Donner but now that he has made the emotional break with it, he flings it back out to space.moreless
  • Point of no return

    So.. they are getting to point where they cannot go back and have to take the whole journey and that is not the easy one.. We also get some great flashbacks (did I say that? I think first time I really enjoyed those flashbacks) of past.. of Zoe's decition.. and also the hard memories of Donner.. I think they really are managing to bring forward the depth of chars what maybe so far have little been lost into the drama and relationship trouble..

    I also think the stories are somehow getting stronger. The episodes seems to catch me more, keep me to screen. It still take time to make me eagerly wait for next one, but if this show has time (I mean, network gives it a change), I believe it can turn into something people will really like.moreless
  • Great music, PNR, booty calls. Abortions and baseball.

    Ok, I had to watch this episode twice so that I could rap my head around it. The main premise is PNR. Point of no return. Or crossing the Rubicon. Mission-wise it is the point where you jump or go home. Story-wise we still see more character development. With team building, dealing with grief and insecurities.

    It was a nice episode that makes you think. Do you react or respond to problems? Response is more planned while Reaction is not is more of a knee jerk or off the cuff. We are the result of our life experiences.

    Yet, Sometimes the audience just wants to be entertained. I really like the show but I would like a bit more action. Lets have a fire, leak, food shortage, something! We don't need all the flash backs. We can see how are by putting them in tough situations in the present.

    As for this episode a lot a good stuff was revealed. A lot of great quotes. I wish there where more woman on this planet like N. Schilling.

    Worth watching.

    "We will see what tomorrow brings" - shawmoreless
  • Time to let go

    There are very few people left NOT hallucinating...but the visions aren't hindering exactly (as yet) they're just distracting the astronauts and in this ep Donner seeing all the Mars dust on the equipment led to them figuring out where the problem with the water filtration system was. We found out that Zoe got a visit from her Mom while she was wrestling with the baby situation (the Mom she's been on the phone to in the flashbacks), she takes her to the bar where all the astronauts hang out and then leaves when her Mom starts to do a taro reading for her. Of course who should wander in but Donner and 'Bev' starts up a conversation introducing herself as Zoe's Mom and telling him that Zoe's thinking of dropping out because she's 28th in the first rankings of the crew - he's not so happy to hear that. Bev does a reading for Donner that leds him to approach the mother of the woman he left on mars to give her the baseball he carries around because he took it from her possessions. Zoe returns to find her Mom packing to go be with Zoe's dad (on his dig) and does another reading where she lets Zoe know that she knows that she's pregnant (ice cream, big boobs, no drinking all adds up to one thing) but doesn't put any pressure on her. Donner turns up to at Zoe's door and that can be summarized into -"Don't leave", she asks whether he's every considered doing the normal thing and have a family and regular job and he says "someday" and that all he wants right now is to she's obviously going to take that into consideration and while we see her call the Doctor about getting the pill to end her pregnancy that's all we can be sure about (I kind of want her to somehow have had the baby and the crying she keeps hearing is because she abandoned it to adoption or something).

    Meanwhile her friend is growing one rabbit fetus past the stage she should and calling it Rufus, which freaks out her husband...but he's really sweet at the end, after their fight telling her to tell rufus that daddy says hi.

    We also learn that it's that cranky Goss's fault that those two were left on Mars! Does he feel NO GUILT?! Poor Donner.moreless
Diane Cary

Diane Cary

Bev Barnes

Guest Star

Martin Cummins

Martin Cummins

Dr. Eric Sanderson

Guest Star

Christina Jastrzembska

Christina Jastrzembska

Martha Lewis

Guest Star

William C. Vaughan

William C. Vaughan

Arnel Poe

Recurring Role

Lara Gilchrist

Lara Gilchrist

Sharon Lewis

Recurring Role

Nicole Muñoz

Nicole Muñoz

Palestinian Girl

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • The objects that each astronaut places in the time capsule are as follows:

      Ted Shaw - a white cylinder, possibly a model spaceship belonging to his son.
      Nadia Schilling - pilot's wings
      Jen Crane - a photo of Jen and Rollie
      Evram Mintz - a military medal
      Paula Morales - her religious necklace
      Steve Wassenfelder - a men's magazine
      Zoe Barnes - a tarot card
      Maddux Donner - a baseball

    • The "Medal" Evram puts in the time capsule is the second highest decoration in the Israeli Army: "Itur Ha-Oz" (Medal of Courage). The medal is awarded for an act of gallantry at the risk of life, during fulfillment of combat duty.
      As of 2009, only 220 of these medals have been awarded.

    • Featured Music:
      "Sticky Situation" by Danko Jones
      "Everything I Build" by The Stills

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Donner: You know, the Mars mission is not exactly a time in my life I'm looking to relive.
      Ted: Well, this time capsule isn't about Mars, Donner. It's about unity. It's about mutual sacrifice. Anything that brings us closer make it easier to deal with challenges down the line.
      Donner: Okay, and you believe that?
      Ted: Yes, I do.
      Donner: Well, I didn't bring anything to put in it.
      Ted: Oh, yes, you did.

    • Nadia: I like being friends with benefits.

    • (Zoe answers her door holding a tub of ice cream with a spoon in her mouth)
      Donner: (eyes the spoon) Wow.
      Zoe: (puts the tub and spoon on the ground) What are you doing here?
      Donner: What's this I hear about you leaving?
      Zoe: What?
      Donner: Well, Bev tells me that you're thinking about leaving the program.
      Zoe: (laughs) My Mom should not talk to strangers.
      Donner: I'm not a stranger, Bev gave me a reading. (raises eyebrows) It was actually kind of accurate.
      Zoe: Ha. Perfect.
      Donner: How do you even think about leaving?
      Zoe: I don't think I'm gonna have much choice in the matter - you did see I was 28th?
      Donner: Yeh, no, come on that's like a preliminary ranking - that's not anything.
      Zoe: ever think a different life?
      Donner: What do you mean? Like what?
      Zoe: Like a regular job and a family.
      (pause while he considers it)
      Donner: Yeah...yeah, someday.(Zoe looks sad) I mean right now more then anything I just want to fly. Don't you?
      Zoe: (shrugs and smiles fakely) Yeah.
      Donner: (Looks her over and then glances down) Don't leave.
      Zoe: Why?
      Donner: You're gonna be a good astronaut.
      (she gives him a small smile and he responds with a bigger one, she looks away and then back)
      Zoe: Goodnight Donner. (closes the door and leans against it smiling)

    • Donner: (voice-over) PNR. Point of no return. It sounds simple. You step across the line and you focus only on the way ahead. No going back. Sounds like a good way to live life. Look only ahead. Put the bad stuff behind you and move on. But that's impossible. Your past will always find you. Even if you think you've let it go.

  • NOTES (2)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic: Rubikon (Rubicon)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Canada: August 23, 2009 on CTV
      United Kingdom: November 12, 2009 on BBC2/BBC HD
      Czech Republic: October 2, 2010 on Prima COOL
      Germany: October 14, 2012 on Sixx