Review of 'Emergence' 1.6

The People Who Are Kindred

Review of 'Emergence' 1.6

Emergence checked in with another strong episode — 1.6 — and brought us to two surprising revelations. Both concern Kindred.

One is that Kindred didn't invent or create the android that is Piper. It turns out that the well-named Alan Wilkis did — well-named because he has the same first name, spelled the same way, as Alan Turing. He was the genius who in real history broke the German Enigma Code (which in many ways was responsible for our winning the Second World War), perfected the basis for the digital computer, and left us with the iconic Turing test: if an AI is indistinguishable in its intelligence from human intelligence, then by what logic can we say that the AI lacks human intelligence?

But Alan Wilkis not Kindred as the creator of Piper was not as surprising as what hits us at the end of this episode. That Second Life-like virtual apparition or avatar of Kindred that keeps drawing Piper into his conversation and into his world turns out to be none other than Emily — or at least, her apparition or avatar. And this twist of Emily from the hunted to the hunter changes everything, or would seem to, because we still don't know what's really going on.

But I like Emily as a Keyser Soze character, who starts as a vulnerable victim and turns out to be the one who, at least at this point, is pulling the strings. What it strongly suggests is Emergence has all kinds of tricks up its sleeve. It's rare that I literally have no idea where a series is heading, certainly rare after the sixth episode. But Emergence has managed to do that, in an intriguing way, and keeps making me want to watch it more and more.

tv review
Paul Levinson
Paul Levinson
Read next: Best Netflix Sci-Fi
Paul Levinson

Paul Levinson's novels include The Silk Code (winner Locus Award, Best 1st Science Fiction Novel of 1999) & The Plot To Save Socrates. His nonfiction including Fake News in Real Context has been translated into 15 languages. 

See all posts by Paul Levinson