Defying Gravity: Threshold

Episode 3 of ABC’s new series-



The pod is open and he’s freaking out as he looks at the desert? He runs out of the pod and locks it behind him. (Unfortunate voiceover about doors being meant to be open vs there for a reason ie to keep people out.) Ah, it was Mars. Ted talks to his wife and she explains that Beta is trying to communicate with him. She tells him he must go back. 



Jen talks to her husband. She’s worried about his health but he waves it away. She’s working on a secret project for him. He tells her to watch over Ted.



Crew meeting. Something is wrong with Paula and she throws up (haha flying vomit). Ted shows up and Jen tells him Rolie wants him to look after him. Ted doesn’t seem to care. 

Flashback to them on the bus. Donner flirts with Zoe, Ted flirts with Jen. The women fend off the men. Astronauts have to take hormone suppressants to that they won’t have sexual urges. (Their astronaut assignment is to wear the suppressant for 24 hours.) Meanwhile Ted’s wife goes to see Beta, it frightens her as well. It looks like she sees Mars too. 



Present again, AJ’s card oesn’t work and he can’t get into the building. The guard basically stonewalls him.

Paula can’t seem to keep anything down. Wass enters her room and she tells him not to come in without permission. Because she’s sick, Zoe will have to do their shared assignment with Donner instead. (Ah, so Jen had a relationship with Ted before Rolie.)

Ted heads back to Pod 2 but before he can get to the lock Donner sees him and starts talking, asking if he’s all right. He says he might need Ted’s help later but Ted says if he’s not there Nadia will be. 

They’re figuring out what to do with the hormones suppressants. The guys think they can beat them. The girls laugh at them. The girls decide to make a bet with the guys. If they can get an erection they win if not they lose. 

AJ waits for admittance. I feel so sorry for him. He’s no longer out of his mind…



Zoe and Donner do their tests and find their is something wrong. Of course. It’s a little tense between them, not much room. They start by resetting but that doesn’t seem to help anything. The system is unresponsive and wants them to do a tertiary landing. Donner wants to do it manually. They worry that he wants to delve into the systems which are misfiring because of Beta.(Even though AJ is the one who built the program they won’t let him in to help.) They tell him to just leave it alone for a while. He’s pissed but they shut it down anyway.

Donner finds Ted on the treadmill and asks why he wasn’t on deck during the test like he was asked to be. Ted’s trying to brush him off. Paula is still throwing up. 

(To a degree, I feel like this is an adult version of The Secret Life of the American Teenager–every discussion is about sex.)

The guys are at a strip club trying to overcome the hormone inhibitors. The girls are watching. Nadia rips off her shirt to party with them. Zoe leaves and Donner leaves because he sees him. Off all people, AJ is the one to overcome the suppressants and he didn’t even want to be involved in the first place.

Rolie joins AJ outside. He apologizes and brings him stuff. AJ can’t unpack his boxes and move on. He’s no longer and astronaut, he’s in research. He misses his sense of belonging.

Zoe sits at the bus stop and Donner approaches. He says it’s a nice night, she says she felt a drop. Once again she turns him down and the bus comes. (This is just getting kind of pathetic for both of them.) Paula pukes. Apparently that’s what she does. Rolie comes up to Jen asks questions about her research, which nobody is interested in. They flirt and get along but Ted steps in and they’re a couple so she leaves with Ted. 

Jen is giving her personal log–something is wrong with Ted, he’s withdrawn. The doctor, who knows something about Beta, says they’re all okay but they get back some tests that reveal that the crews’ genealogy is changing to match. Claire demands an explanation. Ted’s wife, Eve, gives her a hair sample and tells her to analyze it. Sure enough it’s the same too. 

Paula is miserable and continues throwing up. Zoe hears crying again. Jen comes to talk to Ted.  She tells him to open up so they can help him get through everything. Rolie and Eve watch jealously. Ted says he does have to go through it alone.

Zoe follows the crying to where the pods are. Donner sees her, stops what he’s doing, and follows her. They’re follow the noise and find the lander running. They discover that they’re programming the lander without them. Donner goes to Ted about the changes, he’s upset. 

Paula knocks on Wass’s wall asking for water. Wass ignores her. 

They tell AJ they need to adjust his hormone patch. Jen and Ted make out. Donner apologizes to Zoe and she says not to worry. They agree not to date. 



Rolie comes in asking how Ted is. Still in his room. Rolie calls him to say suck it up. He says in no uncertain terms that he had better get his act together because seven others, including his wife, are depending on him. He feels betrayed by Eve but he’ll have to get over it. (Much in the same way that Jen, when she finds out Rolie was keeping secrets will feel betrayed…)

Ted comes to the others and says Mintz had better help Paula and he told mission control not to make such an issue.

More voiceover: What doors we open determine our lives… 

Claire is taken to some committee.



It turns out Wass made a mistake ignoring paula’s request for water and Mintz lets him know it.

Ted returns to Pod 4. 

AJ goes home. 

Rolie, home alone, cries. 

Rolie, in his own home, cries.

At this point I have some likes and dislikes about Defying Gravity. I dislike the way they mostly ignore half the crew (Nadia, Paula, Wass, Mintz) and the way practically every story line revolves around Zoe and Donner. (They just don’t interest me as a couple.) I am definitely not a fan of the voiceovers. I do like some of the ideas it brings up, like betrayal and necessary secrets. I will definitely keep watching for now, but I’m hoping it moves beyond “they like each other but they can’t date. they like each other but they can’t date. they like each other but…”

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