DEBRIS episode 11 “Asalah” review – Flashback


Odds are if you’ve been watching DEBRIS you have been wondering about Bryan’s past. If so, this is the episode for you. From the mysterious injections to the subtle references to a mysterious past, DEBRIS has clearly been teasing something interesting. The ‘debris of the week’ is used primarily as a vehicle to give us an extended flashback without simply doing a flashback episode (The best flashback episode I can remember is the episode of HEROES where they finally filled in the backstory behind the mysterious glasses guy, but I digress). This is a clever use of the show’s structure (introducing a new piece of alien debris each week with a different effect) to provide details about the past.

Photo by: James Dittiger/NBC

While not everything is explained, the episode does a good job of explaining what Bryan is all about. Jonathan Tucker has done a great job of making Bryan an interesting character while withholding most of the types of details that are usually used to build a connection with the audience.

While the episode answers some ongoing questions, it does lack the signature debris special effect. While we get a little ‘shimmer’ (and we’ve already seen that), the episode relies on a creepy lady’s acting performance (which is effective). Some of the acting in the episode is a bit stilted and Bryan’s flashback beard is pretty comical. Those quibbles aside, I enjoyed this episode primarily because it answered a lot of questions I’ve had about Bryan.

Photo by: James Dittiger/NBC

If you haven’t seen DEBRIS yet, give it a try.  It’s a worthy successor to sci-fi shows like X-FILES and FRINGE. While each episode is fairly self contained, starting at the beginning is essential to investing in the characters and understanding the mythology.

Random Debris Thoughts I Can Now Discuss (Warning: Spoilers for prior episodes):

  1. I wonder if there will be any lasting damage to the universe caused by the jumping through the alternative realities in the prior two episodes. There seemed to be a slight difference in how Maddox learned about his wife’s separation – both involved a call from the restaurant, but in one case he confronted her at the restaurant and in the other he got served with papers. Maybe I’m overthinking it.
  2. I’m a little sad about how little we’ve seen Scroobius Pip’s Ash. I figured he’d either play a big antagonist role or be revealed as a real ally of Bryan and Finola by now. There’s still time!
  3. What the heck is Finola’s dad up to? Will he get his aluminum foil?
  4. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Finola’s sister. While that plot line had potential, I think the story has been leaner and more focused without it.

DEBRIS airs Mondays on NBC at 10pm Eastern and Pacific.

Check back soon for my thoughts on the twelfth episode of the show, which is titled “A Message From Ground Control”.

Have you been watching the show? Are you a fan? Feel free to chat with me on Twitter or leave a comment below!


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