After learning more about Piper's origins, Jo struggles with the decision to shelter her. Benny enlists a friend to hack Kindred's secret files, and Chris clashes with a headstrong informant he's assigned to protect.
Piper is lying awake in bed again. Jo is watching her through a nanny cam from the kitchen. She receives a text from Benny that Emily is getting ready to run. Piper appears next to Jo and asks for water. More distant than usual, Jo gives her a glass and tells her to go back to bed.
She meets up with Benny outside Emily's house. He's been keeping an eye on her since she's their only source. Jo tells him that the update worked on Piper. She's not sure if that's a good thing. She bets Emily has answers for them.
Emily hates to see them show up in her place. She's packing up. There was a glitch in her operating system 11 minutes. Richard got in, which means he knows. Jo wants answers about who is sleeping in her house. Emily only worked on a tiny piece of Piper's code. She doesn't know the biological side of her. Jo asks if Piper is real. "What is real?" Emily asks. She does know that Piper is made entirely of synthetic material. Piper herself is not aware that she's an AI. That would create a fatal exception error and effectively destroy the program. Benny asks if she's dangerous. Emily doesn't know. Jo offers to keep her safe but Emily has her own ways. Emily points out that Jo doesn't know enough to be afraid yet so she doubts Jo can keep her safe.
As they leave, Benny reveals it was not a complete waste. He knicked a drive that seemed important to Emily because she appeared to know more than she was letting on. He plugs the drive into his laptop, which ends up completely fried. He thinks he does know someone who can crack this. Jo asks him to let him know if that happens. Benny asks about Piper. Jo is not sure yet. Benny suggests they use the fatal exception option. Jo refuses. Benny thinks they should treat this code like it's dangerous until they know for sure it's not.
Jo finds Mia combing Piper's hair. Jo tells Mia to go downstairs and pack up for school. Jo takes the comb and continues Mia's work. Piper likes getting her hair brushed. Jo examines the hair up close. Piper asks if she's mad at her because she's smiling less than usual. Jo claims she's tired. Piper takes over from her.
As she's about to head to work, Jo notices a woman taking pictures of her house from her car. She walks up and instructs the woman to put her hands on the steering wheel. The woman is Lily Salgado from Children and Family Services.
Jo hands Lily a cup of coffee. She didn't recognize Lily but she did call her boss, so she believes that Lily is who she says she is. It's her first week on the job. Lily just read this article about her and Piper. She thinks Jo taking Piper in is amazing, even if it's unusual. Jo explains she had concerns over Piper's safety. Lily says they'll just the process started to make it official, which includes interviewing the family and Piper. Lily notices Jo's nervous and assures her it's going to be fine. She then realizes she never asked if Jo does, in fact, want to permanently foster Piper. Jo is saved by her phone.
She answers the call out on her porch. A man tells her he sent a driver for her. A car pulls up in front of the house indeed. It's Richard Kindred. He imagines she has some questions for him.
Jo is met by Richard at a noodle restaurant. He says they got off on the wrong foot. He admits he has a short fuse. She doesn't buy that he's working on it. He says he used to work at this restaurant when he was young. She points out he's come a long way since then with all the properties he owns. She read all the magazine profiles. She seems to be good at finding things that he lost. He lost a special piece of technology that could be dangerous to her. He offers to take it off her hands but Jo says they both know he already tried. All the people he sent for Piper are dead. Richard points out she doesn't understand Piper. She asks how much is programming and how much is real. He says the question of what's real is complex. He cites a story of a family raising a chimpanzee like a human and warns her not to confuse her feelings about a thing with the thing itself. Jo realizes he's not going to provide her any answers. Before she leaves, Richard asks her if she's heard chatter about one of his facilities being broken into. She says she has not. He'll keep her poster.
Gwen lets Benny into the apartment and informs April, her mother, of his presence. April provides him with some food and he gives her the drive. He was hoping she could find out what's on it. April says she doesn't mess around with that stuff anymore. It's too much risk for too little reward. He reminds her of her cracking the Lehman Brothers server. It was a once-in-a-lifetime story for him but she had to live with her cousin after the bank took his house. Benny name-drops Richard Kindred. She knows his company. April plugs the drive into her laptop and starts working.
Lily is talking to Ed while he prepares a sandwich for lunch. He talks about family being a priority around here. Lily has noticed and asks about his moving in. Ed says he did so because of health issues. Lily asks about Jo's mother. Ed says she took off when Jo was about 12. He took it in stride but it's ancient history now. Lily says things like that stick with you.
At work, Jo asks Chris to reach out to NYPD off the record and see if they are investigating any break-ins into Augur properties. Chris points at a woman and asks if she knows who that is. It's Emily. Jo walks up to her and asks her what she's going here. Emily came to hack Southold PD's database and erase decades worth of records unless Jo returns her hard drive. It was her insurance policy. She has no idea what's on the drive but Richard didn't want anybody to see. She stole it from him. Jo asks Emily to let them help her figure out what's on the drive while they keep her safe. Emily concedes.
Lily is ready a conversation with Piper. She starts recording and tells her they'll talk so that she can make sure that Piper is well and taken care of. Piper says she is and asks who's going to listen to the recording. Lily says her and maybe her boss so that they can decide what the right thing to do is. She explains that sometimes the kids or families aren't happy. Piper thinks Jo doesn't want her anymore and stresses that she wants to stay here. As she grows upset, the battery of Lily's phone explodes. She apologizes to Piper and runs downstairs to take care of the burn on her hand.
Chris enters Jo's office and Jo tells her that Emily used to work for Augur but is now cooperating with them in their investigation into the plane crash and the murder of Ken Lerner. Chris understands they need to get her off the map. She requests a place with broadband and a 4G signal. Chris thinks he has the perfect place.
Jo comes home and learns about what happened to Lily. Ed has dressed the wound. Lily will come back tomorrow to finish the interview. As Ed lets Lily out, Jo approaches Piper at the kitchen table and asks what happened to the phone. Piper says it was an accident. Jo asks if she did it. Piper says she's sorry. Jo doesn't know how to react. Alex and Mia come in. Mia brought some extra snacks from Advisory for Piper. Piper declines and goes to her room. Jo has Mia get started on her homework. Alex has translated the code that Piper provided them with. They're coordinates from the Military Grid Reference System of a place about an hour away. Jo checks her watch. She thinks this is where the plane with Piper was heading. She thinks she can find answers about Piper there.
Benny and April are parked outside a firm called Gallant. Since the files have AES 256 encryption, she's going to employ every computer in the building to help them as their personal supercomputer. Since it's been a while since she heard from Benny, she wonders what it so important about this. Benny says he's trying to help someone, which April thinks is a lie. He then receives word from Jo that she knows where the plane was going. Benny says he has to go.
Piper sneaks down the stairs with a backpack while Ed and Mia are talking in the kitchen. She takes off the necklace and leaves it on a shelf next to the door. She leaves the house. Mia heard the door close and finds the necklace.
Jo and Benny stop in front of a fence. They are officially off the grid. Jo cuts open the chain around the fence and proceeds. She finds that the road leads to a runway.
They drive down the runway. She pulls over when they see a house next to it. The find a road leaving the runway. It leads into a small neighborhood, which appears abandoned. Jo thinks this was Piper's home.
Mia finds Piper at the bus stop three blocks from the house. She got tired. Mia sits down with her and tells her she can keep the necklace. Also, Jo won't let Lily take her. Family sticks together, like her father is still part of it, too. Piper is done running away but she doesn't want to go home yet.
The girls show up at Alex's apartment. He checks Piper's backpack and lets them in. He asks what they want for dinner tonight.
Chris arrives at Gaunts Brook Inn with Emily. Some of his favorite memories are fishing here with his dad in summer. There's no Internet or cellphone service. Emily is not okay with this. Chris says they need to keep her safe. He's seen what the people who are after her can do. He promises her this is better than the alternative. He's staying in the room right next door.
Benny and Jo enter one of the houses. As they are looking around, April calls Benny to tell him she got one file open. It's a video. She sent it to him. She doesn't like this. Benny says he'll call her back. He and Jo watch the video, which shows a man and woman presenting Piper with a cupcake for her birthday. She blows out the candle. Her wish is that she wants to leave. The woman says she can't do that. Piper says she wants to. The woman says they are going to talk about something new but Piper disobeys. The man asks for a reset and the woman asks the guests to leave so they can back to the beginning. As the room starts shaking, Piper says she doesn't like it here anymore and that she would like to leave. A sudden force wave seems to emerge from within her, sending people and objects flying through the room while she remains calmly seated, which ends the video. Jo proceeds and finds the room from the video, still completely wrecked. There is a giant hole in the wall.
Jo is letting everything sink in while sat down at an apparent abandoned pick-nick. Benny says it's diabolical of Augur to have made the robot a child, cloaked in innocence with an adorable face you want to protect. He understands why Jo thinks she's real. Jo wonders what real means. Benny says anything Piper has ever said or done is just a program. They saw how dangerous she can be. Jo says she does that when she's scared. Benny stresses that she is a machine. He fears for Jo and her family. Jo still needs answers. Benny says she has answers. She just doesn't want to believe them. One way or another, she has to let Piper go.
Jo shows up at Alex's place. Mia and Piper are playing Just Dance. He notices something's wrong but she doesn't want to talk about it. She enters and the girls greet her. Alex says Piper was really freaked out about the social worker but they talked about it and she's fine now. Jo tells Piper to grab her stuff while Mia has to stay here. Mia objects but Alex sides with Jo, who thanks him and leaves with Piper.
While driving home, Piper asks Jo if everything's okay. Jo says yes. Piper asks why Mia isn't coming with them. Jo says she wants to talk to Piper. Piper asks if Jo is afraid of her. Jo takes a beat to answer but says no. Piper asks what she wants to talk about. Jo asks if she has remembered anything about her life. Piper admits she has these little dreams sometimes when she's not asleep. They are scary and she does not like them. Jo asks if she wants to know who she is. Piper sometimes thinks she does not and asks if Jo knows. Before she can answer, Piper yells to stop. Jo hits the brakes. Piper gets out of the car and runs off. Jo chases her and realizes Piper saw a turtle on the road. Piper picks it up and puts it down by the side of the road. As Piper returns to the car, Jo looks at the turtle and realizes that Piper is good.
Chris enters Emily's room and finds that she has built a makeshift modem. He quickly unplugs it, shutting it down. It didn't connect. Emily needed to make something. Emily has a feeling Chris had a nice childhood with people who loved him. Emily says people like him don't get people like her. Augur Industries was the one stable thing she's ever had and now it's gone. They let her code on the most beautiful projects. She would find this rhythm where there was just the code and she was part of it. He likens it to putting together a 2,000-piece LEGO set in a sort of focused trance. Chris thinks it's time to get her out of her own head and says they are going to the place where he caught his first trout. As soon as they are gone, the phone connected to the modem starts ringing.
Lily and Jo are sitting down at the house. Lily tells Piper her family is lovely and very protective of Piper. Jo says Piper makes it easy. Lily recommends not throwing Piper back into school for another couple of months. Jo agrees. Lily checks to make sure Jo wants to take this one. It's a big responsibility and Jo's history with her mother concerns her. Lily thinks she might be trying to prove that she's not her mother. Jo can see why she'd think that. She was a little afraid of that at first but she's not afraid anymore.
At night, Jo enters Piper's room and removes the nanny cam. She briefly watches Piper as she smiles and closes the door behind her as she leaves. Piper then turns around, also smiling, while circles in her forearm briefly light up.
April returns the drive to Benny. She learned a long time ago to walk away from a job when it feels wrong. He accepts her decision. She advises him to walk away, too. He says he can't walk away. She wants to know why. He thinks it might change the world. She says if anybody can, it's him. He then sees a man approaching their car. Instinctively, he puts the car in reverse as the man draws a gun and starts shooting at them. They drive backwards into an intersection and are hit by another car.
- Allison Tolman as Jo Evans
- Alexa Swinton as Piper
- Owain Yeoman as Benny Gallagher
- Ashley Aufderheide as Mia Evans
- Robert Bailey Jr. as Chris Minetto
- Zabryna Guevara as Abby Frasier (credit only)
- Donald Faison as Alex Evans
- Clancy Brown as Ed Sawyer
Special Guest Star
- Maria Dizzia as Emily Cox
- Ashlie Atkinson as April
- Nikki Massoud as Lily Salgado
- Ignacio Serricchio as Gunman
- Alexis Molnar as Punk Woman
- Tara Gadomski as Birthday Party Woman
- Matt Dallal as Birthday Party Man
- Sawandi Wilson as Birthday Party Man #2 (voice only)
Following clues and mysterious elements around Piper's identity are revealed in the episode:
Notes and Trivia
- The episode scored 2.71 million viewers.
- Zabryna Guevara does not appear in this episode, making it the first episode in which not all of the main cast appears.
Behind the Scenes
A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.
|Emergence Season 1|
|#01||"Pilot"||#06||"Mile Marker 14"||#11||"Applied Sciences"|
|#02||"Camera Wheelbarrow Tiger Pillow"||#07||"Fatal Exception"||#12||"Killshot Pt. 1"|
|#03||"2 MG CU BID"||#08||"American Chestnut"||#13||"Killshot Pt. 2"|
|#04||"No Outlet"||#09||"Where You Belong"|