Ascension – Part 2

So with the big twist at the end of part one revealing that Ascension is a huge social experiment conducted on earth without the knowledge of the subjects (being the 600 odd passengers & crew of the ship). Stoke, who the people on Ascension now believe to be dead, is actually taken away to a holding cell inside the facility. Harris is told that a consultant named Samantha has been assigned to the project. She begins her investigation by trying to question Stokes, but he attacks her. An act of sabotage causes an explosion on the ship. As the medical team begins treating victims, Bryce worries that Nora might have feelings for James. Councilman Rose reminds Viondra that, while her husband’s power seems solid at the moment, soon it will be taken again. She later suggests to her husband that a party should be held to boost morale.

Meanwhile, Gault begins searching for a missing cobalt generator and gets hit in the face. Samantha meets with the director of the program to discuss the fact that more is going on than is known. She confronts Harris, and he shows her the video feeds to ask her, if she were born on Ascension, would she want to know the truth. Bryce discusses James with Nora, who says that she is upset that a computer will eventually match her with someone, so she has decided to have fun while she can. When Gault realizes that the cobalt generators started the fire 20 years ago, he speaks with the captain, who tells him to focus on the task at hand. James asks Gault to help him get into a program that would get him out of the lower decks. He then offers to help him find Dwight, a suspect in Lorelei’s murder, by telling him to check Deck 23. In a flashback, Ophelia saves Gault’s life when Deck 23 was damaged in a fire 20 years ago. Deck 23 is so damaged, now, that anyone could probably hear activity in the facility. Gault senses something near a wall where Harris stands on the other side. Then, he gets into a fight with Dwight. Gault escapes and Dwight dies. Harris goes to the warehouse to get the seahorse necklace that was taken from Bryce’s office.

On the ship, Christa goes to get immunized. Ophelia accompanies her to prove that nothing is wrong with the shots. Ophelia takes the shot herself, has a seizure, and collapses. Looking on, Harris insists that Christa must get the shot soon or her system will start breaking down. Meanwhile, Samantha meets with conspiracy theorist Eve Marceau, who tells her that 70 scientists were abducted in the 1960s, one of whom is later shown to be Ophelia. On the ship, Viondra learns that Jackie, one of the stewardesses, has begun having sex with the captain. She relieves Jackie of her duties. When Harris tries to get Christa to take her inoculations through a glass of milk, she looks up at the camera and dumps it on the floor. Harris tells them to use their “man inside” to make her take the inoculation. Christa panics, screams, and shatters the lights, but the “man inside” also cuts himself and bleeds on her dress. Viondra learns that someone squelched her order to have Jackie transferred.

Still, Viondra debuts Presley as the latest sexy stewardess type. Meanwhile, Gault talks with Christa about her inoculations and gets her to take them, but when the man arrives to give her the shot, she refuses, and he holds her down and injects her. When the DNA evidence on Christa’s dress gets matched to Ike, the medical intern, he is found hanging dead in his room. Nora and James meet on the beach to talk. They admit to liking each other, but he ultimately resents her for making him feel poor. Finally, Christa visits Ophelia, who is in a coma, and reads her mind. Enzmann side of things was pretty creepy, as he vividly described moments from his childhood to reinforce his fervent obsession with the project and its crew members. His character’s obsession with the Ascension group comes out strong, most notably during the scene where he gave his wife Juliet’s seahorse necklace after having explained to Kruger that he has grown up watching Juliet. And to then see him close the door about to have sex with his wife asking her to “leave the necklace on”.

Samantha meets up with Eva Marceau who runs a conspiracy website about 70 of the brightest scientists who disappeared without explanation back in 1963 and she also decides to help Stokes despite the fact that h attacked her when she went to question him. Overall a lot of things seemed clearer and in more detail in part 2 but the focus on sex and the murder mystery means that the scifi element is pretty low.

A “Small” Victory

It is a small victory for the tipplers and bar owners of this state. Basically admitting that their hurriedly-declared liquor policy is a big FAILURE, the government has decided to scrap dry days on Sundays and allow conversion of 418 bars, that were closed down, as beer and wine parlours. With the changes announced on Thursday, all the 730 bar hotels in the state will remain operational provided the hygienic standards are met. A special Cabinet meeting on Thursday also decided to reduce the total working hours of bars by two-and-a-half hours per day from 15 hours to 12.5 hours.

“On the condition that all existing employees should be reinstated, all the hygienic bars operated till March 31, 2014, will be given beer, wine parlour licenses. Since they had operational sanction till then, licenses would be considered in-continuation with those licenses,” the Chief Minister said. A decision was also taken to close down 16 outlets along the National and State Highways by January 1, 2015.

Changes are being brought in based on the reports submitted by Labour and Tourism Secretaries on the impact of the liquor policy and issues related to job loss of employees and setback in the tourism sector. “There are no changes from the earlier decision not to grant bar licenses to three and four star hotels. Decision on licenses to five-star and above would continue,” he said. Based on the HC observations, the Cabinet also decided to close down 10 pc of the total outlets – Bevco and Consumerfed – operating along the National and State Highways.