“Ascension” aired as a miniseries special from Dec. 15 to 17, 2014 on Syfy. The story happens in a special spacecraft, with hundreds of men, women and children aboard. This spacecraft was sent on a century-long mission into the universe. But on its 51st year of travel, a murder turns up, triggering a series of events. Read on for the recap of “Night One.”
Lorelei Wright (Amanda Thomson) is found dead on the “beach” inside Ascension. She was killed by a gun, a piece that’s never allowed on the spacecraft in the first place. How did it get there? The captain, William Denninger (Brian Van Holt), assigns his XO, Oren Gault (Brandon P. Bell), to investigate the case. This being the very first murder aboard the spaceship, Gault has no idea how to proceed. So he goes to the library to check out books and videos for pointers. The librarian also tells Gault that Lorelei checked out some videos from Year 31, the time of the massive fire inside the ship that took Gault’s parents' lives, but Lorelei has never returned the videos. What could she need this for?
From his investigations, Gault learns that Lorelei has been dating James Toback. He gives Gault insights as to the kind of woman she was and the fact that Lorelei dreamed of a life on Earth. But before she died, she was with a man named Stokes (Brad Carte) whom Gault and the authorities later discovered to have the gun, so he was locked up for questioning. It should be noted that both Toback and Gault came from the lower decks, whose residents do not receive the same privilege as the ones from the upper 40 floors.
Christa (Ellie O’Brien), the young girl who found Lorelei’s body, was briefly in a coma after suffering from emotional trauma. When she came to, she relates to Gault and to Dr. Juliet Bryce (Andrea Roth), the head of the medical division, of her dreams and visions. Lorelei has been telling her stuff, and she believes it. Apparently, a man in hazmat suit has been mysteriously appearing, looking at her things in her room. She see this figure again as it rummages through Dr. Bryce’s stuff, stealing Lorelei’s sea horse necklace.
Christa also shares that she's sure that Ascension is headed in the wrong direction and that they are not alone. She gives Gault a compass, saying that it belonged to Lorelei’s boyfriend. But Gault knew who it belonged to. It was the captain’s, who admitted to the affair with the dead woman, but he swore to Gault he didn’t kill her.
Meanwhile, Viondra (Tricia Helfer), Capt. Denninger’s wife and the head of the stewardess of the Ascension —where the girls provide other services similar to that of a companion or an escort girl — is apparently having an affair with Councilman Rose (Al Sapienza). But this was with her husband’s consent. She’s using her charms to weed out information from Rose for her husband as a political advantage. Rose could eventually unseat the captain, and the couple are doing what they can to fortify their positions. This murder is another kink they have to iron out.
Back on Earth, Harris Enzmann (Gil Bellows) is shown rebuffing a journalist who wants details about the Ascension. He denies that there’s such a mission, but as Enzmann walks into the building, it is revealed that he’s actually the overseer of the top secret mission. His father was the pioneer of the project from 50 years ago.
The episode ended with Stokes’ prison cell mysteriously opening, so he took this chance to get out and take Nora, Dr. Bryce's daughter, hostage. As Gault tried to stop him, he reiterated his innocence. He was set up. He did not murder Lorelei.
Gault fights it off with him and as this happened, an air vent opened. Unable to hold on to something, Stokes is sent flying out into deep space, where viewers finally saw the twist and the greatest secret of all: the spaceship never left the Earth. It’s all an elaborate psychological experiment, much like “The Truman Show,” and Stokes was immediately secured by Enzmann’s men on the other side.
And that’s what happened in “Night One” of “Ascension,” which aired as a miniseries special from Dec. 15 to 17, 2014 on Syfy. What a crazy twist! Did you see that coming?
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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Eva Rinaldi