Impending doom: Multiple threats plague season 2 of ‘Salvation’
Science fiction is increasingly becoming science fact. The dreams of golden era writers and directors, while perhaps a bit exaggerated, are more prevalent now than ever before. Space exploration is advancing, with multiple groups and organizations vowing to establish a new home on Mars. This might explain why so many of us are captivated by intergalactic what-ifs, and why many summer TV viewers are tuning in to the sci-fi drama “Salvation,” now in its second season, with a new episode airing Monday, July 16, on CBS. “Salvation” takes place in present-day America, using modern technology and a dash of fictional liberty to set the stage. Liam Cole (Charlie Row, “Red Band Society”) is a highly intellectual MIT graduate student whose research has been devoted to mapping the unknown parts of space. What Liam didn’t anticipate, however, was that his program would uncover a serious, impending threat to the entire planet: an asteroid set to collide with Earth in 186 days. Anxious to get the data to the government, Liam reaches out to his professor, but after the professor goes missing, he turns to his one other option: scientific genius Darius Tanz (Santiago Cabrera, “Big Little Lies”), a recent speaker at MIT who’s still — thankfully — in town.
Armed with this new, timesensitive information, Darius and Liam head to the Pentagon and deliver the news to the Department of Defense’s deputy secretary, Harris Edwards (Ian Anthony Dale, “Hawaii Five-0”). Harris and DOD public affairs press secretary Grace Barrows (Jennifer Finnigan, “Tyrant”) have no choice but to let these two skilled scientists into a covert operation called Sampson, revealing that the government was already well aware of the threat but had chosen to keep it hidden in order to prevent mass pandemonium.
The thrilling conclusion of season 1 saw the president reinstated, TESS’s source code given up to RE/SYST and the group divided, awaiting the impeding likely demise of the East Coast. Harris and Grace, along with the rest of the selected crew, are all stowed away within a hangar, ready to board the Ark if necessary, while Darius and Liam work from a secure location to try to determine another way to prevent Earth’s destruction.
With the second season now underway, it’s clear to see that the danger is compounding. RE/ SYST is threatening nuclear action, the asteroid’s imminent collision continues to present a dire outlook for humanity, and neither situation can be resolved without global co-operation. Meanwhile, Harris and Grace are struggling to quell potential chaos within the hangar as the newly informed citizens learn to accept their fate.
In a recent interview with KCAL9 CBS Los Angeles, Finnigan touched on the growing tension of a disaster-bent narrative. The actress notes that, while “the show is mostly about this impeding asteroid — the sort of scaring, impending doom of that,” people are “still living [their lives],” as the truth makes it difficult for people to accept, which leads them to set out a course of action that reveals what’s truly important to them. Now that “the public knows” and “the secret is out ... people go bananas.” An event such as this will no doubt “bring out the best” or to “bring out the worst [in us],” but ultimately, Finnigan believes that the most realistic depiction — something that the series strives to exhibit — is where the best and worst in us collide.
As season 2 of “Salvation” progresses, the price of loyalty will increase in value. As the asteroid continues its journey toward Earth, Harris, Grace, Liam and Darius will do all they can to try and maintain a sense of calm while uncovering a means by which disaster might ultimately be prevented.
“[Now that] the secret is out ... people go bananas.” - Jennifer Finnigan
Santiago Cabrera in “Salvation”