DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Ark Season 1 Episode 12, “Everybody Wins,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, space travelers! We’ve officially reached season finale territory on The Ark with “Everybody Wins.” Evelyn and Garnet broker a tenuous peace, even agreeing to share Proxima B — that is until it explodes. Brice and Evelyn are cured of Klampkins, while Alicia wreaks severe head trauma on Kelly, putting her in a coma and in need of brain surgery. That’s true love, defending Angus from Kelly’s murdering ways. Lane is reinstated as a lieutenant, as is his undying love for Garnet. Seriously, we know that’s where they’re headed in Season 2. The chemistry is there.
“Everybody Wins” is a serviceable season finale, albeit a bit stuffed. Each catastrophe lasts about two seconds before it’s neatly tied in a bow. Then, it’s on to the next crisis. Part of me wonders if the creative team tried to cram so much into the finale in case the show was canceled. Despite some awkward dialogue, a handful of stiff performances and a rushed plot, “Everybody Wins” delivers a few satisfying, unexpected moments and a nice cliffhanger to carry us into Season 2.
Ready to delve into “Everybody Wins”? Let’s get to it.
We open with Alicia (Stacey Read) eagerly embracing Angus (Ryan Adams) after he, Lt. Garnet (Christie Burke) and William Trust (Paul Leonard Murray) return from Ark 15. Felix (Pavle Jerinic), temporarily in charge while Garnet was away, updates Garnet regarding Brice’s worsening condition. Meanwhile, Evelyn’s guards lead Lane (Reece Ritchie) back to the brig. Unfortunately for them, he deftly incapacitates them and steals a comms watch. An alarm blares, noting a disturbance onboard as Lane flees. Well, that was easy. Evelyn’s guards are like the Stormtroopers of The Ark universe — easily defeated.
Next, Lt. Brice (Richard Fleeshman) wakes up and spots Eva (Tiana Upcheva) next to him. Dr. Kabir (Shalini Peiris) and Alicia inform him that the cure didn’t work. Kabir can’t figure out why since they followed the science to the letter. Brice warns Eva not to have hope. He’s been led down this road before regarding his Klampkins and potential cures. On Ark 15, Lane continues to evade Evelyn’s forces. He contacts Garnet and Felix, who are prepared to rescue him again.
However, he believes they should engage FTL and hightail it out of there. Garnet counters that Evelyn will chase them. But what if Lane destroys Evelyn’s FTL device, rendering her ship incapable of accessing FTL? It’s worth a shot. In the med bay, Kabir and Alicia notice the spider venom is now a fine powder instead of a liquid. They discover that exposure to helium triggers the transformation from liquid to powder. Unfortunately, their artificial atmosphere contains some helium.
So, how do they ensure Brice receives the cure without exposure to helium? They let the spiders bite Brice’s hand while injecting the cure’s other components. Go directly to the source. Brice, our Big Sottish Baby (BSB), is terrified of spiders. Eva laughs at him. Nonetheless, Brice is already on the brink of death, so why not cross something off the bucket list? Kabir injects Brice’s arm with the other cure components. He sticks his hand in a glass case of spiders. Alicia aggravates them, causing them to bite his hand. After Brice removes his hand, Kabir and Alicia monitor his vitals.
Later, Lane makes it to the engine room and wreaks havoc on Evelyn’s FTL device. It’s done-zo. However, Evelyn (Jelena Stupljanin) and her guards catch Lane red-handed. She contacts Garnet with his comms watch, revealing she has him in her possession again. Next, our scientific duo delivers the news: it worked. Brice is Klampkins-free. No more terminal illness! Granted, he took some hits to the liver and a few other vital organs, but those can heal. The important thing here is the Klampkins went bye-bye. Brice, overcome with emotion, celebrates this victory. Aw.
Then, Garnet learns the good news about Brice. She calls for a council meeting, which Brice attends so that they can determine their next moves. Garnet tells the team they now have two things Evelyn Maddox wants: the Klampkins cure and the programming for William’s planetary rotation devices. The plan is to trade those for Lane. Oh, and Garnet’s willing to share Proxima B with Ark 15. She relays all this to Evelyn, who’s not having it. But guess what? Evelyn will die without the cure. After some prodding, Evelyn reluctantly agrees to Garnet’s terms.
Garnet informs William, who’s back in Ark One’s makeshift brig, about her deal with Evelyn. He’s irritated that he wasn’t consulted first. However, he’s Garnet’s prisoner. Maybe if he didn’t stage a mutiny, he wouldn’t be in here in the first place. William asks Garnet to eradicate Cat’s house arrest. She was merely following his orders. Meanwhile, Lane notices Evelyn’s taking her guards with her. Lane reminds her that Garnet will keep her word. There’s no need to bring muscle. Evelyn reveals she has no plans to share Proxima B.
Once Evelyn, Lane and the others arrive on Ark One, Lane tells Garnet she really should’ve sped away. He, Garnet and Brice hug it out. Aw, our three amigos are together again. Suddenly, Kelly (Samantha Glassner) emerges from the Ark 15 shuttle. Her presence wasn’t part of the plan. Evelyn reveals she didn’t intend to bring Kelly with her. Kelly claims she wanted to sit by her mom’s side while the latter is administered the cure. Garnet ensures Kelly is restrained while they all head to the med bay.
Later, after some convincing, Evelyn puts her hand in the glass case of spiders. Kelly claims she’s about to lose her lunch, so Jelena (Tamara Radovanović) accompanies her to the bathroom. Unfortunately, Kelly tricks Jelena and knocks her unconscious. She makes a beeline for the bio shelter for her boyfriend, Angus. Meanwhile, Kabir informs Evelyn that she, like Brice, is cured of Klampkins. Hooray! Felix puts a damper on the party by revealing Kelly’s escape. Evelyn already knows where she’s heading.
Next, we see Angus reuniting with his plants in the bio shelter. This is the real love story here. Kelly sneaks up behind him and shocks him. Then, she straddles him, snaking her hands around his throat. Alicia thwacks Kelly over the head with a shovel as she’s choking him. Alicia comforts Angus while the pair notice a rather large pool of blood around Kelly’s head. Uh-oh. Evelyn storms into the bio shelter, demanding to know what happened. Angus takes the fall for Alicia and claims he did it. Evelyn goes easy on him. After all, he did save her life.
Meanwhile, Cat (Christina Wolfe) visits William. Despite her release from house arrest, everyone stares at her as if they hate her. She could use a friend right about now. As they embrace, William tries to kiss her. Cat pushes him away, reminding him that his wife just died. Ick. Creepy, dude. He agrees to be her friend, though. Sure, Cat’s made plenty of mistakes, but she grew on me this season. Plus, Christina Wolfe is a terrific actress.
Kabir informs Evelyn that she doesn’t have the tools to perform brain surgery. Thankfully, Evelyn’s doctors have the resources. She’ll transport Kelly back to Ark 15. While en route to her shuttle, she chats with Garnet, who apologizes profusely. Evelyn agrees to uphold the deal, but they’ll never be friends. Eh, I didn’t expect them to be besties or anything. Angus finds Alicia stumped regarding a Proxima B problem. The water on Prox B’s dark side isn’t frozen despite the freezing temperatures. Angus notes it might have to do with the salinity of the water.
The pair get to talking about murderous partners and their first kisses. They both had similar journeys this season. Parallel, you might say. Alicia, who carries a torch for Angus, claims they’ll have to make their second kisses better. When you think they might smooch, Angus backs out. Instead, he asks her to teach him more about Prox B. Uh-oh. Has Alicia been friend-zoned?
Speaking of love or whatever, Brice and Eva go on their first official date in the bio shelter. Eva worries about the future, while Brice, now disease-free, would rather enjoy the moment. Real talk: I’m still not 100 percent with this pairing. I’m not a fan of Upcheva’s acting. To me, Fleeshman’s doing all the heavy lifting on that front. That said, she has her moments.
After Brice’s date, he reunites with Garnet and Lane. Garnet reinstates Lane as a lieutenant (Yay!) and invites him back to the bridge. Lane has one condition: Brice must agree to call Garnet “captain” because that’s who she is to him. Aw. Our trio returns to the bridge to listen to William’s presentation regarding his planetary rotation devices. They’re essentially magnets situated around the planet. Once activated, the planet will start spinning. Then, its inertia will keep it rotating.
Suddenly, we see Ark 15 getting pulled into Prox B’s gravity. We learn William only activated one of the magnetic devices on the planet and trained it on Ark 15. The gravity will pull the ship onto the planet’s surface and crush it. Naturally, Evelyn believes this is Garnet’s doing. She insists she’s not behind this act. The only way to save Ark 15 is to take Ark One closer into Prox B’s orbit. They turn off all comms and make their descent. The magnetic device on Prox B appears to shut down, allowing Ark 15 to escape from the planet’s pull. After they’re a safe distance away, everyone celebrates. Even Lane and Garnet share an awkward hug.
Once both ships are safe, Alicia activates the planetary rotation devices herself. Everyone marvels as the planet begins rotating. Unfortunately, it’s also on fire. Remember Alicia’s concerns regarding the unfrozen water on the planet’s dark side? Completely valid. The planet bursts into flames. Ark One speeds away as quickly as possible to avoid damage. Eva retreats to the engine room to help ensure this happens. Another success! But wait, there’s more…
Suddenly, debris from the exploded planet hits Ark One in the bridge area, separating the bridge crew from the rest of the ship, at least communication-wise. Lane calls for Kabir, but no response. Brice contacts Eva — also, no response. Alicia reaches out to Angus: radio silence. Evelyn reaches out to Garnet and reveals Ark 15 escaped Proxima B’s explosion unscathed. However, Ark One looks worse for the wear. Evelyn sends a shuttle with supplies and medical assistance. It seems like she’s their only hope now. But is she trustworthy? Only time will tell.
“Everybody Wins” doesn’t quite end with everybody winning, but it does leave us with questions. Presumably, Season 2 will find our heroes embarking on a new journey to search for another habitable planet. We’ll learn if there were any casualties from that debris impact. There might continue to be bad blood festering between the Arks, along with William and Evelyn. Oh, and Larnet (Gane? Lanet?) will, most likely, happen. I don’t make the rules.
Overall, The Ark started rough but smoothed over some of its edges throughout its freshman run. It’s still far from perfect; however, the story is entertaining enough to keep us invested. Just lower your expectations and enjoy the ride. Don’t go into it expecting hard science fiction like The Expanse. It’s like cotton candy fluff — breezy and fun and not meant to be taken seriously.
Richard Fleeshman is my performer MVP for the season. He gave the most grounded, natural, nuanced performance of the bunch. And he’s not even Scottish! That’s a damn good accent. Reece Ritchie, Christina Wolfe and Christie Burke are hot on his heels. They also deliver solid performances.
Where do you think Season 2 will take us? Will Evelyn help out our heroes? Are Angus, Kabir and Eva alive? We’ll find out soon enough.
The Ark Season 1 is now streaming on Peacock.