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Series / Emergence

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Emergence is a series airing on ABC, starring Allison Tolman.

During a freak power outage in a small town in Long Island, a plane crashes into the beach. The only survivor is a little girl with amnesia but no visible injuries, and local Chief of Police Jo Evans decides to take her in until she recovers. However, the little girl, who adopts the name Piper, soon attracts the attention of a shadowy organization, and Jo, her estranged husband Alex, her father Ed, and her daughter Mia must protect Piper.


Tropes which have emerged in Emergence include:

  • Amicable Exes: Jo and her ex-husband Alex have a very friendly relationship, so much that it makes you wonder why they got divorced.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Richard Kindred, the head of Augur Industries, who is connected to if not actually running the conspiracy around Piper.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Piper. She has paranormal powers which she does not fully understand and cannot control.
    • She is somehow able to sense that Ed's cancer is not in remission.
    • When she gets frightened, metal objects start flying through the air and electrical devices experience power surges.
  • The Cutie: Piper quickly ingratiates herself with Jo's family, especially her daughter Mia, who considers her a little sister.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Jo can be very snarky when dealing with anyone she perceives to be an adversary.
    • Mia gets snarky when discussing her parents' divorce.
  • Evil Is Petty: After Jo arrests him, Kindred warns there will be consequences. Within hours of his release, he's bought out Alex's company and made sure Alex is the first one laid off.
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  • Exact Words: After Benny is shot, he goes to Jo for aid. Jo gets Abby to patch him up. When Abby says she has to report all gunshot wounds to the authorities, Jo responds "You have, I am the authorities."
  • Face Death with Dignity: Upon learning that his cancer is coming back, Ed tells Jo that he intends to forgo another round of chemotherapy, not wanting to spend the rest of his life in a bed.
  • Fright-Induced Bunkmate: In the second episode, after an apparent attempt at a home invasion, Mia insists that Piper sleep in her bed with her.
  • Government Conspiracy: Piper is part of one that includes not only the government, but Corrupt Corporate Executive Richard Kindred.
  • He Knows Too Much: After Lerner is arrested by Jo, the automated morphine drip he's connected to in the hospital is hacked to give him an overdose before he can tell her too much.
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  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All episode titles after "Pilot" are non-descriptive, enigmatic phrases which appear in the episode (e.g., "Camera Wheelbarrow Tiger Pillow," "2 MG CU BID")
  • Improvised Weapon: Jo subdues Lerner by picking up a sledgehammer and letting the strong magnetic field generated by the wrecked car pull it straight into his face.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Benny Gallagher, who constantly hounds Jo about everything she knows connected to the conspiracy.
  • Mama Bear: Jo.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Kindred is just a figurehead for The Conspiracy. The actual mastermind was Emily all along.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Emily's seeming neuroses and Cloud Cuckoolander tendencies were all an act so that nobody would realize that she was part of The Conspiracy.
  • Parental Abandonment: Jo's mother abandoned the family when Jo was ten.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Jo, in her role as police chief.
  • The Reveal: Piper is actually a highly advanced robot being hunted by her creators.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Piper is revealed to be one a few episodes in, created by a tech conglomerate who are now desperate to get her back and is so convincing that doctors are seemingly unable to tell that she's not human.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Jo arrests Kindred on various charges with some ample evidence. She brushes off his talk on nothing will happen as just him being arrogant. Within moments of returning to the station, Jo is told by the D.A. to drop all charges as the "evidence" has been altered so Kindred walks right out.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Fearful of what might happen to Piper if she went into foster care or fell into the hands of the Government Conspiracy, Jo decides to keep her hidden in her home.
  • Sherlock Scan: Jo quickly picks up on important details.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: The first episode ends with Piper expertly using a knife to extract a tracking device out of her neck. In the second episode, she has a flashback of killing someone with a scalpel.
  • Wham Shot: In the virtual plane, "Kindred" suddenly transforms into Emily, revealing she's been the mastermind this whole time and Kindred was just a fall guy.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Jo's reaction when told Piper is a robot. She even at first refuses to give her a life-saving data swap because she can't accept this isn't a flesh and blood child. She changes her mind when said swap heals her instantly.

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