Emergence: Season 1 (2019)

Season 1

Critics Consensus

Led by an outstanding Allison Tolman, Emergence avoids becoming just another mystery-box mess with strongly-written characters that will keep viewers caring no matter the resolution.



Critic Ratings: 34


Audience Score

User Ratings: 261

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Air date: Sep 24, 2019

In the series premiere, police chief Jo Evans plunges her family into a mystery when she discovers a young girl the night of an inexplicable plane crash in her quiet northeastern town and decides to protect her. Benny Gallagher, an investigative reporter, intrudes into Jo's inquiry with his own take on the shadowy evidence.

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Air date: Oct 1, 2019

Jo and Chris attempt to identify the sinister forces coming after Piper, while a mysterious man hinders their search and brings danger too close to home. Meanwhile, Abby works with Piper to trigger her lost memory, while Jo makes a shrewd deal with Benny to secure Piper's future safety.

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Air date: Oct 8, 2019

A mysterious illness takes hold of Piper; Jo and Benny investigate a powerful tech mogul; Alex works to decipher a radio frequency code from Piper's plane crash; and Ed has a follow-up oncology appointment.

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Air date: Oct 15, 2019

After learning more about Piper's origins, Jo struggles with the decision to shelter her. Benny enlists a friend to hack Kindred's secret files, and Chris clashes with a headstrong informant he's assigned to protect.

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Air date: Oct 29, 2019

Jo is determined to prove Kindred was behind the attack on Benny and April. Meanwhile, Piper experiences intense, confusing visions.

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Air date: Nov 5, 2019

Jo and Benny investigate the death of Kindred's former business partner. Meanwhile, Mia and Piper experiment with Piper's powers, and Alex confronts Ed about his health.

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Air date: Nov 19, 2019

Jo and Chris rush to find Piper before she's put in harm's way. Meanwhile, Jo faces new challenges at home after betraying Alex and Ed's trust.

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Air date: Nov 26, 2019

The FBI arrives in Southold, complicating Jo's efforts to find Emily. Meanwhile, Alex and Piper hunt for answers on a road trip, and the family celebrates Mia's birthday.

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Air date: Dec 10, 2019

Jo and Chris must evade the FBI as they investigate an elusive group of cyber terrorists. Ed's presented with a cancer treatment that seems too good to be true, and a mysterious woman's attempt to reach Piper puts the entire Evans family in danger.

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Air date: Jan 7, 2020

After months of dead ends, the Evans family receives information that could lead them to Piper. While Jo and Brooks follow this new lead, Ed helps Mia as she tries to send Piper a message. Meanwhile, Alex and Chris stumble upon a mysterious shipment in the harbor.

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Critic Reviews for Emergence Season 1

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (12)

ABC's Emergence looks like it could be a winning proposition. And even if the suspense and premise begin to sag, there's always Allison Tolman to keep hope alive.

Sep 24, 2019 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

This isn't "Fargo," it's not "Lost," but better than ripping off either of those shows, "Emergence" might just be good.

Sep 24, 2019 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Top Critic

A shame this wasn't really set on the Island, but the decent "Stranger Things"-loving pilot offers a reasonable approximation.

Sep 23, 2019 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Tolman finds emotional, subtle beats that lesser actresses would miss.

Sep 23, 2019 | Full Review…

"Emergence" feels, at times, like the latest in broadcast TV's long line of "Lost" remakes, but the writers make it more family drama than supernatural caper, which helps strike the right tone and balance.

Nov 19, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Emergence deserves a shot, not least for Tolman's excellent, thoughtful performance.

May 15, 2020 | Full Review…

There's a warmth to Emergence - that starts with Allison Tolman and spins out through the rest of the show - that you rarely find in network TV shows these days and that's worth rewarding.

May 6, 2020 | Rating: 9/10 | Full Review…

The concept isn't overly complicated - no heavy mythology in the pilot - and the cast, including Clancy Brown and Donald Faison, has strong appeal.

Dec 5, 2019 | Full Review…

All of the relationships implicitly work and the time spent exploring how the extended family fits together is helpful considering the series effectively adds an unexpected new member into the mix right off the bat.

Dec 2, 2019 | Full Review…

After just one episode, "Emergence" is intriguing enough to leave us wanting more. The question now becomes, how long will we be willing to stick around?

Nov 7, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

We'll see if the plotting takes us somewhere interesting, but for now, "Emergence" is holding my attention thanks in large part to the terrific Allison Tolman.

Nov 7, 2019 | Full Review…

It blows things open to such a degree that it calls into question much of what we've already seen on the show, giving a new contextualization.

Sep 25, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Emergence: Season 1

  • Oct 17, 2020
    I really enjoyed watching this show. I was looking forward to watching a second season. Please bring it back!! I want to find out what happens next!!
  • Aug 14, 2020
    That girl robot who plays in Emergence as piper is a human Robot that's really bad
  • Aug 13, 2020
    Overall, a solid show. Had some good bits, some unnecessary filler, and one or two plots and characters that could have been better thought out, but a good cast ultimately keep it on track. I would have been happy to watch a second season but, alas, it was a one and done. A little derivative at times, but the personality of the cast wins you over.
  • May 26, 2020
    The idea of Emergence is great - the "world" is uniquely created to involve many phenomenal plot twists that are no doubt used to the show's advantage. However, the idea is butchered in execution. Allison Tolman stands out amongst a sea of "meh" actors, and even her performance is choppy (at best). The writers completely destroy the show with terrible character creation that quite simply doesn't provoke thought or display emotion - much less feel at all genuine. The entire setup is based on a storyline that would be good if the world felt more real and the characters felt like human beings instead of robots just attempting to push along a plot. This is a fine show to watch to pass the time but feels like a knockoff, no-detail, horrid version of skillfully made series in the sci-fi genre.
  • May 04, 2020
    A strong cast of compelling characters and twisty, quirky plot lines lure you into coming back again and again. As one of those truly awful people who can guess the ending from the beginning, I am happy to say that doesn't happen to me here. It's that original.
  • Mar 18, 2020
    I enjoyed this show! Different from the rest and I enjoyed the mix of humor, suspense and at times, just plain fear!
  • Feb 29, 2020
    The show would be so much better if the writers hadn't written the sheriff to be an act like an idiot. Episode 12 is when the show went form a 4 star ABC please renew for a second season to ABC hire better writers for the moron of a sheriff Jo or cancel this Trainwreck. You have to watch the show. Understand but it's comes down to real world and people just don't think like this in the real world the way the sheriff thinks they've gone so far overboard with their writing of the sheriff that the show it's just hard to watch hard to enjoy makes absolutely no sense I can't say more than that without giving the show away.
  • Feb 28, 2020
    Please give us another season!
  • Feb 20, 2020
    Love this show. Have to say I've seen the lead actress in other series and didn't care for her. This show really brings out her likability. I am really enjoying the characters and plots as well.
  • Feb 15, 2020
    I find it intersting and very engaging... I like how they add humour in this kinda serious tv series... the plot has many twists and not really that predictable and the characters did well eith their roles...

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