There's a new leader on the island and Julia's reaction on meeting him says it all. Also Peter and Anne step up their relationship, Julia continues to be clever and Sarah finds a target for her anger. Spoilers ahead.
Peter of course is "The Ascendant" of this episode's title. He is stepping up to assume leadership of Michael's cult with Anne serving as his right hand.
Peter and Anne bond over hacking up Coast Guard bodies and clean up with a shower hump (Helix sure knows how to do romance). The two talk of breaking from their pasts and Peter talks of healing the world (that's not crazy at all, Peter). The naval blockade is a problem but Peter has a plan - get the cure from the CDC doctors (he doesn't consider himself one anymore) then kill them.
Kyle is getting better with only a few signs of the infection left. Alan gives Kyle a sample of the cure to get off the island and Kyle feels bad about trying to kill him. But not sorry enough to not turn Alan in (though Kyle still hasn't said just who he is working for). Alan offers to turn himself in in exchange for Kyle's pistol. Alan also tells Kyle where he can find all the proof he'll need. So now Alan and Julia both have acquired pistols.
Julia and Sarah are in Michael's botany lab doing science. Julia confirms that Mother is dead. Sarah is more interested in her baby than the human race. She figures Julia will figure something out because that's what Julia always does. Sarah has come up with a compound that she has to inject in the baby jar every half hour until...whenever. Alan shows up and is surprised at seeing his baby in a jar. Julia figures this is a good time to leave Alan and Sarah alone.
Alan points out to Sarah that being a baby in a jar isn't such a great life but Sarah counters that she will spend eternity to figure out for to give their son a normal life. He refuses to leave the island with her and Sarah gets pouty about his obsession with killing immortals. Alan reminds the viewers he has a pistol and says he has to finish what he started.
Julia and Anne look at a painting of the original Mother tree. Julia wants to find it since it may still have viable parts left. But Michael is the only one who knows where the tree is and he's missing. Julia wants to search records to find any clue to the tree's location but needs the permission of Eli.
Julia understandably laughs when she sees Eli is Peter dressed like Michael. But there's still plenty of Peter in Eli since he still wants immunity from Ilaria and a royalty from sale of the infertility apple in exchange for his permission to examine Michael's records.
Soren's mother Olivia walks into the office and overhears The Madman Formerly Known As Peter plan to take care of the CDC problem. She finds Kyle and tells him that Eli plans to kill the CDC doctors. She also gives him a Coast Guard pack with a radio so he can call for help and tells Soren to hide. Olivia has paid back her debt to Alan and Kyle so she has completed her path as Michael would say.
Julia cuts the tree painting out of its frame to study. Alan finds her ostensibly to apologize but given the creeptastic way he shows up and his unfinished business on the island (and don't forget the pistol) it's a bit suspicious. Julia wants to try to find the tree's location using the stars visible in the painting. Alan doesn't look too thrilled with Julia's cleverness.
The two spend a lot of time arguing about Ilaria. Julia says "there is no defeating Ilaria" which is what Alan has been trying to do. Alan throws out a theory that Narvik-C and Ilaria's big plans are lie. I guess the idea behind that theory is to get Julia an incentive to get the secret of infertility from Michael or to draw out the Mlle Durant faction.
Kyle is once again the last to know what's going on, this time about the baby in a jar. He's getting better at shrugging the crazy stuff off and convinces Sarah to leave the lab with him. They get out of the lab just ahead of Anne and the remaining followers armed with assorted sharp items. Unfortunately the baby jar is leaking so Sarah needs to find a new one. Now who would know where to find one?
Why that would be Anne. She is still searching for the doctors when Sarah catches her by surprise. Anne is uncooperative until Sarah gets medieval on Anne's foot. She leads Sarah to the basement baby factory. Unlike Peter, Sarah is genuinely horrified. She gets a new baby jar and tells Anne to release the women.
Eli figures out Olivia warned the CDC doctors since she was the only one besides Anne and him who knew in advance what was going to happen. So he completes her path while Kyle and Soren watch from hiding. Soren is going to be one screwed up man when he grows up even with Kyle becoming his new family.
Kyle and Soren gets to the bell tower to call the military. Sarah joins them still carrying the bloody machete. Kyle makes contact with the military and they send a helicopter.
Eli is treating Anne's foot when he hears the helicopter coming. He opens up with an assault rifle and drives off the helicopter (don't get me started on why there were no door gunners on a helicopter heading into a potentially hostile mission).
Julia figures out the tree is in the abbey, or more accurately under the abbey. Alan leads them into the root system. While the tree is dead the soil has the infertility enzyme and can be harvested. Alan is still not thrilled with Julia's cleverness. He pulls his pistol and tells her that implementing her infertility plan will make Julia as bad as Ilaria. Julia draws the pistol she's been carrying around and we have a stand off.
The scene fades to black before a single shot is heard. We see Julia in the future so it's safe to say she wasn't mortally wounded. And Future Julia was looking for Alan on the island which suggests that he survives as well.
- No sign of disfigured Landry or not-quite-dead-yet Amy this week but I suspect they will show up for the finale. As someone pointed out last week, Landry is probably the one who dragged Amy away. I'm not sure I want to know what Landry has been doing with Amy during Day 12.
- Okay, I was wrong about Olivia maybe becoming a surrogate mother. But the show has spent so much time on the baby that I'm pretty sure it's going to get out of that jar and grow up somehow. Probably into Caleb.