EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

'The Lottery' premiere recap: 100 fertilized eggs

Season 1 | Episode 1 | “Pilot” | Aired July 20, 2014

Imagine living on the brink of human extinction because a mysterious infertility plagues humankind and no new children can be born. Anyone familiar with Timothy J. Sexton’s Children of Men will recognize the premise of The Lottery, also penned by Sexton. What’s surprising is that this show is on Lifetime, the same channel famous for its emotional TV movies and a show about the crazy stage moms of dancing children. Lifetime has changed up its game with this new, politically charged dystopian thriller.

2025:  Set in the year 2025, a time when no new children have been born for nine years, the episode begins with a statement from the President (Yul Vasque), relating that the cause for human decline is unknown.

In a bar, scientist Alison Lenon (Marley Shelton) seduces a man, seemingly just to get his DNA for her work. We can already tell she is smart and driven—and maybe a little ruthless.

tl_12012013_jd_0505Before we can really get to know Alison, we are taken back to three days earlier and introduced to a little boy, one of the last six people to be born. He is a diabetic six-year-old named Elvis. He’s clearly an anomaly, and is treated as such. Elvis lives in fear, and a colorful mask that his loving father Kyle (Michael Graziadei) puts on him is the only thing that comforts him. From the moment these characters are introduced, we feel uneasy for them, knowing danger lurks for this father-son duo.

lottery_kyleelvis_12022013_zd_0600Corruption and chaos are everywhere. Wild political protests take place in the streets for the mandatory fertility testing, while criminals—including the brother of White House Chief of Staff Vanessa Keller (Athena Karkanis)—distribute fake fertility drugs. A scene in which she smacks some sense into her lawless brother establishes Vanessa’s strength and tough love.

100 fertilized eggs

In the lab, Alison reveals to Darius Hayes (Martin Donovan), director of the U.S. Fertility Commission, that she has managed to fertilize 100 eggs. He is excited about the discovery, but to Alison’s dismay, immediately demands to send in a new team of scientists.

“Dr. Lenon, thank you for your service,” Hayes says, dismissing Alison and making it abundantly clear that Hayes is a villainous character.

lottery_darius_12022013_zd_0387Where is my son?

Elvis calls Kyle from school, stating he is sick. When Kyle gets to the school, the Department of Humanity meet him and grill him about everything from Elvis’ mother to the last time he had a drink. They will not let Kyle see his son.

Meanwhile, Alison brainstorms ways to find out who the the confidential sperm donors are, while James Lynch, a coworker and Alison’s former love interest, reveals he will stay at the lab despite Alison’s being fired. Alison is hurt by the betrayal, but has more important things to worry about.


White House meeting

Hayes meets in the White House to discuss the fertilized eggs.  He says he wants to keep the success under wraps so as to not attract attention.

Vanessa disagrees, saying they should “share the victory with the nation,” and suggests holding a lottery to give 100 women the chance to be surrogates for the 100 fertilized eggs.  She wants to instill hope with this new plan, which is clearly a different objective from the one Hayes has. The good guys win for now, as they agree to Vanessa’s idea.

Brooke Ashton

Alison goes to the Cryogenic Egg Bank and requests the list of donors, but is only able to get the name of one: Brooke Ashton. She retrieves Brooke’s address and leaves, as she knows she is being followed by a man in a black Town Car.

Alison travels to Brooke’s secluded home, where she reveals to Brooke that one of her eggs were fertilized. Brooke is ecstatic and says she’s been having vivid dreams about having a daughter. She wants her egg back so she can be connected to the child, but signed away her rights when she donated the eggs. Still, she and Alison are determined to find a way for Brooke to resume responsibility of her eggs.

That is why Alison visits James and tries to convince him to let Brooke be a surrogate. He refuses, but she does not give up. They share a drink, before she abruptly leaves after stealing his security code for the lab in Embyogenes.


Brooke calls Alison and says she found a lawyer to help her get her egg back, even though Alison tries to warn her. As she’s hanging up, Brooke receives a knock on the door from a man with the fertility commission—the same man who was following Alison in the black Town Car.

Chases, chases and more chases

The President gives a televised address about the fertility crisis, telling the nation that a “baby lottery” will be held. At the same time, Alison uses James’ ID to sneak into Embryogenes, and Kyle goes to Pittsburg Hospital searching for Elvis. Kyle sneaks around, punches a nurse who tries to stop him and finally finds his son. Elvis is scared until his father gives him back his mask. The two escape the hospital and flee.


Meanwhile, as Alison leaves Embryogenes, Vanessa greets her and invites her to the White House to share her story with the world as a national hero. Alison declines, but then is chased by the mysterious man who was at Brooke’s house. She outsmarts him by running on and off a train, which takes off with the man stuck on the train while Alison gets away.

Alison goes back to Brooke’s house, where she sees Brooke’s body being wheeled out on a gurney covered with a sheet. Brooke is dead. It was ruled a suicide, but we know that’s not the case. Politicians sure are ruthless in this dystopia.


Alison gets back home, and James is there because he knows she stole his ID. After arguing, he shows her Kyle’s photo and reveals he is the man who fertilized Brooke’s egg.

The mysterious man calls Hayes and says he “took care of the Brook Ashton situation.” Hayes confirms, saying they made it look like a suicide, and it is clear they are up to some very evil things.

The episodes leaves us in utter suspense, with Alison violently thrown into a black Town Car by two men in black suits. And now we’re reeled in and wondering what will happen to Alison. Hopefully, her fate will not be the same as Brooke’s.

The Lottery, rated TV-14, airs Sundays at 10/9C on Lifetime.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

You May Like