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Outlander Returns to Prove It’s the Best Show on TV




After a summer hiatus, I am back to The Fandomentals to review Outlander, and after a ridiculously long hiatus, it’s back too! Thankfully. Just in time, with that other epic fantasy show on TV still fresh in our minds, along comes this juggernaut of quality to remind us that there’s more to this TV game that spectacle—though spectacle can count for a lot.

I will say that the first 10 minutes absolutely gutted me, and they reminded me of the importance of world-building. While you can certainly start watching here, with season 3 episode 1, many of the things that happen, especially in those first few minutes, are a culmination of 2 seasons’ worth of character arcs, and they ran the gamut from satisfying, to humorous, to tragic as hell. It looks like Starz is letting people play catch-up for free, so please, if you haven’t already? Do it.

Content Warning: This review discusses violence, rape, a past miscarriage, and sexist behavior, including forced medication during childbirth, as depicted on the show.


Oh man. Whew, that a first 10 minutes!

We open with long, lingering shots of the dead and wounded in the aftermath of Culloden Moore. It was, as we know from history, a route for our Scottish heroes, and these scenes really bring home the brutality of it. I mean, when that idiot fop Bonnie Prince Charlie is there (in flashback) in his wig drinking his booze proclaiming their certain victory, you wanna punch him in the face. More so than usual.

Their strategy was, to say the least, flawed, and sending starving, sword-armed men into heavy artillery and musket fire seems like a quick path to defeat.

Jamie’s down anyway, of course.

Scenes of Jamie lying near-death are intercut with flashbacks to the battle: the charge, the volleys of English musket fire dropping waves of Scots, and, most important for us Outlander fans, Jamie and Black Jack Randall’s long-awaited showdown.

As I’m sure you remember, Claire promised Black Jack that he would die at Culloden Moore, a fact she knew from her husband Frank’s genealogical research. After Jack spent weeks torturing and raping Jamie, our hero was more than willing to do the deed. He owed him one, you might say.

Their fight was split across several flashbacks. It wasn’t in order (as Jamie himself might remember it in his dazed and wounded state), but the climax of it was spectacular. The English had set parts of the battlefield on fire, so everything was bathed in a hot, flickering light. Smoke curled around them. As they fought, the battle moved on, so it was just the two of them in a sea of dead.

They’re both wounded; Jack bayoneted Jamie in the leg and Jamie stabbed him in the stomach. They can barely stand, but they’re still going at each other. Suddenly Jack’s face changes. He knows he’s dying, and his expression becomes one of longing and compassion, which is kinda gross but also brilliant, and as he falls against Jamie it almost turns into an embrace.

They tumble to the ground, Jack’s body draped over Jamie’s, and it’s probably the dead redcoat on top of him that saved him from the roaming English soldiers finishing off the wounded.

While lying there, snow slowly drifting down onto his upturned face, Jamie has a vision of Claire walking across the field toward him. She’s in full La Dame Blanche mode, and he grips the dragonfly in amber tightly in his hand.

Claire’s face turns into Rupert’s, and he gets Jamie to a hovel where the Scots are collecting their wounded, but it isn’t long before the English find them. An officer arrives with some men and explains that he’s been ordered to execute any traitors to the Crown they find. Are any men here innocent of treason?

Rupert says nope, they’re guilty to a man, so the executions begin. I mean, like, they’re all very gentlemanly about it, but I think it’s a form of psychological torture to make everyone wait while you shoot these guys one by one.

So we lose Rupert, and the rest of the Scottish Gang from seasons 1 and 2, but Murtagh (who Jamie saw on the battlefield) is unaccounted for. Y’all know that ol’ cuss made it through. *fingers crossed*

All of the able-bodied men are executed, so the commander orders stretchers to be brought so the wounded can be carried outside for their executions. Jamie volunteers to be shot next, but when he gives his name, the commander recognizes it. If you remember from last season, Jamie at one point encountered a young English soldier, John Grey. Instead of killing him when he had the chance, he let him go, and the boy vowed to save his life one day.

Important rule of thumb: don’t kill dumb kids.

As luck would have it, the English commander is Lord Hal Melton, the kid’s older brother. He can’t kill Jamie as a point of honor (despite how much Jamie begs), so he has him smuggled out in a hay cart to Lallybroch. He believes Jamie will die on the way (I mean, they’ve never met, so he DOESN’T KNOW JAMES FRASER), but duh of course he survives. Jamie’s arc ends with Jenny bending over him crying and thankful that he’s home.

Okay, so, that was a lot, but it was only half the episode! All the Jamie stuff was intercut with Claire in 1948 Boston. She and Frank moved there when he was offered a position at Harvard. She’s pregnant, of course, with Jamie’s child, but Frank has offered to raise it as his own. He wants a fresh start with his wife, who, after all, he still loves very much.

Claire agrees, but she’s struggling. She doesn’t like the gas stove in their (amazing) house, and instead cooks over the fireplace. Frank’s boss is incredibly rude and condescending to her, basically dismissing her as a “little woman” who should be happy with the domestic life of motherhood and stop trying to actually think!

The wallpaper’s pretty terrible, but trust me on the rest of it.

And, of course, she misses Jamie. Frank grows frustrated because she’s so distant; she won’t let him touch her, and she can’t seem to settle into their life in Boston. They fight, and she throws an ashtray at his head. He tells her she has to make a choice: either stay there with him, or leave, but do what makes her happy.

That night, he’s sleeping on the couch when she comes downstairs to tell him her water’s broken. He rushes her to the hospital where the doctor is (once again) a condescending prig. She admits to having a past miscarriage, which Frank didn’t know about, but when she tries to apologize he tells her not to worry about it. It doesn’t matter.

She’s taken into the delivery room, and despite her protests she’s given ether to knock her out through the delivery process. God that seems so barbaric to me! Especially because the doctor’s attitude was “we can’t have any messy WOMEN involved in this process. Just go to sleep and let us MEN handle it.” Ugh.

Anyway, she’s terrified when she wakes up because clearly she isn’t pregnant anymore, but there’s no baby. Then Frank comes in carrying her, and they have a beautiful moment bonding over their daughter. They agree that this can be a fresh start, and they kiss and cry and fuss over how gorgeous their baby is.

She’s so cute!

You start to think that maybe this can all work out for them, after all, but then the nurse comes in and asks where the baby got her red hair. Frank’s face falls and the music changes. Just before the credits roll, you get the instant understanding that no, it won’t work. It can’t.


That made it sound like very little happened on Claire’s side, and while it’s true most of the action was in 18th century Scotland, Claire’s arc this episode was about her general “fish out of water” feeling in not only Boston, but also 1948 and her marriage with Frank.

When you look back at how incredibly hard she struggled to get back to him and her time, it makes the rift in their relationship even sadder. She never meant to fall in love with Jamie. She loved Frank deeply, but she did fall for Jamie, and now she has to figure out how to put her life back together after.

At one point her neighbor tells her how lucky she is, because she’ll never find a man like Frank again. That’s true, but she has found a man like Frank before, and now nothing compares to him. Frank loves her, and he’s trying, but how can their marriage work when most of Claire is still back in the 18th century with Jamie?

I feel so awful for Frank. He’s a good man who really never did anything wrong. It’s not his fault he looks exactly like Jamie’s rapist and Claire’s tormentor. It’s not his fault his wife got sucked back in time and fell in love with a strapping Highlander. Obviously Jamie and Claire are the OTP to end all OTPs, but Frank is a good man caught in a bad situation. I can’t help but wish that Claire could find room in her heart for him again.

Don’t think I’m blaming Claire for any of this. Again, she didn’t ask to marry Jamie, and she certainly never planned on loving him. Unfortunately circumstances dictated the marriage had to happen, and well whoops. Who wouldn’t fall in love with Jamie Fraser??

I mean pls.

I’ve seen people this season asking what happened to Edmure Tully, and, well, now y’all now: he escaped to a better show! Black Jack Randall is dead, but Frank’s still truckin’ on, being the long-suffering husband with carefully controlled anger issues. Good on you, Tobias. Upgrade.


As I said in the intro, what made this episode so effective (besides the spectacular use of color and lighting, and Bear McCreary’s always exceptional score) was all the payoff. We’d been falling for the ridiculous Scottish gang for 2 seasons; Rupert’s loss hurt, and it brought to mind Angus’s death last season. Rupert’s touching call out to Angus only made it that much more poignant.

Of course we finally got to see Jack Randall meet his fate, and I’m glad it wasn’t done in a super gratuitous way. Jamie is a good man with a strong sense of honor and vengeance, not cruel like Jack; so if he had enjoyed it or reveled in it, it would’ve been gross and out of character. As it was, they were two men with a bloody history meeting on the battlefield, and the better man won. The fact that Jamie probably owes his continued life to Jack’s death is an irony that likely isn’t lost on Jamie.

Claire’s storyline was less about endings and more about beginnings. She floated the idea of becoming an American citizen, but Frank didn’t like it. We see her chafe at the “little woman” role imposed on her by Frank’s colleagues and society in general. She’s clearly bored and annoyed by being a housewife. She also mentions that women have recently been accepted to Harvard Medical School. Hmmm, methinks Mrs. Randall is plotting something.

Isn’t she always?

Outlander is back, dear readers, and if you haven’t watched it before, now is the time. Everything you hate about certain other shows, everything those shows get wrong, Outlander gets right. There is nothing cheap or melodramatic here. Every beat is earned, every character is a real person, and the beauty and the spectacle are just icing on the cake.

Episode Grade: A. Get used to it, because this show is setting the bar.

Images curtesy of Starz

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Honest Conversations and Unfortunate Insensitivity on Cloak and Dagger





cloak and dagger featured
Content Warning: This review discusses suicidal ideation and attempted suicide, as depicted on the show. 

Last week’s episode of Cloak and Dagger ended with Tyrone and Tandy together and finally ready to discuss why exactly they have new superpowers insistent on bringing the two of them together.  Both their lives have been tossed upside down, and the only consistent thing in the tragedies of both their lives is each other. Maybe it’s time to sit down and talk about it? That’s exactly what “Call/Response” did this week. Unfortunately, to mixed results.

cloak and dagger church

Time to Talk

“Call/Response” continued Cloak and Dagger’s attempts at interesting episode structure by weaving together forward plot momentum in and out of the previously mentioned conversation between its heroes. This conversation lasted through the entire episode as Tandy and Tyrone hashed out what their powers are, what they do, how they experience them, and what their dreams from last week meant for each of them. These two had a lot to talk about.

For a good 90% of this conversation, I liked the direction of it. The honest and open-ended nature was refreshing. For the first time since they acquired their new powers, they held nothing back regarding what had changed, what they were going through, and how it affected them.

It moved both characters appreciatively forward. Even better, you could see how the conversation positively affected both in the scenes from the next day, when both acted on everything they discussed. Cloak and Dagger thus did a good job timing subjects of conversation with next-day action. Like you’d expect, these scenes were not exactly subtle about it, but so long as the point is made what does that matter?

Through their conversation, Tyrone and Tandy finally started acting against their instincts. They challenged their perceptions of the world. Tandy made an honest effort to learn about her mother’s boyfriend Greg and found out he was genuinely interested in her mother and trying to help. She made an effort to embrace the hope she always rejected before. Her experiences have shaped her towards cynicism in everything. Life is a giant scam where everyone uses everyone else to get ahead, and you see this in her own method of making money. For her to open her mind to the possibility of Greg proving her wrong was a significant step forward.

Tyrone faced his own challenged perceptions, naturally based around his brother’s murder and murderer. He considered Tandy’s argument about his place in the world and where his privilege truly stands, as well as the destructive path his actions led him down. The failed trip to the police station was one important step, but the truly important moment was his field trip with his father to Otis’s old Mardi Gras Indians stomping ground.

(By the way, add another cool twist on New Orleans culture to Cloak and Dagger’s credit.)

Through this trip, Tyrone found new perspective on his father and brother, as well as his own anger. His father stressed the importance of finding a channel for his anger. And he might have found his way via the suits the Mardi Gras Indians create, and the taking on of his brother’s unfinished suit. Tyrone needs this outlet and focus for his anger. He struggled with it throughout the first three episodes, even to the point of trying to shoot Detective Connors.

Even better, all this character development provided the biggest plot movement yet.  Tandy’s determination to get along with Greg led to direct involvement in the Roxxon lawsuit he represented her mother in. It also led to Roxxon killing Greg for presumably getting too close. There should be no escaping the consequences of Greg’s death. Tandy’s mother will suffer. Who knows whether her determination to take the corporation down will wax or wane. Tandy herself visited the burned office to retrieve documents from Greg’s safe, so she certainly won’t let this go.

Tyrone’s plot movement was not so direct, but still meant something. He learned of his brother’s training to be a “Spy Boy” for the Redhawks, a role in Mardi Gras parades involving moving ahead of the Big Chief but was described in this episode as someone responsible for scouting the unknown to seek oncoming trouble. The unfinished suit Tyrone adopted also largely resembles the signature look of Cloak in the comics.

And of course now you also have to wonder if Roxxon will involve themselves with the Redhawks.

There was definitely a lot of good content in this episode. At this point Cloak and Dagger is close to establishing a base quality that this episode certainly matched. Unfortunately, the end of the episode left a real sour taste in my mouth. One reason due to plot, and another for some poor handling of a very sensitive subject.

Insensitivity and Stalling

You saw the content warning, so let’s dive right in. The episode-long conversation between Tandy and Tyrone breaks down at the very end, when conversations about privilege turn into insults and eventually lead to Tandy admitting to suicidal thoughts. In his anger, Tyrone tells her that if she wants to die so badly, she should just do it.

The next day, in the aftermath of Greg’s murder, Tandy restrains her hands and feet and jumps into the ocean, clearly planning on killing herself. She eventually resurfaces when her powers trigger and she cuts the ropes binding her hands.

I will say this: my final judgment will depend on how this is handled moving forward. Right now it feels like a really cheap use of suicide. There are some things you must always take care to portray responsibly when telling your story, and this did not feel like a particularly responsible way to handle Tandy’s thoughts of ending her life. I worry this was nothing more than an attempt to end the episode with high drama, and that the distasteful implications are unrecognized.

Now, we do need to see where it goes from here. If Tyrone recognizes the terribleness of what he said and apologizes for it, and there’s a genuine effort to understand the mistake he made, this can pass by without issue. And it’s not like the idea that Tandy might have suicidal thoughts came from nowhere. Considering her immense survivor’s guilt and lack of connection, I can certainly understand how thoughts of suicide enter her mind. Thing is, I don’t think you can just throw it out there, have a main character yell at her to just go ahead and kill herself, have said character try, and then move on from it. It all happened so quick and dirty that I can’t help but feel like it may have just been there for drama.

I hope it’s needless to say that using suicide just for drama is an awful idea.

Cloak and Dagger needs to follow up respectfully on Tandy’s attempt. Suicidal tendencies are a serious concern that must be handled delicately and with a purpose. And unfortunately, this is an easy fallback too many shows rely on without the proper care needed. I hope Cloak and Dagger doesn’t.

My second, lesser, and plot-related concern is the argument that led to Tyrone’s insensitive words. Namely that, to me, it came completely out of nowhere. The two of them spent the entire episode having  a calm, respectful discussion. Even sensitive subjects between the two caused little drama. Then all of a sudden a piece of genuine advice blows it all up and leads to an unnatural argument over privilege. Which leads to Tandy mentioning her suicidal thoughts and Tyrone’s comment.

This development renewed my worry from last week over these two being kept apart too long. It seems clear that the real, ground-shaking forward movement on Cloak and Dagger won’t take place until Tandy and Tyrone unite. “Call/Response” spent 90% of its runtime heading in this direction. Then it all fell apart.

I certainly understand how a conversation over privilege could lead to heated tensions, especially with backgrounds like Tandy and Tyrone have. Still, this felt so artificial. It almost felt like Cloak and Dagger attempting a superficial, ham-fisted discussion of privilege without any real meat. The main goal seems to be keeping the two main characters apart. It’s the absolute worst attempt the show has made regarding the privilege debate. Scenes like Tyrone walking into the police station and looking around, only to find a sea of white faces, speak volumes more than this conversation did.

While we’re certainly not back where we were at the end of the second episode, we’re a little too close for comfort. Both characters seem like they will tackle the plot alone. And you know they will tackle it ineffectively. The whole idea (at least to me) is that they won’t truly make progress until they team up. I’m also reaching a point where I will start to distrust the moments where they appear ready to team up if this goes on for too long.

In one moment, they undid a great deal of the work the 40 minutes before hand strove hard for.

I’m all for character development, but here’s hoping Cloak and Dagger avoids this mistake in the future. And here’s hoping Tandy’s suicide ends up as more than a way to create drama feeding this mistake.

Other Thoughts:

  • I was delighted when Greg turned out to be a good guy. Damn shame they killed him in the same episode he turned out as such.
  • Tandy’s mother is seriously tragic. I worry we’re heading in a self-harm direction with her as well.
  • I also loved learning more about Tyrone’s father, Otis. He seems to harbor a lot of the same barely repressed anger that his son does. I hope we get more of him and his history with the Redhawks.
  • Roxxon is still paying for the rights to the plot of ocean with the collapsed rig. This suggests to me that whatever gave Tyrone and Tandy powers still slumbers beneath the water.
  • Sometimes Tandy and Tyrone have some really good banter…and then sometimes I wonder how it can be so off.

Images Courtesy of Freeform

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The Expanse Wanders Among The Wreckage





The Expanse is on its penultimate week, and with an episode called “Fallen World,” showed us the aftermath of a disaster.


When the episode starts, Holden is unconscious, so Bobbie picks him up and they head towards their shuttle. However, she realizes the speed limit might have decreased after her commanding officer threw the grenade last episode, and tests it. Turns out she is right. They get out and stabilize Holden. However, many Martians and Earthers are both dead on their ship, as the quick deceleration was a massive shock.

Naomi survived, but her skiff is no longer able to move, so she abandons it and steps into space. Drummer and her first officer are both pinned by heavy machinery, and have to cooperate to get out of the situation. Anna wakes up and goes through her ship, watching the scores of dead people. Those who are bleeding severely are lost as well, since in zero gravity, there is apparently no way for the blood to drain. One would expect they’d have some sort of vacuum pumps for that, being a space-faring civilization, but whatever. Anna is horrified and offers her help, being a trained nurse.

Holden’s brain scans show frenetic activity, but he’s not waking up. A MCRN soldiers feels like Bobbie is more loyal to him than to them, and suggests she kills him, because dying might be the best fate for him right now.

Drummer and her first have now gotten to the point of sharing life stories and singing together, since they are out of viable solutions for their situation.

When Clarissa wakes up, she think she successfully killed Tilly. But as Anna is helping fix her broken arm, Tilly contacts Anna on her hand terminal. Anna goes to find her, and Tilly tells her what happened before she dies. Clarissa, meanwhile, escapes the ship just as Anna catches up with her. She is left screaming that, “she cannot escape, only beg for mercy.”

Naomi arrives at the Roci and finds Alex, mostly all right, and Amos, who was hit in the head with a heavy tool and so is less alright. Drummer’s first starts coughing blood from his punctured lungs. For some mysterious reason, Drummer decides that means she should sacrifice herself, even though from what we have heard, doing so gives him a really low chances of survival. Still, she moves the machine back onto herself, freeing him, and he calls for help.

Clarissa reaches the Roci and manages to get inside. Naomi hears the impact and goes to check what is wrong. Clarissa tries to kill her—of course she does—but Anna, who apparently followed Clarissa, saves Naomi.

Drummer’s first, after hearing about the large number of wounded they have, gives the order to spin the drum of the ship, creating artificial gravity. They are unsure it will work, but they manage successfully. The first, who is not the captain, then opens a channel to other ships around them and invites everyone to transport their wounded to their ship.

MCRN seems to have more stupid ideas about how bad it is they are being saved by the “skinners,” apparently a name for the Belters. Bobbie effectively tells him he is an idiot and goes to see Holden, who woke up, and now tells her he had a vision of the end of everything.


Overall, this was another good episode with solid pacing and clear progress forward. But there were still plenty enough things left that bother me.

First and foremost among them would be the storyline happening aboard the Martian shuttle. For one, the MCRN marine was acting completely ridiculous. The Expanse has always had trouble with depicting the less open-minded military types with any nuance, but this might be a new low. In particular, I am talking about handing Bobbie the gun to shoot Holden.

It made no sense at all in context: their orders were to bring Holden in. I don’t expect MCRN tortures their prisoners, so the argument with “might be the best for him” hardly made sense. Most of all, it felt like a test for Bobbie, but if so, it was a test of a kind I’d expect to see in Star Trek Discovery‘s Mirror Universe, not among the Martians. The Expanse show adaptation has always depicted the Martians worse than the books do, and this continues in the same vein. Bobbie is gaining the very uncomfortable overtones of being the “one good apple.”

On the other hand, Bobbie’s own role here was scarcely better, particularly her strange obsession with Holden. She is acting like they became best friends in the first half of this season, which is definitely not something I noticed. No matter how ridiculous the marine’s desire to have Holden shot was, he was perfectly right that it looked like Holden was controlling the protomolecule. We know it was because Miller was controlling it for him, but Bobbie doesn’t.

At the same time, it doesn’t follow she would immediately jump to the conclusion that Holden is a villain. He could be controlled by the protomolecule. In fact, he was, to a degree. Or, he could have simply gone insane. Once again, he had in a way. There are many possible explanations that don’t lead to wanting to have Holden executed, but which at the same time don’t lead to Bobbie insisting to her marine crew that, “Holden wouldn’t do anything wrong.”

It is doubly irritating because this is Holden of all people, everyone’s personal favorite white boy. Of course she would be all up in arms about him. Meanwhile, women of color were in danger or outright killed left and right this episode.

Speaking of which, Drummer. On one hand, when we first saw the situation she was in, I was worried it would develop into a mutual attempt at killing the other and saving themselves. I am truly, deeply grateful it didn’t. And even the idea of her sacrifice could have been a brilliant one, really, in the right circumstances. The way it played out here, however? Just after it is implied her first has a low chances of survival, without any particular indication that she is in serious trouble herself? It just feels very much like, “all right, the brown chick was the captain for a bit too long, time to give it to a white guy.”

The scene between them was acted excellently though, I have to grant them that much. Naomi was very good this episode as well, and were her Rocinante boys.

The one character who continues to be a disappointment is Anna. Her very last intervention was badass to be sure, but it’s not the kind of strength I expect from Anna. She’s not there to beat people over their heads. And until that moment, she was as insufferable as before. The most ridiculous moment was shouting after Clarissa. I understand she was meant to be upset, but it just looked stupid. Tilly repeating Anna was “very good at this,” meaning her pastoral duties, only made me roll my eyes once more. Show, don’t tell, please. At this point, such assertions about Anna are about as convincing as all the characters telling Tyrion he was clever on Game of Thrones.

The season finale next week is a double episode. At this point, I feel like it can go in many different directions, and I am all impatience to see which one it goes for.

All images courtesy of SyFy

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Reverie Sows the Seeds of Doubt




From NBC

Last week’s episode of Reverie ended on a cliffhanger. Mara realized that she wasn’t actually at her late sister’s house, talking to her late niece (she was actually pretty sure on that last one). This leads to an obvious question: where was Mara, really. Unfortunately for her, she was in the middle of a road, with a car on its way. Before the car runs her over, Mara is saved by a mysterious man who knows her name. Turns out Mara’s savior is Oliver Hill, who claims to be suffering from de-realization as well. Hill has been following Mara, out of supposed worry. Before Oliver was a concerned stalker, he was a founding partner of Onira-Tech. He has something to explain to her, but he needs food first.

From NBC/screenshot

Oliver Hill V. Onira-Tech

Reverie spends about half of the episode providing two arguments for what’s really going on. Oliver argues that Reverie 2.0 is inherently flawed. He claims that he and Mara, being the two people who have spent the most time in Reverie 2.0, will be representative of the general population. In his version, Charlie is Onira-Tech’s unthinking bodyguard who hates Oliver. The medication that Mara has been given is supposedly useless (which is not a great message, especially when paired with Mara’s previous trashing of her meds). Oliver tells Mara not to tell Onira-Tech about their conversation, but that lasts for about 3 minutes. Mara is scared and she needs answers, and she tries to test Oliver’s claims against Onira-Tech’s personnel.

On the other hand, Onira-Tech claims that Oliver Hill was unstable. Charlie claims that Oliver is dangerous. Paul shows Mara Oliver’s brain activity, explaining that he had issues before Reverie 2.0. Alexis tells Mara that her partnership with Oliver was founded in a romantic relationship. That relationship went badly, and Alexis doesn’t want to be defined by that failure, hence his erasure from the company. 

By the end of the episode, Mara agrees with the latter form of events. She seems to be finally persuaded by Alexis’ detailing of her and Oliver’s romantic partnership. However, it’s not clear that the narrative agrees with Mara. Mara doesn’t know where to turn, and Reverie loves drawing tension from that. It thrives off of Mara’s (and the viewer’s) disorientation.

It’s certainly clear that Oliver has other plans, since he offers to buy a Reverie system at the end of the episode.

Episodic Woes

This episode also included a client of the week. Part of the reason the Onira-Tech team started out the episode on edge was a theft within the building. Someone stole a copy of Reverie, and modified it into a form of “Dark Reverie.” The “Dark” version doesn’t have restrictions. Our client of the week, Glenn, is using it to plan a heist. Since last week’s episode involved a bank robber, it’s likely Glenn needed the jailbroken version for the detailed specifications.

Glenn is a man with a stereotypical form of OCD. He avoids daylight, and hates the color blue. In a twist that should not surprise the viewer, Glenn doesn’t want to commit the heist for himself. He’s been watching the single mother and son across the street. The son has a rare disease, and Glenn wants to save his life with a trial drug. Despite mostly living inside, Glenn’s motivation is that he feels like part of the pair’s family. This entire plot feels like a math problem. Sick kid + adult with stereotypical OCD + moral heist = episodic plot.

Glenn offers to sell out “Dark Reverie” sellers and give his system back on one condition: help him do the heist. Mara complies, but Charlie and Monica have other ideas. Instead of letting Glenn steal the medication, they make a deal with the medicine company CEO. The heist goes through, but is spinned as a test of the company’s security system. Glenn gets the meds for the kid, and doesn’t get a felony on his record. Smiles all around.


Reverie‘s season arc plot wildly outstrips its episodic plots. This week’s episodic plot was probably the worst so far. However, the arc’s plot twists easily, without feeling gimmicky.

Images courtesy of NBC

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