Friday, March 31, 2023

Reverie Ends Its First Season By Giving Answers

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We start the episode back where we were: in Ray’s Reverie. Ray asks why they’re here. Mara wants to understand Ray’s actions, likely out of both a sense of guilt and her empathy superpower.

Lexie goes home. We get to meet her parents, who are very parent-y. To the point where they have a Lexie trophy wall that they’re planning to expand to the stairwell.

Ray agrees to answer as they go into the facsimile of the murder house. However, the imitation isn’t perfect. This is made clear by the lack of the house’s usual pictures, the absence of which confuses Ray. Ray tells Mara that he was embarrassed by losing his job, which led him to panic. Ray believes that the gun gave him control, though he doesn’t connect his use of a gun with the lack of control he feels now. He tells Mara that he believed all three of them would have been “Better off dead.”

It’s Lexie’s 25th birthday, which is… something. It tracks with her characterization, but not Jessica Lu’s real life age (she’s 33).  When her birthday cake comes out, Lexie asks why Dylan’s name isn’t on the cake. He is her twin brother, after all. Why won’t they talk to AI Dylan? Her mother insists that the AI is not Dylan. They didn’t want to derail Lexie’s genius, but Lexie acknowledges that all three of their coping methods haven’t helped. After this realization, Lexie takes out trash. While outside, she visualizes Dylan getting turned away by a keep out sign. She shakes off the memory, just in time to get kidnapped by Oliver.

Ray reprieves Mara of guilt for his suicide, saying he was going to do it anyway. This isn’t great. Mara doesn’t really deserve to get off that easily (especially not for something we learned about last episode), and it ties that season-long thread up too neatly. He says he doesn’t remember what his wife and daughter looked like as Mara leaves.

When Mara wakes up, Paul tells her that Lexie is gone and they have to go. Charlie called the police, but they have to follow protocol. Charlie doesn’t have that problem. Looking for someone to punch, Charlie goes to Oliver’s apartment. Meanwhile, Paul discovers that Lexie’s in a Reverie.

We then cut to Lexie’s Reverie. Oliver is getting his rant on. He parallels the creation of the atomic bomb to the creation of the Reverie program. This doesn’t really need to be said, but the show is not on his side. Oliver says he will solve the problem Lexie created. He then leaves Lexie alone.

Mara insists on going in. When she enters, one of the first things she sees is a running flaming man.

A man running, while on fire
A man running, while on fire

Paul notices that air conditioning has been shut off.  This fact helps him realize that Oliver has a security key. However, he realizes this only after Dylan has been locked out of the system.

Mara is still looking for Lexie. Charlie is too, albeit in the real world. Monica comes to offer her resources, giving  Dylan access to more cameras. For a show that hates social media, they sure love video surveillance.

Mara finally finds Lexie, but she’s trapped and nervous. Lexie checks it’s really her, using a memory we didn’t get to see.  She then tells Mara to imagine a key so she can unlock the wall and free Lexie. She succeeds, and they continue their search for the exit.

Charlie and Monica find Oliver’s cabin, where he left Lexie. Paul tells employees to protect servers and to shut clients out of the program for protection. Onira-Tech is planning for a cyber attack. Of course, Oliver wants to literally burn the building down. He strolls in, disguised as a janitor. Shouldn’t Dylan have caught him? He hacks into the server, locking everyone out.

Lexie and Mara come up against a hallucination of her parents. They insist that Dylan’s death was her fault. Lexie is briefly devastated, but Mara reminds her they’re not real. They enter into another room with people stuck in place.

A group of people standing without visible pupils.
Lexie’s greatest fear

Lexie explains that this is an image of her fear. She doesn’t want Reverie to destroy the world, and she fears it might. Mara tells her about her morning, encouraging Lexie to see her project as a positive rather than a negative. Lexie wakes up with Charlie by her side. With Monica, the pair realize Oliver’s arsonous ambitions.

When we get back to Onira-Tech, Paul is escorting everyone from the building. Mara insists on going in to negotiate with Oliver. Unsurprisingly, Charlie refuses to let her go alone. Meanwhile, Lexie works out how to unlock the server room. When she does, Mara and Charlie enter. He lurks, while she negotiates with Oliver. Turns out he once set his school on fire because people wouldn’t listen to him. Mara insists that she believes him. It almost works too. However, Oliver lights a match, leading Charlie to shoot him. Unfortunately, Oliver is successful, and goes into Reverie as the room burns.

Luckily, Oliver is less good at arson than you’d expect, given his history. LA Fire manages to save all three building occupants.

Cut to three weeks later, when Monica, Lexie, and Charlie are holding a board meeting. Just about everyone is fine. Oliver is still in a coma, but they’ll be able to fix Reverie by the end of the day. Mara visits Ray in the program again, forgiving him. She gives him her photo of their family. This proves fatal, somehow. Lexie hasn’t fixed Dylan’s fire damage. We learn that Dylan fell when trying to look in on one of Lexie’s projects, leading to his death. Paul asks Mara why she went back to help Ray. Mara wanted to help him to prove she could help anyone.

Later that day, Lexie speaks at the launch, revealing that she updated Dylan’s voice to sound older. When it launches, Paul notices that Mara is supposedly inside the program. The show cuts to Mara inside the Reverie she was in with Lexie earlier this episode, looking for a way out.

Mara Kint, looking at the camera next to a door with many chalk marks
Sequel hook!

Season Sum-Up: Was Season One of Reverie Good?

I thought this season was fairly solid. The best thing about the show was the main cast. They sold the show, whether the writing was hitting a peak or a valley. There were a few questionable writing choices, in both the episodic and broader plot. Reverie didn’t really cope with the paradoxical hate of social media and affection for the show’s virtual reality program. Maybe it can get there in a second season?

I hope that this show gets a second season. I want to see where they go from here.

Images courtesy of NBC


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