Content Warning: this review discusses relapsing and suicide, as depicted on the show.
At the end of the last episode, Mara realized that she’d been hallucinating a renewed relationship with her ex-boyfriend, Chris. The hallucination then glitched into her brother-in-law and claimed that there was a secret she didn’t know. This week, we find out what that is.
Mara has called in the Onira-Tech team (Paul, Lexie, Charlie). Understandably, she’s freaked out. She explains the situation, and she’s upset because the safeguards didn’t work. Mara’s not even sure that the team is real, but Lexie explains that since she called them, they’re unlikely to be “derealizations.” Suddenly, Mara’s phone rings. Charlie answers it and is surprised, insisting that he and Mara go to the hospital.
If you’ll recall, Oliver Hill took a spill last episode. He’s now in the hospital. Mara, understandably, is confused about why they would call her. Turns out there’s a reasonable explanation for this.
Charlie detains unconscious Oliver, going so far as to handcuff him. Unbeknownst to Charlie, he has set Oliver to be supervised by his own accomplice. Charlie discovers that Lexie met with Oliver and warns her against a repeat attempt. While he’s in her office, Lexie tells Charlie she invited a neurologist to help Mara. Paul tries to give Mara assistance with her symptoms, but she refuses help. Charlie tells her about the visiting neurologist, but Mara refuses that kind of help again. Instead, she insists on visiting Oliver in his Reverie; despite Charlie’s objections, she goes.
Oliver is on a beach in his Reverie, and he snarks about how strange the program is. Oliver asks to meet Lexie in his Reverie, despite the fact he met with her (in real life) yesterday. In exchange, he offers to help Mara regain her sanity. He insists the only way to rescue her mind is to give up the BCI and Onira-Tech forever. However, it’s hard to imagine a show without Mara or without the company. A savvy viewer knows that this will never happen.
Mara asks if the BCI can come out. It can, but there’s a drawback. Lexie tells her that if the BCI is taken out, she can never go back. Mara insists it come out, and Charlie makes her an afternoon appointment.
Back in Oliver’s room, there’s a shift change, freeing up Oliver’s accomplice. In the lobby, the accomplice opens a tablet, suspiciously. Lexie and Charlie argue about Oliver’s demands, but Lexie wins. She goes to see Oliver, promising to call Charlie when she wakes up.
In the Reverie, Oliver gives her flowers, apologizes for being rude, and offers a walk followed by a present. He claims that this is for her birthday, even though he’s a day early. Meanwhile, the accomplice watches Lexie from his tablet.
Speaking of watching, Paul cyber stalks Chris. He then suggests that Mara go back to Metro Medical. That’s what ties Ray and Chris together. Mara isn’t okay with this plan, and insists that she’ll go through with the surgery. Paul really doesn’t want her to go, huh. They do seem to be going for an actual love confession from Paul to Mara, though whether they’ll have time to pull it off is another matter entirely.
Back in Oliver’s Reverie, he recreates Paris and a particular coffee shop Lexie and Oliver went to.
At Onira-Tech, Oliver’s accomplice shuts off Lexie’s office camera. Dylan notices and Charlie goes to check on her. However, the accomplice successfully steals something from Lexie before he gets there. When he gets there, he tells Charlie that he noticed the broken camera as well. Charlie has him searched, but comes up with nothing. Oliver reveals Lexie’s “present”: he’s recreated Dylan, which is deeply creepy.
Lexie hugs this creepy representation of Dylan, but she’s clearly devastated. Oliver insists that the Reverie program is about Dylan. She insists it’s not. This tracks, considering she’s already got AI Dylan to talk to. Reverie can’t give her more of her brother than that, and she knows it. Oliver wants back into the company, and Lexie refuses him again. As a final blow, Oliver claims Lexie killed Dylan and Lexie slaps him. This is a more interesting accusation. If I recall correctly, we don’t know how he died. Lexie leaves and finds security all over her office. Oliver wakes up, his plan complete.
The doctor is ready to perform the BCI extraction. Clearly hesitant, Mara asks for statistics on people in trouble in Reverie. The statistics seem to convince Mara against surgery. Mara then goes to Paul and explains how her sister died, in the hope that they can work out her real issue.
Charlie talks to Oliver and his lawyer on their way out. Smug as always, Oliver insists that Charlie is all about control, and hints the tables are turned. Although Oliver’s character attacks seem hit or miss, this is clearly a hit. Charlie is a control freak, to his and Onira-Tech’s detriment. After the meeting, Charlie turns and sees Mara and Paul talking. He then tells them that they’re wasting time with Mara’s memory, because Mara doesn’t know what really happened. He offers to explain.
Charlie got a recording of what happened when Mara’s family died. She called him accidentally during the incident, and he kept the recording. Paul was right: Mara was suppressing something big. Mara talked Ray into suicide, even though he failed.
I don’t think this was seeded at all, and I don’t know how to feel about it. Mara has felt responsible for the loss of her family, and now we find out that she was partially responsible, at least a little? It doesn’t sit well with this audience member.
Regardless, Charlie claims that Ray probably would have killed himself anyway, and Charlie might have done it had he had the chance. This doesn’t assuage Mara’s guilt. She, horribly upset, leaves his office. Mara goes to a bar and relapses. I don’t know why Charlie let her go anywhere unaccompanied. She just learned that she talked someone into attempting suicide. That information could have triggered something far worse than a relapse. When she returns to her apartment, she begs for her derealizations to reoccur. They do not, proving that Paul’s theory was right.
Oliver gets the security key, containing Reverie’s source code, from his accomplice. Then, Oliver shoots him. He claims that he wants to “burn the place down” to his accomplice’s corpse.
Mara wakes up holding the family photo. Charlie slept on his office couch, but it’s not clear why. Lexie wakes him up and says she must go to her parents’ house. Remember, it’s her birthday. Oliver is sitting outside, waiting for her to leave.
Mara tells Paul that her derealizations are gone. She then asks for Paul’s help, though she acknowledges it’s probably illegal. They put Ray in a Reverie (honestly, with the lack of regulation we’ve seen thus far, this is probably not technically illegal). Mara goes in, and sees Ray.
Next week, we learn that Oliver literally wants to burn the place down.