This week on Reverie, Mara’s derealization woes are put on hold, Monica Shaw brings the team a case, and Charlie and Lexie have differing views on the nature of leadership.
This week’s episode opens in the lobby of a military building, when suddenly a bomb goes off. Cut to Charlie Ventana inside Onira-Tech, with, as Mara puts it, a “new friend.”
Charlie and his “new friend” bring Mara to meet Monica and the rest of the Onira-Tech team in Lexie’s office. Monica explains that the bomb was part of a terrorist plot. The terrorist leader, Silas, is (understandably) angry because the military used a county as a dumping ground. This neglect is killing people. Silas’ cause seems just, and it is never examined again, since his methods aren’t. Unfortunately, the bomb killed most of the people inside the building.
However, one of the victims, a security guard, Denise Lang, is only mostly dead. Since she got a good look at Silas, Monica wants Mara to go inside her head and find out what Silas looks like. Since the Department of Defense owns 30% of Onira-Tech, Monica has had techs determine whether they could insert Reverie 2.0 into someone who’s dying/unconcious. Lexie didn’t know that the DoD had access to her source code, and isn’t pleased to learn. While Paul and Lexie debate the feasibility of the enterprise, Mara looks at the photos from the explosion. Due to Mara’s well established issues with little dead girls, she consents to investigate.Although Paul is hesitant, he works with his team to ensure that the Reverie is stable.
When Mara enters the Reverie, she runs into the father and daughter who die in the explosion. Then, suddenly, Denise asks Mara where she should go. The conversation only gets more awkward from there. While Mara is in the Reverie, Charlie and Monica discuss why Monica came to Onira-Tech with this problem. Charlie argues that Monica’s visit is superfluous. Monica argues that the DoD needs to see Reverie 2.0 as a tool. This concerns Charlie, though he should have thought of that before he gave Monica the source code. Monica gets a phone call, revealing that Denise Lang was out on medical leave. At the same time, Mara realizes the Reverie subject knows Silas.
Her real name is Ashley. Monica tells the team that they should go back in to find out what Ashley knows. Lexie disagrees and storms out. Mara consents to go back in. When Mara meets with Ashley’s mother, she learns that she’s devastated, and had an inclination to protect her daughter from terrible truths.
After the meeting, Charlie confronts Lexie, and insists that being the brains behind the system isn’t enough to be CEO. Charlie insists that Lexie come out to meet Ashley’s friend Edith, and claims that Lexie is hiding behind technology. Unfortunately for Charlie’s lesson, Edith was also a terrorist and kills herself with Lexie watching. The show’s narrative really wants us to agree with Charlie, but I don’t see why we should. He took her on an investigatory escapade, which is not something the CEO needs to participate in. In addition, he didn’t even know what Edith looked like before leaving, which seems dangerous. Finally, his actions led to the admittedly sheltered Lexie being traumatized for no good reason. Next time someone wants her to socialize, maybe they should start in-house.
For Mara’s next expedition into Ashley’s brain, she disguises herself as Edith. Ashley has discovered that all is not right within the Reverie. In fact, a closet leads to a house in the woods. When Mara lies about the closet’s contents, Ashley freaks out and insists that Silas was wrong. However, she collapses before talking about where bombs were. Mara discovers that Ashley built the log cabin Reverie to protect herself and as a reminder of her childhood.
When Mara returns to the Reverie, Ashley has gone to the log cabin. Upon her arrival, Mara explains what’s been going on to Ashley. Given the truth, Ashley confesses her past with Silas. She believed they weren’t going to hurt people, and he made her feel needed. Ashley tells Mara what she needed to know, asked a final request, and dies.Mara somehow makes it out alive, even though the Reverie was falling apart around her.
Despite Ashley being on some kind of outs with Silas, her information was genuine. However, it doesn’t seem to concern anyone that Silas is still out there. Mara reads to Ashley’s mother and says ladybug loved her, fulfilling Ashley’s last request. Charlie talks to Lexie, saying she can talk to him whenever she needs to. Monica returns, somehow triumphant, and the company toasts their apparent success.
This week’s episode achieves something that I wasn’t sure it was capable of: a good episodic plot. The plot doesn’t hold up to immense scrutiny, but there aren’t any gaping holes. It’s possible that the arc plot’s absence helped keep the plot train on track. However, the anti-technology/social media implications continue to be unfortunate. This show can be iffy on the benefits of medication as well, which makes me wary.
We are now halfway through the first season of Reverie. Although this episode ended on a bright spot for the team, it’s likely that the remaining five episodes are going to be an express train downhill. However, NBC programming is off next week, due to 4th of July festivities. Therefore, Mara gets a break, at least onscreen.