“No More Mr Nice Guy” (Episode 103)
June 13, 2018
We are back with a full recon of episode three but before we dive in here is a brief reminder of where we left off at the end episode two (or read my whole recap here). We left seeing Mara deciding not to take her pills when she heard Brynn’s laughter in her house. After pulling one of the pictures she had previously put in a drawer back out, Brynn returns and is standing right in front of her. “Hello There” Mara said and the screen went black.
Alright let’s begin…(spoilers ahead)
In what only can be someone’s Reverie since at the start people aren’t moving. We find a red collector car speeding to a stop at the curb. Three men in suits get out and put on animal masks, bank robbery. Flash back to reality. “Nate,” we hear a woman shouting to find the man from the robbery asleep in a recliner with a Reverie tablet on his lap.
Move to Mara’s house getting ready for her day while looking in the mirror she sees Brynn standing behind her. She asks if Brynn will sit with her, they move to her living room. Mara tries to justify talking with Brynn and her being there. Brynn smiles, Mara asks if she can give her a hug but, before she can her phone rings and she is back in reality — Brynn is gone. “Oh Mara, what are you doing?” –Yes Mara what are you doing, you should be listening to Paul.–
At Onira Tech Charlie and Mara are meeting with a lawyer and Nate’s wife.
The lawyer is explaining that Nate lost his job and that he and his wife are extremely in debt. They are blaming the Reverie program as the reason for why they are in trouble. For the last three months, Nate has been increasingly going to his Reverie. Something in that time has changed with Nate, has caused him to continually return to the program. Nate and his wife are expecting a baby and she needs him to come back. Mara requests one day so she can try and get Nate back.
Mara heads to her office and into Nate’s program. Apertus. She enters the Reverie amongst a SWAT situation outside a bank, not able to find Nate, gun shooting takes place. She turns to find Nate on the top of a car mad that Mara is trying to distract him during his get away. A helicopter flies over head letting down a ladder and Nate grabs hold and away he goes. Exitus. –A bank robber, that could be a fun fantasy to play out. Although it would probably get old after a while.–
Paul and Mara are discussing Nate’s Reverie. When Mara asks Paul what he is working on, he says he’s helping Lexi put together images for a design presentation she has for the board for the following day. Paul suggests “red teaming” Nate by using reverse logic. Instead of Mara going to Nate she’s going to try to get Nate to come to her. –Makes sense.–
Paul and Charlie discuss Mara’s progress with going into the Reverie 2.0 programs and making sure that everything that is occurring is normal and that there are no concerns. –There aren’t, I’m sure only for now.– Charlie asks Paul about the side effects that Mara is experiencing and questioning if they are hallucinations. Paul confirms and tells him that it was someone from Mara’s past but he doesn’t know who, he didn’t feel it was his place to ask. From Charlie’s facial expressions you can tell that this wasn’t what he wanted to hear. –Charlie why are you so concerned with what Mara is experiencing in her derealizations. What are your concerns and how long before we have answers?–
Mara requests the help of a design technician, she is in need of help to bring new details to the program to help get Nate’s attention. Apertus. Now in the Reverie, one of Nate’s flunkies notices an armored truck. Nate sees his next target, him and his team approach. –Of course it isn’t.– Mara is in the back waiting for him, Nate sends his guys away so he can talk to her. Mara tries to explain to Nate the consequences of him being in the program for as long as he has. According to Nate his wife Annie is better off without him, his life is better in the program. He leaves and one of Nate’s men drive off with Mara locked in the back. Exitus. Mara feels defeated but of course she isn’t going to give up.
Wanting to gather more information, Mara heads to Annie & Nate’s home to see if there are any missing pieces that could help her. Annie doesn’t know what it could be, until she mentions a break in. Annie and Nate were both home and it definitely riled both of them. Even though Nate managed to get over it pretty quickly, Annie still doesn’t think that the break in is what did this to him. There must have been something else that happened. Annie describes Nate as the guy who wouldn’t abandon his family, he is the foundation and would always be there for those in his life.
Mara calls Charlie to get the case file information for the break in, she wants to cover all of the bases. While on the phone with Charlie, he asks her where she is headed. He asks if she is headed home, but she is going to go back to Onira Tech. Charlie happens to be walking through Mara’s home, to find evidence of Brynn out on the coffee table. –Charlie what are you up to? Please show us your cards.–
“I need a can of gasoline and a lighter.” –You need what?!– Mara announces walking into the designer’s office space. Paul asks why this could possibly be. She needs them to force Nate to pay attention. Apertus. Nate’s car is in full blown flames. Coming out of a Jewelry store he just robbed, he sees the car and is pissed. Distracted, Mara is able to pull the bag of jewels from his hand and taunt him. She takes off running down the street and into an alley, Nate follows. At the dead end Mara and Nate are able to talk. Nate isn’t ready to leave and Mara explains that she knows about the break in. The pressures he’s been feeling is normal but the longer he stays in the Reverie the more strain it is putting on things in his life outside. Mara doesn’t want him to lose his marriage on top of the things he already has lost. We hear the engine of a motorcycle getting closer to them, Nate’s attention is pulled away. –What is this?–
“What’s that, is that you?” He asks Mara, he’s never heard the motorcycle before. The motorcycle pulls into the alley and an older grizzly looking of a man gets off pulling a large chain link. Mara tries to find out what the man is doing and keeps asking him to stop. The grizzly guy pushes her away, he wraps the chain around Nate and gets back on the bike taking off and pulling Nate behind him. Exitus.
Again Mara is talking about the occurrence that happened to Nate with Paul. This was something that clearly Nate didn’t design for his program. Paul explains to Mara that the program is very complex, sometimes the program can unearth things. It pays attention to the things that happen during the Reverie and learns them. By doing so, providing things that users don’t realize they need. Nate didn’t create the abduction but for some reason his mind was telling him he needed it to happen.
From the looks of it Mara is confused –me too girl, me too– so Paul tells her that it will be easier if he just shows her. Paul asks if Mara is okay with going into one of his Reverie’s with her. –Yes, oh yes.–
Apertus. Paul and Mara are in the library that we have seen a few times now, the place where Reveries begin. Paul leads Mara into his childhood home, he explains that he built it as an experiment to see if he could completely build it from his memory. He never thought he would return back to his childhood home. Briefly explaining that as a child and growing up that he was always anxious and had night terrors. All of these things stemmed from what happened inside his home. By using the program he has been able to help get his anxiety under control. –But how?– He leads Mara upstairs pointing out whose room was behind each door until he shows her a door that he found during one of his trips into the program that had never been there before. The program created the door and that Paul didn’t originally put it there. Mara asks what is behind the door, we then hear pounding.
“My father was a very difficult man.” Paul goes on to explain that his father was cruel, abusive, and an alcoholic. On a good night his father would just pass out, the bad ones were what lead to Paul’s fears. The program created this door as a safe place that he would be able to face his dad. He opens the door to show Mara, his father is on the other side. His father is a sad old man — a toothless lion and Paul realizes he doesn’t need to fear anymore. THAT is what Reverie can do. Paul closes the door and they leave the program. Exitus. Mara thanks Paul for sharing this with him. Paul is a bit different than when they went in. –Vulnerable.– Mara asks about the Reveries behind the other doors, he replies that they can discuss them another time.
Charlie and Mara are walking through the halls, Charlie has the file with the character drawing for the man that robbed Nate and Annie’s home. This wasn’t this man’s first time invading someone’s home, he has done it four other times in the last year and the police haven’t been able to catch him. Charlie spoke to the detective who was assigned to the case and Nate never showed to identify the man. They set up three appointments and he didn’t show up to any of them. The man Charlie showed Mara isn’t the same guy Mara saw during Nate’s Reverie there are specific details missing. Mara draws the conclusion that program created the man in his reverie because Nate needed this. Charlie meets with the detective that was on Nate’s case to give him the information that Mara has from Nate’s Reverie. Gina says she will take the details to another detective who should be able to find the man they are looking for.
In a common room Mara is working on her computer, Lexi walks in surprised to see that Mara is there so late. She explains that she is waiting for a call from Charlie and tries to make small talk with Lexi asking why she too there so late. Lexi tells her about the presentation she is working on and says that it is going very well. Mara doesn’t believe her and asks Dylan for the most recent thing that Lexi has said about the presentation. “That it made her want to jump off the roof.”–Dylan you are seriously the best!!– Lexi is annoyed that Dylan tells her but it opens the gateway to conversation. Lexi divulges that she hates the presentations, hates them so much. Mara gives her some knowledge on what she needs for the presentation, Lexi isn’t about it but Mara pushes. L-E-R-I (Listening, Empathy, Rapport, and Influence) if Lexi uses these things she will be able to come off to the board in a more personal way and they will understand her more. –Is this a friendship we are seeing brew here? I sure hope so. I want Lexi and Mara to be great friends.–
Lexi doesn’t like how this is all touchy feely but she doesn’t run away she keeps talking with Mara. After Mara asks what the presentation is about Lexi starts to spew out percentages and the science behind it completely losing Mara in what she is saying. Mara asks what her dream for Reverie is, in reply Lexi wants every person in the world to be able to experience Reverie. “Why?” Mara asks. “Because Reverie is not an escape. It’s a bridge, it can connect people. You experience it alone, but you aren’t alone.” If people use it correctly they’ll be able to use it for more.
“Reverie is a gift”-Lexi
–We finally see Lexi’s passion for the program and why she created it.– Once Lexi finishes Mara tells her to say this, what she just said to the board. As Lexi is walking out of the room she turns and asks Mara if “she just LERI’d her” and Mara winks. –Good work Mara, I approve.–
Mara gets the call she was waiting for from Charlie. The Los Angeles PD has found the attacker but they can only arrest him if Nate can identify him. It’s time for Mara to get Nate out. Apertus. Nate is at a bar nursing a beer when Mara enters. Nate explains what happened to him after the biker drove off with him, he froze he wasn’t able to do anything. Mara explains to Nate that they have found the attacker but the only way that this all ends is for Nate to come back with her and identify him. Mentally the attacker turned up completely changed Nate he was always the strong one. Mara notices that something else is bothering Nate. He goes on to explain that a few weeks after the break in the man returned threatening Nate.
The fear from the man threatening Nate has shaken him to his bones, he doesn’t know how he can be the same man again. Mara shares with Nate what she went through with her sister and Brynn. She has never returned to where it happened, she can’t even drive down the street because of the fear. She knows that it will never go away. Not until she faces it, neither will Nate’s. Nate tells Mara that he is mostly afraid to tell Annie about what really happened and why he spends so much time in the program. Mara encourages that all Annie wants is for him to be back so they can start a family, Annie is waiting for him and it’s time to go back. Exitus. –Mara saves another user and brings them out. You go girl!–
Outside an auto mechanic shop where Nate is met by Gina the detective on the case and she discusses the details for identifying the attacker. He understands and says that he is ready. He identifies the man, it in fact is the guy who attacked him.
Back at Onira Tech, Charlie finds Mara and asks if she has a minute to talk. He questions if hiring Mara for the job was the right decision. Mara is confused as where all of this is coming from. Charlie cuts to the chase and asks Mara who she is seeing in her derealization episodes. She confesses that it’s only Brynn. Charlie calls her out on not following Paul’s instructions. Mara tells Charlie that even seeing Brynn for a few moments is more than what she could ever dream of. That the work she is doing, helping all of these people is helping her feel really good about herself again. She wants to continue to do this work, Charlie agrees. –We can see his hesitation in allowing this. Charlie, WHAT IS GOING ON?–
Nate is dropped off by the police to his house. Annie walks out of the house meeting him on the walkway. Mara had explained to Annie was had happened to Nate after the break in. Nate tries to explain why he couldn’t talk about it. Nate felt as if he failed as a person and that he was protecting Annie by not saying anything. Annie gives him a pep talk and all is good. They are supposed to protect and be there for each other.
Back at Mara’s apartment she takes her anxiety pills. She gets up to head out. Driving her bronco down a residential street we hear the voice over from when she was talking to Nate and we see the flashbacks to the shooting. Mara stops her vehicle in the middle of the street and walks up to a house. She knocks on the front door and the door pushes itself open. The home is empty there is nothing here. “You got this” while having flashbacks to that day Mara walk through the home facing her fears. To her surprise Brynn is in one of the rooms waiting for her. She asks what she is doing here, Brynn tells her she is there for a reason. We hear electrical charges and the room starts to come apart, Mara begins to panic. “This is not real.”
All my feelings:
Annie and Nate. Having a life altering event happen so recently and not being able to figure out how to cope with it would be hard. Being able to escape to a place and create a life where you are the tough one makes sense. I also felt that Nate made himself sort of into a “Robin Hood” with his robberies we only saw it briefly but I think he was trying to help others since he didn’t know how to help himself. When we are faced with hard situations so many times it’s easier to just run away from them but the difference from Reverie and Reality is that we have to deal with them. Sometimes it takes just one thing for the person who always has it together to completely fall apart. This is shown with Nate and it’s very relatable with viewers-or at least for me.
Charlie…I don’t know how to feel about this man. I mean we know he has a history with Mara and that he cares about her. But I can’t help feeling he is hiding something from her and this makes me cautious. Between him and Monica Shaw I’m not getting good vibes from this duo.
The Reverie Program is complex and kind of scary. How it learns the users and adds things into their Reverie’s and gives them what they need. This is a little alarming also I feel it could become dangerous. Just how far can the program go and how much do they understand what the program will create on it’s own. Hmmmm.
Paul. Paul. Paul. Oh you showing your vulnerable side and sharing it will Mara to help her understand what the program can do you. Remember after last episode I said I smell a ship on the horizon for Paul and Mara well this may have been another link toward that. Paul and Mara work so well together and I can’t wait to see more screen time between them.
Do you want my help or not….well of course Lexi doesn’t Mara but she stays and listens any way. We have a breakthrough here with Lexi and Mara and I LOVE it! Mara has a way of getting in people’s heads and getting them the information they need. Lexi doesn’t know how to connect with people, Mara helps her with that it’s perfect. I hope Lexi comes to realize that there are more things she can learn from Mara. On a side note we finally get to see another side of Lexi. Why she created Reverie and her goals for the program. She loves the program and what it has to offer and wants everyone to be able to experience it. Maybe one day we will have that technology too.
Mara oh sweet complicated Mara. She’s had a pretty difficult few years but in that time she has grown. Charlie bringing her to Onira Tech has been a blessing for her but for some reason I feel it may end up being a curse. Damn you derealizations. Mara knows pain and struggle all too well, she’s able to use this when she is helping users get to where they need to be so they can feel ready to leave the program. She is relatable is so many ways and you just want to reach out and hug her.
About those derealizations. I’m curious how far they can affect someone when they aren’t in a Reverie. We saw with Mara that she went somewhere but in fact she was never there. Will this cause future problems for her? Will she get stuck somewhere? Is Mara going to be able to continue helping the users? Charlie already has his doubts. Curious where this will go.
This episode is overall a pretty hard hitting episode. We see another side of Paul and dig into his past. Mara has a breakthrough with Lexi, in what I hope to be a budding friendship. Charlie is being a helicopter guardian over Mara. We have a lot of emotions during many points during the episode. I think this was just a taste. Next week’s episode looks intense.