TV Recap: Reverie – A Field Trip to Heaven …

“Apertus” (Episode 101)
May 30, 2018

Reverie, a new drama embarking on it’s pilot season with NBC, premiered tonight and here you will find everything you need to know about the Pilot episode. As of right now it appears the season will be 10 episodes. If you find yourself here and didn’t hear of Reverie or the preview didn’t catch your attention, well stop reading and go watch and come back after you finish.

NBC didn’t do Reverie any justice with the preview for the Pilot. In fact, because of the preview, I wasn’t going to watch but then Mike [Ed. Note: Really Cool Guy, that Mike] said I should give it ago and I’m glad I listened. So as you go forward please leave any prior qualms you had about the show aside and proceed with an open mind. You’ve been warned spoilers ahead.

(Photo by: NBC)

1.  a state of being pleasantly lost in one’s thoughts; a daydream.

Here we go.

The episode begins with the view of a grand chandelier surrounded by a collection of books. Almost a Titanic meets Beauty & the Beast sort of feel. Camera pans out and you see a gentleman escorting a woman who is wearing a red pencil dress out of an elevator and into the room. The camera angle turns and the balcony doors open by a butler dressed in all white. Now if you look into the background you will get your first thought that this must be a dream, the sky is covered in with hot air balloons, violinists are playing in the corner, and champagne is served. But wait…

Beep…beep… “Happy Anniversary” …beep…beep…

-Scene Change-

We are now in a hospital room and we see the man from the balcony, he appears to be sleeping but we will learn that it is more than that. A relative is in the room and is concerned and hopeful of the lip movement he saw is a good sign. Though he is quickly shot down by a doctor telling him that it’s nothing more than an involuntary response to his Reverie. –But what is Reverie? Hold tight you will know soon enough.–

(Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

Enter Charlie Ventana played by Dennis Haysbert (hopefully you aren’t thinking the show just broke into an Allstate commercial, P.S it didn’t. Haysbert is also known for his roles on 24 and The Unit). Charlie is speaking to Lexi Barrett (Jessica Lu) and referencing 7 people on a computer monitor whom all look to be in a coma like state, they are.

–What is this place?
What is going on?
Why are they all in a coma?
Sit tight these questions will all be answered. I promise.–

Charlie is laying into Lexi about the program, (Reverie) the one she designed. That there is a flaw in it. He’s concerned for these people and she is copping a millennial grade attitude. 

-Scene Change-

(Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

We see a person enter a room and set their bag down on a table and open a pill bottle. Takes the pill and washes it down with a travel size bottle of alcohol. — If I had to make a guess it’s Jack Daniel’s. —  We are now being introduced to Mara Kint played by Sarah Shahi (known for her lead role in Fairly Legal and her recurring role as Renee on Chicago Fire, recently reprised). Mara is talking to a classroom of adolescents, discussing body language and reading people. Reminding them to see the world, all we have to do is remember to look up. Meaning to look up from our phones, pay attention to what is going on around us. We miss so much from life due to technology and always looking down — Charlie enters the classroom and Mara ends her class.

Charlie and Mara go to dinner at a food truck. Mara explains to Charlie how she teaches “interpersonal dynamics” by developing observational skills — HOLY COW the average teens spends 9 hours on their devices, but can be upwards of 16 hours. I spend 10 hours a day on a computer but it’s for my job. Note to self: look up more.  Mara explains to Charlie that devices are keeping teens from learning one important skill, empathy. He looks around, everyone is glue to a device, no conversations, no emotions, just looking down at their phones.

— I challenge you the next time you are in a crowded place or even just out to dinner. Look around, how many people are talking and how many are sharing a table with others to only people looking down at their phones? Prepare yourself there is going to be a lot of people looking down. —

Okay back to the show.

(Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

Charlie tells Mara he has a job her, she chuckles. Oh wait…he’s serious. She asks, doing what… “hostage negotiation.” Mara has a blank and panicked look on her face — did she just hear him correctly. Erm Charlie what did you just say? Ventana hands Mara a “business card” from the future…okay not really but it looks like it should be from future. The card reads REVERIE. Mara asks Charlie “What does it do?” Charlie asks Mara to think of the most beautiful mind blowing place she can remember — psst mine would be amongst the Spanish moss in Savannah, Georgia — She replies with a memory from when she was 10 The Labyrinth of Light, a field filled with paper lanterns she visited with her mom and sister.

“Now what if you could revisit that moment anytime you would like?” –Allstate man say what? 

Charlie now explains Reverie to Mara, but you are going to get my explanation. Reverie uses social media, video, and images all chosen by you which are then compiled into the Reverie program. Then you are able to be transplanted back into this memory. Recreating the scenery and allowing your mind to live through it again the way you want to. You also have the ability to change the memory, change how you look. Do you want to be there at the age you are now? You can do that. Has someone passed away? No problem, they can be alive again with Reverie.

“Field Trip to Heaven,” is what Mara calls it after Charlie finishes explaining Reverie. — There is always a catch, right? Remember those 7 people from the computer monitors in the comas, well we find out why now. Charlie goes on to explain that some who have experienced Reverie enjoy the place they have created so much they have chosen to stay there, causing them to go into the coma. Now their health and lives are at risk. — Pause why is he telling Mara all of this? –Unpause —

A new version of Reverie has been created to allow someone else to enter another’s Reverie. Charlie needs Mara to enter the people’s Reverie and help bring them back. He needs to use her skills from when she was a hostage negotiator on the police force to be able to get thru to these people and pull them out before it’s too late.

–Phew that was only the first 7 minute but keep reading/watching this is just the development. We are about to enter Reverie if Mara makes the choice to help … of course she does. So roll your sleeves up it’s about to get intense.–

We are now in a duel scene. One with Charlie on the phone with Monica and the other with Mara in her apartment. So let’s start with Charlie and Monica. Monica is concerned if Mara will come around in time and if she is the right person for the job. They are running out of time. Charlie quickly assures her that Mara is the only person for the job. He covers her background in getting a Masters of Psychology from Stanford and specializing in counter terrorism with the FBI. Monica pleads there has to be someone else. Charlie goes on about what make the perfect hostage negotiator. Mara is all of these things.

“She’s worked miracles for complete strangers, but she couldn’t do it for those who mattered most.”

Now through this we see Mara moving about her apartment. As Charlie utters that last sentence Mara lays down on her bed to look up at the ceiling.

(Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

–Enter flashback– Mara is negotiating with a man who is highly emotional with a gun holding a woman and child hostage. The man’s name is Ray (Christopher Redman), Mara gets him talking and we quickly learn Ray is Mara’s brother-in-law and he is threatening the lives of her sister and niece. Why is Ray so upset? His family is leaving him and he found out before they could get out and he became emotionally unstable. Mara uses memories of their past to try to bring him back to ground and she begins to make progress. –She’s got this, Mara has got this– Mara’s phone buzzes, “I’m on my way,” the text reads from Charlie Ventana –Note: Charlie & Mara worked together on the police force — Ray begins apologizing to his wife and daughter, he starts walking away. But, his attention is pulled away. Police sirens grab his attention and you can see him unraveling. Mara had promised not to call the police. Next thing you hear are two gunshots and then Mara comes out from the corner she was behind. Her sister and niece are laying on the floor. Her niece still clutching the stuffed animal she had been holding. Black screen flashes and Mara is back in her bedroom (we focus on the teddy bear on a shelf – Mara hasn’t let go of this ordeal, not even a little bit).

–Pause for a water break. I know this may go down as the longest recap there ever was. I just want to make sure you get all of the details from the pilot. Okay water break over, unpause —

Mara holds up the card Charlie gave her, “Onira Tech, Your Ideal Escape.”

*Gasp* We’ve made it to the 10 minute mark.*  Title  Card. 

(Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

Back at Onira Tech, Lexi is explaining Reverie 2.0 to Mara which is what they will use to enter the other’s reveries. –P.S- Reverie is the only product of it’s sort on the market. Well shock, I thought every tech company would have a program like this.– Charlie uses a bio scanner to access a room and a young boy’s voice comes over a speaker and catches Mara’s attention. This is Dylan (voiced by Kai Scott), he is their AI and he is everywhere.

“Trust me, we’re just getting to the weird part.”

Removing all medical and science jargon here. In short, the program’s brain interface is a living sort of thing (it lives in a fish tank when not working).  Those who undergo Reverie, have to get an implant that allows the program to get to their central nervous system – the interface becomes inseparable from the person’s memories, to remove it may cause death. This allows the program to work (i.e., to allow the participant to not be able to distinguish dream from reality). 

Mara picks up a large tranquilizer looking apparatus and has a “there is no way” sort of look. Charlie tell her that if she chooses to move forward she will have to undergo the same implantation process.

Charlie brings Mara outside Tony Linton’s room, he was the first to stay inside Reverie. –Note: he is the guy who opened the episode with the balcony and hot air balloons with the woman in the red dress (guest star, Hannah Levien). Everything coming full circle?– Now they have a wing filled with people who would rather stay in their made up world. Charlie hopes that reuniting families will appeal to Mara.

(Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

Mara looks into Tony’s room where his daughter is sitting on a couch looking at a book. Next thing we know Mara is in an exam chair getting implanted. –The lady clearly hates needles.–

**The use of technology in this show seems pretty ahead of the times. Then again, for all I know there could be devices in creation or being tested. But a handheld scanner that can x-ray your body to track the implant is freakin’ sweet. Like I said, tech companies are probably working on this as we speak.**

(Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

We are brought to a room where Mara is looking at what appears to be a virtual mandala. A man enters the room and explains to Mara that she has found the symbol that is her way home during Reverie. The gentleman is Paul Hammond (Sendhil Ramamurthy, Heroes) who is in charge of creating everyone’s dreams for their Reverie. Developing the program to tailor each user.

Paul is going to give Mara crash course training to prepare her for Reverie 2.0. “Apertus”  – Latin for open, once she says those words, her training will begin (also, the episode title!)  –And so we begin–

(Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

Mara enters a simulation of Reverie and we see her maneuvering through the forest. Some ground rules for Reverie – you can do whatever you can imagine – up to the limitations of the program’s coding (so no flying, not yet). And getting hurt? You can train your brain to disarm brain responses – you can learn to be invincible in Reverie (we see Mara playing with her hand in fire).  Her surroundings change and now she is in a box. –Think Harry Houdini type of box– Which is now filling quickly with water and Mara begins to panic. Paul talks her through her way out. Exitus. EXITUS!  “Intense right?” Paul with the understatement of the year. 

–Gasp for air. People you ain’t seen nothing yet.–

Paul and Lexi (co-creators of Reverie) are arguing over the use of Reverie 2.0. We are now learning that R20 has not been fully tested yet. Paul wanted to wait until they figured out the issues that caused users to stay in Reverie. Lexi felt they didn’t have any other choice, lives are at stake. Paul is concerned as to what will happen when they introduce Mara to Tony’s Reverie. Lexi is optimistic that it will all work out and they can develop the program more.

Brain waves — they have concerns for Mara’s brain.

Mara is now in Tony’s room trying to learn about Tony before going into his Reverie. Tony lost his wife in a car accident where he had been driving. Tony’s brother explained how he spent week’s gathering videos, photos, and voicemails, anything he could find to upload to the program. In Tony’s mind, he would be able to bring her back to him.

A brief progression of time occurs as Charlie voiceovers. Mara is moving through the simulation phases faster than anyone. Mara makes it through to the end where she gets her surprise. She is brought to the Labyrinth of Light, the field of paper lanterns. Mara is all smiles.

–She’s ready, are you ready, am I ready? Okay, we are ready —

Paul gives Mara a tablet that is loaded with Tony’s Reverie and walks her through what will happen when she is ready. She holds the tablet, “apertus,” she’s in. We return to the grand hotel, Mara spots Tony and she goes after him but quickly the Reverie changes and they are at a festival. She’s panicking trying to find Tony in the crowd. While looking, Mara finds a girl carrying a stuffed bear —errmm, that shouldn’t be in Tony’s Reverie?– As she gets through the crowd Mara spots Tony and Naomi going through a door, she follows. Ding and they are now entering an elevator but Mara is seconds too late the door has closed. Up the elevator we exit into the library, Mara still can’t find Tony. An beautifully blue butterfly guides her to the right door and she goes out onto the balcony we saw from the cold open.  Tony comes up from behind her. He confronts her, she’s not supposed to be there, and becomes very upset. She tries to get five minutes to talk him down but Tony is worried that the program will crash by her being there. Tony pushes Mara over the balcony edge and she has to use the codeword, “exitus,” to get out.  –What’s the deal with the Butterfly?

Back in reality, Paul calms her down and asks about a spike in her scans, he asks if she remembers anything –the little girl with the stuffed animal– Mara lies. Mara goes to talk to Iris (Tony’s stepdaughter). Iris tells Mara about when he proposed to Naomi it was at the hotel. Iris lights up while telling the story. She asks Mara if she can bring her dad back, Mara promises her to do everything she can.

We move to Mara in a room during research where she requests Dylan’s help. She asks him to search for a butterfly in the images for Tony’s Reverie. Sadly he isn’t able to find the butterfly she is looking for. Though someone with a butterfly tattoo catches her eye. Dylan gives Mara her information so she can go visit with her. Mara visits her at her work and learns that Alison was Naomi’s best friend. Mara explains why she is there asking her for help. Alison goes on to tell Mara more about Tony and Naomi as a couple and about Naomi being sick.

Mara then goes to Tony’s apartment to see if she can find more. All while a doctor and Charlie are discussing Tony’s status as well as a brain scan Paul ordered on Mara (because of the spike during her time in the Reverie).  The doctor is concerned that the spike during the first jump into Tony’s Reverie could be a sign that Mara has an underlying psychiatric disorder. At Tony’s apartment, Mara finds a wax paper envelope with a pill inside and a butterfly on the wrapping. We learn shortly after, that this is a drug college kids use to get through their course loads called skarin.

(Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

Mara explains to Paul and Charles that during the Reverie, she saw a blue butterfly and it sent Tony over the edge. Lexi enters and, having overheard this last bit, explains that as with drugs, everyone reacts differently to the Reverie program. Where the butterfly would normally mean happy feelings, for Tony it does not. Mara guesses that for Tony, it represents –guilt. Mara wants back in.

In she goes. Tony yells at Mara to get away. She tells him she knows why he sees the butterfly.  Everyone around them stops moving. Mara explains to Tony why she is there. Tony tells her how the night he proposed really went. His night to remember. Mara has one she would like to forget as does Tony. –As do we all, I know I do.– Mary asks Tony to explain where things went wrong. The pressures of the financial burden of Naomi’s diagnosis, Tony taking another job, taking care of Iris, and using skarin to get everything done. The night of the accident he took a double dose and doesn’t remember it at all just waking up in the hospital. He felt as if he failed her. The Reverie was able to bring him back to her.

Mara explains her story to Tony to gain his trust. It happened two years ago when Ray took her sister and niece from her. The day she failed them, she wasn’t able to keep them safe. She started drinking and self medicating. Tony asks her what changed, she tells him when she met Iris and Tony’s brother and how they were there waiting for him. Tony is surprised to know that they are there. Mara explains that he’s gone into a coma. Tony argues it’s only been a few days, Mara breaks that it’s been over two weeks. He doubts her.

To convince Tony to come back Mara lays it all out for him. He has a version of Naomi that is there but outside Iris is waiting and she is real and needs him. If he stays, there will be no more waiting for him  — he will die.

Tony is on the balcony with Naomi and they have a heart to heart. Naomi tells him that he never fails her and Tony makes the decision to wake up. Back in the hospital Tony’s eyes open and Iris jumps into his arms. We see Mara outside looking in at them and Tony waves for her to come in.

“Thank you.”

He is reunited with his family. Mara goes to leave the room and Iris wraps her arms around Mara and says “Thank You.” Mara did it.

(Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

Charlie confronts Paul about the EEG he ran on Mara. Paul wanted to be prepared since they are doing things they’ve never done before. Charlie tells Paul to bring all of the results directly to him. –Charlie what are you up to?–

**Enter room that looks very Zenon Girl of the 21st Century-esque … zetus lapetus … okay back to Reverie.**

(Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

Lexi is curled up on a couch and asks for Dylan, asking him if he would like to play a game. Dylan suggests a favorite of theirs … checkers.

“We used to play this everyday.” (Lexi)
“When we were young?” (Dylan asks)
“Yep. When we were young.” Lexi’s emotion changes then. The camera pans to a wall of pictures of a young boy and a girl. –Who is Dylan? What happened to him?–

Charlie is at dinner with an investor, this is Monica Shaw (Kathryn Morris) – she of the phone calls throughout the episode, who is concerned with the rapidly increasing number of people going into a coma. He asks her what their plan would be for Onira Tech. But of course she doesn’t give a solid answer. –This is because she is from the Department of Defense and they never give solid answers.–

(Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

Mara returns to her apartment and looks at a photo on her mantle and we return to two years ago. Her brother in law then turns the gun on himself. We see Mara distraught and filled with emotion. Back in the present she goes around her apartment filling garbage bags with alcohol bottles, which she has a lot. She opens a pill bottle to flush down the toilet. — PS this is a big no no– giggle…giggle…Mara freezes at the sound of a little girl giggling. She walks out of the bathroom, her niece is at the end of the hall and she drops the pills. She turns on the light and now she is gone.


End Episode.

Thoughts.  A few of the things I want answered in the upcoming episode:

1. What are all the side effects of Reverie and the multi-user Reverie?
2. Why is the DOD investing in Onira Tech? Are they going to meddle in the advancements?
3. Will Mara be able to save everyone in time? If not, what’s the outcome?
4. Who is Dylan to Lexi and what happened to him?
5. How will those who have been stuck adjust back to reality?
6. Will Mara’s detox from alcohol & pills effect her in the Reverie 2.0?
7. [Ed. Addition] Is Mara going crazy?!?! Its on thing to see your dead niece in Reverie (which maybe isn’t great) but then in your apartment?!?

My finals feels toward the Pilot Episode.

All my feelings toward the Pilot from the first time I watched it to the last time I watched it. I already told you that the trailer that NBC released didn’t turn me onto the show. I didn’t feel the trailer did the show any justice. Since then I did see an ad for it on Instagram which I believe did a much better job than the original trailer; not to mention Instagram’s was only 45 seconds. Well, onto the important stuff.

Thanks to Mike’s gentle nudge I watched the Pilot for Reverie going in thinking I wasn’t going to like it, let’s just say within the first 5 minutes I was thoroughly engulfed. Eager to find out more, I continued to watch and by the end I was hooked. I actually watched the episode a second time immediately after finishing. When I say the trailer didn’t do the show justice I wasn’t kidding because I didn’t get anything out of the trailer but the pilot drew me in, in the best kind of way. As any good trailer should.

There is something about Sarah Shahi in this role as Mara Kint that is intriguing, her character the way she delivers the role is stellar. The presence of Kint in the episode you can tell that she has a dark past but she is putting it aside to help these families. I want to know how long it’s going to last before something causes her to have a meltdown, will there be a patient she won’t be able to pull out in time? Reverie’s multi-user version wasn’t tested adequately and we already saw a side effect at the end of the episode. Is Mara’s niece going to appear in more of the Reveries, will she see her in her every day life again, where will all of these things go? I WANT ANSWERS and I am excited to get them.

Now secrets are never a good thing, they don’t end well. We have secrets already in the first episode. What is Charlie keeping from Mara, the rest of the team, how far will he push Mara? How long will Mara keep the secret of seeing her niece from Charlie? There are so many unknowns right now that will keep me hooked and checking things off as we get them. I have a feeling that one answer is going to lead to 10 more questions. I’m so excited to see this show unfold and take shape. If you loved the first episode as much as I did, talk about it, tell others to watch. I’ve recently learned just how important it is to watch the show live and have fans excited about it.  When I can this season, you will find me live-tweeting episodes as well as recapping them.

Leave a comment let me know what you think of Reverie.


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