When it comes to delivering big surprises, we will give Reverie episode 3 some serious credit. This is the best ending for any installment that the NBC show has done to date, mostly because it continued to further along the question as to what in Mara’s life is real, and what is becoming an ever-increasing illusion. At this point, Charlie has a significant reason to worry about his value recruit.
Over the course of the past episode or so, Mara has been intent to spend more time with her niece, even going so far as to ignore some of the advice from Paul to keep her at bay. She wants to see her and understand her presence, and while a certain part of that is understandable, it is also very dangerous. She is putting herself down a road that is going to be very difficult for her to recover from. Once you start to see someone like and real life, are you going to start wondering what is actually real life at all?
In the closing minutes, Mara went back to the most traumatic place in her entire life … or at least what she thought was this place. The background started to flicker, and it turns out that she may have been in a Reverie for the entire conclusion of the hour. When did that start, and when is that going to end? Those are very good questions that the show has established moving into episode 4.
While the procedural element of this hour, the story of a mild-mannered man pretending to be a bank robber to hide from personal trauma, was interesting, the main focal point for us this week was learning and understanding more about these characters. For example, Alexis does seem to actually have great intentions for the entire Reverie program. She wants it to be used as a form of healing, with the goal of bringing people together, and as a way for people to feel inspired. She is almost reminiscent of one of those mad scientists who is so obsessed with the idea of what good the product can do that she ignores the bad. You see, Reverie feels somewhat like a drug that can cause serious side effects when people start to get addicted on to it. It’s great that there can be good, practical uses for it, but is anyone going to be able to achieve those? We’re not altogether sure.
Beyond Alexis, we had a chance to venture into one of Paul’s personal, experimental reveries this week learning more about how sometimes, unexpected things can enter your dreams because of readings done via the program. In Paul’s reverie, he had a chance to use it in order to conquer some of the insecurities that he felt because of having an abusive father. Sometimes, Reverie tries to give you things that you need but don’t necessarily realize it consciously. It’s a fascinating twist that could play out more as the show goes along.
In general, this was a very exciting episode from start to finish, and we are intrigued by the possibility now of seeing Mara go down a road that makes Charlie have even more regrets over bringing her on board. It is starting to become clear to us why it was so essential to find the right person for Mara’s job in the first place. Not only do you need to have someone who excels at negotiation, but you also need someone who can avoid Reverie’s charms. Mara may not be that person, but her flaws are in part what makes the show fantastic. Our questions about the program’s morality and oversight remain, but this is proving itself to be an immensely entertaining show that asks fascinating questions along the way.
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