Want and Consequences
Episode 2 of Brave New World begins with the video footage from the suicide reviewed by World Controller Mustafa Mond. With all the workers gathered, the various Epsilon Workers are questioned over what happened. Mustafa immediately refers to it as a perceived virus and eventually sets her sights on CJack60, the worker who witnessed the fall. She questions him over what happened and her gaze narrows as she learns Bernard was the one who saw the body.
Lenina meanwhile meets Bernard, who’s still struggling to comprehend why someone would jump to their death. It’s an awkward encounter, to say the least, but they soon open up with each other as they fly over the beautiful twilight sky of New London.
That tranquility soon turns to wondrous joy as Lenina enters zero gravity for the first time as the ship enters space. Eventually they touch down in The Savage Lands. They’re briefed on the layout of the resort, including the Four Houses, before being told about the “old” way of living.
Lenina finds the whole affair fascinating and quickly finds wonder everywhere. Bernard isn’t convinced and is clearly not happy with their room given it backdrops onto a mass pool of people having sex outside. Eventually Lenina and Bernard give in to their temptations and start kissing. Only, partway through she asks whether they’re different to everyone else and they break off what they were doing.
The next day Bernard and Lenina head out on their tourist trip, complete with safari-esque commentary about how the savages live. One of these exhibits happens to be a Black Friday re-enactment which, to be fair, there can be little arguments about how barbaric this can be at times.
John continues to struggle with eking out a living and tells his Mother they’re going to die there. As Linda pours herself some whiskey, he looks her square in the eye and reveals that “he’s not coming back”. This “he” however is clearly referring to an old flame.
At work, John runs into more problems when Madysun refuses to speak to him. As the tour pulls up near the Church of Monogamy, he spies Lenina outside and has difficulty prying his eyes from her.
However, they’re all distracted by a sudden outburst at the Church as the play soon turns violent and guns are drawn. The resistance suddenly show up and start firing at the tourists, killing them all. Only, Bernard and Lenina manage to slip away and flee, popping their Soma pills mid-flight.
John meanwhile is tasked by the Resistance to track down and find the pair of foreigners. Eventually he finds them hiding in a motel room and tells them to be quiet as Bernard bleeds out from an earlier gunshot wound.
The Review Write-Up
While there were pockets of humour nestled throughout the first episode, it’s ultimately this chapter that really cranks up the absurdist comedy in the best possible way. The entire tour guide is a great satire on safaris and alongside that the Savage Land commercials are just as bonkers and over the top as they are in our modern times.
This contrast between the Savage Lands and New London offers up a really good, visual juxtaposition of class. So far the show has done a great job drawing these lines in the sand but whether anyone is brave enough to step beyond that and topple the established order remains to be seen.