In The Dirt
Episode 6 of Brave New World begins with a commercial being made out of Bernard’s punch to the face. This gives him a good amount of publicity but it’s John who really makes the most of his platform. What begins as an enthusiastic reenactment with many engaged faces around him soon turns to a chore and he becomes numb after repeating it so many times.
Bernard and John discuss this apathy to the parties on the train that evening and eventually John convinces himself that all he needs to do is switch the story up a bit to keep things feeling fresh. Unable to find a moment’s peace on the train, John leaves and immediately bumps into Lenina outside.
By contrast to everyone else, she’s not happy about the way he’s slotting into New London life given she’s struggling so much to do so. Just as she’s about to pop her dispenser, John grabs her hand and stops her. Instead, he tells her to focus on the vibrations beneath them.
Together, they descend further into the station and jump on the Epsilon train which, as Lenina informs, is off limits. While he and Lenina have a heart to heart about his Mother on the train, Bernard realizes John has gone and is about to miss their dinner date.
Bernard heads there alone and explains to Henry that John has gone. He’s glad though, especially given it means returning to normality. That also means taking Bernard away from John and back to “tasks more befitting his stature.”
Bernard struggles to adjust to this position now that John has gone and after fumbling over his story about The Savage Lands, Helm gives him the harsh truth that he’s not the new thing anymore and people have moved on. She encourages him to stop chasing the “new thing” before leaving for the party that evening while he stays behind and mulls over his thoughts.
Mustafa heads down to the basement where she finds Jack (however, it’s worth pointing out that later on we find out that’s not his real name) – the real one rather than the cloned Epsilon Worker. She admits to him that a new virus has entered New London and he comes in the form of a man. That man of course being John.
John departs the train and takes Lenina to the outskirts of town where a beautiful garden happens to be. Without the watchful eyes of Indra over them, the duo finally hook up and for once in their lives, it feels like real love as they sleep with one another.
After their evening together, Bernard and Lenina return to their respective homes where Bernard berates John for not showing up at the party. However, the duo suddenly come to blows and they fight while Gary watches on. With Gary broadcasting this across to the Banished, they watch in interest as the duo brawl.
As the episode closes out, Mustafa is stalked by Indra who tells her she’s not playing by the rules – especially given Mustafa was the one who created her. As Indra tells her to hold her breath, the tunnel begins to fill with water as Mustafa’s eyes widen in fear.
The Review Write-Up
As we start to gear up closer to the finale, more of the framework behind how New London works is now shown. The early season absurdist humour has all but disappeared in episodes past but the early parts of this chapter allow for those quirky commercials to bring the satire back. In that respect, there’s some nice ideas around commercializing every aspect of life.
Aside from that though, it’s clear now that there’s no way John can integrate and become part of the norm. Whether he’s really the virus that’s going to cause the downfall for New London however, remains to be seen.