Monogamy & Futility: Part 1
Episode 7 of Brave New World sees trouble brewing in paradise. John and Lenina continue to sleep with one another in private, hiding this from Bernard and the rest of New London. Only, it goes deeper than casual sex and as she hands over his music player, he tells her he loves her. Given she’s unfamiliar with this term, she eventually kisses him back and says the same.
While John and Lenina ride a natural high, Bernard starts to descend, trying desperately to stave off bitter jealousy after taking numerous Soma pills. However, an invitation for him and John to visit the Arch-Songster may just be enough to change their fortunes. With Gary’s encouragement, John eventually agrees to go but insists this is the last time and refuses to put the eye optic in.
They arrive together but Bernard is taken away by the Songster to talk. While they do, Helm suddenly arrives and talks to John about how he’s been feeling. Given she’s an Emotional Engineer, she senses something new in John; a rare emotion she’s not used to. Of course, this emotion is love but it’s something obviously alien to New London
When it comes to savages however, the true savagery comes from Songster’s party which sees Alphas running around the forest chasing Betas. In the midst of this chaos, John speaks to Bernard about love and how it feels.
Unfortunately John experiences the other side of love when he finds Lenina in the woods having sex with someone else. With his heart broken, he eventually confronts her over the rules in New London and it clearly doesn’t sit well with him.
Mustafa awakens in the tunnels after her ordeal last episode, sputtering and alive for now. Continuing on, she finds an old laboratory and within, a picture of the original research team. Indra appears before her and gleefully tells Mustafa that she’s solved her own algorithm by adapting and changing directive. That directive comes in the form of the “Suicide Move” as humankind is destined to find unhappiness no matter what and there’s no such thing as a utopia. Happiness can only be achieved through death.
Juxtaposing what happened with John, Bernard brings Lenina into his office and starts talking about the “Savage” method of dating. He casually asks her to date and despite agreeing, their evening goes awry when Lenina rejects his romantic advances and calls him a friend.
That evening, John heads down to drink in the quiet comfort of the Epsilon workers and finds himself struggling to deal with his anger. As he smashes a glass on the ground, he proceeds to give an impassioned speech about how life is completely wrong where they are. As he walks away in disgust, CJack60 follows his movements and smashes his glass on the ground. This action is quickly echoed by every other worker. From this small action, it looks like we’ve the makings of a rebellion on our hands!
Lenina and Bernard return home from their date and after failing with some gentle persuasion, she leaves him alone. As she walks out the door, Bernard crumples in a heap on the ground and starts weeping.
In the basement, Director Henry arrives and updates Mustafa on the day’s incidents. She’s lost complete faith in the system though and thanks to the “virus” in New London, realizes Indra’s new directive means death for them all. As she says the words, we cut to John who eventually succumbs to the eye optic and allows it to record what he sees.
The Review Write-Up
The juxtapositions and contrasts continue in this episode with the natural and unnatural way Bernard and John engage with Lenina. Despite the simplicity of this love triangle, it is helped somewhat by the way these two show just how twisted and dehumanizing the entire process of New London is. Bernard struggles to completely be himself and when he does, he’s overcome with negative emotions and unable to deal with them.
By contrast, John’s unpredictable personality has essentially been the waking spark in a city otherwise plunged into darkness. Whether this results in its inhabitants waking up from their slumber and finally embracing normality again remains a bit question mark over this series.