Monogamy & Futility: Part 2
We begin with John experiencing fragments of his past memories, courtesy of the eye-optic. Breathing heavily, Helm admits she can’t remove his feelings but can paint over them. This acts as the catalyst for what follows in episode 8 of Brave New World as trickles of the Director’s death winds up spreading across New London and forces John to flee.
Meanwhile, Bernard decides to dig deeper and find out what John is hiding. In order to do that he questions Gary about Lenina and whether she’s been sleeping with John. Visibly rattled by his questioning, Gary eventually caves and admits the truth.
In the wake of this, Lenina avoids Frannie over her probing questions about John and his integration. Eventually she caves though and they sit and share memories.
Outside, CJack60 approaches John while he’s out in the garden and encourages the worker to sit on the bench with him. Seemingly unaware that he’s acting as the catalyst for a rebellion, John continues to ask questions about Lenina and what she’s been up to.
Getting nowhere with the Epsilon workers, John succumbs to temptation and instead decides to use the eye optic to spy on Lenina. There, he sees fragments of what she’s been experiencing including a hook-up with someone in a nightclub. It’s all too much for him though and he pulls away, slamming the optic down on the table.
Following the incident with Mustafa in the previous episode, Director Henry speaks to Bernard – but privately. The duo take out their eye optics where a paranoid Henry remains convinced that he’s the next target for being assassinated. After what happened with the Director on the video, he’s taking no chances.
Down in the basement, Indra and Mustafa discuss the new Directive. Ironically giving this AI self-consciousness has caused it to see things from a very different perspective than initially intended. However, Mustafa remains convinced that she hasn’t foreseen everything and simply can’t plan for the wildcard in John.
This is especially true as various different members of New London start to embrace John’s way of thinking and feeling. One of those is Helm, who sits and watches his memories with fascination. Bernard approaches her though and wrestles Helm to the ground. It’s here he sees what really happened with the Director and, feeding this back to Henry, contemplates banishing him from New London forever. Henry however, decides to delegates that decision to Bernard.
With the Director’s video streaming all over New London, Bernard eventually finds himself face to face with Bernard. However, the Epsilon workers come to his aid and walk away by John’s side. As the episode closes out, Henry’s prophetic message comes true as the other Epsilons lead him into the gardens and stab him nonchalantly numerous times.
The Review Write-Up
While there’s some pretty good character work here, a lot of what we see boils down to a love triangle driving the narrative forward. Now, given I haven’t read the novel I can’t comment on how well adapted or accurate this plot point is.
Having said that though, it all feels quite formulaic and simple sci-fi and there’s nothing here that really pushes the boundaries of the genre. While watching I can’t help but be reminded of Channel 4’s underrated gem Humans. For those unaware, it’s a sci-fi series tackling the same concepts of emotion but in a much more compelling way.
As we gear up to the finale, Brave New World is an enjoyable enough sci-fi series but it feels lukewarm at best. It’s not the worst show of the year but it’s also far from the best either. Unfortunately that also makes it a pretty forgettable series, which is a bit of a shame.