A One Way Ticket To Fishtown
Are you sitting comfortably? Good, then let’s begin. Dispatches From Elsewhere is such a strange show that at times it has a tendency to become consumed by its own surrealism and lose sight of its overarching plot. Having said that, the show clearly has a structure and an end-goal, with a repeated message of finding Clara, whilst navigating a myriad of bizarre and trippy clues along the way.
We begin episode 2 of Dispatches From Elsewhere with Simone walking down an alleyway and right into the heart of a Gay Rights parade. One of the women there gives her the megaphone but, unable to speak, she turns and runs instead.
This leads us back to Octavio giving us narration about how we’re Simone this episode, going on to discuss her fear and how we feel when we’re alone. As Simone continues to walk away, she heads into an art gallery where a painting comes to life. She talks to it about being a woman and how she copes with living in a man’s world. However, she’s interrupted midway through by her boss as we learn she actually works there.
Nearby, a man called Professor Foot stands by a painting but before he can say anything, he turns and runs after leaving a letter next to the painting. It tells her to look East and with that, the cryptic message brings her to a monument outside that holds another clue – this time with a set of batteries and the address of 451 Longmore Avenue. That address, as fate would have it, brings Simone to Peter’s work.
Together, they ride the bus to follow the new clues they have. They arrive in Fishtown and after using the batteries on a fish artifact, they hear the voice of Clara and follow it around the town. Decrypting the message given, Simone and Peter head into the shop and find a pair of old-school 3D glasses. The shop owner – Sal – tells them to deliver a message to Clara. He slams his fist on the table, bringing with it a fish coin, before growling “Don’t come back here”.
In the bar, Simone tries to make sense of the clues, asking the barman outright about Clara. He becomes sketchy though, given the Jejune Institute is watching. Encouraged to take the back exit, they find a door labelled “Elsewhere” and subsequently use the coin to find their way through. Inside, they find what looks like the Elsewhere Society Club.
The duo power up a bike, which in turn powers up a projector used with the 3D glasses. This gives them a message from the Elsewhere Society and Commander 14; confirmation that this is their Headquarters. After seeing the message, alarms wail again which sends them scrambling out the door and up a rooftop where Clara speaks to them about letting go of their fears.
Simone is unable to follow through and admit her own fears, and heads home where her Nan gives her advice. With a newfound spirit, she heads back to the diner where Fredwynn and Janice are sat waiting for Peter. When he doesnt show up, they look over the two flyers they have – one for Jejune and another for Elsewhere. After some debating, they decide to do both tasks – go to the shareholder meeting and the protest.
At the protest, Simone sees Peter walks by which leads her to speak some home truths while Octavio is taken away in handcuffs. As Octavio gets in the limo, Fredwynn sneaks himself into the boot, leading the trio to scramble over to a bike and follow in hot pursuit where the episode ends.
By now, we’re well and truly tumbling down the rabbit-hole into Oddsville and nothing is quite what it seems. What’s particularly interesting here though is the commentary on propoganda. Picking sides between the Elsewhere Society and Jejune is a good projection on world politics today; picking sides and berating the opposition for disagreeing with your opinion.
This is ultimately what makes the show so fascinating and it’ll be interesting to see what answers we receive (if any) for these big concepts and abstract ideas being thrown around by the end of the season. Much like the previous episode, there is an overwhelming feel of Dispatches From Elsewhere being a make-or-break show but if you can take to the trippy ideas and allow yourself to be swept up in the surrealism, there’s enough here to feel like you’re wandering through Salvador Dali’s brain and that in itself is undoubtedly a wild ride!