Teamwork Makes The Dream Work
Dispatches From Elsewhere returns this week, delivering some crucial answers while keeping one niggling feeling hanging over the entire 43 minutes – is this really the end of the game or just another twist in the tale? Although it takes a while to learn what it all really means, the final words of this episode do go some way to confirm this, with a big cliffhanger that leaves things wide open for next week.
Episode 7 of Dispatches From Elsewhere begins with the quartet deliberating over what to do regarding the apartment they found. Fredwynn convinces them not to phone the police but as a strange man (nicknamed The Milk Man) arrives in the elevator, it sets off a chase sequence. How far are you willing to go to chase after the truth? Well, this episode we certainly find out.
Peter follows the man down to a hidden basement and with a flashlight in his hand he stumbles down the darkened passageways until he finds the ghost of Clara, who tells him to remember the truth as it’s important for what happens next. As she fades from view, the other three players make their way down to the basement.
As they press on, the group find costumes, dossiers on each of the players and a pin-up board with important information regarding the game. As Peter spots the empty milk carton from afar, they press on as they find a whole cult of people chanting and walking purposefully in two distinct colour of robes – yellow and blue.
As the two sides face each other and request Clara to be returned, everyone starts fighting and arguing. The lights go out and a screen appears before them. A talking dolphin discusses the journey taken after choosing a singular colour. Octavio inevitably appears too and after greeting our familiar foursome, speaks again about the game.
Suddenly, Commander 14 shows up and the two stand on stage together and discuss their alternate views. As the idea of conflict is discussed, Commander 14 takes off his disguise and reveals…Octavio? The game itself has clearly been designed to smash these preconceptions of conflict and encourage people to work together as the two versions of Octavio stand together, united.
The mob inevitably take the word “smash” literally and destroy their two symbols, which is ironically one of the more symbolic moments in the entire show. As that old Men In Black quote goes: “People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.”
Clara is presented to the group courtesy of a cheesy karaoke song but Peter realizes something amiss and heads up to the stage, unable to accept what’s happening. Desperate for his group to join him, Simone, Janice & Fredwynn instead consign to defeat and tell Peter to accept that the game is over.
In the aftermath of this, the group find themselves isolated from the others in the midst of a celebratory party as they talk in separate groups about the game. Fredwynn decides to try and find The Architect to learn more about the inner-workings of what’s happening and sets out to investigate. Janice finds herself shunned for being too old while Simone drowns her sorrows in alcohol as she realizes she really does have feelings for Peter.
Simone takes Peter onto the dancefloor but he rejects her, thinking she’s taking pity on him. As fate continues to pour depressing revelations for our characters to deal with, Fredwynn speaks to Clara but her words ring through to his core. “If people can’t handle this, it’s their problem.”
As we soon find out, all of Fredwynn’s life he’s bullied his way into being right and as we see different moments through the game and his childhood, it brings us back to the here and now as he changes his tune and decides to be more selfless than before.
Peter decides to make a grand gesture and heads up on stage infront of everyone and starts singing. It’s something that Simone really appreciates and she kisses him when the song finishes. On the back of this, the group try to find Janice who happens to be outside waiting for a taxi. As Janice digs for the truth, it turns out the real Clara is dead.
As we’ve soon seen, the entire game appears to be balancing on the notion of cooperation and nowhere else is that more evident than with our four characters. Given Octavio has been watching these guys since the very beginning, could it be that they’re all still in the game? Is this the biggest test of them all? It seems probable that this is the case and as the quest for Clara continues, the reveal at the end that she’s really dead could be a red herring too.
Still, this mystery continues to play out in a fascinating manner and given the sprinkling of answers we’ve had along the way, Dispatches From Elsewhere continues to offer an intriguing little mystery box over the weeks, one that should hopefully open up before season’s end and reveal the real truth.