One Final Mystery
With the facade around the game now lifted and one final Clara-centric mystery left to unravel, Dispatches From Elsewhere returns for a character-driven episode, one that removes the glittery, shiny appearance of the game and instead delves a lot deeper into how this has affected our four main players. While the drama itself is good enough to keep you sticking around until the end, without the elaborate clues and mystery to encapsulate this in, Dispatches From Elsewhere feels like it’s lacking a key component this week.
After the architect revealed herself to Janice, we begin episode 8 of Dispatches From Elsewhere with rehearsals for the place of Octavio. As we soon find out, the architect has turned up exactly 5 times this series and her name is Lee.
As we follow Lee early on, she’s given a whole slew of different problems to deal with as part of the project. Unfortunately she feels in over her head but a single note in her pocket reads “redemption”, acting as a foreshadowed clue surrounding exactly why she’s doing all this.
Watching from afar, Lee studies the different candidates as they watch the Octavio induction video. While most doubt the validity of the entire concept, Peter’s reaction to cry causes her to bolt upright and watch this play out. Continuing our journey through time, we see most of the big moments through the series play out from behind the scenes, with the little girl at the apartment building a happy coincidence, along with an original audience plant replaced by Janice at the last minute.
With knowledge that the foursome are on their way to Lee’s house after uncovering the truth about the game, Lee sabotages the apartment and makes it look like a break-in – bemoaning her luck that she can’t savour this experiment.
After filling in the blanks, we cut across to our four main characters after the game as they follow the address given to Janice and piece together the final clues. Although Lee planted the evidence there for them to find, Simone finds paperwork confirming Clara sold her company to Lee and then died 6 months later.
As they sit and talk, they come to the realization that the entire game was designed to act as a tribute for Clara and ironically in their pursuit of the truth, they actually almost undid all the work done to set this up. At the diner, the waitress confirms as much, relaying exactly what happened in plain English with lots of exposition.
However, Janice receives a phone call and races off, prompting Fredwynn to leave too. Simone and Peter meanwhile, head out for a date together where they learn more about each other. Unfortunately things go south when Peter slumps back into his shell again, with his inability to make simple decisions causing Simone to walk away from him. She tells him they’re not on the same wave length yet and he needs time to figure out just who he is.
From here, we jump back in time and see Janice heading to the hospital where Lev happens to be in a bad way. Fredwynn arrives and checks up on Janice before sitting with Lev. Janice continues to be haunted by her younger self but makes a bold decision, realizing she needs to let Lev go as she has her own life to live and needs to do it without his ghost hanging over her.
It’s a sad moment and one that sees us skip ahead to the funeral which the group attends. It’s here that Fredwynn presents the game files and hands them over as a kind gesture. As the team head back home they attempt to return to normality but realize they need each other. Fredwynn in particular struggles to let go of his own niggling issues surrounding Clara and as he looks deeper at the Emerson address, and the urn within supposedly holding Clara’s ashes, he opens the lid and finds sweets. This mystery is far from over.
What happened to Clara? Is she still alive? And are the guys still playing the game? This final mystery is one that certainly opens up a whole world of questions in and of itself but without the clues being followed and the team working together this week, their return to the normal world is certainly dramatic and emotional but lacks the bite needed to really sell some of these big moments.
The beginning reveals with Lee are a welcome touch though and there’s still a couple more episodes to go so we should have a much clearer picture over whether the journey has been worth taking over all these weeks. In the meantime, the stage is set for a dramatic penultimate episode.