Is This All A Simulation?
Is the game over or are our four friends still playing? It’s a big question and one that’s explored through this 45 minute episode as our different characters struggle to return to their lives following the profound impact the game has had on them.
Episode 9 of Dispatches From Elsewhere sees us return to the world we left behind but 351 days have now passed since the last time we saw our characters. Fredwynn is the one narrating this time, not Octavio, and he talks to us about fleeting happiness and how Peter is haunted by the choices he’s made in the past.
Cutting back in time, Peter visits his therapist and gets some solid advice from her, telling him to experience life. As Peter sets out to do just that, we cut across to see Simone talking to Janice about Peter just after her break-up. She inevitably does run into Peter again and learns what he’s been up to.
He invites her along to watch his magic act but midway through Peter is distracted and it all goes horribly wrong. Simone and Peter do get a chance to sit and talk about their life though, with Peter telling Simone he wants to try and give their relationship a real go.
This brings us back to the scene at the park bench as they both are now seemingly on the right path.
Janice meanwhile continues to talk to her younger self, deciding to meet Peter and Simone in the park given this is their game-iversary. When Fredwynn doesn’t show up, the group become concerned and head off to investigate.
The final piece of this puzzle sees us cut across to Fredwynn after his big reveal last episode. Obsessed, he deep dives into the Clara situation and is determined to solve the mystery.
Fredwynn finds himself consumed by this quest and as the scene fades to black, we see him stepping out from the shadows and into a brilliant white room – The Room Of Transcendence – with Octavio standing before him.
While they talk, in the real world Fredwynn happens to be sprawled out on the sofa and looking the worse for wear, deciding to embrace the Elsewhere.
Janice and the others plead with him to come back and be with them, which he eventually does after a beautiful montage showing their time together. With newfound clarity, Fredwynn leads the others to Clara’s house where they speak to Lee, admitting they know the truth about the urn.
It’s here we jump back and see Clara talking about augmenting reality and changing people’s perceptions about the world around us, presumably not long after joining Lee at Jejune. With Octavio listening in, we cut forward to see him pitching The I.D.E.A. to a board-room of hungry investors.
Clara’s idea is distorted and changed thanks to advertising and capitalism, turning people into “a coach potato with a credit card” as Octavio so eloquently words it.
As Octavio hands the floor over to Clara, she shakes her head and fades from view as Lee takes her identity for her own. Jumping back to the present, Lee tells them this whole game was her way of trying to get redemption with Clara.
A little boy wearing clown make-up arrives not long after, prompting Peter to go with him as the screen distorts and crackles. The others decide to join too, and as the episode ends we’re left with plenty of questions hanging over this one.
Are the group currently in a simulation? Or is this another red herring? The fact Clara completely disappeared from view without anyone there batting an eye (except Lee who admitted to creating this “game”) certainly raises the possibility that this is what’s going on.
The segments involving Octavio and the initiation could be the moments upon entering the game but as we’ve been told throughout the show, finding purpose and meaning is really what this has all been about. All four of these characters need each other, in one way or another, and that’s a pretty beautiful message of comradeship.
With the finale next week who knows how this one will end but right now, Dispatches From Elsewhere certainly delivers a really intriguing hook to keep you coming back to find out what happens next.