Joko Anwar’s Nightmares and Daydreams – Episode 4 “Encounter” Recap & Review


Episode 4 of Joko Anwar’s Nightmares and Daydreams starts in 1985 when a group of fishermen go looking for shellfish. Rusman accuses Wahyu of being a cheater because he started working earlier than the rest and always collected more shellfish.  This causes a fight between the fishermen.

Wahyu finally goes back home after selling off the fight he had collected. He hides the money in his house when his wife – Dijah arrives from work. He tells Dijah that he will be going to look for his mother in Saudi Arabia. However, the two have an argument based on the accusation made by Rusman that night.

Dijah offers a cupcake to celebrate his birthday and tells him that it would be difficult for her to skip work to look for his mother. Dijah claims that there is a possibility that his mother was dead and did not want to see him but Wahyu is adamant about looking for her. Wahyu talks to Dijah about his mother and remembers fond memories of her from when he was little. Dijah agrees to go to Saudi Arabia with him and they agree to save up enough to go the following week.

That night, Wahyu wakes up and hides his money in a different location as Dijah had seen the previous spot of hiding. However, he hears loud fighting outside but does not leave his cottage. Rusman calls Wahyu a coward for not coming out to help them fight the government officials who were forcing them to leave their houses.

Later that night villagers are watching a movie due to a power cut and Dijah is there too. However, Wahyu goes to work despite a storm warning. There, he notices something in the sky and quickly uses the instant camera Dijah had given him to snap a photo. Wahyu rushes home and shivers while telling Dijah that he saw an angel in the sky. He shows her the photo and they call in the villagers to their house.

The villagers discuss if the object Wahyu saw was an angel after all. The villagers discuss that Wahyu could be the chosen prophet but Rusman rubbishes the thought and leaves. The remaining villagers conclude that Wahyu is indeed gifted and look upto him. A journalist who is writing about the government evicting the villagers tells the fishermen they were doing so to build an elite apartment complex in place of the village.

Ustad tells the journalist that Wahyu saw an angel by the sea and claims that he was a prophet. He suggests that the village could use the idea that Wahyu was a prophet and use it to save the village. The wives of the fishermen discuss the angel that Wahyu saw and how he could be a prophet. Dijah grows curious and goes back home to find Wahyu holding the packet of cash he had hidden on the roof.

Dijah accuses Wahyu of trying to hide the money from her. The two argue but Wahyu reminds his wife that he wanted to meet his mother one last time. The next day, Wahyu wakes up to see that Dijah had fled with Ohim, a fellow fisherman that Rusman claimed she was hooking up with. Wahyu is heartbroken to learn that Dijah had taken all the money he had saved along.

However, the journalist shows up at Wahyu’s house and tells him that his boss is willing to publish the photo of the angel in his newspaper. Wahyu is unsure about it but when he learns that he will receive 8 million rupiah for it, he agrees. Rusman and his wife overhear the conversation between Wahyu and the journalist.

Just then, a fellow villager shows up there and asks Wahyu to help them as some government officials are forcefully getting the villagers to sign a blank document. Rusman fights with government officials and one of the men threatens to shoot Wahyu. However, his gun does not fire a bullet when pointed at Wahyu.

This gives the villagers all the more reason to believe that Wahyu is a prophet. Rusman beats the government officials with a cane. That night, the officials show up and beat Rusman when he is alone. They beat up his wife and asked him to pay them 3 million rupiah. Worried that the government officials will kill him and his wife, Rusman decides to take the angel’s photo from Wahyu.

However, the villagers show up and talk to Wahyu, asking him to help them. Rusman leaves and is forced to wait outside as the villagers guard Wahyu’s house, protecting him. Wahyu waits inside the house as the villagers hope for some divine intervention from him. The next night, Rusman shows up with a villager from the neighbouring village.

Rusman claims that the photo from Wahyu is fake and asks the villagers to get Wahyu to show him the photo. Wahyu tells Rusman and the other villagers that he had faked the photo. He adds that he had done so to feel important to the villagers. The villagers, especially Ustad are hurt by Wahyu’s comment and they leave his house. Rusman gets angry and looks for the photo inside Wahyu’s house.

Upon finding the photo of Wahyu’s mother, Rusman tears it up. Rusman finally finds the photo that Wahyu had destroyed and calls him good for nothing. At the same time, a bunch of government officials and military soldiers show up at the village to vacate it. Wahyu breaks down seeing the torn-up photo of his mother.

Suddenly an earthquake shakes Wahyu’s house up. He leaves the house and looks outside to find the angel in his mother’s form. The angel tells Wahyu that he indeed was a prophet and gives him the power of knowledge. Back in the real world, Wahyu wakes up in his house to the villagers fighting the soldiers. He goes outside and tries to stop the clash.

The episode ends with Wahyu being lifted in the air between the two parties as the villagers and the soldiers get on their knees to worship him.

The Episode Review

This episode does not connect with the rest of the show so far and I wonder what the point of showing a human being turned into a prophet means. From the episodes we have seen so far, the show is trying to use supernatural elements to deliver a message.

From what we see here, it looks like Joko Anwar is trying to tell the viewers that one should not look down upon the weak as they possess the power of knowledge. As enjoyable as this show has been so far, I wish the story had some connection between each episode to make it even more engaging to watch.

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Expect a full-season review later this weekend!

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