Pantheon – Season 1 Episode 2 “Cycles” Recap & Review


Episode 2 of Pantheon starts with Ellen revealing a bombshell to Maddie. Ellen knows what happened to David and through this chapter, we’re about to find out.

The big tech company at play here is Logorhythms, and they’ve come a long way since their CEO, Stephen Holstrom, passed. His words and soul live on through the work they do, with David and Ellen part of this project. All is well until David ends up sick.

With the UI project hanging by a thread, David volunteers for a dangerous and unpredictable project. Essentially, this is a suicidal procedure where the brain is digitally captured while the neural connections are still firing. In other words, they need to scan a living brain. Unfortunately the tissue matter would be peeled away layer by layer by a laser that records everything down to the molecular level.

Ellen is not happy about David signing up for this, despite him having 4 weeks left to live. If it works, David perceives that they’ll have all the time they want together. The thing is, it’ll never actually be him, just his digital imprint.

Back then, Maddie suspected something was up but Ellen kept it secret from her daughter, given it wasn’t guaranteed that the procedure would even work. And unfortunately, the experiment failed and David was lost. At least, that’s what she was told.

Now that we’re in the present, Ellen believes that Peter and Logorhythms have lied and parts of David’s brain mater  survived. Ellen sees this emoji chat hack as some sort of trick, especially as David hasn’t reached out for years. Ellen has outright rejected the idea of her husband returning, having taken a long time to process his death. Ellen shatters the thin shreds of hope Maddie had been clinging to and promises to make those responsible pay.

Caspian and Maddie continue to connect through their computers, with the former revealing that there was a big DDoS attack at Logorhythms. It took them down for 20 seconds and it’s big news all over the forums. While talking though, Maddie mentions Uploaded Intelligence. She’s immediately stopped by another chat message coming up, with someone called “AngryAngel”. They implore her not to talk to Caspian anymore and to meet at the Lone Pine Mall food court at 3pm. “Only I can help you now.” They ominously sign off with.

Caspian’s contacts and going “off-book” by discussing UIs, reaches Logorhythms and they contemplate how to handle this going forward. For now, it’s decided that they continue as planned, with Caspian’s “parents” keeping up appearances.

Over at Maddie’s house, while Maddie is out at the mall meeting her mysterious contact, Peter heads over and reveals more of the truth to Ellen. It turns out Logorhythms partitioned off the part of David’s brain that contained his skill.

A while back, those at the company realized the algorithm wasn’t working as efficiently as they had hoped. It turns out problem solving isn’t just logic and reason, it’s also dependent on emotion. After adding more of David’s emotions into the UI it opened the floodgates of unpredictability. Specifically, in him trying to contact Maddie.

Ellen demands that all of this uploaded consciousness be deleted otherwise she’s going to the press. The trouble is, David is exceeding his programming and even sending messages to those inside Logorhythms, reading “I want my freedom. I want my family.” repeated constantly.

Over at the Mall, Maddie meets her contact, Cody. It turns out his wife Laurie Lowell contacted her, despite being dead for 4 years. Cody admits that she’s not dead, and neither is her father. Much like David’s experiment, Laurie also underwent the same thing when she fell into a coma. Logorhythms did the procedure but it was a bait and switch. They told Cody it was unsuccessful but in reality, they used her consciousness to play the stocks, given she was a promising hedge fund broker in charge of her own trading team before being comatose.

This DDoS attack was actually crafted by Laurie, who tried to break her father out of their digital prison. The thing is, Ellen wanting Logorhytms to delete everything off the server would completely destroy the consciousness of her father, who appears to be very much functional. She’s given a bracelet by Cody which should help her in the next part of this mission.

Maddie decides to tag along with Ellen, determined to fulfil her mission over at Logorhythms. Ellen meets with Pope, the man in charge. He refuses to delete anything to do with David Kim. Pete is not happy, but as they all argue Maddie uses the bracelet to hack into the system.

Everything goes down completely. As a result, Logorhythms are losing millions of dollars by the second… so Maddie makes a deal. They can have everything back when they release David Kim to her. Pete believes he can get in but only within 6 minutes. With time of the essence and the company bleeding money, Pope hands over David Kim and concedes. With two UIs now out on the open internet, it certainly looks set to cause chaos.

As the episode closes out, David Kim is free over the open internet and rings Maddie, asking if she’s ready to complete their adventure.

The Episode Review

With the mystery pretty much resolved this episode, the attention instead turns to Logorhythms and what these uploaded UIs could mean for the future. Could we be gearing up for some sort of war between two sides, battling for supremacy of the open internet? There’s definitely an edge of suspense with this one too, although it’s surprising that Pantheon has already shown its hand and explained what’s happening this early on.

There’s still the subject of Pantheon though and that’s definitely a point of contention here. He could well be the wildcard element to this series but we’ll have to wait and see.

For now though, it appears David Kim has been successfully uploaded and Maddie is about to tumble head-first into this crazy new world order. But how will Logorhythms react? How will they retaliate? We’ll have to wait and see!

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