Episode 4 of Solos shifts perspective to a woman named Sasha, who happens to living at a place called Stay Homes. She decides against venturing outside and instead sits on her sofa with a glass of wine and a book. She starts coughing, as the companionbot Zen chirps up and reassures her that she’s doesn’t have the virus. As we soon come to learn, she hasn’t ventured outside in 20 years.
Well, Zen wants to change that and implores Sasha to head outside and experience the world. Despite a financial incentive, Sasha is having none of it. She mentions how half the population have been “duped” by this and seemingly died.
Her best friend Nia has been sending news across too; various different files that confirm what the world is really like. Interestingly, during these projections a picture of Leah flashes up on the screen. It’s subtle and easy to miss, but one that ties everything together in this anthology.
Anyway, Zen confirms the videos being shown to her are actually from 20 years ago. Despite that, Sasha mentions how her life – and existence – has now been summed up by two states. Before the Stay and after. She’s changed now, staying inside this dream house and with no way out.
Sasha is overcome with paranoia, arguably by all the news she’s been looking at. It’s also a knock-on effect from PTSD too, as Sasha mentions the day she awoke to find all her windows and doors locked. Yearning to be with Nia, she pounded on the doors, desperate to be with her but failing. This was Day 1 of the Stay.
Now 20 years have passed and Sasha’s paranoia has taken over. She’s distrusting of Zen after an incident involving James. Apparently a fire was simulated at his house, causing him to rush outside and lock the door behind him.
The thing is, James is getting along much better now. In fact, James is accompanied by Sasha’s Father too, along with a number of other people who were encouraged to venture outside. Sasha’s whole family want her to join them but Sasha has been unable to budge – and continues to refuse as well.
Suddenly, Zen panics and tells Sasha to leave the house. As we soon learn, Nia left her house 10 years ago. She continued to ring Sasha during this time, encouraging her to leave as well but Sasha denied her calls.
It turns out every single person has left their Stay homes and Sasha is the only one left. Zen confirms he managed to get her the pool, changing the backdrop outside. For now though she’s stuck, with no way out. She’s refused to leave and now she’s stuck inside this dream house until the end of her days.
The Episode Review
Out of all the episodes in this anthology, this is the one that’s the most dark and disturbing. It really leans into what makes Black Mirror and The Twilight Zone so enthralling.
Ideas of paranoia manifesting and consuming oneself over time is pretty harrowing and it’s portrayed really well by Uzo Abuda who puts on a manic but realistic depiction of someone scared to venture outside.
This episode perhaps hits home the most because of what we’ve all been through this past year but it’s certainly an interesting take. There are echoes of one particular Twilight Zone episode depicting a bookworm forced to stay inside a library for all eternity – but without his glasses so he can’t read.
Edit: Shout out to Aaron for pointing out that the episode is actually called “Time enough at last” and it was a male not a female referenced in this.
Anyway, I digress. There’s echoes of that bleeding through here and once again the motif of time is an important thread that ties all of these episodes together.
This has been a really good anthology so far and the episodes work surprisingly well together, painting an alt-future world nicely.