Episode 6 of Solos begins with word that a blizzard is raging outside and lockdowns are in effect. We skip across to a very pregnant Nera, who awakens from her slumber to make sure the windows are shut tight.
She begins to grow paranoid, checking the doors to make sure they’re locked and hearing the radio glitching out. Despite the lockdown, Nera starts to go into labour, prompting her to ring Dr Burrell. Unfortunately the connection is lost and ringing 911 doesn’t help either.
Suddenly, Nera doubles over and gives birth after a few pushes. If only childbirth was that easy! Holding the child in her arms, Nera weeps. She cuts the umbilical cord and cradles her child in her arms.
After putting him down, her child suddenly and inexplicably grows to being a toddler called Jacob. She sits her child down and tells him to stay put.
He does no such thing, grabbing a knife and standing opposite her. He refuses to hand the knife over as he claims to be protecting himself from her. It seems this child is a result of the Betterbaby solution we’ve seen from before, with vials in Nera’s fridge and Dr Burrell part of this organization too.
Anyway, as Jacob sits at the table Nera talks of a girl in the past who was found in a dumpster and eventually grew up to be alone. She wanted to have a child but unfortunately he didn’t come out the way she wanted. With a knife in hand (and this story very obviously referring to herself) a knock at the door distracts her. It’s the police and apparently she rang after screaming.
Nera tells them she did no such thing and decides against letting them in, claiming she’s there with her son and that everything is okay. As she turns back to face her now-teenage son, she accepts him the way he is.
The Episode Review
So what the heck is going on in this episode? Well, there are a few different stances you could take over what’s happening here.
The first is a more literal interpretation; Nera did give birth and her son aged ridiculously fast thanks to a malfunction with the BetterBaby IVF treatment. Somehow her child is now growing at an exponentially quick rate and will potentially die before the end of the night.
The other (and the one I’m personally more inclined to lean into) is the idea of this being a hallucination. Now, if we’re going by the theme of everything being connected, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that this frightened, isolated woman is concerned that she’s going to raise a baby by herself.
Based on her past she’s been traumatized since she was a child found alone in a dumpster. The blizzard outside has closed off the roads and communications are scattered.
The manifestations of her child growing through time could well be linked to her own fears and worries that she won’t be a good Mother. The fact that her child grows older so quickly reinforces that idea of time and worrying that you’ll miss those golden moments as time slips away like sand running through your fingers.
Either way, this is definitely one of the more thought provoking chapters in the series. It could also tie into episode 4, with Nera part of the Safe Home range. She could well be inside her dream house, especially if the news are reporting lockdowns.
Either way, this character-driven chapter is another good inclusion to this anthology and leaves things on a suitably ambiguous note.