The Peripheral – Season 1 Episode 8 Recap, Review & Ending Expalined

The Creation of a Thousand Forests

The season finale of The Peripheral starts with a flashback to 2028, in Walter Reed Medical Centre. Flynne sits by Conner, who is in a hospital bed. He tells her he wishes he could reboot like she often does in her sims — go back to the dog and shoot it instead.

Tommy sits in his car, looking at the guns in his hand. He puts them back in the evidence bag and radios in for help. When the police and ambulance arrive, the ENT finds a pulse on Corbell Pickett. The police officers are then told about the shots heard near the medical centre and Tommy rushes there with them. He finds Dee Dee and the pair embrace.

Inspector Lowbeer proposes an alliance to Flynne, Burton and Conner. She offers her resources to help them navigate the coming Jackpot in exchange for their services as Peripherals. Flynne says she wants Lowbeer to help heal her mother. Lowbeer consults with the Aunties and comes back with the news that nothing can be done to help Ella anymore. Everything that could be tried, has been. She says Ella has 23 days left to live. Flynne leaves the Peripheral and wakes up in her own world, distraught. Burton comforts her.

Later that night, Flynne and Ella talk. Ella tells her that when she was first diagnosed, she felt that finally, Flynne will be able to live her own life. Flynne insists that she already has been and she wouldn’t choose differently. But Ella wants Flynne to have the chance to become whatever she wants. She says her father used to call Flynne their little acorn because of all her potential to grow into a giant oak tree. Ella tells Flynne to promise her that she will let that power grow.

Ash reaches out to Cherise Nuland and reveals to her that the R.I.’s data is in Flynne’s head. She asks Nuland if she can stop Zubov from getting his hands on it. Nuland says she can but at an unspeakable price — she’ll accelerate the Jackpot in the stub to get rid of Flynne, in turn destroying decades of research. In return, Ash wants Nuland to kill Zubov.

Flynne logs into the peripheral and wakes up on a bench next to Wilf. He apologises for making it seem like her mother’s recovery was a certainty. When Flynne asks about Aelita, Wilf says she must be dead. He talks about how he doesn’t have a lot of memories of home or even of the transit camp where he lived with his family. It was during a raid on the camps that his father got taken and Aelita took charge of Wilf. They were on the streets for three years after which they got caught and were adopted. They ran away again and lived on their own for eight months in their own little ‘kingdom’. They even had a flag — a hand with no thumb because Aelita believed the opposable thumb was the origin of all human sin. When Wilf fell sick, Aelita gave up everything to bring him back.

Wilf tells Flynne he wants to tell her something but can’t because Lowbeer could be listening to everything. She suggests that they link up, so she can gauge his thoughts from his feelings. They do so. Out loud, Flynne says the names of Lowbeer, Zubov, Aelita and then herself. His memories trigger feelings that Flynne is able to understand. Wilf says his own name out loud and gauge’s Flynne’s reaction. Now aware of their feelings for each other, Flynne and Wilf smile at one another. She asks him about the place he and Aelita had run away to.

Ash and Ossian see Wilf and Flynne rushing off to look for Aelita. When Ossian asks if they should tell Zubov, Ash says they have another master now.

Flynne and Wilf go to the place which is now a public park. They find a peripheral of a younger Aelita waiting for them. She insists that Flynne go away since her peripheral’s eyes and ears can be used by others. Flynne leaves. Aelita reveals to Wilf that the implant they have in their head is used to suppress memories. Memories that she began to remember when she removed hers. She tells Wilf that the Klept killed their families. Five million people were killed in under a fortnight because of the fear of spreading contagion. Other people surround them and Aelita reveals she’s been gathering people who are like them. Now, all they need is the data in Flynne’s head.

Jasper and three men from Pickett’s crew sit in a bar. One of them, Atticus, claims that he will take over the business after Corbell dies. They dismiss Jasper and insult him for not being capable of more than keeping cars clean. Jasper simmers as they drive home. He stops the car in the middle of a railway track and gets out. He calls his wife, Billy Ann. He reminisces about a monopoly game that he had lost. At the time, Billy Ann had told him not to mistake weakness for kindness. But Billy Ann tells him that she married him because of how kind he was. That makes Jasper change his mind but it’s too late, a train arrives and crashes into the car before he can stop it.

In Clanton, Tommy tells Flynne about a warning from Homeland Security about an attack on a nearby missile silo. Flynne logs into her peripheral and finds herself with Ash. She realises Ash already knew. Ash confesses to everything.

Flynne gets Conner to log into his peripheral. She tells him what’s going on and that she needs to open a new stub. He asks her if she’s going to reboot.

Flynne meets Lowbeer to discuss their alliance. Lowbeer can’t open a new stub for Flynne but she can show her how to do it. Flynne insists that Burton can’t know about this plan. This way, Cherise would think that Lowbeer helped her while Flynne’s world gets saved from destruction. Lowbeer sends Flynne to one of the R.I.’s ancillary sites known as a stub portal. Flynne fights off the guard peripherals there. Cherise realises and watches her do it. Inside, Flynne finds a pocket watch that she uses to activate the stub portal. She tells Cherise that she will never be able to find her while Flynne knows exactly where Cherise is. Flynne crushes the watch.

A flashback to Conner and Flynne’s conversation shows that Flynne plans on getting herself killed in her own world, so Cherise doesn’t blow it up. She needs Conner to make it look as if Lowbeer hired someone to do so. She promises they’ll come back to London because she wants to see Cherise dead.

In Clanton, Flynne walks by a creek while Conner is nearby with a sniper rifle. As Flynne counts back from ten, she remembers all her memories with her loved ones. A gunshot reverberates through the air.

Flynne wakes up in a peripheral in London. Lowbeer asks if they should get to work.

A post-credit scene shows Lev Zubov and his wife arriving at a sophisticated establishment. His wife sees three old men waiting for Zubov and asks him what he’s done. After she leaves, Zubov heads to their table. The men tell him Zubov’s father wasn’t feeling well and they’ve come to talk instead. They talk to him about his recent actions putting the Klept at risk. They encourage his probing into the R.I. but tell him to make sure no assets are linked back to him — or they’d have to cut off the whole proverbial tree. After subtly threatening his wife and kids, the men tell Zubov to ‘cauterize the wound’.

The Episode Review

The season finale of The Peripheral is a mixed bag.

While the end of the episode is a nice set-up for the next season, there are quite a few points that don’t really sit right. For one, the reveal about Aelita. Had we been given more hints about what she was up to, the reveal of her intentions to start what is basically a revolution would have made more sense. And therefore, hit much harder.

Instead, it is out of leftfield and we as an audience are expected to roll with it without seeing any of her journey at all. Everything about her and Wilf’s suppressed memories and the murder of their families is also completely new information to viewers. Then, how can the emotional impact expect to hit the right note?

A few other character portrayals come across as unconvincing. Wilf’s reaction to meeting a sister —whom he thought was dead — is surprisingly lukewarm. Flynne’s hostility towards Cherise is appropriate but why doesn’t she feel the same way towards Aelita, who brought her into this mess? Why does Ash go to Cherise only to almost immediately confess to Flynne?

As with the rest of the season, this episode seems to have several moving parts. While each is intriguing in its own way it never quite comes together as a whole. But despite its unsteady structuring, the characters of The Peripheral are fascinating and compelling enough to make one want to watch a second season.

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30 thoughts on “The Peripheral – Season 1 Episode 8 Recap, Review & Ending Expalined”

  1. Unfortunately none of our questions will be answered because there will be no Season 2 or conclusion to this story. Read the book.

  2. Funny lot of comments here, especially all the people apparently certain they’re super clever but don’t understand a thing about the show’s premise and its ending.

  3. No explanation in the episodes of who the Colombians were and how they fitted into the story and who were the people who drove the cloaked cars.
    And I still can’t figure out what exactly the info was that Flynne has supposedly stolen.
    I’ve watched this series three times now and only get to understand it a little more each time. These reviews have helped a lot, thank you.

  4. Jeez all these comments where people don’t get it. Several correct explanations upthread including John and Maximo.

    The one where ghost Flynne somehow transfers to the peripheral before she is shot is BS and confusing ppl. Original Flynne definitely dies to let Flynne mk2 who has all of her memories up to the hidden stub creation continue the fight against the RI from the new hidden stub.

    As others have said the most interesting part is that there are potentially 2 Conor’s and Burtons who might try to use their Peripherals at the same time, if the accelerated jackpot doesn’t happen in the original stub.

  5. Since the only way to travel to her peripheral body in the future timeline was via the headset,which she apparently wasn’t wearing when she died,(unless she wore it out of shot when the gunshot was heard),how the hell could she get to the new stub that she created, and how the hell was lowbeer there,??????, episode 8 really decking sucks, big-time

  6. The Westworld creators see their viewers as idiots or something? Or young viewers are idiots these days? But there were films like “Back To The Future” back then, aimed at young audience, and, although not completely without plot holes, the ideas were smart. While using much simpler language. Here, I can’t understand a word in their endless dialogues, but the story is so nonsensical I feel embarrassed now I’ve taken time to watch it.

  7. I see a potential flaw in this season finale: I understand that by creating a new stub, Cherise can’t access, she stops her from having the ability to destroy the Silo, and therefore won’t need to kill herself. However assuming Cherise doesn’t nuke the original stub – this means there are now two ‘versions’ of Conner and Burton that can access the future. Not sure how that dynamic will play out or if it will even be addressed.

    Also now I give it some thought, the new stub would have to be created before the RI put any plan to destroy the silo in motion. If the right wing militia already exist and are armed whose to say they won’t still destroy the silo. Which mean the ‘new’ version of Flynne should have no memory of her deal with the Met. Anyway food for thought.

    Overall I thought the series was fairly enjoyable. At points it did feel disjointed and confusing. However I think this is inherent in trying to set a fairly complex scene in multiple timelines.

  8. When she created the new stub she duplicated herself. Then she had herself killed off to save the original stub. No one knows where the new stub is so she’s safe and since she has all the memories she logs into the future from the new stub

  9. Some of you really truly do not understand what happened in this finale haha my god. Ok. Stubs are the past. She opened up a new stub. The new stub was dated before she killed herself but still had knowledge of everything that has happened this far. She killed herself in the old stub, to save her town. The reason she came back to the future is because she opened up a new stub. Sheesh, it’s not that hard. I am wondering if the old stub and the new stub can interact with each other since she’s dead in one, can she still talk to her brother that’s in that one? Time travel gets messy and clearly it’s hard for people to understand.

  10. The countdown from 10 to 1 was her entering the peripheral. As she remembers all of her family, she ‘reboots’ into the new stub. I can’t answer why she doesn’t have a headset on, but assume that it might get explained later or maybe she got some new tech…

    Overall I like the show, and the characters. I’ll accept the plot hole and enjoy season two…

  11. The new stub is a clone of Flynn’s stub. Now there are 2. So she can die as her copy will carry on the fight.

  12. To explain the ending, let’s start with what we know. We know there are 2 Flynns…the real Flynn and the peripheral. Before Flynn offs herself in the real world, she created a new timeline where a 3rd (real) Flynn lives. This 3rd Flynn is who we see take control of the peripheral in the last scene. This new timeline must branch off just before she dies so that she has the knowledge of everything leading up to this point and can basically pick up where she left off. They could’ve done a really cool visual to depict this delicate dance, but they made it rather confusing instead.

  13. As I understand it, the original timeline is the one in 2100 w/Wilf, Lev, Lowbeer, and Cherise. In approximately 2090, Cherise and the Research Institute create the stub in which we meet Flynne, Burton, and Conner, This stub has existed for ten years, and it’s 2032 there when the series opens. Flynne creates a second stub in 2032 that presumably begins at her current point in time which means in this stub, she has the data in her head and remembers everything she’s learned and experienced up to this point. She meets Lowbeer, and they begin their plan to bring down the Klept and RI.

    The original 2032 stub still exists, and it’s in this one that Conner kills Flynne in the hope that Cherise won’t feel the need to nuke the state of North Carolina. Flynne’s actions in the Stub Portal prevent Cherise from tracking the new 2032 stub, though Cherise can still access the original stub in which Flynne is now dead. So while we have two 2032 stubs, one is slightly ahead of the other.

    Anyway, that’s the way I see it.

  14. This episode really made me feel like I’ve wasted my time watching this series. A lot like my Westworld experience. And I was really enjoying it until episode 8. It made 0 sense. If she created a new stub that only she knew about, then no one from the future would have contacted her and this timeline’s Flynn wouldn’t have stepped in. She just picked a year, 2035. Not a particular moment in 2035. And if this other stubs Flynn had EXACTLY the same experiences to be able to step in, then this Flynn would have been killed too to save HER family and stub. Maybe the book actually explains it. But, the creative forces behind this show really jumped the shark. I feel bad for the cast. They’re SO good in it.

  15. OK. So when flynn goes to the place w the watch, she open a new stub prior to when she will die but where she still has the headset and ability to go to her peripheral. So that she can sacrifice the 29 flynn, and still have a 28 flynn alive and w the data in her head, that Cherise wont be able to find and kill etc bec flynn destroyed the watch which were the coordinates of flynns new stub. Then 29 flynn is killed and no one but connor and lowbeer know flynn is still alive via the news stubs (the pasts) flynn. So now the town does not blow up bec cherise now has no need and also flynn can hunt cherise down stealth style bec she can no linger track her or see/hear thru flynns peripheral. I hope that helps lol. They could have def explained things better, i had to go back and re watch a lot to makes sense of things. And the reason lowbeer could not make the stub is bec she is tracked and wld be punished severely, and flynn isnt and punishment is irrelevant bec she is going to “kill” herself off . If anyone else has a better theroy please lmk haha.

  16. This show needed a heist like scene where they explain the plan as they walk along so that the less smart people can stop calling the show trash lmao

  17. Again I read one person explanation for after being killed Flynn ended up in in her peripheral body. It still makes no sense due to the only way Flynn could connect to her peripheral was the headset. The show could have at least gave some hint as to how she would achieve this

  18. This season finale was deeply disappointing. I thought I was understanding what was going on and this “finale” made me think I know nothing. If she’s not in her present than there won’t be a jackpot? If so then why is it still like it in the future? And how do they know when Flynn’s mom dies? What are they trying to stop cherise from doing? And whats lev doing? Why did aelita steal the info just to give it to Flynn and how did Flynn get back into the future after dying? And how was it the same future? A stub is just a timeline that branches off right? Prime kinda messed this one up. I was psyched for most the season too

  19. Y’all that don’t understand how she ended up back in the future again let me explain it for your feeble minds. Before that she created/opened another stub, branching off from that exact moment therefore creating another world with her in it. She then gets herself killed with the information so cherish will have no reason to destroy her world. Then the other Flynn’s from the new stub logs on into the peripheral from the new stub since she’s still alive.

  20. agree with others. this ‘ending explained’ explains nothing. i want to sue for my five minutes back. bc DUH. HOW does Flynne get back to her peripheral when her main body is DEAD? please explain THAT…or delete the false advertising ‘ending explained’ clickbait.

  21. the coding branch metaphor was used well and explained clearly repeatedly with ‘reboot’ references. Not sure why others think this episode is ‘trash’. if you enjoyed the journey this far you bought in to the core premise that a historical stub around 2028 is branched out by people in the future. Flynns world is about to be blown up mainline’s influence on the stub. she accepts this and elects to sacrifice herself in hopes her town (stub 2028) won’t be blown up if she’s dead. The stub 2028 may be saved cause Cherise did describe it’s loss as sacrifice she didn’t want to make. Most importantly though, before she gets conner to sacrifice 2029 Flynn, Flynn branches off a new stub (stub 2028.b). The difference is 2028.b isn’t immediately accessible by her Cherise so Flynn and her town aren’t irreversibly doomed and we get to look forward to a second season where Corbell will awaken a childless widower pissed at the world, potentially both versions of the world…2028 (Flynnless) and 2028.b (full power Flynn).

  22. If Flynne is dead how can she be controlling her peripheral? Or can her peripheral travel back into her world(time) therefore it’s her first peripheral that is getting killed which she then jumps into her 2nd peripheral afterwards making everyone except Connor think she’s dead? I’m confused. I was hoping for an explanation.

  23. The whole thing with Flynn ending up back in the future after being killed in a completely normal fashion back home makes absolutely no sense especially since she has no physical connection to the future perhaps if she had a headset on when she died some possibility could’ve been sucked out of this episode but overall it’s just destroyed a whole season that I really enjoyed watching what complete trash. Also I’m thankful that this website could host some comments for people but literally this explain nothing it’s just a summary of the episode Clickbait crap

  24. Fucking trash. Time is linear. Nothing stated challenged that. Therefore this entire series is based around the time before which does not relate to different parallel but rather time travel which is dumb. Parallel universes is much more plausible which would support the ideas. Trash.

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