The most suspenseful moment in this episode is where Chris vanishes, possibly to be force-upgraded to Windows 10 by the WAU. And just so you know: He didn’t come back. We have no idea how that drama turned out.
Yes, point and laugh at the 20 minute mark when I was lamenting how Catherine never explained what she was feeling, when she just got done doing that. Still, that statement felt like it should be the start of a discussion, not the end of it. The question of “What are these two characters experiencing in a physical sense?” was always in the forefront of my mind, and the game was very coy about it.
In this episode, Simon dreams. That’s the most concrete bit of evidence that this computer-based brain is honestly having a go as simulating human brain activity on some fundamental level.
Also, once again I have to commend the team for doing a proper dream sequence. In far too many movie dreams, the writer is just so childishly excited about the part where they get to pretend to kill someone important and then do the “Ha ha! It was all a dream!” thing. The problem is that when you do this, you can only do this. If you’re trying to pretend this is real, then you can’t put crazy dream stuff in there, since that would spoil the “surprise”. Which is why dream sequences are usually so terrible. They exist only for the sake of the surprise, which usually doesn’t even work because the trick is so played out.
Here, the writer skipped the trick and actually did something interesting. They kept it short, because overly long dream sequences are annoying. They made it feel dreamlike by hiding Ashley’s face and presenting the sort of unrealistic scenario Simon might dream about. It provided a nice time gap, so we wonder how long Simon has been asleep. And it provided a nice contrast of his old life and the new. We spend just enough time in his comfy little apartment to be reminded of just how much it must suck to be stuck in his current situation.
Also, as promised: This is a Trent Reznor song.
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