Episode 2 of Reverie aired June 6th, on NBC.
This week we found out that recreating memories and dead loved ones is not the only thing Reverie can do—a client can feed stories that they like into the program and it can generate a fantasy for them (very cool, can I do a TV show? Lost, maybe?). Our client this week designed her Reverie like a spy story. Why? Because “spies are tough. They kick ass. They work alone. They know that everybody lies to them.” Meet Rachel Kauffmann, AKA, Bond. Jane Bond.
Sounds Like Vader
In real life, Rachel has been hurt. People have lied to her. She doesn’t trust anyone and she pushes people away because she doesn’t want to be hurt again. She goes to Reverie for an adventure.
Inside the program, our Agent Kauffmann is met in a hotel lobby by a man named Keystone. He gives Rachel her assignment target: a scientist specializing in unconventional weapons, he’s developed a new bio weapon and he’s offering it to the highest bidder. His codename is Vater (but Rachel thinks it’s Vader, like Darth Vader). The mission is to find him and stop him.
Three of Vater’s men charge in with guns and the bullets start flying. Rachel is a bad ass, she comes out shooting, kills off a bad guy, and then rushes outside after the target. But when she sees him, she has a very strong emotional response. She recognizes this guy, Vater.
Back at Onira-Tech, after only one day in the program, Rachel’s spy activities are causing her heart to skyrocket dangerously, and Charlie calls Mara to go get her out.
From her brand new beautiful office, Mara enters Rachel’s Reverie, and finds her in a hotel casino. She follows her into a restroom where two of Vater’s men are threatening her. Mara speaks up, “Um, hello, I’m Mara Kint, we need to talk.” Much to her surprise, one of the bad guys attacks Mara. (Later, Paul explains that this means the program recognizes her now. Apparently this is a good thing, Paul was very tickled about it.) Rachel knocks the bad guys out and finds a key card in one of their pockets. With Mara chasing her, trying to explain that her heart is beating too fast and that she needs to leave the program or she could die, she goes to room 1159 in search of a clue, which she finds in a book: a fuel receipt for a boat marina. She tells Mara she’s not leaving.
Mara goes and does some investigating. She finds that Rachel’s mom died from cervical cancer and that her dad was never around. She was raised by her aunt, who lied to her about not knowing who her father was. When the aunt died, Rachel found a photo of her mom and her dad together. And the man in the photo looks an awful lot like our Vater. That’s when Mara discovers that the German word “Vater” means “father.” Reverie is magical, it can sense what a person needs and create that inside the program. Rachel started off just looking for an adventure, but the program knew that she wanted a father, that she was alone and needed her father in her life, so it put him inside her Reverie.
Armed with this knowledge, Mara goes back in and finds Rachel at Vater’s house. He invites them in, and confirms to Rachel that he is her father, but when she tearfully begins to ask questions, he can’t answer them. He doesn’t have the answers, because she doesn’t have the answers. Mara tells Rachel its time to go. Rachel says the magic word, “Exitus,” and she’s back in her body and her heart goes back to normal.
In the meantime, urged by Mara, Charlie has managed to track down a man who knows Rachel’s father. It turns out that he didn’t just choose to not be in her life. Her mom was single and she wanted a baby, so he volunteered to be the father, but she told him that he could not be a part of the baby’s life. Rachel goes to meet her father finally, and he welcomes her into his family with open arms, and tells her that he never forgot about about her, and that he had always hoped the day would come when they would meet. And this is where I had to reach for my tissues.
Throughout the show, Mara continues to have visions of her niece, Brynn, carrying that stuffed bunny. In one incident she chases down a frightened little girl, thinking it’s Brynn, but it’s not. Charlie sees this and asks Paul to talk to Mara. She confesses to Paul that she’s had a couple of episodes, and he explains that this is called derealization. It’s basically like how we sometimes look at a bright light and when we close our eyes we still see it. 2.0, Paul says, digs deep into the conscious and recognizes images that you’re emotionally connected to—sometimes it will latch onto one of them. Paul assures Mara that it’s temporary, and that she should put away anything that reminds her of the person she’s seeing, and he gives her anti-anxiety pills to take when she needs them.
Mara also receives a stern warning from Charlie—”that device in your brain is incredibly powerful, don’t mess with it.” But against Charlie’s advice, when Mara hears something in her apartment, she pushes the pills aside, and gets out the photo of her niece. It works, Brynn appears right in front of her. Mara smiles and says, “Hi, there.”
Mara Isn’t the Only One Playing with a Ghost
Remember Dylan? Onira-Tech’s AI? Dylan was the twin brother of Alexis, who died when he was ten or eleven. As they watch Alexis play a game of backgammon with Dylan, Paul tells Mara that Alexis has never revealed to anyone how Dylan died. I’m guessing we’re going to find out, and that it’s going to have something to do with why she created Reverie. And … I suspect something is up with Charlie. He won’t let Dylan into his office, and I have a sneaking suspicion he’s hiding something.
I gotta say, I am impressed with Reverie so far. We have new clients each week with emotional story lines, and then we have our major players dealing with haunting pasts of their own—it all makes for a fantastic hour of tv, and I’m really rooting for the show to do well. What about you? What’s your thoughts on the series so far?
Reverie returns with a brand new episode June 13, 10/9C, on NBC.
Before you go: