Episode 7 of Reverie aired July 18th, on NBC.
Yikes, there’s a glitch in the matrix! Well, not the matrix, but the Reverie.
This Isn’t Real
The episode started with Mara and Paul playing around in Reverie. Paul is showing Mara how he has learned to float in the air. He stands on a tree stump and leans forward till only his toes are on the stump, and he doesn’t fall, he just floats there in the air, defying gravity. Mara is amazed at how this is possible, and Paul explains to her that if you remember that it isn’t real, then you can do things you wouldn’t be able to do in the normal world. As Paul says, “In here everything is possible. All you have to do is believe. And practice.” This is a point that will be very important later in the show. After Paul crashes to the ground (oops), he and Mara start to head back to Onira-Tech, only something goes wrong. Paul makes it back, but the Reverie breaks up and all of a sudden Mara is somewhere else.
Mara finds herself in an abandoned warehouse where she hears someone calling for help. She finds a frightened young boy, handcuffed to a chair in a locked room. Mara can’t get in, but she tells him her name and he says his name is Ehmet. He says he was put in a van and blindfolded, and that he woke up there. She tries to explain that the Reverie isn’t real, that it’s all in his head, but he says she’s lying, just like the US Military soldier who asked him what he knew about an attack on an air force base and then didn’t believe Ehmet when he said he knew nothing. Mara tells Ehmet that he can get out, all he has to do is say the word “Exitus.” Much to Mara’s surprise, when the boy tries it, nothing happens. And it’s the same for Mara, “Exitus” does nothing for her either. The boy freaks out, he believes she is “one of them,” and Mara assures him that she’s there to help, but the Reverie breaks up again and throws her out.
Back at Onira-Tech, Paul and Alexis explain to Mara and Charlie that each Reverie has its own I.P. address and that sometimes they can get crossed, and this appears to be how Mara ended up in this Reverie. There’s more to that story, but we’ll talk about that in a bit.
The Team Goes to Work
Dylan does a database search and they find a post from Ehmet’s brother, Kareem, listing Ehmet as a missing person. Ehmet is a Syrian refugee who was living in Canada and has been missing for one week. He was detained at the LA airport by US Customs. Paul and Alexis discover that the I.P. address for the Reverie where Ehmet is being held is registered to the US government. The team puts the pieces together and they confront Monica, who admits that there’s a pilot program underway, and that the defense department is using Reverie for interrogation. They’re putting suspects in the Reverie, where they can torture them without repercussion. Yikes.
Mara discovers that there was an attack on an American base in Turkey nine months ago, and the investigation uncovered a terrorist organization that was targeting Syrian refugees and trying to radicalize them. Apparently the US government thought that Ehmet was a part of it.
The plan is to send Mara back in, but there’s a couple of problems: first off, they still don’t know where Ehmet’s actual body is, so even if they get him out, they can’t get to him. Secondly, they can’t access voice commands so “exitus” won’t work, a mandala is Mara’s only way out of the program.
Mara attempts to go back to the Reverie, but the program won’t let her in. More than two users can’t be in there at once, so that means someone else is in there: the interrogator. Meet Drew Sullivan, played by the awesome Mac Brandt.
Mara pays a visit to Kareem, who tells her about their father who wanted them to come to America so he and Ehmet could study at the University of Michigan. Their father died while they were escaping Syria. Kareem denies any involvement with terrorists, and says that Ehmet is terrified of violence. He tells her how they fled the country, how their boat nearly sank, and how all their paperwork was lost in the water.
Mara finally gets back in to the program and gets Ehmet freed, but he runs from her because Drew told him that Mara was lying.
Speaking of Drew, he pays a visit to Onira-Tech, says that he knows Mara was in there, and threatens to charge them with providing support to terrorists. But while he’s there our clever gal Alexis hacks his phone and gets into his GPS. Now they can find out where Ehmet is being held.
Back in the Reverie, the kid is scared to death and doesn’t know who to trust. Mara tells him about talking to his brother, and she shares with him how she had problems with trusting people, too. She asks Emhet to put his trust in her, and he does. They head back to the mandala, but there’s a problem, there are two guys with guns guarding it. They’re only avatars, of course, but still dangerous if you don’t remember that this is not real.
Mara is able to lead one of the guys away and locks him up in another room. When they go back, the other guy is gone, so they make a break for the mandala, and that’s when everything falls apart. Some sort of a chasm opens up between them and the mandala, and the guard comes back and starts shooting.
Mara and Emhet make it into another room, and then discover that Mara has been shot. She’s bleeding badly. This is where that conversation she and Paul had at the beginning begins to come back around. Mara knows that this isn’t real, and if she could really believe that, she would be okay. But she’s having a tough time believing, so that damn bullet inside her seems very real, and Mara is in trouble. She’s getting worse by the second, and she makes a plan.
She comes out of the room, and while she has the guard’s attention, Emhet runs out and knocks him into the abyss between them and the mandala. Emhet finds a board and stretches it across, but Mara has lost a lot of blood and she’s too weak to make it. Emhet has to carry her. He starts across the board, but he’s terrified. Mara reminds him that this isn’t real, and he is finally able to make it to the other side safely. Ehmet exits through the mandala, and then Mara gets out, too.
Back at Onira-Tech, Mara tells Paul about the shooting. And when she lifts her shirt up, there’s a nasty bruise where she was shot. This isn’t supposed to happen, apparently, and Paul says he will look into it.
Charlie had talked to Kareem and was able to locate a documentary that was filmed in the refugee camp where Kareem and Ehmet were at the time of the air base attack, thus proving that they were not involved. Charlie and Alexis tracked down Drew with the GPS, and showed him the proof.
Charlie brings a very grateful Ehmet and Kareem back to Onira-Tech. Mara hugs Ehmet and tells him he is strong, that not many people could go through what he did and come out the other side. Amen to that.
So, remember I said there was more to the story about the two Reveries crossing? Charlie is no dummy, he figured out that Monica set it all up. She couldn’t stop the interrogations herself and risk losing her job, so she had Onira-Tech “discover” it, knowing that they would put a stop to it. Well done, Monica. Next time maybe let us in on it a little sooner.
Sometimes You’re Just Ready for Whatever Comes
So, I guess my hopes for a romance between Mara and Paul are out—in the end of the show, Mara invites Chris over, they talk, kiss, and then well, you know …. So I guess I’ll have to be okay with this Chris guy—but I do wish he’d shave that ridiculous mustache.
Still haven’t seen anymore of Oliver, but I’m guessing we’ll see him and dark Reverie soon.
I found episode 7 to be a very timely one. Emhet is a Syrian refugee, and he’s been falsely accused and imprisoned, his brother having no idea where he is or if he’s okay. While the show may be fiction, unfortunately this is only too close to the horror story that is happening right here in the good ole USA every day. Kudos to the writers for this timely story line.
Reverie returns July 25th, 10/9 C on NBC.
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