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Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

’Despedida’ reminds us that Mara still has a long way to go on Reverie

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Jul 25, 2018, 11:00 PM EDT

This latest episode of Reverie, called “Despedida,” was a sweet one on the surface, but there was quite a bit of darkness lurking at its core. It began with an elderly woman named Pilar, who enters a Reverie against the advice of the nursing home she’s in. Her doctor comes to Onira Tech and requests that they remove her from the system, or she’ll be sent to a state nursing home.

Mara, of course, goes in to figure out what Pilar needs from her Reverie and how to get her out. She’s greeted with the vibrant scenes of Chile, as young Pilar falls in love but sees her life derailed by a coup. Mara vows to bring Pilar and the man she loves, Joaquin, together one last time.

Only it turns out that Mara entirely misread the situation, and Pilar isn’t trying to reunite with Joaquin in her Reverie. Instead, she is trying to save a group of young girls. The story here becomes really heartwarming as Mara and Pilar get the girls out of town. Only it turns out Pilar did this in real life; her problem is that she loses track of them after she saves them. And Pilar wants to live out the rest of her days in the Reverie with the girls she loves.


Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

Mara does finally convince Pilar to leave, and in a tearjerker of a moment (which warmed even my cold dead heart), she reunites Pilar with one of her girls in real life. It’s an incredibly sweet moment, and it reminds us how important Mara’s work at Onira Tech is and how much of a difference she’s making in people’s lives. It’s clear how rewarding she finds it and how much it’s helping Mara recover.

Elsewhere, Paul is still very concerned with Mara’s derealization issues, and specifically Mara’s bruises after getting shot in the previous episode’s Reverie. “The Reverie experience isn’t supposed to leave a mark,” he says. That’s kind of the entire point. Mara tells him to figure it out with Alexis while she helps out Pilar.

Alexis and Paul realize that Oliver Hill knows more about derealization than they do, so Alexis arranges to meet with Hill. You can tell how difficult it is for her, and Hill knows as well. He also knows she didn’t tell Charlie what’s going on. He’s incredibly perceptive; based on the limited information that Alexis gives him, he’s able to infer that the military has Reverie’s source code. Alexis asks him for help identifying the glitch that caused physical trauma based on a Reverie experience; he says it’s possible that it was due to the crossed Reverie Mara experienced, rather than an actual problem with Reverie 2.0. The question is, was he telling the truth?


Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

Mara’s derealization issues are getting worse

At the end of my “Blue Is the Coldest Color” recap, I wondered if we’d seen the last of Mara’s derealization issues. Were they a way to introduce Oliver Hill, the co-founder of Onira Tech, or was there something deeper going on? It turns out that it’s the latter. Not only were Mara’s bruises from “The Black Mandala” a product of derealization, but it also turns out that relationship with Chris she’s rekindled? It’s all in her mind. This development is terrifying, as Mara realizes just how bad things have become.

What is Hill doing?

Seriously. What is he doing? It’s clear he has some sort of complicated agenda, and that he’s finally getting what he wants. At the end of the episode, he stands in the middle of a bar and enters a Reverie. Naturally, he collapses once that happens, and everyone rushes over to make sure he’s okay. This means part of his plan was to get attention. Presumably, we’ll see the rest of it unfold over the remaining episodes of the season.

We’ve got two episodes left in the first season of Reverie. I’ve really enjoyed how it’s unfolded so far, and can’t wait to see how the writers wrap up the story. My fingers are crossed for a Season 2 renewal!

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