Please note that this is a recap and discussion rather than a review, so there are spoilers below for Episode 2 of Reverie, "Bond. Jane Bond." If you haven’t seen it yet and are wondering what we thought of it, just know we liked it enough to want to talk about it each week.
The second episode of Reverie, called “Bond. Jane Bond,” offers us a spy thriller in the form of Rachel Kauffman’s Reverie. What appears to at first be a simple escapist simulation turns into something else entirely when the team discovers she has a previously undisclosed heart condition. It’s up to Mara to go in and get Rachel out. The problem is, even after she’s told that her life may be in danger, Rachel doesn’t want to exit the Reverie.
Through her explorations into Rachel’s past, Mara discovers that Rachel is actually looking for real-life answers in the fake VR world of Reverie. She thinks the program can tell her who her father is (that’s where the spy chase appears to be leading her), and according to Paul, it’s possible. The program may have deduced who her father is based on the data that was input.
But, as Rachel discovers, a virtual reality program — even one as smart as Reverie — is no substitute for real life. She finally meets her father, as he looked when she was a baby, but he can’t give her the answers she so desperately needs. But Charlie can. He tracks down someone who knew Rachel’s dad, and the two are reunited in a touching scene.
Elsewhere, Paul inquires about whether Mara had experienced any side effects from Reverie 2.0. He explains that the updated version of the software digs deeper into the psyche than 1.0 did. We know Mara did see something (her niece, Brynn), though she doesn’t share the details with Paul. He reassures her that these side effects are temporary (the byproduct of “derealization”) and hands over some mild anti-anxiety medication, which Mara is reluctant to take. After all, she just got rid of all her pills, and now she’s having to take more to deal with Reverie.
What’s more, Paul tells Mara to put away all reminders of the person she’s seeing. That’s easier said than done — at the end of the episode, Mara pulls out the picture of her sister and Brynn. And then she looks up from the frame and sees her dead niece again.
We got some answers about Alexis and Dylan in this episode. Mara figured out that Dylan is, or was based on, a real person. But when she asks Alexis about it, Alexis (unsurprisingly) shuts down the line of discussion, saying that Dylan is an AI, nothing more. Later, Paul tells Mara that Dylan was Alexis’s twin brother, who died when he was 10 or 11.
Mara also meets Monica Shaw, who we got a glimpse of at the end of the last episode. This woman means trouble, but what kind of trouble? That isn't quite clear yet.
Is there more to Mara’s visions of Brynn than what we’ve been told?
While Paul has a perfectly reasonable explanation for Brynn appearing to Mara, I still can’t help but wonder if there’s more there than we’re being told. After all, the team doesn’t quite know what the effects of the 2.0 implant are. I'm not convinced this storyline is going to be resolved so neatly.
Why isn’t there a failsafe exit from Reverie?
This episode — and indeed the entire premise of the show — brings up a really pertinent question: Why isn’t there some sort of failsafe that can end people’s Reveries if they choose to stay in the program when they really shouldn’t? Part of that was explained in the first episode: You can’t simply unplug a person from their Reverie. It could have catastrophic effects on the brain.
But the more I’m watching the show, the more it seems like negligence that they wouldn’t have programmed some sort of failsafe before selling the technology. Of course, it’s perfectly believable — how many tech companies these days rush a product to market too soon or shirk responsibility for protecting their users (and/or their data)?
What happened to Dylan?
This is seemingly a minor mystery, but we still don’t know how Dylan died. While it doesn’t seem like a huge deal in terms of the overall story, it probably means a lot to Alexis and her character development.
Reveries are private.
This didn’t seem like a major reveal, but it’s important to the way Onira-tech works (and the structure of the show as well). While the team has access to all the input data that constructs the Reverie, they have no idea what’s going on in the Reverie itself. “Generally, people aren’t comfortable putting together a fantasy if they think someone is looking over their shoulder,” Alexis explains.