'The Key' provides some difficult answers for Mara in Reverie

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Aug 1, 2018, 11:00 PM EDT

This latest episode of Reverie was one that left me reeling at the end of it. We got so many answers to questions that we hadn’t even thought to ask. It’s a doozy, to be sure, but hopefully it will be the beginning of Mara trying to come to terms with her past, rather than forget about it.

After the events of last week, I was so relieved to see that, in the opening scene, Mara has called in Alexis, Paul, and Charlie to help her figure out what to do about her derealization problems. It’s always frustrating when characters don’t trust the people around them to handle their personal issues (it’s such a tired trope), so it’s nice to see that it wasn’t in play in “The Key.”

Before they can make a plan, Charlie receives word that Oliver Hill is unconscious at a hospital after events at the end of "Despedido." Apparently, he specifically wanted to talk to Mara (the message “Deliver Me to Mara Kint” written across his chest isn’t exactly subtle). Once Mara enters his Reverie, he asks her to get Alexis to come talk to him in the program. In exchange, he tells her she can stop derealization by physically removing — not just deactivating — the BCI.

The problem, as Paul and Alexis tell Mara when she confronts them about this possibility, is that once a BCI is physically removed, a new one can never be re-implanted. Mara would lose all access to Reverie. It’s obvious how much they value Mara, because they don’t even want to consider the possibility. But it’s also a testament to how scared Mara is, and how much she’s suffering, that she insists on the procedure. We’ve seen over the course of the season how much Mara’s work at Onira Tech has been helping her recover and come back from a very dark place. The fact that she is willing to give all that up to end derealization is a pretty big deal.

But of course, it doesn’t come to that because Paul makes a discovery: All of Mara’s derealizations are linked. Chris, Ray, Brynn: They’re all somehow connected to the shooting. There’s something that Mara doesn’t know about that event, and the program is trying to tease it out. Mara reacts very negatively to Paul’s discovery at first — she doesn’t even want to think about it, much less go over that day with a fine-toothed comb to figure out what she’s missed, but eventually she comes around.

But then Charlie tells Mara that he’s been keeping something from her about that day. And it’s a shocker: Mara actually talked Ray into committing suicide after he shot her sister and niece. Mara reacts to this news about as well as you’d expect (understandably so), but it’s what she needed to know. When she tries to call the derealizations, they don’t appear. It’s truly over.

Elsewhere, Alexis goes into the Reverie to talk to Hill. It starts off well but quickly degenerates into anger and hurt. But, it turns out, Hill expected that. His request was a diversion to allow his inside man in Onira Tech to steal a key from Alexis’s office. Once he delivers it to Hill, Oliver shoots him and then says he’s going to burn Onira Tech down.

More Alexis, please

We’ve been getting more Alexis in the past few episodes, and I love it. The way she comforted Mara when Mara was questioning whether any of them were real at the beginning of the episode was so wonderful. It was a very technical explanation, but it was the best assurance Alexis could offer, and it was very well done. I’d love to see more of her.

A second season?

There’s just one more episode left in the first season of Reverie. I really hope we’ll see a second season of the show. I truly and genuinely enjoy each and every episode.

What are Mara and Paul up to?

At the end of the “The Key,” Mara and Paul go to visit Ray in the hospital. Once the nurse/orderly is out of the room, they close the door and get to work. Mara clearly wants to interact with him in a Reverie, but why? Does she need closure? An apology? Or something else entirely?

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