Tuesday, November 1, 2022

The Peripheral - Empathy Bonus

While Burton (Jack Reynor)  and his soldier buddies deal with the mercenaries and the fallout of their attack on the house, Flynne Fisher (Chloë Grace Moretz) returns to virtual reality for answers meeting the fixer Wilf Netherton (Gary Carr) and his boss who need Flynne's help in finding the missing Aelita West (Charlotte Riley). The episode continues to be intentionally cagey with the reasons for why Aelita is needed and why Flynn needs to be the one to find her in ways that feel more for the audience's benefit than for legitimate story reasons (as a more straightforward approach would likely have been quicker to earn her trust).

The episode begins to explore the idea of time-travel through VR with Flynne's consciousness taking control of a peripheral or robot made to look like her (rather than her brother going forward). The group offer an incentive in attempts to win over Flynne and prove the truth of their outlandish claims to be from the future providing both money for the group's safety (which they will need as the other side has begun looking for new agents) and medical relief for Flynne's mother (Melinda Page Hamilton).

As with the first episode, "Empathy Bonus" continues to slowly build out an interesting story, although its coyness over how little it choses to share per episode does get a little exasperating. Two episodes in, we know what Flynne needs to do (stay alive and find the missing woman in the future) but, as yet, we haven't been given much reason to root for her (other than Moretz's likability) or been provided any reason to think these actions are important in the larger scheme of things. I'm also already quite bored with the subplot of Louis Herthum as the small-town heavy which it appears will be drawn-out for at least another episode.

  • Title: The Peripheral - Empathy Bonus
  • IMDb: link

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