Maniac Season 1 Episode 10: Option C Recap

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With Option C, we reach the end the beginning of the road. That is to say, we come full circle. The drug trial ends, and the subjects are paid off and sent back to their day-to-day lives. Owen and Annie attempt to make changes in their lives, following up on what they experienced in their reflections.

The doctors are forced to change their lives, after the unexpected way the trial ended. They are sent out into the real world, no longer able to use their careers as an excuse to hide behind their computers in windowless rooms. All of the main characters spend the episode building toward striking out on new adventures, but we’ll have to wait to see if Maniac stays a “limited” one season series, or if it gets a season 2, before we find out if we get to follow the next stage of their development.

Option C begins with the subjects waking up from their “C” pill experience. They are dazed, overheated, and dehydrated. Owen asks Annie if she’s okay, but she just tells him, “Not now.” As the subjects stumble from the experiment room, James and Greta stand outside the door and say helpful things like, “You’re alive!” and, “You woke up!” They get it together after a minute and act as though they’re in a receiving line, congratulating the subjects and asking Owen if he feels pure, unaffected joy.

Owen tells Greta that he’s a huge fan and has read all of her books. That explains why he was able to understand Gertie, and she liked him so much. I wonder if Greta is Owen’s fantasy mother, when he dreams of replacing his own.

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Maniac Season 1 Episode 9: Utangatta Recap

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In episode 9, the “C” pill brings the subjects to confront the core of their fears. If Owen becomes the sweet, unguarded, lovable person that he was meant to be, but that person is a huge screw up, will he be worthy of protection and love? Porter was willing to sacrifice Owen in order to save Jed, but Owen now understands that there’s nothing he can do to inspire that kind of loyalty from his family. Nor should he aspire to. But can he inspire it in someone? Can he matter to someone, even if he’s a failure?

Annie needs to say goodbye to Ellie, but what’s really holding her back is her fear that she’ll never find anyone else, or, even if she does, she’ll lose them, too. Can she put aside her fear, anger and self-loathing, and use her strength, boldness and courage to trust, protect and love someone again? Can she believe in herself enough to be the hero who saves someone?

We’re about to go all super-spy to find out. Owen is Snorri Agnarsson, a blonde Icelandic diplomat who discovered and befriended a blue alien named Ernie. Ernie was sent to help mankind, and had made some progress. Snorri was scheduled to introduce him to the world, when Snorri’s careless mistake with a vodka gimlet killed Ernie. Now the world debates how to punish Snorri and to defend against Ernie’s people. Annie appears as a stone cold assassin, sent by the US government to save Snorri and awaken him to his true identity and purpose.

Owen and vodka gimlets just shouldn’t mix.

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Maniac Season 1 Episode 8: The Lake of the Clouds Recap

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The Lake of the Clouds continues the “C” pill stories that were begun in episode 7. Owen is still his father’s #2 in their mob family business and working for the police as a snitch. Annie is still a half elf who’s showing her elven princess sister to a magical lake that they hope will lift a fatal curse from her. Gertie/Queen Gertrude is still working with Greta and threatening Annie. James and Azumi are still tense.

The episode picks up with Annia and Ellia back in their cave, arguing about the nature of reality. Annia has tried to explain the truth of the situation to Ellia, but she’s not buying it.

Ellia: So you’re telling me you believe that this is not the real world. That some other world, your world, is the true world. And that I’m confused who I am, as is every other elf, human, orc, dwarf, hobgoblin… The entire world is mad but you’re not? Is that what you think?

Annie: Yes.

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Maniac Season 1 Episode 6: Larger Structural Issues

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We take a break from Annie and Owen’s brains in episode 6, in order to help Gertie with her depression and get to know James and Azumi better. This gives us a chance to meet James’ famous mother, pop psychologist Dr Greta Mantleray, who served as the inspiration for Gertie’s underlying code when Azumi created her.

I could watch an entire series devoted to Greta, James and Azumi alone in a room together. Their relationship dynamics and power plays are a hilarious joy to watch, with Queen Sally/Greta/Gertie stealing the show.

After the “B” pill experience, Annie pursues a closer relationship with Owen, but he’s too wrung out to cope with her. After being lied to by James, and betrayed within the reflections, he’s too discouraged to put himself through any more. Gertie proves that she’s a world-class therapist by using some reverse psychology on Owen. Or does she??? As a result, he decides to stay to protect Annie.

We begin episode 6 with the Odds, other than Annie, returning from their “B” pill experience. Owen’s proximity test is edited together with the rest of the odds. #5 doesn’t feel there was any meaning at all to his experience of hammering people to death while searching for his dead father’s bowling balls. I’m sure he’s right. #11 feels that people place too much blame on their parents for their problems. #7 wants to know if Dr Greta is James’ mother, and if she’s the one who messed him up. He’s definitely right. And #3 admits that she gets more of a rush from telling people she cuts than from actually cutting.

I think the most usable data is likely to come from Annie and Owen.

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