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.