Reverie: 1.04 Blue Is The Coldest Color
There was a lot going on in this week's episode; not only was the 'case of the week' the most interesting use of the premise yet, Blue Is The Coldest Colour also expanded the show's own mythology as Mara Kint encountered a mysterious Onira Tech co-founder Oliver Hill and the darker side of the company she works for.
Rather than trying to save a user who had become trapped in the Reverie program, Mara was tasked with entering the dream world of the person that had stolen one of the devices from the company. The selling of black market Reverie technology opened up the world of 'Dark Reverie, where users can it to access their ultimate fantasies; entering a dream world where you can be completely uninhibited; it's a natural if disturbing progression for a technology when last week Paul Hammond was telling Mara about all the therapeutic benefits it could bring. Of course, you only have to consider what the internet is used for to consider just how far those fantasies could go.
It's also disturbing to think just how much the Kathryn Morris' Department of Defence agent Monica Shaw is interested in the use of Reverie 2.0. Mara uses it to enter the worlds others have created, but the nefarious aspect of invading other's privacies and potentially controlling their dreams is something Reverie is alluding to, even at these early stages.
It also seems that the side effects of Reverie 2.0 are more disturbing than Paul first hinted. Mara's encounter with her dead niece in the old house at the end of last week's episode was soon revealed to be a hallucination that led her to walking into oncoming traffic in a trance-like state. In saving her life, she encountered Jon Fletcher's Oliver Hill, the man who built Reverie with Alexis Barrett but whose identity has been all but erased from the company's records.
In Oliver she saw a man broken by the technology, suffering from prolonged mental health issues. A man that her employers were all too keen to disavow. Dennis Haysbert's Charlie Ventana's certainly plays the line between fatherly figure to Mara and a man hiding his secrets from the world. Haysbert plays the line well so you are never quite sure if he is a good or bad guy; there's something about his performance that makes him come across as someone with great integrity, but the lies are evidently there too and I'm intrigued to see where Mara's quest for the truth leads.
Again making great use of her detective skills, Mara tracked down David Rogers' Glenn, a man crippled by OCD and hidden away due to his condition being triggered by sunlight. In Glenn, we saw how he used Reverie to plot a heist from a medical company, the technology being used not to indulge in dreams and fantasies but use the fake world to map out his actions in the real. It was a cool idea and the knowledge that he was doing this to help sick child neighbour Quincy made for a very sympathetic character, certainly one that Mara could connect to.
But while his quest to obtain the medicine, aided by Mara, was a fascinating one, it was the events taking place at Onira Tech that held the most interest. The closing moments of the episode revealed that friendly security guard Leekly (Gary Kraus) was the man behind the stolen technology and was continuing to help sell it to black market opportunists. It adds another level to the already disturbing aspects of the induced comas from the first episode, the shady alliance with the Department of Defence, the truth about Oliver Hill and the secrets Charlie Ventana is hiding. There's a nice balance between the cases and Mara's ongoing discoveries at this stage; it's not riveting drama yet, but it has the potential to be.