The Peripheral (Season 1), Episodes 1 & 2 On Prime Video: Amazon Prime’s latest science fiction adaptation is of William Gibson’s 2014 novel ‘The Peripheral.’ The first two episodes of the TV series are made available on the streaming platform this Friday and are created by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Scott B. Smith, with Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy (creators of Westworld) serving in a team of executive producers.




Gibson is one of the key proponents of Cyberpunk, and add to that, the first two episodes are directed by Vincenzo Natali, who shot to fame after his sci-fi horror ‘Cube’. Needless to say, ‘The Peripheral’ has assembled quite the science fiction team. And if the first two episodes are any indication, we could be in for a fairly engrossing, if not entirely novel, science fiction show that would especially be of attraction to Cyberpunk fans.

The Peripheral (Season 1) Episodes 1 & 2: Recap

The Arrival of a New Game

The-Peripheral-Season-1-Episodes-1-2-Recap

The year is 2099, and the place is London. Only it looks quite different, with humongous statues around every corner. Wilf Netherton (Gary Carr) meets young Aelita, and she tells him that she is about to save the world. Another world.




We jump backward to 2032, to a small rural town by the Blue Ridge Mountains in America. Flynne Fisher (Chloe Grace Moretz) works in a 3D printing shop with limited income, which is hardly enough to buy medicines for her blind mother, Ella (Melinda Page Hamilton). Flynne’s brother, Burton (Jack Raynor), is a former Marine with Haptic (Computer simulation technology) expertise. Burton uses his experience in virtual reality games, especially war games. It is how he earns by managing to reach certain levels in video games. Flynne does not condone this much. However, she is also a gamer. A better gamer than Burton. It gets immediately showcased as Flynne wins Burton’s mission for him in the game he was playing.

The combined pay of Flynne and Burton is not quite enough and not undoubtedly sustainable. It is when Burton receives a sim (Simulation) to test from a Colombian gaming company called Milagros Coldiron. Burton asks Flynne to do so as she is the better gamer. Flynne agrees because the pay is quite hefty.




 

The moment Flynne enters the sim, she realizes this is quite different. Despite the presence of many unfamiliar and alien-looking robots, the virtual reality of this sim is too real. Under Burton’s gaming avatar, she gets instructions from a voice in his head. The first task is to seduce a woman named Mariel (Poppy Corby Tuech) and then kill her. Which, with some difficulty, Flynne manages to complete. Flynne then meets a woman who identifies herself as Aelita West. It is where her first assignment ends, and she gets out of the VR.

The Local Adversaries

Flynne gets nauseous after playing the game. The money they got from playing the first level of that sim is enough to get her mother’s medicine. So she goes to the local pub, where she tries to deal with three ruffians who apparently provide black-market medicines. It seems too difficult and expensive to purchase from a real pharmacy. The deal starts to go south when Conner (Eli Goree), another former Marine and ex-colleague of Burton and currently an amputee, saves her by threatening the goons. It works as Flynne gets her required medicine. But for the goons, it does not work quite well, as their boss, Corbell Pickett (Louis Herthum), manhandles one of them because they got bullied by Conner.




The Bounty

The next time Flynne logs in to the sim, she is greeted by Aelita West. After an excruciating eye replacement surgery where Flynne feels the pain of the same, Aelita takes Flynne (still under Burton’s avatar) to another location. The eye surgery was to replace one of Burton’s avatar eyes with now dead Mariel’s eye. That helped open certain doors where Mariel’s eye helped them pass the retina scan. 

They can find whatever Aelita is looking for. Just when Aelita pushes Burton’s eye on the prized target, an upside-down prism, with some sort of light reflecting from the prism to Burton’s eye (not the eye that was replaced with Mariel’s), they are interrupted. Daniel (David Hoffin) is someone who makes Aelita nervous; Aelita asks Flynne to fight off Daniel. However, the generally deft Flynne cannot overcome this foe as Daniel injures Aelita and kills Burton’s avatar. It makes Flynne wake up from the sim violently sick.




 

Although Flynne decides not to play the sim again, she is mysteriously contacted by someone (later revealed as Wilf). Flynne is told that she and her family’s lives are at stake as a 9 million dollar bounty has been placed and accepted in the dark net. The only way Wilf can help her is if she logs back in. Flynne gets concerned and tells Burton, who was hanging around with his ex-marine friends. At first, Burton laughs it off; however, as one of his friends looks at the surroundings using a drone, they find that masked and armed mercenaries are on their way.

It is where Burton and his friends’ military capability are displayed, as they manage to thwart the deadly attack. With some timely help from Conner. 

Flynne Logs Back In

Flynne logs back into the sim and finds herself inside her avatar. Not Burton’s, as Daniel destroyed that. She meets Wilf, and Wilf explains that this is not a sim. But reality. In future. She has been transported to future 2099/2100 London. The ‘avatars’ are something called ‘the peripheral.’ A robot-like body for Flynne to get in and operate. It is not logging in but coming to the future via ‘Data Transfer’ through something called ‘Quantum Tunnelling.’




To prove that he is not lying, Wilf provides a newspaper from his past, but Flynne’s future, where her mother’s obituary is written. Wilf details Ella Fisher’s brain tumor details that even Flynne did not know. Wilf also provides an experimental drug by saying it would be available when Flynne goes to the local pharma in her actual timeline, back in 2032.

Which Flynne does find when she comes back. She administers that medicine to her mother. At the same time, Burton and his friends dispose of the mercenaries’ bodies. Burton also visits Conner to thank him and ask for his help, as chances are that other mercenaries will want to harm the Fisher family due to the 9 million dollar bounty.

The Peripheral (Season 1) Episodes 1 and 2: Review

The Peripheral Season 1 (Episodes 1 & 2)

‘The Peripheral’ has started well enough to keep us invested. As mentioned previously, with so many science fiction brains behind the show, the adaptation of William Gibson’s novel of the same name is quite neat. Yes, the theories and the multitude of mysterious characters add to the confusion the show is aware of, as it comments the same in the second episode. However, there is plenty of time to explore those. So far, they serve the purpose of creating intrigue.




The show relies heavily on Chloe Grace Moretz’s shoulder, and she is up to the job. There might be some fluctuation when it comes to pacing the show. However, it is not absolutely out of sync. And the special effects, cinematography, and spectacular production design help create the perfect Cyberpunk world it clearly intended to portray.

The ‘High Tech, Lowlife’ motto of Cyberpunk is subtly hidden. The giant statues, the high-rise buildings, and the sleek roads reflect the technical marvel. While the 2032’s common folk cannot get life-saving medicine, earning for each day clearly indicates the conditions that will be (it is already, to be honest) for the poorer class.




 

The Peripheral (Season 1) Episodes 1 and 2: Ending Explained

What is a Stub?

After administering the medicine to her mother, Flynne dons the headset again to come to her Peripheral. She is greeted by Wilf once again as he introduces her to Lev Zubov (JJ Field). In this story, he is introduced as Wilf’s employer, a self-proclaimed ‘good guy.’ Lev has help from Ash (Katie Leung of Harry Potter’s Cho Chang) and Ossian (Julian Moore-Cook), the Technicals who help Lev with technical strategies.

Wilf tells Flynne that it branches out to another timeline when she gets the medicine from Wilf. Because had Flynne not come to the future via the Peripheral, she would not have got that medicine. This interchange of data or materials between past and future creates another branch of the timeline in Flynne’s life. This is what is called a Stub.




 

Wilf and Lev admit that this is confusing, but they need to press forward, as finding Aelita is of paramount importance. Flynne agrees to help them, on the condition that they will help save her mother and ensure nothing bad happens to her family, back in 2032.

Who Is Daniel? What Has Happened in the Future?

We are yet to know what exactly happened in 2100. Or what the Research Institute’s role is in that. We only know that one of the leaders of that RI (Research Institute) is Cherise Nuland (T’Nia Miller of Bly Manor). And she is the employer of Daniel. They are determined to end Aelita and now Flynne. The show ends with Daniel emerging in the VR Porn simulation of Corbell in 2032 and offering him huge amounts of money to kill the Fisher family.




 

Meanwhile, back in the Fisher household, Flynne and Burton wake up to find their mother getting her eyesight back. Indicating Wilf’s experimental medicine has started to work positively.


Related Articles:

The Rings of Power (Season 1 Finale), Episode 8: Recap, Review and Ending, Explained – Where Does Sauron Go, and What Do the Rings Mean?

May I Help You (Season 1), Episodes 1 & 2: Recap & Ending Explained


The Peripheral (Season 1), Episodes 1 & 2 Show Links: IMDb
Cast: Chloe Grace MoretzJack ReynorGary Carr
Where to watch The Peripheral (2022)

Similar Posts