Maniac Season 1 Episode 1 Recap
Maniac season 1 episode 1 begins with an unseen narrator describing the world of the series and making a number of hypotheses. According to the narrator, the world is the result of the sequence of connections made since the creation of the universe during the big bang, all throughout time. Physical forces, evolutionary biology, and choices made have all led to this moment in the story.
This, the narrator hypothesizes, is because all souls are on a quest to connect with others and be accepted. But, the narrator continues, the alternate worlds that could have been if decisions and events had played out differently, are just as important as the world we live in. The narrator concludes that these “almost” worlds cause us great pain. The narrator assures us that all he wants to do is find a way to eliminate that pain for others.
The Pattern Is the Pattern
Owen is the black sheep in the affluent Milgrim family. He is furloughed from his menial office job. He lives alone in an overpriced and under furnished apartment that he can barely afford in what appears to be a futuristic, alternate reality version of New York City. The family wants little to do with Owen, as evidenced by a small photo of Owen hanging on the wall in the family’s penthouse next to a large painting of the family, which doesn’t include Owen in it.
However, Owen finds himself playing a central role in the fortunes of Jed, his “golden boy” brother. Jed is about to stand trial for an as yet unrevealed incident. Owen has agreed to lie on his brother’s behalf, so that Jed will be found not guilty. At a mock testimony, the lawyer for the Milgrim family grills Owen. The lawyer even brings up the fact that Owen was hospitalized for a psychotic episode that involved delusions ten years ago.
Owen says that he is beyond that now. When asked directly whether or not Owen knows what’s real, he says that he does. However, Owen is experiencing earthquake-like tremors that no one else seems to feel. Owen continues to be visited by Jed’s doppelganger, Grimmson, who cryptically repeats the phrase “the pattern is the pattern.” He also insists that Owen is the hero who will save the universe. All Owen needs to do is make the connection with a female agent who will be his handler on his mission.
The Pattern Got You Here
This appears to be said handler. When we first meet the mystery lady, she is robbing a newspaper stand in order to buy a pack of smokes. Owen meets her when the two sign up to take part in a clinical drug trial with Neberdine Pharmaceutical and Biotech. The trial is a secret, with high risks and a potentially large payoff. Owen tries to make contact with the woman, but she is abrupt with him, telling Owen to stop staring at her.
The participants in the trial are taken deep below the Neberdine tower, where they are assigned to pods and outfitted with uniforms for the trial. Starting to panic, Owen asks the woman if she is his contact. She addresses Owen by name and states that yes, she is here to help him save the universe. But they can’t do that if Owen blows their cover.
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