Maniac Season 1 Episode 2 Recap
Maniac season 1 episode 2 gives us the introduction to Annie, the mystery woman from the previous episode. Annie is alone in a rundown apartment, smoking, drinking beer, and taking her last pill–shaped like the letter “A”–which she says will be the last one she ever takes. Upon awakening from her drug-induced slumber, Annie says goodbye to her life as an addict, ready to go to Salt Lake City to reconnect with her sister, Ellie. Annie is haunted by the letter A, seeing it wherever she goes. When the flipboard with departures and arrivals at the bus terminal turns into a giant A, Annie’s resolve is broken.
A Case of Blackmail
Out of drugs and out of money, Annie hits up her dealer for more pills. He suggests that Annie enter the Neberdine clinical trial for the drug, since Neberdine is hurting for participants after a recent series of suicides. The dealer gives Annie the name of the intake manager at Neberdine, Patricia Lugo. Annie gets some dirt on Patricia, including information about Patricia’s estranged daughter. Annie poses as Patricia’s Friend Proxy appointment, but is outed as an impostor. Suddenly, Annie changes tactics and threatens to blackmail Patricia, but she can’t go through with it. Seeing that Annie is hurting, Patricia asks her what’s really going on. Annie confesses that she is addicted to the Neberdine drug.
Patricia gets Annie as far as the psych evaluation for the trial, but Annie fails to bluff her way through the test. The reason for Annie’s failure is a lack of personal defense mechanism. Out of options, Annie threatens to have Patricia’s daughter abducted unless Patricia gets Annie into the trial. Therefore, she pulls a qualified participant out of the trial and slides Annie into the trial.
The Neberdine Trial
In the pod, the participants are shown a video detailing the trial. They will be given three drugs, lettered A, B, and C, while hooked to a supercomputer. The A drug will force the participants to relive their worst trauma with the computer monitoring them. Then, a computer will then create a program that, when taken with the B drug, will help the participants explore their personal defense mechanism. Finally, with the aid of the computer and the C drug, participants will confront their trauma and the walls that they have built to protect themselves from said trauma. This is all an effort to bring resolution and allow the participants to go on to live happy, productive lives.
Strapped into their chairs and hooked up to a number of monitors, the participants take the A pill. Under the pill’s effects, Annie relives a road trip she took with her sister Ellie 5 years earlier. Ellie is about to move from New York to Salt Lake City, where her fiance has gotten a job. Ellie is scared about the future and sad to be leaving her family behind. Annie puts up an abrasive front, telling Ellie that she is happy that Ellie is moving away so that Annie doesn’t have to pretend that they are a normal, loving family.
During the drive the next morning, Annie is messing with Ellie when their vehicle is hit by an 18-wheeler. Annie is thrown from the vehicle. Ellie remains inside the vehicle as it plummets over the side of the mountain and crashes.
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