Maniac Season 1 Episode 3 Recap
Maniac season 1 episode 3 picks up at the end of the A trial in the previous episode. The participants are debriefed by the Neberdine team, who ask them to describe their emotional state after having just relived their worst trauma. Owen is cagey, giving non-answers. Annie is exhausted, sad, but satisfied. Both Owen, Annie, and participant 5 are red flagged for removal from the trial.
While waiting to speak with Muramoto about their red flags, Owen admits to Annie that he did not swallow the A pill in case she needed to activate him on his mission to save the world. Annie admits that she lied to shut Owen up so that he wouldn’t get her kicked out of the study. In Muramoto’s office, Owen is grilled about what he saw while under the effects of A. Owen recounts has worst trauma, which was 7 months ago at Jed and Adelaide’s engagement party. Jed blackmailed Owen into testifying that Jed is innocent of the still unrevealed charges against him. While Jed was serenading Adelaide and the party guests, Owen went to the roof and jumped. Instead of killing himself, he just landed on the skylight.
Muramoto, not buying Owen’s story, convinces Owen to take the A and actually experience his worst trauma. Later, while Owen and Annie are alone, Owen recounts what he experienced under A. Owen had been studying with Olivia, a girl he liked, when he was visited by Grimmson, He convinced Owen that Owen’s parents had paid Olivia to feign interest in Owen, and eventually marry him and start a family. Upset, Owen berated Olivia and began questioning reality, which resulted in his first psychotic incident.
“Sounds Like You Were Having a Day”
In Muramoto’s office, Muramoto tells Annie that he doesn’t know where she got her supply of A on the outside, but that her habitual use of the pill means she’ll have a difficult time moving beyond that point. If she feels she deserves to be punished, eventually she starts to take pleasure in that, and will always backslide to that point no matter how well she otherwise progresses. Annie confides to Owen that she enjoys the effects of A not because of the punishment, but because it gives her a chance to see her sister, Ellie, again.
While questioning Annie, Muramoto dies. Annie calls Owen into the office to watch the door for her. Annie finds a bottle of A in Muramoto’s desk and considers stealing it, but puts it back. She pulls the red flag paperwork from her file and Owen’s file, keeping them in the study.
“I Think He Just Made a Mistake”
Finding Muramoto’s body, Fujita goes up to the 77th floor of the tower and addresses the situation with a disembodied voice coming from a video monitor. She suggests they bring Dr. James Mantleray back onto the project. Mantleray returns to take Muramoto’s place, delivering the news of Muramoto’s death to the GRTA super computer himself. The following morning, Mantleray engages the participants in the B portion of the trial.
Upon hearing of Muramoto’s death, GRTA cries digital tears that manifest into physical reality. The tears travel to the circuits connecting Owen and Annie to GRTA when they are under the effects of the drugs, shorting the connection once the two are placed under the effects of B. The result is that while undergoing the B portion of the trial, Owen and Annie appear to share a vision in which they are together and living with different identities.
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