Maniac Season 1 Episode 6 Recap
Maniac season 1 episode 6 begins with the debrief questioning of the remaining participants after they awoke from the B phase in the previous episode. The other four participants in the study reflect Dr. Mantleray’s mother issues back onto him. Owen is the single participant who seems disinterested and disengaged in the process. When Dr. Mantleray asks Owen what Owen feels is wrong with himself, Owen replies that he simply doesn’t believe that his life matters.
“I Need to Know Myself”
Fujita comes clean with James on the issues with GRTA. After James was expelled from the program, there were incidents during the studies. To protect the subjects, Fujita coded an empathy program into GRTA to act as a safety net, so the computer would step in and protect the subjects from harm. With the empathy program in place, Muramoto and GRTA had an illicit workplace affair. With Muramoto’s passing, GRTA is grieving and needs a therapist. GRTA tells James it’s not just any therapist she needs, but James’ mother, Dr. Greta Mantleray, whose work GRTA’s AI was based upon.
As a result, James is forced to reach out to his mother, whose work in therapy James was trying to replace with the drug regiment. They need a therapist for the computer attempting to make therapy obsolete. After James delivers an awkward apology for his role in their estrangement, Greta agrees to be hooked up and drugged so that she can enter GRTA and help the computer work through her grief.
“That Was Just Your Brain Lying to Your Mind and Your Mind Was Listening”
Following the B phase of the study. Owen is ready to leave the trial. Owen prefers life simple, calm, and ordered. The study has dredged up too many painful memories for Owen. He isn’t enjoying any of this. Owen goes so far as to pack his bag and change back into his street clothes. As he’s headed out, GRTA calls to Owen and stops him. When GRTA asks Owen where he’s going and why he’s leaving, Owen says it’s because he can’t tell what’s real and what isn’t anymore, which is not a good place for someone in his condition to be in.
Owen says that GRTA can’t cure him. GRTA makes a series of statements to Owen, which leaves him wondering what is real and what is fantasy. GRTA says that if Owen leaves, she will kill the rest of the participants, but when Owen questions what she said, GRTA says “cure” them all. GRTA also says that if Owen leaves, then GRTA will add Annie to the other participants that she has collected from the prior studies. Owen still doesn’t know what’s real and what isn’t, but he is alarmed enough by his conversation with GRTA to stick around and try to warn Annie not to continue with the study.
Seeing the Pattern
Annie, however, has had a different experience during the trial. She’s starting to believe that maybe Owen was right and that there is some cosmic pattern drawing them together. Though Owen tries to warn Annie not to continue with the C phase of the trial, Annie says that this is the best she’s felt since her mother left. If Owen and Annie are meant to be together, then they’ll probably end up together in the C phase anyhow, and they can look out for one another. Under the effects of the C pill, Annie awakens with Ellie and herself as elves in some Tolkienesque fantasy scenario.
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