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Levi Long
Levi Long

The Peripheral Season 1 - Episode 1

The series had its world premiere on October 11, 2022, at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, before its debut on October 21, 2022, on Amazon Prime Video. In February 2023, the series was renewed for a second season.[1]

The Peripheral Season 1 - Episode 1

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In April 2018, a TV series adaptation of William Gibson's novel The Peripheral was announced by Westworld creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan for Amazon with a script-to-series commitment.[2] It was announced in April 2019 that Joy and Nolan had signed a first look overall deal at Amazon Studios,[3] and the project received a series order in the middle of November 2019, with Joy and Nolan executive producing under their overall deal. Beyond Joy and Nolan, executive producers include Athena Wickham, Steve Hoban, and Vincenzo Natali.[4] The show has hour-long episodes, developed by Kilter Films, through Amazon Studios. Warner Bros. Television is also co-financier and producer, with Scott Smith as writer. Smith created the series, while also serving as showrunner and executive producer. Natali directed the show's pilot.[5] On March 30, 2021, Greg Plageman joined the series as executive producer and replaced Smith as showrunner.[6] In February 2023, Amazon Prime Video renewed the series for a second season.[1]

The Peripheral had its world premiere on October 11, 2022, at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles,[16] before its debut on October 21, 2022, on Amazon Prime Video.[17] As with other Amazon shows, the episodes aired at midnight Eastern, so technically the release dates were the day before for the Pacific audience.[18] The first season had 8 episodes[19] and ended with a cliffhanger, with Lisa Joy stating, "I would love to have season 2 and season 3 and all the seasons in the world to explore this amazing, amazing novel."[20]

This episode felt a bit long, with the runtime being over an hour, and dragged in places, making some scenes unnecessary. The series' momentum hit the ground running with the first two outings, and it lost a little steam.

They entered a trashed apartment and found where the Burton peripheral received the eye surgery, which brought up flashbacks for Flynne. Flynne also saw something strange: a scale white model of the Fisher family's homestead.

She piloted her brother's body in the first episode... isn't that kind of strange? Wouldn't being inside your brother's body be... discomforting? They clearly won't talk about this, but it's something we're curious about.

Spoiler Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Peripheral, season 1, episodes 1-6The Peripheral, Amazon Prime Video's hit science fiction series, tells a tale that spans decades, making The Peripheral's full timeline somewhat confusing. Most of the action takes place in either 2032 or 2100, with Flynne Fisher and others from 2032 able to visit the future thanks to the quantum tunneling technology of 2100. The show's time travel allows people in an earlier era to project their consciousness into the future. Those in the future cannot experience the physical world of the past firsthand, but they can communicate with people in earlier eras.

The Peripheral season 1 has yet to divulge when the Research Institute of 2100 first alters Flynne, Burton, and Conner's timeline. However, from what's been shown in the first six episodes, it must have been earlier than 2028. As Grace tells Flynne in The Peripheral season 1, episode 5, "What About Bob?", the Research Institute set up its shell defense contractors early enough to install futuristic haptic technology in soldiers' bodies by 2028. So the stub timeline branched off from the main timeline in the early- to mid-2020s, or even earlier depending on when The Peripheral's Research Institute made its earliest incursion into the past.

The Peripheral season 1, episode 6 shows Burton, Conner, Macon, and others fighting a war in Texas in 2028. The soldiers all have the Research Institute's haptic implants, so the scene is in the stub timeline. They speak of Texans as their enemies, so it's safe to infer that America is fighting a civil war in this period. The scene shows how Conner loses his limbs in 2028 due to the Research Institute's behavioral experiments.

"Jackpot," The Peripheral season 1, episode 4, shows Wilf and Ash explain the apocalyptic "Jackpot" and its effect on humanity. The 22nd-century characters remember these events as part of their own history, so they take place in the unaltered timeline instead of the stub. A series of hacker attacks causes continent-wide power blackouts that last for months and destabilize civilization worldwide. Future historians call this the age of the "Cliff," when the Jackpot becomes irreversible.

Decades of disasters plague humanity in the mid-21st century. Wilf describes environmental catastrophes, droughts, famine, and antibiotic failure. Agricultural collapse and complete population collapse follow. The scene from The Peripheral season 1, episode 4, "Jackpot," is short on specifics. Still, Ash tells Flynne that over 7 billion people die in the unaltered timeline over four decades.

Without giving a specific date, Ash tells Flynne in The Peripheral episode 4 that "the end" comes with a terrorist attack on a nuclear missile silo in Spring Creek, North Carolina. Flynne goes offline before Wilf and Ash tell her anything else, but their episode 4 presentation to Flynne heavily implies that more nuclear weapons get detonated. This seems to be the nadir of the calamities from which the characters of 2100 rebuild human civilization.

An earlier scene in The Peripheral episode 4, "Jackpot," recaps what happens after the Jackpot and describes the realpolitik of 2100's status quo. Three leading institutions share power in the post-Jackpot world. Order is restored and maintained by the Kelpt oligarchy through extreme violence, and in return, society allows them to build wealth relatively free of regulations. London's Met Police curb the Klepts' overreaching, and the Research Institute develops the technology necessary for civilization to function. The human population is decimated, and "Wolf" and Aelita survive together as children on the streets until they're adopted as brother and sister.

Aelita is on the run in 2099, and Wilf works for Lev Zubov's Klept family. Aelita tells Wilf that she's trying to save a world, but not their own world. Aelita already has a peripheral that takes the form of her childhood self. Future London is draped in holograms to hide the devastation, simulate the decimated population, and reenact navy battles.

Aside from the 2032 stub setting, most of The Peripheral's action takes place in London in 2100. The first six episodes don't show 2100's world beyond London. Aelita initiates contact with Flynne in 2100, and the Research Institute of 2100 puts out a hit on Flynne and Burton on the 2032 stub's dark web. When Burton, Conner, and Flynne travel to The Peripheral's future through the 22nd-century VR headsets, they inhabit the peripherals in 2100.

Jim Korioth, a lifelong sci-fi fan, is a Core Features Author for Screen Rant. He has a BA in English and Music from Trinity University, and a JD and an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin. Born and raised in Texas, he practiced law and played cello in rock bands in Austin for years before abruptly relocating to rural northern Minnesota, just in time for the 2014 polar vortex winter. He now lives in Minneapolis where, in addition to writing for Screen Rant, he is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer. He is the proud papa of three cool kids. His favorite Doctor is Tom Baker. His favorite Star Trek: The Original Series episode is "The Tholian Web," but he will always have a soft spot for "The Way to Eden." His favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation episode is "Yesterday's Enterprise." His favorite Trek movie is Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

This visually stunning show from creators Jonathan Nolan, Scott Smith, and Scott B. Smith deals heavily with VR gaming and dual reality. The first episode of The Peripheral showed plenty of promise and almost served as a tiny film, setting up the premise for the rest of the series.

At the helm of the series is Flynne Fisher (Chloë Grace Moretz), a 3D print shop worker who has excelled at gaming by playing her brother's video games. Her brother Burton (Jack Reynor), an ex-marine, is also a crucial part of the story, as is evident from the premiere episode. He is handed a game for testing, which sets off the central crisis in the film.

The exact crisis, however, is not clear in the first episode, which is a good thing. Despite not revealing enough, the first episode leaves behind an important cliffhanger, enough to probe viewers to watch the next episode.

From the very first episode, the Research Institute (from future London in 2099, around 70 years ahead of Flynne's time) had a hit put on Flynne simply because she'd seen too much, thanks to the little "SIM" game the mysterious Aleita setup. She was chased down by the mercenary bounty hunters, Clanton County's local drug baron Corbell Pickett and retired killer Bob. She successfully left them all in the dust, yet Dr. Cherise Nuland, a prominent figure at the Research Institute, is relentless and finally plans to blow up a silo in Flynne's county that would assuredly wipe her and everyone she loves out.

That end stitch is where things become Westworld-level tricky. Because of the show's editing, it looks like the consciousness of the dead Flynne has been transferred to Flynne's peripheral (the future robot body accessed via the special headset). However, the past Flynne died without wearing a headset. The way this is possible might be that, because Flynne created a new base stub, she was only a pilot in her old body. When it died, she returned to her new stub, then from there, still wearing the headset, she could jump into her future peripheral. Good luck deciphering all that!

The Research Institute is intent on eliminating Flynne because of something to do with bacteria inside her brain. That whole "SIM" ultra-realistic game sequence in episode 1, where Flynne pilots her brother Burton's peripheral (the robot the headset connects to), turned out to be all part of Aleita's plan to steal and hide "the entire library" of files from the Research Institute. Aleita thought she could download the stolen files into Burton's haptic implants, storing them in the past timeline where they would be untraceable. Because Flynne doesn't have implants, the headset "translated the data into bacterial DNA," according to Ash. This data then began to "colonize" her brain. (That explains all the seizures Flynne was having.) 041b061a72


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