by Lindsay Bradley
The nanites work tirelessly for Aaron to fix the code to save them by creating a world in Aaron’s mind. It’s a world he struggles to escape from – and why would he want to?
Yes, it is ridiculous as it sounds. It is a shame, as it was fun to experience an alternate reality where the power was still on and in this episode, Zak Orth’s performance really shines after a poor season for his character. In this world of Aaron’s is witty and funny, something the show has lacked this season.
From the get-go, Aaron knows something isn’t right with this world and almost has a breakdown. After a day he convinces himself that the blackout was a dream and to just enjoy what he has. He has everything he’d ever need, a great job, a beautiful wife and cold beer. Irritatingly the Bud Light commercial was forced, but it is understandable that Aaron would dream to have a nice cold beer – something that we take for granted.
Unfortunately it doesn’t last as Charlie (or as Aaron calls her ‘Belly shirt girl’) appears shooting two of his employees who were trying to coax him to fix the nanotech code. She forces him to remember and to find Rachel and Miles, which he does with little hesitation. Horne soon shoots Charlie and Aaron is forced to go alone. Although he loves this world, he is determined to go back. You wouldn’t blame him if he chose to stay, he has everything he needs. It just wouldn’t be real.
Aaron doesn’t believe that he is good at anything now the power has gone out but that isn’t true, in this episode he shows just how much he is willing to sacrifice his happiness for those he loves. This is something that many characters’ in the show struggle to do and it is something that has been overlooked this season whilst he has been sent on a trek by the nanotech.
He finds Rachel and forces her at gunpoint to help him. He eventually throws the gun away as it is completely out of character for him. Whilst Aaron remembers everything, Rachel does not. It is not until he is in the motel with Miles and Monroe, being carried away by the Patriots that they remember and help him.
Another funny element in the episode was that in Aaron’s world, Neville seems to be doing quite well for himself. His insurance company has adverts everywhere. In the motel Miles nicely states ‘That guy is a dick’ after watching the ridiculously cheesy commercial. This was one of the clues that hinted to that we were in Aaron’s mind. In the real world, Neville was never successful in the insurance trade, his fortune came after the blackout. We are once again reminded how much Aaron lost because of it. He was powerful and successful and before the blackout, his story arc has involved him trying to figure out what is his purpose now. He still hasn’t got there, but Peter seems to be doing quite well for himself. Aaron’s moral judgement would prevent him for taking advantage of this and he never wavers, despite complaining throughout.
The twist at the end was actually surprising, there was hope that the power would slowly come back as the fireflies were dying out and the lights flickered. As lightning strikes and fatally hits Rachel, Aaron knew immediately that he had to fix the code to save her. The nanotech had learnt from him that he would do anything to save those who he cared about and had tricked him. He was really still dreaming and Horne comments ‘Still think it’s your mind?’ He wakes up for real and leaves with Priscilla, whilst Peter has kept the power he longed for.
The effort the nanites go to for the code to be fixed is ridiculous, if they can create a new world in Aaron’s mind then why can’t they find the solution? He will have buried it in his mind somewhere. They strong enough to fight off the virus Aaron had written into the code and now they are no longer dying they can only get stronger. Perhaps they will help defeat the Patriots, or join them…
The episode ends with the code fixed and with Aaron and Priscilla at a dead end. Nothing is gained and the end of the episode makes it feel as though it was just a filler. That being said, it was nice to have some escapism from the seemingly never-ending battle against the Patriots. The nanotech has managed to bring Aaron and Priscilla back together and although time has passed, there will be plenty for them to talk about. This is certainly not the end of the nanotech, if this is what they can do – who knows what they are capable of now that the code is fixed?
[Photo via Felicia Graham/NBC]