Episode seven: “Acceptable Loss”
“Max didn’t even wanna help you Lia. But you tricked him. And it got him killed. No, eviscerated.”
This episode picks up right where the last ended, with Lia and Mark reeling after Max’s death. Lia calls 911. After, Mark makes Lia promise to give up the investigation and give everything they have to the FBI. He sees Warren and Max’s deaths as their fault, and doesn’t want anything else to happen. He doesn’t think Lia’s story is worth it.
The next day, the event is on the news. A woman talks to a reporter with a message to Lia. She says that her brother is one of the missing, but the survivors’ welfare is more important than finding him, and definitely more important than her radio show.
Deirdre Wells makes contact
Of course, the investigation isn’t finished with Lia. Soon after she watches that clip, Lia receives a text message from someone claiming to be Max’s wife, Deirdre Wells. At first, Lia doesn’t believe her, so she tests her. She asks the woman to see her wedding ring, though it is currently in Lia’s pocket, given to her by Max. The woman proves herself to be Deirdre when she says that they took her ring from her after “The Panic.”
After that, Lia invites her girlfriend over. Last time we saw her, she was urging Lia not to stop investigating. They have a tense conversation where Lia asks her if she wants her to stop. She then reveals that part of the reason Lia initially approached her at the start of their relationship was because Lia knew she had a brother who disappeared at Limetown. They share a grief that only people connected to Limetown understand.
Mark and Lia face off
Next, Lia heads to the recording booth to document the Deirdre update, when Mark storms in and confronts her. He tells her how he knew her promise was disingenuous. Then he forces Lia to look at crime scene photos of Max’s murder, and tells her that her story isn’t worth more death. But Lia doesn’t care.
She tells Mark that “Deirdre Wells knows the risks. She came to me. If I don’t tell the story, it will never be told.” Taking a page out of Lia’s book, Mark responds by threatening to release the unedited Villard interview. This would completely ruin Lia’s credibility as a journalist. The story, and possibly her career, would be over.
A tragic accident
Lia’s going to interview Deirdre, but on the way to the airport, she stops at Mark’s apartment. She tells him she doesn’t want to leave with their relationship as it is. But despite all Lia says, she can’t convince him to give up his fight. He raises his phone to call someone, and Lia goes to grab it.
The next few minutes are the most shocking of the episode, if not the whole show.
When Mark pushes Lia away, Lia pushes back. Hard. Mark hits his head on a table at a horrible angle and crumples to the ground. At first, Lia rushes to help him. But when she dials 911, she doesn’t hit send. As Lia watches him bleed out, she sees her problems slowly fall away. Mark dies there on the floor.
Lia fakes an alibi by framing the scene as if they hooked up, and then calls Mark on her way to the airport, to make it seem like his death randomly happened after she’d left. At the airport, Lia runs into Agent Latifi of the FBI. In a strange turn of events, making everything that just happened entirely not worth it, Latifi tells Lia that Mark told her about Deirdre Wells, and the FBI will support her ongoing investigation.
Episode eight: “Scarecrow”
“I have spent many sleepless nights recently asking myself if I should continue to tell this story. And the only answer I have come to with any real certainty, is that I have to tell it. Because if anything has been made clear to me in following this story, is that someone must be held accountable.”
Has Lia lost it?
The episode begins with Lia in her hotel. She searches for bugs in her hotel room in a crazed panic, then reasons with herself as to why she has to finish the story. It seems pretty clear that Lia has gone over the edge. Her life has tunneled and all she cares about is finding out the truth about Limetown.
Deirdre and her Scarecrow
Marlee Matlin, who you might recognize from The Magicians, plays Deirdre (bringing great representation as a deaf actress and on-screen character). There is a man interpreting her as she talks to Lia at her house. She tells Lia,”This isn’t my voice, but this is my story. And I was responsible for The Panic at Limetown.”
Deirdre then recounts her relationship with Max, and how they ended up at Limetown together. She is a writer, and at the time was trying to finish her novel. In a super cute moment of a flashback, Deirdre calls Max her “Scarecrow.” This is in reference to a line at the end of The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy tells the Scarecrow “I’ll miss you most of all.” This explains why Max said “Goodbye, Dorothy” to Lia over the phone before he was shot.
The Haves and the Have Nots
Deirdre watched Max run the experiment in Limetown, and once it moved on to human trials, they decided to introduce it to the town. In order to have a control group, half of the town got the implant and half didn’t. Deirdre was to be one of the ones who did not, to show the town that it wasn’t biased.
Just a note, it is so beautiful to see all these conversations between Deirdre, Max, and other members of Limetown take place in sign language.
Deirdre makes sure to remind Lia about the need for the supplements to control the chaos of connecting minds, as it is a big part of why The Panic happened. After the introduction of the implants to half the town, Deirdre started feeling excluded, and disconnected from her husband. She found a friend and sympathizer in a man named Spencer. He invited her to a group of people who didn’t get the implant. They called themselves “The Old School.”
While this was a form of therapy for Deirdre, making the situation easier to manage, it only flamed the fires of Spencer’s anger at the situation. He felt ignored, excluded, and used by the community. Deirdre understood both sides of the argument, and saw herself as the mediator between them and her husband.
Max breaks his own rules
In order to help their relationship, Max gets Deirdre the implant, secretly. She is reluctant at first, knowing what it could do to the trust of Spencer and the others, but she agrees, wanting to be closer to Max. At first it was amazing for their relationship, but the situation created faults they couldn’t fix. Because you could hear every feeling of the other person, they were completely exposed to one another. What was supposed to bring them closer forced them further apart, both emotionally and physically, as they couldn’t stand to be in the same room with one another.
Then, at one meeting, Spencer finds out about Deirdre’s implant, and protests start. Oskar Totem calls for a town meeting, and tries to appease the angry citizens. But when he suggests that they can’t leave Limetown, they snap.
Violence starts, as the Old School members of Limetown destroys the town. With extreme protests and fighting lasting days, people with the implant couldn’t get their daily supplements. Everything was chaos. Physically, the town was being torn apart. At the same time, every person with the implant was experiencing extreme pain mentally.
Spencer led the public burning of Oskar, and with the implants connecting everyone, they all felt him die. But Deirdre recounts a moment of peace, afterwards. She says she felt someone else’s presence in her mind. Lia thinks she knows who it is now, but before Deirdre can confirm, the FBI storm in.
“The Man They Were All There For, and The Girl He Left Behind.”
Alone again, Lia faces her tumultuous feelings, recording a message for “The Man They Were All There For.” Putting all of the information together, it seems like this man can only be one person: Emile Haddock. Lia directs her words to him, and tells him how she felt abandoned when he left for Limetown. He was all she had. So it seems like no surprise, both to Lia and to us, that Emile is at the center of this mystery.
But we still don’t know everything. Who took everyone away on that last night? Was exactly was Emile’s role? Is he to blame?
Will Lia and Emile come face to face next week? You’ll have to wait and see!