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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"What a strange instrument the human mind is."
My favorite episode of the series, "Futurepast", allows Logan and Jessica to confront conflicts within their very souls by confronting those inner fears that haunt the depths of the subconscious, producing nightmares. Also neat is that Rem encounters the closest thing to love that artificial intelligence can, when the three of them, fleeing from Francis and his Sandmen, come across, unbeknownst to them, a "dream clinic" and the android that works there. The android, Ariana (the lovely Mariette Hartley, Ride the High Country), doesn't know that Logan and Jessica are at her outpost merely to escape from the Sandmen (they are invited by Ariana and accept her kind invitation, not knowing where they really are and her ultimate purpose), and induce the deep sleep that begins the process of letting clients confront the hidden and nightmarish thoughts, fears, feelings, and conflicts that leave lasting emotional scars. The problem with the dream process is that when clients move through cycles, each cycle more detrimental/dangerous that the last, the proposition of death increasesCycle D is Death.
What I dig about "Futurepast" is that those involved on the show are allowed free reign to be as imaginative visually as they wantthis is a dream world after all, meanwhile Rem and Ariana, even though they are androids, discover that something exists between them (Rem "shoots sparks" when Ariana gets close; tension develops, and we see how they become bewildered by how human their connection becomes). I love how the body suit, red chest light, and white mask ( a variation on the hockey mask) of those who reach 30 wore when they partook Carousel is used as symbolism for Death, a very real reminder of what Logan and Jessica were running from. I like how "Runner!" is used as a means to declare that Logan and Jessica are always on the run and the dream state forces them two to face their worst fear being caught and no longer able to escape. I also think love is of major importance for the episode Logan and Jessica truly love each other; Rem loves his human comrades and fights to get them out of the dream stasis; Rem and Ariana, in their own way, fall in love. The dream state really freed the director and producers to place Logan and Jessica in perils based in surreal situations where sinister characters (Sandmen, Jessica's possible mother, Death) come out of the woodwork, and the two encountered one roadblock after another. Francis returns after missing a few episodes (he seems to have been written out of the show and completely forgotten), more determined than ever to catch Logan and Jessica. The ending is a bit far-fetchedFrancis and another Sandman have cornered them and it seems our heroes have finally been caughtbut in order for the show to continue, how can Logan, Jessica, and Rem be stopped from journeying on in search of Sanctuary. I think ultimately this episode explains what Sanctuary is, not necessarily an Eden, but freedom itself. The episode does a good job of building sympathy and likability for Ariana, so when she is shot by Francis and dismisses her as "just an android", you care about her welfare. If someone was asking me to recommend them an episode from the series, this would be it, along with the pilot.
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