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The Peripheral – Episode 3 “Haptic Drift” Recap & Review

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The Peripheral
The Peripheral

Haptic Drift

Episode 3 of The Peripheral starts with a flashback to Clanton, 2015. A biker gang shows up at Corbell Pickett’s garage to buy some cars. When they get in the cars to test drive them, Corbell locks them in from the outside, meaning for them to die in the scorching heat. A number of giant wooden crosses and a bucket of nails are nearby. His son, a young Jasper, watches.

Back in Flynne’s present, an older Corbell Pickett considers what to do about the call to assassinate the Fishers. His wife suggests he use Jasper, Billy Ann’s husband, to find out more about what the Fishers have gotten into.

Flynne sees her mother reading a newspaper and smiles. She meets Billy Ann and tells her everything, while Burton and his friends’ drones hover around them.

In the print shop, Burton is using printers to make more guns. He reveals to Flynne that he bought the place with the money they received. Flynne is surprised and further annoyed when she realises he rented a car. She tells him they need to be a team and make decisions together. Conner arrives, ready to help them out.

On the way home, the siblings discuss how much information to give the others. Burton is furious when he realises Flynne told Billy Ann everything. Flynne says she is her only friend but Burton counteracts that Jasper’s uncle is Corbell Pickett.

In future London, Lev and Wilf discuss Wilf’s past, referring to an event when Wilf was responsible for taking some lives. Lev says there is no shame in it and he should embrace it. They wake up Flynne’s peripheral, who is kept in a box while not in use.

Flynne logs into the peripheral and tells them everything that happened with Aelita. They reveal Mariel Raphael was an assistant security manager at the R.I. In return, they tell her about Corbell Pickett being recruited to harm them.

Wilf sits in a car looking at a house. We get a flashback of the time when he and Aelita were adopted by their parents. They wanted Aelita but she refused to go without Wilf, who was then known as Wolfgang. Once he agrees to change his name to Wilfred, the couple decides to adopt him too.

He enters the house and hears Aelita singing but it’s only a robot with her face and voice. He meets his adoptive mother who tells him she last saw Aelita a month ago in St.James. In her usual cryptic manner, Aelita said she was staying “where snow last fell in London”. As Wilf and his mother talk, it’s clear that there is some animosity between them.

Flynne and Burton argue about the situation with Corbell. Burton wants to kill him but Flynne insists on finding another way.

She logs in again, this time in a car with Wilf. They drive around Buckingham Palace, trying to retrace Flynne’s steps from that night. They decide to walk around and Wilf links them up so they have access to each other’s sensory experience — Flynne can see and hear everything Wilf can, while also feeling his hangover.

Meanwhile, Burton meets Corbell and reveals he knows about the hit. He offers Corbell 2 choices, one of which is 200,000 dollars every week to leave them alone. When asked about the other, Burton talks about the haptics used in the Marine Corps to connect him and his friends. He describes their group as becoming one big organism and how he once almost killed a guy because of the memories of one of the sergeants in his group. Should Corbell lay a finger on them, he should be afraid of all the men Burton served with. Corbell talks about how he got rid of the filth in this town and made it a safe space. He reiterates that this is his town. Burton points at the glass in Corbell’s hand and a bullet immediately shatters it. He makes his first offer again. As the two men shake hands, Tommy watches.

Cherise Nuland tells her hitman Daniel that he’s taking too long to get rid of Flynne. She threatens him to be more efficient. He tells her that Aelita went to school with one of the RI’s other employees, Grace Hogart. Cherise says she will handle it.

As Wilf and Flynne walk, she asks him why Aelita called her a polt. He says it’s short for poltergeist which is the term they use for people from a different time who use peripherals. A police robot begins following Flynne and Wilf realises that the peripheral isn’t properly registered. When confronted by the police robot, Wilf makes up a story about the peripheral being used by a woman from Canada. He then makes up an impromptu love confession to avoid the question of the woman’s visa. Flynne asks if she can go home and is logged out of the ‘peri’.

Cherise Nuland visits Grace Hogart in a garden with beehives nearby. The two women have tea and Cherise tells Grace that her data research on the stub is important work. She then asks about Aelita. Grace admits she introduced Aelita to the Stub Research Department. As bees begin to converge on the glass enclosure, Cherise reveals there was a chemical in the tea that makes her sweat mimic a pheromone released by hornets. Ignoring Grace’s pleas, she opens the door and the bees attack Grace.

Jasper drops Billy Ann at home and tells her he needs to drop off a bag at his uncle’s, given by burton Fisher. She opens it to see numerous bundles of cash and tells him to find out what it’s all about.

At his father’s warehouse, Jasper gives Corbell the bag. Corbell entices him into taking one of the cash bundles and then demands a service in return. He wants Jasper to find out where Burton is getting all this money from.

Flynne talks to Burton about the feeling of being linked up with someone. He describes that it can often feel like love, but it isn’t. This feeling of getting lost in someone else’s senses is known as a haptic drift.

When Flynne next logs in, Wilf tells her about Aelita’s clue. She suggests that ‘snow’ could be a person. Wilf figures out that it was one of Aelita’s inspirational heroes and they find the place she was staying.

In Aelita’s apartment, everything is a mess as if ransacked by someone. They find a non-working grandfather clock that looks exactly like the broken one at Flynne’s house. Wilf asks what time her clock is stuck on. When they shift the clock’s hands to that time, a secret door opens. They find the surgery room where Flynne had her eye replaced. There are also two broken-down peripherals. Flynne also finds the white model of her own house and its surrounding area.

They are about to leave when the main door blasts open. Daniel and a robot attack them, Daniel using his sonic gun which seems to have an effect on Flynne’s real body too. They manage to overpower both of them. Daniel reveals that Cherise is after Flynne because she took something. Before he can say anything more, Cherise remotely controls the robot and kills Daniel.

The Episode Review

While The Peripheral continues to be a little longer and slower than needed, this episode goes into relationship dynamics quite well. We see the struggle for control between Flynne and her brother as well as the resentment between Wilf and his adoptive mother. There are also some interesting insights into Wilf and his background — the coerced name change and Aelita’s disappointment at his decision. It will be interesting to see how the show tackles racism in a future world.

Even Cherise gets more intriguing in this episode, particularly with her comparing her actions to those of a protective mother. One can’t help but be impressed by her cool and effortless manner of murder, while T’Nia Miller portrays her smiles and threats with truly chilling energy. A commendable antagonist.