So, Reverie doesn't have to be a voluntary activity.
That's certainly one takeaway from Reverie Season 1 Episode 5.
The lines were definitely blurry on this episode.
The terrorists led by Silas thought they were doing the right thing, to call attention to a town being poisoned by a munitions dump.
But nobody other than the zealots themselves would argue that blowing up 60-plus people was the way to attract support for a cause. Add the blackmail threat to set off more bombs, and any public sentiment for that cause will have disappeared.
It has been evident that the Department of Defense had a vested interest in Reverie. How much and why wasn't clear until now.
As usual, Mara was the only one in the dark about the DOD's involvement. Monica didn't volunteer her affiliation when she was introduced to Mara earlier in the season.
Why anyone was surprised when the bill came due for Defense's investment is beyond me. Charlie was at least a realist, knowing there were strings attached to the military's minority ownership. Alexis and Paul seemed to think they didn't have to be at all concerned with the financial side of things.
Monica stepped out of the shadows and came to collect. Her wanting to stop Silas before he sets off another bomb was understandable and desirable.
Still, it was hard to side with Monica's idea of invading a survivor's mind to learn more about Silas. Sure, it was for the greater good and all that, but it was still somewhat iffy, morally speaking.
That kind of invasion of privacy would never fly in court. I mean, courts are hesitant to allow law enforcement to crack open cell phones, let alone minds.
Fortunately, for the sake of the narrative, technology has definitely outstripped the law in this case.
Actually, Monica's request almost seemed to beyond Reverie's capabilities, as it was breaking new ground for the program.
Alexis embraced that challenge, as she's always more about the code than its impact on people. Paul was opposed to the idea, as he was the one who had to set up Reverie to make it work in this unproven scenario.
But Paul and Charlie protested the mission, because of fear for Mara's safety. Mara is all about helping people, so naturally, she agreed to go into Reverie.
I know Charlie's title is head of security at Onira-Tech, but he should also be titled chief mediator, which all of the personalities he has to keep in line.
He and Monica went at it over the military applications for Reverie, which must be Monica's pet project. Therapy for conditions such as PTSD, training for missions and, of course, information gathering, such as Mara did in Ashley's mind.
I don't think Reverie is going to replace waterboarding or electroshock when it comes to extracting information. Mara had to coax the bomb location out of Ashley, which would be hard to do with a less cooperative subject.
Charlie's other goal was to get Alexis to see past the edge of her screen.
It's been obvious that she doesn't want to know what Charlie has had to do to keep Onira-Tech afloat while they perfect Reverie 2.0. In doing so, she's given up the right to be offended, such as at the DOD having her source code. Be careful what you wish for.
Charlie took out Alexis for what he thought would be a routine witness interview. Oops! Still, it was beneficial for her to come out of her cocoon to be reminded there are fanatical people in the world.
Did her outing give Alexis a more broadened perspective on the real world? It's far too early to tell.
As usual, Mara ended up doing all the heavy lifting. She had to go into a hastily-built Reverie to gain information from a dying imposter. In other words, she had less to go on than usual.
I felt sorry for Ashley. She was only looking for a place to belong, and Silas exploited that, lying to her about his plans about how he was going to publicize his cause. She wanted to help people, yet she ended up dying for Silas' cause.
Mara's specialty is reading people, and she could tell Ashley was an innocent victim of Silas's scheme. So Mara went to bat for her.
The room with Ashley's family cabin was an example of how Reverie gives its user what he or she needs, as Paul explained on Reverie Season 1 Episode 4.
It was heartbreaking, but Mara was able to give Ashley and her mother closure, even if it was too late to reunite them in life.
The group toast at the end seemed to indicate a kind of rapprochement, with Monica being the devil they know. It was good to see Mara toasting with coffee, staying clear of the alcohol.
To following the program's development, watch Reverie online.
How dangerous was this mission for Mara? What's Monica's motivation? Did Charlie open Alexis's eyes? Comment below.
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.