The Peripheral Episode 1 Recap and Ending, Explained

Image Credit: Sophie Mutevelian/Prime Video

Prime Video’s ‘The Peripheral’ is a sci-fi drama that follows the story of a young woman named Flynne Fisher. Her life is changed when she plays a game as a beta tester but soon discovers that there is much more at stake than just winning or losing. She gets embroiled in something that has a far-reaching impact. Her actions in the present can have catastrophic ripple effects, altering and possibly endangering the future. But that’s still a few episodes away. At the end of the first episode, Flynne has her own life to worry about. How did she land herself in such a predicament and what does it mean for her future? Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD

The Peripheral Episode 1 Recap

In 2032, Flynne Fisher lives a normal life, taking care of her mother and working at a job that she is not passionate about. Her brother, Burton, is an ex-soldier who spends most of his days on simulated platforms, trying to make some money by playing games, and Flynne, who is much better at it, helps him cross levels from time to time. One day, Burton receives a device for a new game for which he was chosen to be a beta tester. The task is simple. The longer he survives in the game, the more he will be paid. He offers Flynne to play the sim, and despite her initial inhibitions, she decides to give it a go.

This sim is unlike anything Flynne has ever seen before. It is so real that she can actually feel things and all emotions, including pain. Her first mission goes swimmingly and she is excited to give it another go. The second time, however, things take a very dangerous turn, and Flynne begins to suspect that this is more than just a game.

The situation becomes all the more perilous when Flynne is contacted by a man, who claims to be from the company that hired her brother as the beta tester. He warns her that a bounty has been placed on her head, and she and her family are in danger. When Flynne shares her concerns with Burton, he laughs it off. Advised by a friend to at least take a cursory look at their surroundings, they discover that the threat is very real. They have a bunch of mercenaries at their door, ready to attack and kill them all.

The Peripheral Episode 1 Ending: Who Put the Bounty on Flynne?

In her second mission in the sim, Flynne gets her eyeball replaced with someone else’s, someone whose retinal scan provides her and Aelita West access to a secure facility. All the while Flynne continues to believe that she is inside just another simulation and this is just another game, but things get shadier with every second. Aelita forces Flynne to use her own eye scan on something that she doesn’t know anything about. Eventually, they are found by a man who almost kills both of them.

It is during the fight that Flynne starts to suspect that the game is more real than she’d previously imagined. While trying to free her hand from the cuffs, her skin peels off and the hand of a robot is revealed inside. She later wonders why, if it is a simulation, they need to use a machine when they could’ve simply gone with a human hand. Further, as Flynne tries to save Aelita, the latter runs away at the first chance she gets. And all this while, Flynne has no idea why they were in that building in the first place. This time, Flynne is cut off from the game when the man renders her unconscious.

During the fight, the man says something that gives more context to the game Flynne thought she was playing. He talks about cutting open the head of the thing that she is in, i.e., the robot, and then tracing the connection to find out who she is and, more importantly, where she is. This means that Flynne was right when she felt that she was actually in a real place rather than a simulation. The headset that Flynne wears to enter the game allows her to connect with the robotic body, and because it connects directly to her neural system, she is able to feel everything that her robot does.

The man uses the sonic punch to break her connection. In her world, Flynne wakes up in her body, but back in the other world, her robot body is taken away by the man, who does exactly what he said he would. He uses it to trace Flynne and finds out both when and where she is. And here comes the tricky part. It becomes clear later that the place that Flynne knew she was actually visiting while in the sim is the future. At first, it looked like it was some sort of alternate universe, but the fact that Wilf, whom we first saw in 2099, contacts Flynne, and that Aelita West’s bio reveals that she was born in 2061 and is well in her thirties, proves that the device has been sending Flynne to the future.

While the show is just getting started with its mysteries, it is safe to assume that the machine at the end of the hall is now connected to Flynne, through her eye scan. This means that she can access it and start, or stop, something that might not be in the favor of the people who’d been keeping that thing a secret. To eliminate this threat, they decided to kill Flynne, and her family, so that she doesn’t get the opportunity to change the future. As to how they put a bounty on her in the past, it seems like people from the future can access technology in the past. This is how Wilf warns Flynne. The ones who want her dead might have accessed it similarly and sent out a hit on the darknet. The fact that they are ready to give nine millions for it means that Flynne has landed herself in the middle of a very dangerous situation.

Read More: Where is The Peripheral Filmed? All Filming Locations

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