The Peripheral Episode 4 Recap: Jackpot

Prime Video’s science fiction seriesThe Peripheral’ follows the story of Flynne, who gets the opportunity to travel to the future without ever leaving the present. What had started out as a test run for a new game turns into something much more complicated with significant ramifications for Flynne as well as the world. In its fourth episode, the show gives Flynne the answer to the question that first popped into her mind when she discovered that she had made it to the future. The world looked a lot different than her own, and she wanted to know what had happened to it. Now, she has her answer. But it isn’t something that she is going to like at all. What does this episode mean for the future and people living in 2032? Let’s find out.

The Peripheral Episode 4 Recap

Following the intense action in her previous visit, Flynne starts to feel some side effects of time traveling. Her muscle spasms get worse, and her eye also starts to redden spontaneously. For now, the effects are temporary and they go away just as suddenly as they’d come. But when Flynne experiences a full-blown seizure, Burton becomes concerned about her. He takes her to the doctor who suggests Flynne stop using the headset. While her symptoms point to something bigger, the test results show that everything is normal with her.

In the future, Cherise pays a visit to Lev when she discovers that Wilf has been working for him. Their conversation results in Cherise making veiled threats while Lev tries his best not to betray his intentions. While it seems he has been intimidated by her, we later find out that he has some very dangerous plans in mind and might already have a way to get rid of Cherise later. He tells Wilf that the existence of the stubs opens the doors to many possibilities, but before that Lev also indulges in killing his alternate selves.

After Connor takes the headset for a test run, Flynne’s health situation is revealed to Wilf, who assures her that the headset has nothing to do with it. He promises that he won’t call her in the future until it is confirmed that the visits are not harming her. However, that doesn’t stop Flynne from donning the headset again. This time, however, she decides to take charge, and eventually, the true fate of her world is brought to light. She finds out about the jackpot.

The Peripheral Episode 4 Ending: How Was the Jackpot Stopped?

The term “the jackpot” has been thrown around in ‘The Peripheral’ a couple of times before, but its meaning wasn’t revealed until now. The event that claimed the lives of more than seven billion people on the planet was a series of events that happened in such quick succession that they decimated the entire world. And Flynne discovers that the end of the world is much closer to her timeline than she would have liked.

Image Credit: Sophie Mutevelian/Prime Video

While there is no way to pinpoint the exact thing that started the events of the jackpot, it is a common consensus that things got out of hand in the year 2039, seven years after Flynne’s original timeline. It started with a complete digital blackout in North America, followed by disease and the destruction of crops and wildlife, eventually ending with a nuclear attack which marked the end of the United States. This explains why Flynne visits future London but receives no information about what is going on in future America.

This also explains why Flynne was told that she is going to be dead in the next decade. With so many bad things happening in succession and Flynne being just another normal person with no money or resources to evade the effects of such atrocious times, she is more likely to have died than survived it. Because there is a good chance that she never left, she most certainly would have died in the nuclear attack. Because Lev and Wilf already know what happened and most likely looked into Flynne and her alternate future, they knew that she didn’t survive. This is why when she asks them about her future, they evade the question.

With such a catastrophe befalling the world, one wonders what kept the remaining one billion or so people from dying. How did they live long enough to make it to the next century? The episode answers this too, though a little earlier than it poses the question. In her meeting with Lev, Cherise talks about the three pillars of their society that keep things in balance. There are police robots, called mets, that keep everyone under their watchful eye and prevent anything bad from happening. There is the Research Institute that is constantly finding out new ways to make the world better. It is possible that the efforts of RI helped clean up the world after the plagues and whatnot, especially with things like the immunity implants, but they were not the ones to stop the violent aftermath of the jackpot.

At one point, when the atrocities of nature had run their course, people took over the responsibility to destroy what remained of the world. Someone was needed to put them in check and stop them from killing off the rest of the world. The klepts, i.e., the rich, the powerful, and the resourceful jumped into the fray to clean the world of its mess. With all laws thrown out the window, they resorted to whatever methods it took to bring the situation under control, which means under their control. It is clear that the new world is ruled by the rich, but they had to resort to bloodshed, among other unspeakable things, to make that happen. Hopefully, the show will reveal more about their actions, but for now, this revelation further makes a strong case against people like Lev and why they can’t be trusted.

Read More: What is the Jackpot in The Peripheral, Explained