Prime Video’s sci-fi drama ‘The Peripheral’ ends its first season, leaving its characters and their fate in a lurch. The stakes had been getting higher with every episode, but in the finale, Flynne Fisher comes face to face with a choice that will forever change the course of her life. It is not an easy decision to make but it is necessary if she wants to save her world as well as the people she loves. New allies are made and the intentions of several characters come to the fore by the end, making it all the more important for Flynne to trust the right person. Here’s what the ending of the first season means for her. SPOILERS AHEAD
The Peripheral Episode 8 Recap
The episode picks up after the events of the seventh episode where Tommy Constantine killed his boss and wounded Corbell Pickett. While he tries to deal with the severity of his actions, he discovers that Pickett is still alive. However, more urgent matters present themselves to him, and he discovers that the Fisher siblings are once again at the center of it. In the future, Inspector Lowbeer offers an alliance to Flynne but makes it clear that there is nothing that can be done to save her mother. This makes Flynne reconsider her actions and intentions, which eventually leads her to come up with a radical solution to her problems.
Wilf finally tracks down Aelita who tells him about the implants in their brain. She reveals that on removing the implant, she discovered that the memories of her childhood had been suppressed. The Klepts had killed her and Wilf’s family and they didn’t want them, and other children, to remember that. Now, with the data inside Flynne’s brain, she wishes to destroy the Klepts once and for all.
Ash joins hands with Cherise Nuland in the hopes of killing Lev Zubov. She tells Nuland about the location of the information that Aelita West stole and the fact that Zubov is also aware of it. Nuland doesn’t want the information to land in a Klept’s hand under any circumstance, so she decides to end Flynne’s stub. When Flynne discovers this, she seeks Lowbeer and Connor’s help to set things right.
The Peripheral Finale Ending: Does Flynne Die?
The stub that Flynne Fisher comes from was created by the Research Institute, who used her world to do the tests and the experiments that would otherwise be deemed illegal and immoral on their own. The actions of the RI also led to an accelerated rate of the Jackpot in Flynne’s world. This proves that Cherise Nuland could exercise a lot more control over Flynne’s world and Flynne wouldn’t be able to do anything about it.
Previously, Cherise hired assassins to kill Flynne and her brother in the hope that their death would ensure that no one knows what Aelita West stole from RI. Despite the deadly nature of all these seemingly skilled people, none of them succeeded in their task. So, when Cherise Nuland discovers that the information is in Flynne’s head and that Lev Zubov knows it, she decides to end the entire timeline. This will not only make sure that Flynne is dead, but no one will be able to get their hands on the data, even if it means that RI will have to incur a huge loss.
When Flynne discovers this, she knows that she can’t stop Cherise from ending her world. She also knows that if she is dead, Cherise would have no reason to end her world. This means that Flynne’s death is the only thing that can stop Cherise from initiating the Jackpot and killing everyone in her world. So, Flynne sacrifices herself for the greater good and asks Connor to shoot her dead. But that’s not the end of her plan.
Flynne is done being terrorized by Cherise and the RI, and she also doesn’t want to be the pawn in Lev Zubov’s power game anymore. Yet, she still needs an ally, and no prospect appears better than Inspector Ainsley Lowbeer. Flynne knows that the Inspector is powerful enough to stand against both the RI and the Klepts, considering that she knows a lot more about them than what she lets on. Also, she is the only one who doesn’t seem to have an ulterior motive in collaborating with Flynne, which is why she asks the Inspector for help.
With the help of the Inspector, Flynne finds the location of RI’s stub portal and opens a stub to an unknown location. She destroys the machine that can tell Cherise the coordinates of Flynne’s destination. With the new stub open, Flynne can leave her own timeline, rendering it useless for Cherise to destroy her world. Her body is dead in this timeline, but she continues to live on in another stub.
The interesting thing about opening a new stub is that everything remains the same in it until the point of divergence. So, Flynne chooses a point in the new stub where she has already come in contact with the RI and knows everything about them as well as her own plan of using a new stub. She has all her memories intact, which means that she is more or less the same Flynne from the previous stub. With the help of Lowbeer, she gets the headgear in the new stub which connects her to her peripheral in the future. So, in this manner, Flynne has created a new lease on her own life. She is, technically, dead in her world, but when it comes to the bigger picture, she is still alive.
Will Flynne’s Timeline be Destroyed or Will It Go On?
Flynne decides to kill herself in the original timeline in an attempt to save it. It is she that Cherise Nuland wants dead and once Flynne is gone, the RI head will have no need to destroy the stub. One could say that Cherise might still go forward with her plan and destroy Flynne’s stub just out of spite. However, it wouldn’t be so profitable for Cherise. She’d wanted Flynne and Burton dead for a long time and she could have resorted to ending their stub right at the beginning. But she didn’t do it because there is much more to the stub than just the Fisher siblings.
The Research Institute has dedicated a lot of money, time, and resources to develop Flynne’s stub as their own personal petri dish where they conduct experiments and research that they couldn’t in their own world. The information in Flynne’s head was too high a price to pay for that, but now that she is gone, Cherise shouldn’t feel the need to waste the stub just because of her anger towards Flynne. However, the same doesn’t hold true for other parties.
In the post-credits scene, we find Lev Zubov meeting with other Klepts who tell him that he needs to cut off the entire tree if even a single branch is causing him problems. This could be a reference to Flynne’s stub, which they know that Zubov has been keeping tabs on. Ever since Aelita West, things have gotten very dicey between the RI and Zubov, and it is possible that he might want to scrub away the entire issue, which means that if Cherise doesn’t do it, Zubov might destroy Flynne’s stub.
Still, even if Zubov and Cherise don’t take action, Flynne’s world is still destined to be destroyed. The Jackpot is imminent. There is no way to stop it. If anything, its rate is accelerated in Flynne’s world, courtesy of the Research Institute. They can make the Jackpot happen earlier, but they cannot slow its pace or halt it in its track. Sooner or later, it is bound to happen and will destroy everything in Flynne’s stub, much like it did in the original timeline. So, events might happen differently in Flynne’s world. The survivors and their stories might be different than in the original timeline, but the fact that most of the world’s population will perish will not change.
In that sense, Flynne’s sacrifice might seem useless in the long run. But then, that’s not what she was focused on. She knows that the world will end soon enough, but until then, she doesn’t want people to lose their lives because of her. Moreover, it is more than about survival now. It is now about her revenge on Cherise and changing the way the future looks.