01x02 - Empathy Bonus

Episode transcripts for the TV show "The Peripheral". Aired: October 21, 2022 - present.*
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Set in the future when technology has subtly altered society, a woman discovers a secret connection to an alternate reality as well as a dark future of her own.
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01x02 - Empathy Bonus

Post by bunniefuu »

This here's
the only world that I got.

What is it?

Cutting-edge VR, Flynne.

Folks want me to beta test it.

Well, hello.

Welcome to the Sim, Easy Ice.

Are you ready?

Holy shit.

I can't help but think
that I was actually there.

Somewhere that's real.

Ms. Fisher,
you're in grave danger.

The situation is
far more complex

than you can possibly imagine.

It's crucial that
you log back into the sim.

I may need you to endure

terrible pain
in the coming hours.

I assure you it's for
a very noble cause, all right?

Someone from that company's

trying to contact me.

He says someone
put a hit out on us.

For $9 million on the dark net.

A breach of this
magnitude puts all of us here

at the Research Institute
in profound peril.

You've disappointed me, Daniel.

Yes, Doctor.

We traced the operator.

His location and temporality

complicate the situation,
of course.

But we've taken
the necessary steps

to eliminate the threat.

Those being?

We've put up a posting
on something called

the dark web.

- It's a...
- Yes, I know what it is.

Has the offer been accepted?

- Almost immediately.
- By a reliable party?

Ex-military. Elite unit.

We'll be providing
some assistance

on the technical side.

Well, it's not just him
that we need dead.

It's anyone even remotely
associated with him.

Well, the posting
was quite explicit

in this regard, ma'am.

Scorched earth.

Drone inbound.

Get Mama in the basement.

Can you hack it?

I need a bunch of dumb-ass
drunks around the fire.

Not much motion.

Get it done, Reece,
or we go without it.


Done. Link me.

These sorry
m*therf*ckers have no idea

who they just picked
a fight with.





You've got your long g*ns?

Mama. Mama. Wake up.

Mama, wake up right now.

Mama, wake up!

Mama, get up.

Stay down!

Back up, back up!

Where is it?

f*ck. Come on, fucker.
Come on.


Drop your f*cking g*n now!

- Mama?
- It's all right.

- She slept through the whole thing.
- Problem.

- Only seeing ten bodies.
- One's in the house.

Still two missing.

Play it back.

LMG team.

They hacked us back.


One's on the move!

- Low on a*mo here.
- Here, too.

Ain't about to be
running up that ridge,

if that's what you're thinking.

Not asking you to.


Who is that?

Will someone please tell me
what the f*ck is going on?

Your little sister said

I should stop by for a beer.

She ain't say nothin' about you

throwing such
a fun party, though.



I thought that was you.
What are the chances?

You're pretending, Wolf.

Why would you say that?

You have two choices.

You can tell me the truth,
why you've tracked me down,

or you can f*ck off
back up the street.

I know a person who's looking
for some information

about your current
place of employment.

The Research Institute?

And this person you know,
he's a fool, is he?

As far as I can see,

there's three possible
categories at play.

Fool. Klept. Maybe the Met...

He's not a fool.

So a klept, then.

Now why would I want
to get entangled

with such an unpalatable world?

There would be
a sum of money involved

that will carry you
far beyond the level of need.

I don't want money.

Are you happy, Aelita?

Every morning...

- Don't you f*cking dare do that.
- ...I'd ask you,

"Are you happy?"

And every time,
you'd give me the same answer.

Despite all that was going on,

the desolation all around us.

"Yes." "Yes."


Do you still wake up like that?

So this is altruism, is it?

Is there a finder's fee
for the Good Samaritan?

Both can exist, can't they?

Self-interest and altruism?

I'm quite serious.

You really don't
seem happy to me.

The individual you know,

his overture, or whatever
you want to call it,

it's gonna make me happy, is it?

A little bit of intrigue,
to liven up your days.

Where's the harm in that?


Good God, Wilf,

you sound like hell.

The hour may have something
to do with that, Lev.

Which should give a sense
of the urgency at play.

- What's going on?
- I've sent a car.

It's waiting downstairs.

It's 5:00
in the f*cking morning.

I'm not going anywhere.

I pay you a retainer,

quite a generous one
if I'm not mistaken.

Given what I understand
to be the going rate for...

um, what is it you call
yourself again, Wilf?

A "fixer"?

I do admire the brute
simplicity of the title.

All I'm asking
is that you do your job.

Fix a problem of mine,

and fix it now.

The bounty

on the girl and her family,
someone tried to claim it.

Or to be more precise,
a team of someones.

And rather violently.

We got lucky,

but our good fortune
isn't likely to last.

So my technicals have built
the girl a Peripheral.

I need you to get her
inside it now.

She's our best chance
of finding Aelita.

I can sense your glare
of disapproval, Ash.

What is it now?

Your friend, Mr. Netherton.

I worry your personal attachment

might be affecting
your judgment.

That he's not
the right man for the job.


He's the sort you pay to carry

a bag of money to someone,

isn't he?

Slippery. Unmemorable.

The type authorities
overlook because

he's not like you.

He's not a...

A wealthy bon vivant?

A descendant of an illustrious
Russian bloodline?

A patron to the arts?

A k*ller.

He's just a pet.

Obliging and sweet.

And the current situation
may require us

to be a little bit more...


One day I'll share with you
how I first met Wilf.

He doesn't like
to talk about it.

Quite modest, really.

But let's just say,

when it comes to
his capacity for v*olence,

he is one of the family.

Especially when
properly motivated.

And no one could possibly
be more motivated

to find Aelita
than Wilf Netherton.

I'm sorry, Flynne.

I know this is the last thing
you want to do,

but we need the intel.

If you'd like it altered
in any way,

we can easily accommodate you.

I'm Wilf Netherton.

I'll be as direct as possible,

since neither of us
has time for anything else.

I'm trying to find a woman.

Aelita West.

If I'm not mistaken,

you might be the last person
to have seen her.

You see, I'm thinking
you should probably tell me

why people are trying to come
and k*ll me and my family first.

And then, maybe I'll go and play

your stupid missing-lady sim.

You aren't playing a sim,
Ms. Fisher.

You're inside what we
call a Peripheral.


Piloting that body
as if it were your own.

And all this, it...

Let me show you.

This ain't London.

Why would you say that?

Where are all the people?

Well, that's where things
begin to get a bit tricky.

This is London.

But London 70 years from what
you think of as the present.

I'm sorry, you really just
expect me to swallow that?

That I've time traveled here?

To future London?


Not at all.

If it were time travel,
as you say,

you'd be here physically.

This is merely a matter
of data transfer.

Quantum tunneling is
the technical term for it.


I understand your confusion.

No, I'm not confused at all,

I just don't believe you.

You'd like my bona fides?

Your mother.

She has a brain tumor.

A glioma.

Okay. You don't really need
to be from the future

- to know that one.
- It's going to k*ll her in four weeks.

On September the 22nd.

Late in the evening.

That's not true.

Doctor told her
it won't do her in.

They said there's plenty of
stuff in line ahead of that.

Has her pain been intensifying?

That's usually the first sign.

We've developed a drug
to treat gliomas.

Rather easily.

It's like spraying a weed,
more or less.

I've sent the formula
to your pharmacy.

They're printing it now.

We can't afford Pharma Jon.

We wired payment
direct to the pharmacy.

Think on it, Ms. Fisher.
But with alacrity.

The situation is urgent.
I can't stress that enough.

You and your family...
You remain in grave danger.

Those men who came to k*ll you,

they won't be the last.

You need my help to stop them.

And I'll need yours in turn.

I'll see you soon.

Burying and burning have both
come up for discussion.

Along with
the straight and narrow approach

of contacting
the sheriff's office.

I thought we should
hear from you

before we committed ourselves.

Bury them.

I'm headed into town.

What for?

Tell you when I get back.

- You can't go alone.
- Fine.

Then send somebody.

You want to tell me
something, Mama?

About what?

About your glioma?

Oh, sweetie.

Who told you?

I'm sorry, Flynne.

I'm so sorry.

They tell you
something like that...

- Mama...
- It sounds silly.

But suddenly, you realize
how precious each day is.

And the idea of stealing
even one second from you,

of... of weighing you down
with sadness,

when I could protect you?

How long?

Six weeks...

...if I'm lucky.

I told the nurse,
if I was lucky,

I wouldn't be here
in the first place, would I?

This new drug, it's...

It's experimental.

We don't know what's in it.

What's the worst
it could do, Flynne?

k*ll me a little quicker?

Come on.


f*cking A.

- Hey.
- Hey.

Coffee is on the desk.


I could really use some intel
right about now,

if you got it.

You're not gonna believe me.

Try me.

It ain't a sim.

When I put on the headset,
I'm operating an actual body.

It's some kind of robot,
I guess,

but a whole lot
more realistic than that.

It looks like me.

Feels like me.

Except it's, uh, in London.

This guy says.

I can believe that.

Well, that ain't
the hard part yet.

He says I witnessed something
while I was there.

Something that these folks
are wanting to k*ll me

to keep quiet.

I still don't see
what's so hard to believe.

It's in the future, Burton.

Where he is.


I assume he gave you
a reason to believe that?

You check on Mama
on your way up?

Is she okay?

Claims she's fine.

But Leon says her vitals
are out of whack.

Like she's fighting something.


This guy, he-he gave me
something for her.

A drug.

For her tumor.
He says it will cure her.

Well, f*ck that, 'cause we're
not taking his word on anything.

- I gave it to her.
- You what?

- He showed me her obituary, okay?
- Flynne, you can't

- just give her...
- She's gonna die in four weeks

if we don't do nothing about it.

And you just believed that?

It was real, Burton.
It felt real.

Felt real?

- Flynne, are you out of your f*cking mind?
- I'll go back.

- I'll get more intel, if that's what you want.
- No f*cking way.

- I'm going in there.
- No.

He doesn't want you.

Okay? He wants me.

I don't give a f*ck
who he wants.

That's part of the problem.

You're letting him think
he's in charge.

g*dd*mn it, Burton.
Why do you have to go

and f*ck things up
all the time, huh?

f*ck. Look, I'm sorry.


We need you here.

You know that.

What happens when more people
come hunting us down?

But I'm going, Burton.

This ain't a discussion.


Welcome back.

Where are we?

The rear garden of a house
in Notting Hill.

It belongs to Lev Zubov.

That's him, in the waistcoat.

Are those...?

Thylacine analogs.

Though I believe
you might call them

- something else.
- Tasmanian tigers.

I saw them on a show once,

but they said that
they were extinct.

Well, one of Lev's hobbies
is recreating such things.

- From their DNA.
- Do they bite?

These two are designed
for domestic companionship.

There's a rival genetic line,
bred to be feral.

So, why are we here?

We're in Notting Hill to meet
with Lev and his two technicals.

More specifically,
we're in his garden

to give you
a moment to acclimate

before we begin.

Begin what?

Debriefing you.

Lev is the man
who hired me to find Aelita.

The woman who went missing.

And what's a technical?

Someone with expertise
in, ah... technical matters?

Gift for words, hasn't he?

Ossian is the gentleman

looming rather threateningly
against the tree.

He has a knack
for that sort of thing,

as you'll soon see.

And Ash is the exceedingly

gloomy-looking young woman

at the table.

They work to maintain
the connection

between our two worlds.

Which is apparently
rather more tenuous

than one might prefer.

Can we bring them in before he
says something we can't unsay?

Lunch is served, Wilf.

You can shut it down.

What happens to this thing

when I'm not in it?

It has an eight-hour
sleep cycle.

The rest of the time,

when you're off in your stub,
it runs on AI.

My "stub"?

When a party from our present
made contact with the past,

that past immediately
branched off

and formed its own continuum.

Or parallel timeline,
if you will.

Or stub.

In other words,

our two time lines were identical
until that moment of contact.

At that point, they separated.

You're not helping at all.

Any moment
you'd like to jump in.

It can all be rather
confusing, even for us.

Perhaps we should stick to
the most urgent matters at hand,

and trust that the secondary
details will fall into place.

Urgent, like the people coming
to k*ll me and my family?

For instance.

Or, from our perspective,

urgent being what happened
to Aelita West.

Why is she
so important to y'all?

Aelita worked for an entity
called the Research Institute.

Her duties there gave her
access to your stub.

We've been paying her to provide
us with a trapdoor into it.

Now that she's missing,
we risk losing that connection.


Well, what were you all up to
in my world, then?

- I'm sorry?
- Seems like you're going

to an awful lot of trouble
here to find things out.

Kind of just begs
the question: Why?

You could call it
intellectual curiosity.

Like a game?

Like you're playing a sim?

I suppose that analogy
could be made.

So, we aren't real to y'all?

Are we? Me, my family,

my friends.

Are we real to you?

I'm working on it.

Got a visitor.

Tommy Constantine.

On foot.

- Half a klick up the road.
- Bring the drones in.

Pull back. I'm coming up.

Roger that.

- Carlos, I need you to cover for me.
- On my way.

- What do I do?
- Just sit and watch.

If she wakes, don't tell her
where I've got to.

I ain't gonna lie
to her, Burton.

I'm not asking you to.

Just tell her I'm walking
the perimeter.

And then try your best
to keep her there.

That drug you gave my mother,

all it's gone and done
is make her sicker.

It will accomplish
what I promised, I assure you.

Give it time.

Which is the one thing
she don't have, ain't it?

According to y'all?

How'd you all get
that information, anyway?

What else do you all have?
You got her obituary.

But... what happens to me?

Well, as we explained before,

when someone from our world
made contact with yours,

- your timeline...
- Yeah, I get it. That's the whole stub thing.

But what happened to the
Flynne Fisher in your timeline?

I mean, does she get married,
or have any kids?

Or is she still alive?

What about my brother?

information to a certain point.

But after that point, the
records become rather spotty.

What point? Why?

A lot can happen
in 70 years, Ms. Fisher.

- A lot did happen.
- Yeah, but what? Specifically.

I fear we're getting
a little off track here.

What are you all hiding from me?

These are all
excellent questions,

and in time,
they'll all be answered.

- I give you my word.
- Yeah, you keep on saying that,

but it's just starting to sound
like it don't mean that much.

Ms. Fisher...

When will my mother get better?

Iesniegt navised maehad.

Urtew cept zoryin.

They can encrypt their voices

when they address each other.

You'll grow accustomed to it.

I'm afraid the irritation

never quite dissipates.

I was simply informing Ash

that the medication in question
has a 57% efficacy rate.

Which means?

The ability to produce

a desired or intended result.

Borrowed from Latin "efficacia."

I know what
the f*cking word means.

What does it mean for my mother?

We can't guarantee
that the drug will work.

Well, I'm guessing
"spraying a weed" means

something pretty different
in the future, huh?

Y'all got extinct animals
you've brought back to life,

time travel, moving tattoos...

Seems like it shouldn't be
too hard to help a good woman

who's had a shitty
run of luck lately.

Make that happen...

...and I'll start talking
about your missing lady.

Give you my word on it, too.

You ever come across
anything like this?

You know what?

That's a 6.8 SPC.

We used those
in the w*r on occasion.

Builder muscle, you think?

Good a guess as any.

All the way out here, though?

That seem a bit odd, don't it?

Whole damn thing seems
pretty odd to me, Tommy.

Hey, you and Flynne ain't mad
at Dee Dee and me, are you?

Why would we be mad?

All them vehicles.

Looks like y'all getting ready
to roast a pig or something.

Just, uh, wondering why
we didn't get an invite.

That's Reece's truck there,

And Leon?

Carlos, too?

Yeah, just one of our
stupid drone tournaments.

I didn't figure
you'd be fool enough

to mess around with those.


Suppose not.




I know how personally invested
you are here, Wilf.

So I worry that you might feel
an understandable instinct

to push the pace a little
with Ms. Fisher.

I think we should
let her find her feet

before we pressure her too much.

You said time was a resource
we can't afford to waste.

And I wouldn't
consider it wasted

if it were time spent
making her more...


My understanding was

that you simply wanted
to speak with Aelita.

It's the only reason I agreed
to arrange an introduction.


And those conversations
led to the possibility

of access to this
young woman's world.

Why did you want access?


You've always struck me

as someone with a gift for
discerning the difference

between good knowledge
and bad knowledge.

Good being that which
brings you power or advantage.

Bad being the type which
might put you in mortal peril.

It's a point of pride.
I don't lie to my friends.

So, please, take some care
of what you ask.

I'd hate to stop
thinking of you as a friend.

Make sure to say hi
to Flynne and your mama for me.

Yeah, I'll do that, Tommy.

What did he say?

Two abandoned SUVs
up the road a ways.

With some new kind of
cloaking tech.

Which answers that question.

You okay?

I don't f*cking know, Burton.

I mean, how the f*ck is all
this happening right now?

There's a pile of dead
bodies back there.

You can't think like that.

Your buddies from the future
gonna help us any?

Or we on our own?

They said they're watching.

I guess they'll try
to give us a warning

before the next wave hits.

How much of a warning?

Much as they can manage.

They said they're
sending money, though.

A lot.


Soon as that hits my account,

I'm gonna lose
my social security.

Yeah, I know.
Don't worry, I told them.

They said they're gonna
figure out a workaround.

Which is?

Holy shit.
Holy f*cking shit.

I just won the g*dd*mn lottery!


I've always been lucky.
You both know that, don't you?

Luck ain't got nothing
to do with it, Leon.

What? You two meet
some folks in the futur...

- Indoor voice, Leon.
- The future?

They help me win the lottery?

How else you gonna
explain that but luck?


From Mr. Pickett.
With his congratulations.

Corbell Pickett?
For real?

Mm-hmm. Yep.

Jesus f*ckin' Christ.

Just raise your glass.

Nod your thanks.

Manners, Flynne.

I... I just got to...
Got to use the bathroom.

f*cking assh*le's
still looking at us.

Well, our idiot cousin
did just win the lottery.

So makes us kind of interesting
for a minute or two.

So, you believe me now?

'Bout this whole future thing?

Step closer, I'll admit.

Not a small one, either.

What's that?

Shopping list
for our little army.

Duty roster.

Where's Conner at?

You know Conner.

I do.

I also know that maybe
asking him to help us

- might count as a good deed.
- Might.

Might also get us all k*lled.

Come on, Burton.

He came in pretty damn
handy the other night.

We spun the dial,
and thankfully,

Conner came up sober.

Which I guess means
cousin Leon is not the only one

with a bit of luck on his side.

What's up? You got
something you want to say?

Already said it.

I can't go fixing something
that's unfixable, Flynne.

Not in the middle of all this.

All right, then,

- I'm gonna head home.
- Wait, wait, wait. Hold up.

I talked to Reece
about that sim.

How you got us all
out of the barn.


And you let the sheep out 'cause
you felt bad for them, right?

And then, once they were gone,
the tractor was revealed.

So it was like
the sim gave you...

...an empathy bonus?

But tactically,
that would've been

sacrificing a valuable asset.

Those Nazis were about
to storm us,

and the sheep were
the only cover we had.


How would you
have found it then?

That's my point.

You feel bad for Conner.

I get it. We all do.

But nobody's handing out any
empathy bonuses here, Flynne.

In the real world, there ain't
gonna be no f*cking tractor.


But if there were one...

...you wouldn't have found it.

Now would you?

I'll see you at home.

Damn it, Flynne.

...of Entomology
at Cornell University.

Each individual bee

has a significant role
to play serving the larger

needs of the colony.

Workers, the drones, the queen,
they all contribute

to the healthy functioning
of the hive.

And none of them,
not even the queen herself,

can survive without
the support of the others.

despite their cooperative

and highly regimented society,

environmental pressures have
placed the population of bees

into free fall, which has led

to a cascade
of agricultural deficiencies

and economic turmoil
in our own society.

For instance,
a study conducted in California

with almond farmers found that

the absence of bees
decreased their annual income

by $75,000...

You ever worry you might sh**t
someone with that thing?

Wake up startled-like?

That why you don't come
and visit so much no more?

Afraid I might beat you
to the draw?

You drunk, Conner?

I'm something.

That's for sure.

You didn't answer
my question, though.

Why don't you come a-visiting?

I'm a-visiting now, ain't I?

Got so I figured I was gonna
find you dead one of these days.

Didn't know if
I could live with that.

So why are you here now?

You disappeared on us,
after our night of mayhem.

The fun seemed
to die down pretty quick.

I've learned I'm not so good
with the quiet periods.

We got an ongoing situation.

I could use a decent
staff sergeant.

The other night, when I was
headed toward your place?

Those boys,
they heard me coming,

hustled into the brush.

I only saw one of them,
but he had me scoped.

All he had to do
was twitch a finger.

Know what he did?

Just let me roll by.

I figured they was headed
to the Baker place,

that Jasper crossed
Corbell Pickett somehow, and...

I kept thinking on it...

...as I was going up the road.

There's only one reason
I could guess

why that boy would let me by.

It's pity.

More I thought on that,
the madder I got.

I mean, I decided
I was gonna k*ll that boy,

no matter where he was headed.

By the time I got back,

those fellas had your balls
in a nice tight grip.

Only seemed neighborly
to ease the pressure.

Felt pretty good
for about 12 hours or so.

Almost like I'd made
things right for myself.

How much money
you reckon the VA spends,

trying to put all us
Humpty Dumpties

- back together again?
- Less than it would take.

Turns out they could
just let us all

start sh**ting each other.

Solve the whole damn problem,

don't you think?

Half of us'd be dead,

the rest would be happy.

Tell me that firefight
didn't make you happy, Burton.

There it is.

There it most
definitely f*cking is,

am I right?

Am I right?

What you got going on out there?

Flynne took a trip
to future London.

Saw something
she wasn't supposed to.

Now people from there
are hiring folks to k*ll us.

I'm pretty f*cked up,
but not that f*cked up.

I didn't say
you had to believe me.

You just need to help.
Sober up.

Come camp at our place.

Leon's there for an offload,
if you want it.

It's not his job no more.

I don't guess he ever saw it
as a job, Conner.

Probably wouldn't be too happy

to hear you describe it
that way, either.

I just told you I k*lled
some boys for pitying me.

- And?
- You doing the same thing?

I was trying for
empathy, actually.

What's the f*cking difference?

f*cked if I know, man.

Look, the offer is there
if you want it.

But the sober part
is nonnegotiable.

You gonna remember me
standing here,

telling you all this,
come morning?

I'd say...

...it's fifty-fifty.

¿No esposa esta noche, Señor?

Flying free this
evening, Manuel.

Perhaps you'd like
una compañera?

Why, you old devil.

What do you take me for?

Un hombre de gran pasión, ¿no?

Well, put it like that? I...

Guess I wouldn't spurn
some company.



And what is your name, honey?



Like the Chiquita lady?

¿Qué es eso?

Used to be a fruit
called the banana.

k*lled off in
some sort of fungus.

Terrible shame.

You, uh...

have any talents
I should be aware of?

Would you excuse us, señorita?


You're quite a difficult man
to contact, Mr. Pickett.

Our records indicate
that you are an individual

with some power
and influence in Clanton,

circa 2030.

And it also seems

that you're a man who doesn't
indulge in too many scruples.

Is that correct?

What the f*ck is going on here?

We have a situation that
would appear to require

some local knowledge.

We'd like to pay you
ten million dollars

to eliminate two members
of your community.

Who are you? Homeland Security?

You f*ckers hacked this thing?

We're prepared to transfer 25%

into your account now,

as a good faith payment.

The rest will be paid
upon completion.

The individuals'
names in question

are Flynne and Burton Fisher.

You think I'm a fool?

This is entrapment, assh*le.

Open and shut.

End game!

Jesus Christ.

f*cking idiots.

How was Havana?

Always better when you're there.

Oh, I doubt that.

Bet you get up to all sorts
of trouble on your own.

Some cha-cha-chá?

I'm afraid we might need
to take a break

from the old Tropicana.

How come?


Burton, get up here right now.


What are you doing?

You okay?

I was hungry.

I thought I was in a dream.


I can see, Flynne.


I can see you. I can see you.

What connection do you have
to a man named Corbell Pickett?

Now, you won't
get anywhere in life

if you don't have the courage
to be cruel now and then.

That's the kind
of person that he is.

That ain't who we are.

There ought to be a simpler way
to k*ll a girl.

Aelita left a clue
as to her potential whereabouts.

She was always fond of riddles.


that's my house.

I've arrived.
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