“Everyone” found just the right balance between character-driven story and fantastical formal puzzle box in a strong workhorse episode.
This recap of Dispatches From Elsewhere Season 1, Episode 6, “Everyone”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Dispatches From Elsewhere Episode 6 is fittingly titled “Everyone”; the first installment to not focus primarily on a single character and their origin story. This, as it turns out, is good news for AMC’s oddball show, since it works as an ensemble piece about outsiders coming together to find each other and themselves about as well as it works as a surrealist funhouse-mirror puzzle box – and it seems to work best when it’s doing both at once.
Another diner-set team meeting brings us up to speed, reminding us of the slightly different objectives of each team member and their most recent spats; Janice (Sally Field), for instance, refuses to work with Fredwynn (André Benjamin) after the whole text message debacle, so she ends up teaming with Simone (Eve Lindley) in order to follow Clara’s artwork in the hope of tracking her down, while Peter (Jason Segel) accompanies Fredwynn to unravel the secret conspiratorial forces at work behind the so-called game.
I can appreciate how Dispatches From Elsewhere Episode 6 is going out of its way to create fresh pairings here, and especially the value in keeping Peter and Simone separate for a while – absence makes the heart grow fonder, after all, and their romantic arc will do well to teeter from will-they to won’t-they for a while. Peter and Fredwynn make a decent dysfunctional odd couple anyway, especially since Fredwynn’s smug self-assurance gives Peter the opportunity to stand up to him and develop a greater sense of personal worth. They investigate a closed museum and Peter is able to decipher a recurring symbol as the logo of the parent company atop his former employer.
This gives Peter an excuse to sneak into the Spotify offices and find a trail of musical cues and clues leading first to a playlist and then an IP address. Fredwynn helps out by posing as a life coach and dragging Peter up off the floor when he crash-lands during his escape, but this is still very Peter-focused, giving him chance to shrug off his bland everyman shtick.
Meanwhile in Dispatches From Elsewhere Episode 6, Simone and Janice return to Fishtown and we, as an audience, return to Janice’s past since she’s familiar with the bar and one of the regulars. One of Clara’s murals, seemingly incomplete, is a trick of perspective; part of it painted from an apartment across the street that is now occupied by an older woman whom Janice is able to bypass with some charming Janice-isms. Clara’s last name, gleaned from old records, is apparently Torres, and the local library yields a story of her years-ago disappearance and a stay at a facility for apparent mental illness. As much as “Everyone” is about Peter, it’s also about Janice.
The former site of this psychiatric facility also happens to be the location of the IP address Peter and Fredwynn discovered, so the band gets back together in order to hack the building’s elevator controls, go upstairs and investigate. What they discover is a typical cliffhanger ending: A split-screen monitor playing Octavio on one side and Commander 14 on the other, both relaying the same message about the other side having Clara. What does this mean? There isn’t time to interrogate it since Dispatches From Elsewhere Season 1, Episode 6 immediately cuts to credits, but we have to assume that if a game is afoot, both the Jejune Institute and the Elsewhere Society are playing it – and possibly on the same side.
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