“Want & Consequence” takes a tour of the Savage Lands that includes a Black Friday sale and a wedding gone very wrong, as Lenina and Bernard find themselves on an all-too-real safari.
This recap of Brave New World season 1, episode 2, “Want & Consequence”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
When you have a seemingly perfect society, one of the problems is that something so comparatively mundane as an unhappy man committing suicide is seen as a world-shaking event. It shows the seams, see; widens the cracks in the facade. Even puppets don’t want other people to see their strings. Hence Mustafa Mond, the World Controller, an ambitious title if there ever was one. Hence the attention on CJack60, an identikit worker drone given individual importance by virtue of witnessing those puppet strings being cut, just the once.
“Want & Consequence”, the title of Brave New World episode 2, is the name of an attraction in the Savage Lands, where Lenina and Bernard venture together. Lenina doesn’t see how her childlike wonder at zero-gravity travel proves her own naivete and inexperience; what she sees as superiority is just the absence of real experience. Bernard, at least on some level, knows better. Though he still can’t resist the prospect of sleeping with Lenina, who’s mightily turned on at having read about brides saving their virginity for their husbands in the Savage Lands guidebook. Both decide to wait for their own wedding night. Delayed gratification is the best kind, apparently.
Back in New London, Mustafa floats the possibility of a virus moving among the Epsilons, who’re apparently incapable of deception. It’s “an old word, from before.” She interrogates CJack60 about why he touched the dead worker, and how he was changed by the experience. He considered the worker “his friend”. Mustafa needs to know if anyone else touched the body, which of course they did — “the soma man”.
The soma man is on a safari-style tour of the Savage Lands in “Want & Consequence”, as he and Lenina are led along a tour of the “primitive existence” that the Savages enjoy — or not, as the case may be. They spot a “full unit” in the wild, one of them pregnant. Imagine! They witness a demonstration of the “Annual Day of Black”, a crazy Black Friday shopping trip, and a mock-up of the Savages’ most archaic practice, a wedding, in the House of Monogamy. As Bernard runs into an Alpha Minus who was basically abandoned by the Director to oversee the exhibitions seven years prior, Lenina walks barefoot over the grass like she’s in an Ed Sheeran song and locks eyes with John, who’s working in a nearby window.
Madysun plays the bride in the wedding Lenina and Bernard are observing, which is supposed to be an example of Savage culture but is clearly tailored for the New London observers and devolves into a stand-off. “Is this part of it?” Lenina asks. “Of course,” replies Bernard. But it quickly becomes apparent, as the attendees get pumped full of holes, that things aren’t as fake as they could be, which the bullet in Bernard’s shoulder can attest to.
The Resistance justifies massacring the New London tourists by claiming they were never alive, to begin with; John proves he is by vomiting all over the lawn. He doesn’t wash cars anymore. His new task is to track down Lenina and Bernard, who’re taking shelter at a motel. Eventually, he finds them and shushes Lenina.