Episode 7 ties up the series, giving context to the other stories and bringing a good duo performance from Morgan Freeman and Dan Stevens. While it isn’t as impressive as what Black Mirror often does, the writer’s focus on relationships, memory, and death pays off.
This recap of Amazon Original series Solos season 1, episode 7, “Stuart,” contains spoilers.
Episode 7 begins with Stuart sat on the beach. Meanwhile, Otto visits an Alzheimer’s facility named Solos — Stuart has the disease — Otto asks for an exception to visit the patient. Otto asks Stuart if he’s a range of names, to which he replies “yes” to all of them. Otta uses memory regeneration technology on Stuart that he retrieved from the black market. Stuart’s memory returns, and he’s happy he can remember certain colors and their associations. This is a strange start to a seemingly innocent chapter.
Stuart gets increasingly excited as he remembers more with Otto encouraging him — he eventually dances and sings as Otto watches the progress of his memory regeneration. Finally, he asks Otto why he’s done this for him as he doesn’t know who he is. Otto claims he’s from the National Health Service and that all his memories will be recovered.
Midway through episode 7, and that’s when the story flips on its head.
Stuart finishes phase 1 of the memory regeneration, and Otto begins phase 2, personal memories. Suddenly, Stuart remembers her wife’s farts and calls them “code red,” this is a reference to Tom from episode 2; he references seeing Ming from the supermarket (the man that Peg loved from episode 3); he talks about a blue slide in a park — Otto asks about a mother and a child from that park, but Stuart cannot remember anything else. Otto is frustrated.
The memory stealer
Otto asks Stuart if he remembers him, but he doesn’t — the young man tells Stuart that Alzheimer’s patients exhibit the same symptoms as aging memory addicts and install too many recollections; over time, the neurons are destroyed. He believes Stuart is dying from his addiction. Stuart believes he has the wrong man, but Otto calls him a monster who was violent against his victims — he says he remembers the day that Stuart took all his memories — it was the day he lost his mother.
The memories of the mother
Otto says his earliest memory is a dark fog — he cannot even see his mother or hear her. He can’t even miss her. The only place his mother exists is in Stuart’s head. Otto wants his memories back, and if he does, he will not tell the authorities about his crimes. As Otto walks off, Stuart starts citing the memories of Otto’s mother. Otto is mesmerized by the memories and hangs on to every word.
Afterward, Otto asks why he stole memories; Stuart recollects how he grew tired of his children, and he wasn’t sure why. He talks about his son who was struck by the virus (episode 3 – Sasha), and he was gone. When his son passed, he roamed the streets, wishing to die. He couldn’t bear his memories, so he stole others to rid himself of his own. This could explain episode 5, where people wanted memories from other people — they needed to fill the space they had lost.
Otto wants to know his last day with his mother; Stuart describes it as a cold day, and Otto went in to see her in the hospital — she reached out her hands to him and held him tight for the final time. The more that Stuart recalls, the more emotional Otto gets. Stuart tells Otto that his mother told her son it was a privilege to be her mom. Eventually, Otto’s mother took her last breath. Stuart tells Otto that his mother would be proud. He apologizes to him for what he’s done.
Otto tells Stuart that it’s time to take his memories and the older man is distraught. Stuart asks if he can leave him one memory before taking the rest, but he’s not sure which one.
Otto looks out to the sea and asks Stuart if he could show him what his mother’s hugs felt like — Stuart hugs him, and Otto tells him he can keep this memory to them two hugging by the beach.
Solos season 1, episode 7 ties up the series, giving context to the other stories, and bringing a good duo performance from Morgan Freeman and Dan Stevens. While it isn’t as impressive as what Black Mirror often does, the writer’s focus on relationships, memory, and death pays off.