The series remains cinematically shot, and the acting is impressive, but the show is on a rapid decline. Scenes feel repetitive and redundant, while the dialogue is terribly clichéd. Maybe this mystery has run out of steam.
This recap of the Apple TV+ series Surface season 1, episode 4, “Psychogenic,” contains spoilers.
The first three installments of Surface drip-fed viewers information about Sophie’s past and the traumatic event that caused her severe memory loss. In “Psychogenic,” Sophie takes matters into her own hands as she desperately fights to retrieve these lost memories. Conniving James distracts the investigators, and undercover cop Baden infiltrates James’ team, hoping to find further evidence. The plot moves forwards at a steady pace, but with each new episode, this series continues to drastically dip in quality as the cracks begin to show.
Surface season 1, episode 4 recap
Sophie has clearly had enough of these gaping holes in her memory and decides to bypass her most trusted confidants, independently tackling the dilemma once and for all. She’s researched a treatment clinic called Encounter that promises to help with processing trauma and memory recovery. She’ll need hard cash to access this wellness company though and with James in control of her finances, Sophie must be smart moving forwards.
Meanwhile, Baden plans on incriminating James further and tells Sophie that he has someone on the inside. She worries that her husband won’t face any real jail time though, as it is just her word against his, but Baden reassures her that justice will be served. The couple then kiss, hiding from the public’s gaze behind a stone pillar. Their relationship looks set to recommence once again, as her psychotic husband falls from grace.
At therapy, Sophie’s shrink Hannah worries about her patient’s constant need to engage with the past. Sophie wants answers and mentions the experimental clinic. She needs Hannah to sign off on the treatment, because James will never accept this alternative clinic without her approval. Hannah refuses, calling it reckless and dangerous. She tells Sophie that to recover she must do the hard work, there are no easy answers and no quick fixes.
Sophie ignores her therapist’s advice and decides to sell her jewelry to raise some funds. The wellness clinic costs five grand for membership and Sophie pays in cash. She’s then given a tour of the facilities and questioned about her current situation. She lies and says that her memory loss was caused by a freak accident not a suicide attempt. The guide mentions using hallucinogens to form new connections in the brain and Sophie literally dives straight into the process. In a shallow pool she relives moments from her past, which include her arguing with an agitated James and kissing an unknown female.
Baden makes a drug deal with James’ assistant Todd, which he later uses to frame the man, presumably for some juicy Intel. Sophie formulates a scheme of her own, hoping to get answers from James first-hand. She books them into a hotel suite at their wedding venue and flirts with her problematic partner, toasting to their anniversary. James is distracted during the evening, with Todd calling him to clarify the arrival of the investigators. James tells him to stall them however possible. He needs more time. Caroline has agreed to transfer him four million, but he’s still another five million down.
In the hotel toilets, Sophie pays an escort to kiss her, hoping to rekindle a dormant spark. She’s unsure of her own sexuality after the returning memory of her kissing a girl. Sophie is only confused further by this kiss and asks James to show her the ballroom. He talks about his frustrations with the memory loss and how he misses the old Sophie. She kisses him and they retire to the suite for some further intimacy. Sophie capitalizes on the vulnerable husband and broaches the subject of the investigation. James confesses and admits that the company is down eleven million dollars. Unbeknownst to the crook, Sophie has recorded the entire conversation, which she then takes to Baden.
As the fourth episode comes to an end, Sophie meets with Hannah once more. The shrink tells Sophie that she is concerned with her patient’s erratic, impulsive behavior. Hannah has spoken with James about this regression and contacted the wellness clinic. Hannah ordered the clinic not to treat Sophie ever again or they’d risk being closed down. Sophie is stunned by this betrayal. Hannah adds that Sophie’s mother suffered from a psychotic disorder, which could be genetic. She fears hallucinogens would greatly effect Sophie’s mental state. Sophie storms off after telling Hannah not to trust her husband.
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