“Zero Daze” highlights the show’s exquisite storytelling and detailed eye for beautifully crafted animation. The fifth installment concludes with a shocking reveal that perfectly ties the whole story together.
This recap of the AMC+ series Pantheon season 1, episode 5, “Zero Daze,” contains spoilers.
In computing, zero-day is a term to describe a vulnerability that can be exploited by hackers. Those that have become Uploaded Intelligence all suffer from a vulnerability, the same defect, which the gang try to fix in episode five of Pantheon, titled “Zero Daze”. This instalment focuses on Maddie’s team as they try to hack into Logorhythms once more, whilst Caspian uncovers his true purpose in life. This is another impressive episode with stunning storytelling and inventive animation.
Pantheon season 1, episode 5 recap
The episode opens with a birds-eye-view shot of Logorhythms’ secret base in Norway. The ominous black cube stands out against its snowy backdrop. Pope is on the phone with Waxman, who updates him on Prasad’s company. The rival business is falling apart, with customers rioting in the streets. Waxman has uncovered a missing employee called Chanda, who he suspects is now Uploaded Intelligence and may have escaped just like David. Waxman can’t track him down without the company’s cooperation though.
Meanwhile, Maddie discusses the flaw inside David and Laurie’s programming. A simple reboot will not fix this problem, one that is decaying all Uploaded Intelligence. Whilst debating possible actions, David begins to glitch and must quickly back up his memory. It would seem Logorhythms have shut down the servers that were homing both David and Laurie. David reverts back to the old days and is only able to communicate via emojis once again. Worse still, he only remembers what happened the day before. The gang are running out of time and need to find a cure fast. They decide to buy their own servers and home the UI’s in Maddie’s house.
Caspian meets with girlfriend Hannah and takes her hostage, speeding down the highway, demanding answers. Hannah is quick to crack and explains everything. She is an actor hired to befriend Caspian, in what she was told was a social experiment. Hannah was paid a great deal for this odd job and had to sign contracts. Caspian asks about his parents’ involvement, Hannah admits that they know everything.
At dinner, Renee probes Caspian and the two lie to one another, keeping up the same old act. Caspian decides to set up hidden cameras in the house and captures Renee breaking character. He listens in as Renee has an angry conversation with Pope. He informs her that Cary has gone rogue and fled the project. She grabs her gun and forces Caspian on a road trip, clearly using this vacation as a ruse to hunt down Cary.
With David and Laurie safe inside the servers at Maddie’s home, the gang discuss their options. They contemplate hacking into Logorhythms again and Maddie casually mentions her knowledge of their hidden base in Norway. David swiftly hacks into Pope’s phone and then a laptop, downloading all the company’s secretive files. Pope is informed of the breach and asks Waxman to track down the enemy’s servers, to wipe David and Laurie clean from existence. David tricks Waxman’s tracking system though and avoids detection.
Caspian hijacks Renee’s car and drives off to find his father. Cary confesses everything to his son, explaining the whole sorry affair. Holstrom created the first UI’s, but they all came with the same defect. He spent the rest of his life trying to solve this problem, but died of cancer before achieving his goal. Holstrom knew that he couldn’t upload his own intelligence because of the defect and instead created a clone of himself. Caspian is this clone.
David and co discover that Logorhythms don’t actually have a cure for the defect, but through the hacking they find out about the clone, believing a boy called Caspian may be their savior. Caspian was created from one of Holstrom’s genomes. He was born solely to fix the defect and save humanity. Cary and Renee were hired to hit all the inflection points of Caspian’s childhood to mirror the moments that defined Holstrom, practically recreating his life to make an exact replica of the man’s genius. Caspian is the results of this experiment. It’s a truly great reveal that cleverly ties everything together.
Renee arrives just after Cary has confessed everything to Caspian. In her anger she shoots Cary in the chest. Caspian drives away with Cary, leaving Renee all alone. The episode ends with Maddie being told about Caspian’s vital importance to their future and she concludes that he is just a clone. Although, David sees things differently and says that he is their last hope.
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