What happened to Burton during his time as a Marine in The Peripheral?

By Adam Lock
Published: November 6, 2022
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What happened to Burton during his time as a Marine in The Peripheral? We explore this question and give an assessment of Burton as a character.

Siblings Burton (Jack Reynor) and Flynne Fisher (Chloe Grace Moretz) find themselves constantly under attack in Prime Video’s sci-fi hit series The Peripheral. Luckily they know their way around a firearm or two and know how to defend themselves with the help of their fellow comrades, Burton’s gang of ex-Marine friends. These shoot-outs lead to some exciting set-pieces and many adrenaline-fueled action sequences, but why are the soldiers so in synch with one another, and what secrets are lurking in their joint past?

Who is Burton in The Peripheral?

Jack Reynor (Midsommar) plays Burton Fisher in The Peripheral. After leaving the US Marine corps, he now makes a living playing VR simulations. The ultra-realistic gameplay is a lucrative employment that has led Burton to an opportunity of a lifetime. He has been offered the chance to trial run a futuristic technology by Colombian company Milagros Coldiron. The mysterious company sends him the blueprints for a state-of-the-art headset that programs the player into an even-more realistic gaming experience. Of course, his sister Flynne (Chloe Grace Moretz) is the more-experienced player, and he graciously lets her test out the kit first.

What did Burton do for the Marines?

Burton was part of a unique branch of the Marines that specialized in Haptics technology. This allowed him to synchronize with his fellow fighters in a revolutionary fashion via cybernetic implants. The futuristic technology allows individuals to share the same visuals and even the same emotions to a certain extent. Burton later compares this merging of souls to a lot like falling in love. While fighting, they could see each other’s distinct perspectives and hack into other devices, such as a drone’s camera. This technology meant that an already close-knit crew would become even more synchronized, working as one unstoppable force.

What happened to Burton during his time as a Marine in The Peripheral?

The events of Burton’s past in the marines are mentioned in passing, and we get glimpses of that previous life, but it remains a closed book on the whole. Burton witnessed many tragedies while working as a Marine, and he appears to be dealing with some form of PTSD as a result of that traumatic history. There’s also the hardship of Conner’s horrifying accident, which he partially blames himself for.

The squadron all share their joint pain, which must be a blessing and a curse at the same time. In the first few installments, you can see that Burton is still recovering from the aftereffects of these ungodly horrors and the haptics technology. He appears jaded by the past trauma and takes medicine to cope with the ever-present pain he still struggles with due to the inbuilt devices. It would also seem that the faulty technology cannot be removed, as Burton and his comrades all still utilize the equipment in their present day.

Why does Burton need cybernetic implants?

The cybernetic implants gave Burton and his team an undeniable edge over their enemies, they were able to work as one trained unit together, adapting and developing this shared power over time. This meant they could observe more, cover more ground and assist each other in combat. It’s a clever use of technology that would improve modern warfare in untold ways. But why would Burton keep and need the cybernetic implants? Irrespective of the likelihood of whether the technology can or cannot be removed, the idea of keeping it means that Burton can defend himself more efficiently in the present. The team also went through a shared emotional experience like no other, and by keeping the implants, their bond will never die.

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