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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
Love Lockdown

In the black, Lacy's looking dramatically hot, although maybe they're supposed to look like little girls dressing up, because Zoë's wearing that purple party dress and prancing around with her new/old body, which Lacy is thrilled to see. They giggle and hug and talk about how now Zoë's got a holoband hooked up that can keep her in the Matrix wirelessly whenever she's not actively robotting. I was wondering how they were going to fix that problem; I like this. They both wish she could be there all the time -- "The things that I have to see in that robot body," Zoë shivers -- and then they start poking around the black-box room.

Zoë starts feeling around on the walls for a connection to the greater Matrix, reasoning that Daniel wouldn't build this place from scratch, and says it'll show up as a door. "Where are you, are you in a safe place?" I like Zoë's natural compassion. It's the first thing we ever knew about her. Lacy says she's jacked in outside her horrible house, and fills Zoë in on how weird Sister Clarice is acting, and how it seems like she's pursuing the idea of Zoë-A. Which, she has basically done everything but say it out loud, including offering her jailbait sex with the most beautiful college boy in the galaxy, but whatever. Zoë is not impressed. "She doesn't even care that Zoë died! All she wants to do is find me and use me for whatever her plan is..." Lacy points out that Zoë and Clarice were working together, but Zoë knows better. "I keep thinking how Zoë never showed me to her, how Zoë didn't give her access to the computer account, to the program..." I also keep thinking about how totally fucking sketchy she acts at all times.

Lacy finds the door and opens it; light spills across the black room, revealing Tamara curled up on the floor. I'm glad they didn't trip over her. She introduces herself to them and says, "If this is a dream, I think it's too long. I can't feel my heart beating, and that's freaking me out right now. But there's nothing I can do about it." That is such an Adams thing to say, I love it! The last thing Tammy did before she died is kick a boy in the nuts, remember. I really like the way the kids talk, and how Zoë doesn't really talk like the rest of them. Zoë immediately kneels, compassionate as usual, and tells her it's not a dream. She helps Tammy up, and Lacy grabs Zoë, pulling her aside.

"Your Dad? Has this girl in his private virtual space?" Zoë stares at her, I guess not immediately twigging to the entirety of how fucked up that is, so Lacy takes the next step: "She's pure avatar, right? Something he invented?" Zoë agrees, because after all if that were a someone they would just take off the holoband. I don't know if the full sex-doll ramifications of this are supposed to be your first thought, but I mean... These little girls joined a cult essentially because they were bored of killing/having orgies with each other. They are no more innocent than anybody else about what the Matrix is capable of giving you. So if that's not the conversation that they're having -- if this is not an Angeli Thing -- then I don't know what the point of this is. And Zoë has every reason to trust Daniel Graystone not one little tiny bit. He kidnapped her when she was terrified and alone, on the day she died, in an embrace. Took her into this black cell, and left her there until it was time for her to be an ugly robot.

Zoë's face is certainly worried enough, and it's in her words as well: "Look, this is a door, all right? We'll all go through here and escape, okay?" Says the girl who was kidnapped by Daniel, away from her paradise, and shoved into an ugly metal body: That girl says escape. I don't know, maybe it's just supposed to be provocative or mean all these things at once. I know I would want Tammy the fuck out of there no matter what, because it's a cage, and I feel like Zoë would agree with that too. Lacy brings up the rear, and Zoë promises she'll be free, and Lacy wonders if you can "be free, if you're not real," which insensitivity Zoë manages to avoid pointing out when she breathes, "I hope so." And they escape into the light.

So back to the TV, where Duram and Youngblood have released maglev CCTV showing Ben and Zoë together, and the stock is still falling, and the protests are getting worse, and Sarno makes a joke about the God of the Underworld having issued a statement that he's still ahead of the Graystones, which plays better than it reads.

And then into the kitchen at Castle Graystone, where Priyah Magnus (Kat, once) explains some shit about how Sarno is loving every second of this, but also let's not forget that he's making jokes about a terrorist attack, which makes it risky on his end too. Daniel whines about Sarno, and Priyah points out that "more than half of college-aged viewers say they get their news" from him, which back in like 2008 was a totally dad-shocking fact but is now basically the world, which is Priyah's next point: "It's a two-way street, and we can use him to reach those same people." Daniel offers them plums, and Priyah reminds him of "that actor that got busted for drugs" who went on Sarno, etc. Ugh, whatever. This whole scene is like trying to explain TiVo to your grandfather, I'm done. The way the adults on this show interact with culture and technology is just too real, it's embarrassing, and I can't tell if the full effect here is what's intended, or just a serendipitously dorky coincidence with the writing.

The meat of it is that Daniel is additionally wary because Sarno is anti-corporate, and ripped the Commerce Minister a new one before, and Cyrus finally pipes up -- they follow him to the dinner table -- to hector Daniel about how their brand is getting associated with terrorism, to the point that, as Priyah points out, Sarno's on the verge of implying it was the holoband that made her do it, and that idea is catching on too. Daniel -- and Cyrus is not loving the pithiness -- explains that "the band is benign," as though that settles it. Priyah goes, "You don't want a logical appeal. It has to be emotional. You have to make people care." Daniel laughs, bloodied and sad.

Priyah means, in some contexts, "palatable."

"Say, Yes, Zoë was involved in some way in the tragedy. She was a troubled girl. She got mixed up with the wrong people..." Cyrus helps: "...No one has to worry about their kids doing what Zoë did, say that a million times. She wasn't a normal kid..."

To their credit there is not a person in the room that doesn't immediately notice how fucking gross it just got in there.

Priyah looks away, and Cyrus tries to apologize using only his strangled eyes as Daniel says quietly that in fact Zoë was a normal kid -- to which Cyrus weakly tries to append how he just meant she was in the STO, like that helps -- and over Priyah's protests that he's booked for tomorrow, tosses down his napkins and invites them to leave. "I will not go and drag my daughter's memory into the publicity machine. No matter what my wife said, no matter what's true, I'm not going on television to say that my daughter was a terrorist. Or troubled." That word again, true. It's not even true, that's what's so sad. They're beating themselves black and blue over nothing at all. She only wanted to bring light to the Twelve Worlds. Young and silly and annoying, yes. But not troubled. Or no more troubled than every single one of the rest of us. She was just the only one who could see it, and that was her tragedy. And it was a gift.

"She was my girl," Daniel says quietly, and they clear out.

In the v-club, of course, everybody looks awesome and ridiculous. One guy rolling on E touches Tamara, and she stares around at all the weird dancing and architecture and club creatures. Holobands are still for rich kids, she wouldn't even know about this. Zoë pulls her away, and Lacy explains where they are. "There are doors t

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