Anyhow, that was fun. Zoë's finally located Tamara, playing Tina Turner in some kind of Master Blaster gladiatorial situation. I still can't figure out how much of the Matrix is New Cap City and plays by the NCC rules but given what's up this week, maybe we'll find out next week about that. Meantime, she's looking to chat with Tammy Adams and she's willing to interrupt some Tauron swordfighting to get it done. There's chainlink all around the top of the arena, and the NCC-dressed people do a lot of shaking it with their hands and moshing their shit just like in the Roaring Twenties.
The announcer girl is all excited to see Zoë, because somehow Tamara has let them talk her into being their Messiah -- wonder how that went? -- and Zoë's like, "Drop the dramatics and tell me where Tamara is, because I am totally not interested in playing fake NCC games." Which, imagine your frustration when everybody there is only interested in playing fake NCC games because the rest of their day they're out in the world doing things, and you're stuck in the Matrix all day long. Like, how long would it take -- listening to the Sims make those noises, manifesting the same triangles over their heads, working slavishly for the same consumer electronics -- for you to go fully bugshit?
Because the fact that Zoë entered the arena is itself a "challenge," they go all "Ave Deathwalker!" and a whole fight starts. There's a pretty delicate systems-within-systems thing happening all through this episode, having to do with focal perspective and finite/infinite games, and that's one part of it: Zoë says "I don't want to play games," and they say, "What games?" Then, stupidly, they go "You fight or die!" Which... No I don't? I mean, not in the philosophical sense toward which the entire episode is leading, but also in the actual: "Hey girl that can't die! Fight or die!"
Zoë spares herself a fabulous weary smile, fights off the two dudes with a quickness, stands there looking awesome... And then gets shot through the chest. She remembers when Zoë's house caught fire, and how Daniel couldn't save her. Tamara walks onto the floor, out of the shadows, and notes how much it hurts when they shoot you. "By the way," she says, cocking that shotgun and firing a few more times: "You found me."
Why so serious, Adams? Continuity. The human need for continuity is the strongest thing in the universe, because we are lonely minds and can only live based on the facts that we know. When somebody cheats on you it only hurts a little because of possessiveness: It hurts mostly because the world in your head and the world outside are vastly different. You thought you were on solid ground and you weren't. It's ontological. It's shameful and embarrassing because the world is calling you a fool. What broke Amanda Greystone wasn't a mental illness relapse, it was finding out her entire family was filled with double agents who were completely unlike the people she thought they were.