Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
The Bane & The Pox Of The Pain In The Box

Back in the Matrix -- Zoë lying in the dirt full of holes -- our own continuity gets a sudden slap in the face: Fading in and out while she heals, Zoë remembers a time long ago, after the fire but before everything else, when she saw her special friend again. She was thinking about the fire, and the beautiful girl that saved her from it, and drawing a picture of her trauma like the therapists said to do, and suddenly the angel was back. She smiled and said, "You're drawing the fire!" There's a child dev theory that says Eden's fall is a memory, universal to us all, about the first time we cried and mommy didn't come immediately to fix it. For Zoë, the angel saved her when her daddy couldn't. And years later, he'd use that memory against her, to get her back under his control. It wouldn't work, but it would support the continuity of her beliefs about grownups, which drove Zoë to the OTG in the first place, to the STO; to create life itself.

Zoë stands again, looking up at Tamara, who is just full of her Tauron rage at this point. A smirking handmaiden skips out into the arena, handing her the news column that first broke Tammy's continuity in half: The day she first learned about her mother's death, and her own. "Okay, that," Zoë says sheepishly, because this is going to take a lot of explaining and she can already see the way Tammy's lining up the facts against her. She thought she would come to her as a sister; she tried to be compassionate when nobody else would, and let Tamara out of that black cage, but now she's on trial for another girl's misdeeds.

And the most ironic part is, Zoë didn't bomb the maglev either. But maybe nobody -- not Our Zoë, not Tammy, not poor Amanda, not the people of the Twelve Worlds -- will ever know that. Philo was attracted and repulsed by the image, but the reality of that sin linked up to her physical body, in his own continuity, and it's that fear that killed him.

Lacy gets to the window this time, scraping hash marks on the slats boarding up the windows -- providing herself continuity, somewhere to stand -- before finally getting one board off. She smashes the window and screams out into the street, but nobody can hear her. After ten seconds, Olaf is there, and knocks her out. She drinks because she's thirsty; it takes her away again, down the rabbit hole, and when she wakes up they've scratched out even those marks. The despair of being trapped is nothing compared to the despair of losing control even over the number of days of your torture.

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