The Peripheral – S01E08 – The Creation of a Thousand Forests | Transcript

Lev sabotages Flynne's treatment. Ash finds an unlikely ally. Wilf discovers some unsettling truths about Aelita. Flynne tries to save her world from Cherise.
The Peripheral

Original release date: December 2, 2022

* * *

[Lowbeer] In our timeline Flynne Fisher no longer exists.

[Beatrice] It’s fairly straightforward, gentlemen.

We advance from floor to floor, killing or disabling everything we encounter.

What’s your biggest fear?

The past.

If you try to double-cross me again, I will carve you up.

We got a situation on our hands.

I need that old man alive.

Technology that’s been stolen from you?

It can be a deadly weapon in the wrong hands.



[monitor beeping steadily]




I-I-I’ve been thinking.


Lying here. [clears throat]

About you and your sims.

How you can go back, reboot.

Wishing I could do it.

Go back to that level with the dog again.

[chuckles] Shoot that bitch this time.


That’s the thing about chess.

Checkmate… and you’re fucking done.

That’s what makes life so hard.

No rebooting.

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

[thunder rumbling]


[thunder rumbling]

[clears throat] Unit 204, requesting immediate backup to 27 Bateville Road.

I got three parties down, suspect at large, presumed armed.

I repeat: suspect at large and presumed armed.

[dispatcher] Copy that, 204.

10-52. Ambulance being dispatched. Over.

I really wouldn’t worry about it at this point.

Do the best you can, maybe get back to it in the morning.

[indistinct radio transmission]

[helicopter blades whirring]

[siren wailing in distance]

[officer] Deputy?

EMT’s got a pulse.

For who?

♪ ♪

[indistinct chatter]

[officer] Dispatch, shots fired at Clanton Urgent Med. 10-52…

[radio chatter continues indistinctly]

10-52. Requesting backup.

[whispers inaudibly]


What is it?

Uh, shots fired.

Clanton Urgent Med. It’s got to be our perp.

♪ ♪

[indistinct chatter]

[crying softly]

Reece is dead.

I heard, on the ride over.

They said that man killed the sheriff, too.

And the Picketts.

Corbell’s still hanging on.

But he killed Sheriff Jackman?


Yeah, he did.

Shot him dead.

[Lowbeer] If Dr. Nuland has her way, your friend won’t be the last.

I assume you’d like to stop her.

Yeah, of course.

I’d like to propose an alliance.

I have resources that could prove quite empowering to you in your world.

And it appears you have the capacity to act in mine in ways that might be beyond me, considering the factors at play here, which I’ve only just become cognizant of.

What do you mean?

You have much more than Cherise Nuland to deal with, as daunting as the good doctor undoubtedly is.

Your world is on a threshold of its own Jackpot.

I believe, in my own way, I can help you navigate the coming storm.

If we’re coming towards an agreement, now might be the ideal moment for you to issue any ultimatums or demands you might have.

My mama.

She’s blind again and sick.

I need you to heal her, like you promised you’d do at the start of this whole thing.


She’s consulting the Aunties.

I’m very sorry.

It appears Mr. Zubov’s technicals have already attempted everything possible.

What, so you can’t… help her?

I’m afraid not.

The Aunties’ best estimate is, your mother has another 554 hours to live.

Approximately 23 days.



I’ll go talk to her.

Please do.

[Flynne crying softly]


They promised us, Burton.

They promised us.


[Ella] I know you’re sad, Flynne, but…

I had a strange feeling when I first found out about the glioma, concerning you.

I was lying there in that exam room, just kind of letting it wash over me.

And I found myself thinking, “Well, maybe it’s not all bad.

Maybe Flynne will really get to live her life now.”

I’ve been living my life exactly as I want to, Mama, okay?

I wouldn’t have chosen any otherwise.

I know, and don’t think I don’t love you for it.

You’ve been keeping us all afloat for a long time now, but you deserve more.

I thought… “Maybe they can sell the house, if they want. There’ll be some money there.”

“Burton will go on being Burton, for better for worse, but… who knows what Flynne might get up to?”

And it made me sort of excited to think on it.

You having the chance to become whatever you want.

♪ ♪

Where are you off to?

I think your pills are kicking in, Mama.

I was just gonna let you rest.

Your father used to call you our little acorn when you were a baby.

[chuckles] Why?

Because even though you were just a tiny thing, he could sense the power and strength inside you, waiting for its chance to grow.

Just like a big old oak tree.

I miss him, Mama.

Me, too.

Promise me, Flynne.

You’ll let that power grow.

♪ ♪


Maria Anathema Ash.

Intriguing résumé.

How on earth did you end up in Lev Zubov’s employ?

It’s a complicated story, and not particularly relevant to what’s prompted me to reach out to you.

Which is?

The data Aelita West stole, I know where it is and how to get it.

It’s in Flynne Fisher’s brain.

Lev Zubov knows this, so the Klept will soon have everything Aelita stole.

I don’t want to live in that world, Doctor.

Okay, well, Inspector Lowbeer…

Clearly has her own agenda.

I don’t know what it is, but you can’t depend on her to fix it.

You have to stop him.

Can you?

[sharp inhale] I can.

But it will require a drastic step.

More drastic than I had hoped would be necessary and come at an unspeakable cost.

How much time do I have?

Very little.

I suppose you’ll be expecting a reward for bearing me these ill tidings?

I want you to kill him.



May I ask why?

[gasps, groans]

A breach of etiquette.

Well, it’s not so easy, what you ask, given his Klept status.

Unless… you’d be willing to use your presence in Mr. Zubov’s household to assist in the endeavor?

I would, with pleasure.

Excellent. I’ll be in touch.

Your drastic step…

What is it?

I’m afraid I will be forced to alter conditions in the stub in a manner that will destroy or invalidate decades’ worth of studies, vitally important research.

But I will cut off a limb to save the whole body.

I don’t understand.

The Jackpot.

I’ll push it to the next level, thus removing the girl from the equation altogether.

Along with her home, town, family, the whole benighted region.

♪ ♪

[quiet chatter]


[takes deep breath]

Welcome back.

How’s your mother?


Which I guess you suspected all along, huh?

I’m sorry, Flynne.

I presented a possibility as a certainty to get you to do our bidding.

It was wrong.

You think we can still find your sister?

She’s dead.

I can’t see any way around it.


I’m sorry, Wilf.

I keep feeling like I’m missing something obvious, that I’m just too close to see it.

Aelita told me I had a home when I was young.

She said I used to talk about it.

A lawn sloping down to a pond.

But my first memories are of the transit camp.

The food queues.

Rain falling on the blue tarp.

A woman’s face…

…who I’ve always chosen to believe was my mother.

Though it’s likely that’s just fantasy.

What about your father?

[Wilf] They took all the men early on.

I have no memories of the raids on the camps, but Aelita told me how they burned us out.

She took charge of me.

I would have died without her.

Where’d you go after that?

The streets, the ruins.

For almost three years.

And then?

I did something stupid.

Wolf! Wolf!

[Wilf] We were captured.

[Aelita screams]

Cleaned up.

Aelita fought to keep us together.

She always pined for that life, though.

“When we were free,” she would say.

So we ran off a few years after we were adopted.

Aelita planned it.

Squirreled away supplies, mapped our route back.

We lasted for eight months or so in our own little kingdom.

We even made a flag for it.

The hand missing a thumb.


Aelita used to say we’d all lived in a paradise once.

Before we evolved into what we are.


She claimed every sin of ours originated with the opposable thumb.

The ability to grip… tools, weapons, throats.

What happened after the eight months?

I fell sick.

I would have died.

Aelita brought me back in.

She gave up everything, once again, to save me.

She really loved you, Wilf.

Inspector Lowbeer’s asked me to have a word… about her proposal.

But I’m afraid I’m not quite certain what to say, because one must always assume she can hear us, should she choose.

Is there something you want to tell me?

You feel like you can’t?

I wouldn’t put it quite that pointedly.

It’s more of a shading than a specific thing.

Well, why don’t we link up again?


I can ask you questions.

You don’t have to say anything.

I can just, I don’t know, draw my own conclusions by the way that you feel.


How do you feel about Lowbeer?

[Lowbeer] I’d like to propose an alliance.


[Lev] You will never be fully yourself until you embrace that part of your soul.


[Aelita] The individual you know, his overture… or whatever you want to call it… it’s gonna make me happy, is it?

Flynne Fisher?

♪ ♪

Wilf Netherton?

You’re all rainbows and unicorns, Ms. Fisher.

♪ ♪


Where was it?


The hand with no thumb, your secret place.


[chuckles softly]

I’m such a fool.

[speaking encrypted language] Should we call Zubov?


We serve a new master now.

[lively chatter nearby]

You sure this is where it is?

But it wasn’t like this.

It was forest, trees as far as you can see.


[lively chatter]



What took you so long, Wolf?

No more games, Aelita. Where are you?

Follow me. But not her.

No, she’s the heart of this. She’s coming.

Eyes and ears, Wolf.

She shares hers with others.

Isn’t that right, Ash?

She can leave of her own accord, or I can send her myself.

Your choice.


Go home.

I’ll tell you everything. I give you my word.

[exhales softly]


Look familiar?

This is where the camp was, where we first met.

You don’t remember, do you?

I was too young.

You were seven, Wolf.

It was too young for many things, but remembering isn’t one of them.

♪ ♪

The reason you don’t remember is ’cause you’re not supposed to.


Our implants, turns out they’re rather complex devices.

And one thing that they do do best is suppress memory.

Everyone knows that. They blunt trauma.

Well, do you want to know what happened when I ripped out mine?

You lost your immunity boost, among other things, which I suspect you’ll soon come to regret.

No, I started to remember things.


There’s bodies here, under this beautiful green turf, thousands and thousands of bodies.

Dig a hole, love.

Your mother’s here, and your sisters and your little brother.

And you’d remember them if you’d just cut yourself free.

My family, too.

All slaughtered.

Give it to him.

Are you just gonna stand there with your hands in your pockets?

Fucking pick it up.

Do you want to know who killed our families, Wolf?

The Klept.

Your mate Lev’s father and his sort, ’cause they were running things by then.

There was contagion in the camps, and they wiped us all out for fear of it.

And not just here, all over England.

It was a little coordinated effort.

Five million people in under a fortnight.

Now, that’s quite an achievement, isn’t it?

Don’t you think?

So, yeah, they suppress our memories because they still fear us.


I’m gathering them.

A little army of the dispossessed.

You know, render justice.

What could you possibly plan to accomplish with this rabble?

Shatter a few windows?

I’m sure the Klept and the R.I. will be terrified.

All we need are the proper tools.

Which are?

The secrets to every wonder that the R.I. have ever built.

Infinity in the palm of your hand.

And where would you possibly get that?

Inside the girl’s head.

[monitors beeping steadily]

[Atticus] That doctor give you a probability or anything, Jasper? You know, like, ten percent chance of survival, something like that?

He just said I should prepare for the worst.

Well, I’m real sorry for your loss.

You know, we all are.

But, uh, he died like a warrior king, didn’t he?

He’s not dead yet.

You know what I mean.

He went out fighting.

And we owe it to him to carry on his legacy.

So, uh, guess I’m next in charge, right?

How you figure?

Well, I was always his number two.

The fuck you were.

All right, all right.

Let’s say we approach this thing like a… uh, what do you call it?

That thing that the Romans did when, uh, there were three emperors?

[sharp inhale] Fuck, what was it?

Uh, a, uh…

A triumvirate.

[blows] Yeah, that’s it.

Yeah, but there’s four of us.



You can still drive for us, Jasper.

Wash our cars and shit.

Oh, absolutely, you-you do a great job with them cars.


Let’s get a fresh one of these.

Go on.

[music playing faintly]

♪ I need your help…

Oh, and, um… put it on your uncle’s tab, if they’re still honoring it.

♪ You’re the only one who can save my soul ♪

♪ Save my soul ♪ ♪

[song fades]


♪ ♪

[slurring] Open the fucking window.


Open the fuck… [retches]


You’re gonna have to clean that up now, Jasper.

[laughter continues]

[engine starts]

♪ ♪

Who should I drop off first?


[snoring continues]

[door alert beeping]

[beeping stops]


♪ ♪

[insects chirping]

[phone buzzing]


You remember that fight we had about Monopoly?

What time is it?

It’s a little after 2:00.

We were playing Flynne and Burton and Ella on Thanksgiving.

And, uh, I was way ahead, and I was sort of feeling bad about it, so I kept letting people borrow money when it seemed like they were about to go bust.

And then, in the end, Burton came back from nothing to win.

Hon, are you drunk?

You got mad at me after.

You said…

I’d never amount to anything if I didn’t stop mistaking weakness for kindness.

Oh, Jasper. I-I didn’t mean that.

Yes, you did.

No. No. I really didn’t.

The whole reason I married you is ’cause of how kind you are.

Why’d you say that, then?

I guess I just wanted you to win for once.

I felt like you deserved it.

Why are we having this conversation?

[exhales shakily]

[laughs softly]

I was about to make a huge fucking mistake.

How do you mean?

[train whistle blowing]

Nothing. I love you. I’ll be home soon.


[door handle rattles]

[railroad crossing bell clanging]

Fuck! Atticus!

[bell clanging]

Atticus, wake up, man! Atticus!

Fucking wake the fuck up.

Atticus! Atticus!

Cash, Cash, Cash, Cash!



[train whistle blows]

[bell clanging]

Atticus! Atticus!

[echoing] Atticus, wake up!

Wake the fuck up. Atticus!

[train whistle blowing]

What the fuck?

Oh, fuck.

♪ ♪

[bike approaching]

I heard about that train crash, Tommy.

That’s not why I’m here.

Look, I know you’ve been keeping secrets, Flynne.


Ain’t no need to give me a line.

I get it.

I got a, uh, phone call from Homeland Security.

Right-wing militia chatter.

Serious enough for Homes to sound the alarm.

Given all the weird things that’ve been swirling around you and Burton, I need to know if you know anything about it.

What is it?

They say they’re planning to blow up a missile silo.

And, you know, there’s that new, uh, Air Force silo down towards Spring Creek, the big one.

Flynne, if you know anything about this…

I don’t.


I got to go, Tommy.


[panting] Macon… get the headset ready.

I got to go back.

♪ ♪

Ash, Ash.

Where’s Wilf?

Why are you back?

That silo explosion, the one we saw in the Jackpot museum.

Cherise is trying to make it happen in my timeline.

I’m sure of it.

You already knew?

What the fuck have you done, Ash?

The data you and Aelita stole from the R.I., it’s stored in DNA.

It’s the shit in my head, isn’t it?

The reason I’ve been having these fucking seizures.

What is it?

The entire library, I suspect.

Enough to wreak havoc in your world and mine.

And now Lev knows about it.

You have to understand, if the Klept got hold of it…

I told Cherise Nuland.

I had to.

And now she’s gonna vaporize my entire fucking state just to make sure that Lev doesn’t get his hands on the data.

My life, my family.

Everyone that I love.

It’s just a fucking game to you, isn’t it?

Winner takes all.

Where are you going?

I’m gonna win.

♪ ♪



[Flynne] This is the real London.

At least the part they haven’t rebuilt yet.

They got their work cut out for ’em, don’t they?

Why are we here?

So we can talk without being overheard.

Cherise Nuland,

she’s planning on blowing up that silo over in Spring Creek.

Wiping all of us out, just to make sure that I’m dead.

So I came up with an idea to open up a new stub.

You saying what I think you are?

You want to reboot?

Like in a sim?

It could save us, Conner.

But I’m gonna need your help and Lowbeer’s, too.

It’s a black hole.

In a sim, you can get to a level where no matter what you do you end up dying, over and over, ’cause you made some mistake earlier in the game without even realizing it.

You’re trapped.

I’m sorry, my dear.

I wish it hadn’t come to this.

When we first met, I asked you if you had the power to sever the connection to my stub.

Do you?


What about opening a new one?

I’m afraid the delicate balance of power that governs this world would make such a step on my part an outright declaration of war.

But I am aware of how one might do it.

I need you to open a new stub.

If I understand this correctly, you’re proposing a rather radical plan.

Cherise will think she won and that you helped her do it.

We’d have access to all the data that Aelita stole, which would save my world from the Jackpot.

You do realize how daunting the odds are?

Perhaps an ally might benefit you.

Your brother, for instance.

Burton can’t know.

If he finds out, he’s never gonna let me go through with it, okay?

Conner said that he’d help.

Are you absolutely certain?


The R.I. has several ancillary sites at undisclosed locations.

Stub portals, they’re called.

Even the guards don’t know where they are.

They’re Peripherals, piloted remotely.

The Peripherals guarding the facility will be just as strong as you are.

Send me to one.

♪ ♪

I’ve arrived.

May I be of assistance?


Can I ask you a question?

Is it still queasy when you get back?

Or did they fix that?

When you wake up in your real body, after your shift in this Peripheral’s done?



[door unlocking]

[ticking rapidly]

Damn it.


♪ ♪




♪ ♪



[ticking rapidly]

[Cherise] You really think you could escape me so easily?

[Flynne] You have a bad habit of taking control of dying things, Cherise.

You have no idea all you’re putting into peril.

[Flynne] They’re all here, aren’t they?

All these other lives?

And all I got to do is choose where I want to begin.


I will find you.

I give you my word.

Oh, I wouldn’t be so sure, Cherise.


I think I want to be the hunter now.

You see, I know exactly where you are.

And you have no idea where I’m gonna be.

Not without the coordinates.

No, no, no.

[exhales softly]

[Conner] You saying what I think you are?

You want to reboot.

Like in a sim?

It could save us, Conner.

But I’m gonna need your help and Lowbeer’s, too.

If I can pull it off, there’ll be whole new versions of us there.

Ones that Cherise will have nothing to do with.

We’d be safe there.

But dead in our own world.

Unless I’m already gone.

Then she’d have no reason to blow up that silo.


Burton said in Texas you once shot somebody two kilometers out.

Burton’s full of shit.

It was at least three klicks.

This thing that I’m talking about…

…it’d have to look like Lowbeer sent somebody as a favor to Cherise, solving her problem for her.

You understand what I’m asking you, Conner?


I get it.

What about this world?

We done with it?

No, we’ll be back.


‘Cause I’m gonna kill that bitch.




I know it’s a lot, Conner.

But if it helps any, I’ve made peace with it.

I’ll just take a walk

out past Hawthorne Creek.

And I’ll count back from ten in my head.

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

[breathing heavily]

[Flynne] Ten.









♪ ♪



[breathing deeply]


shall we get to work?

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

[Dominika] Yeah, you promise every time, but you end up spending the whole meal talking with your father, while I’m trapped with your mother.

[Lev] My mother enjoys your company, Dominika.

Which is lovely and extremely flattering, I’m sure.

But as you’re well aware, the sentiment isn’t entirely reciprocated.

So if you could just spare me a moment of your…

Oh, Lev. What have you done?

Nothing. I swear.

[whispers] I love you.

[quiet chatter]

I’m sorry, gentlemen, there seems to be some…

[speaks Russian]

Have a seat.

I was supposed to meet my father…

Your father sends his regrets.

Wasn’t feeling well.

Not in the best of health.

You understand.

As such, he asked us to speak with you.

About what?

Accepted practices here in London since the Putin diaspora.

Mm, how we get along, survive.

Did I do something wrong?

The Research Institute, placing us at risk.

It’s unacceptable. Absolutely.

There’s a price, son.

Listen, gentlemen.

My recruitment of an asset inside the Research Institute was nothing outside of the norm.

I was trying to exploit an opportunity.

But I deeply regret if I did anything that you feel could jeopardize our standing.

I assure you that was never my intent.

I, uh, sincerely apologize and can only hope that you forgive me.


Should see your fucking face!

[speaking Russian]

We get it.

It is always in our interest to keep tabs on the R.I.

Not only for moneymaking opportunities but to protect our own interests.

Business, otherwise.

None of that matters now. Time to cut bait.

Do whatever you have to do.

[Artyom] Just cauterize the wound.

Your asset, any affiliates come back to you, they need to vanish.

All of them?

When there’s a blight on the branch and it threatens the other trees, what does the orchard keeper do?

Chops the fucker down. Burns it.

[Kirill] Not just the branch either.

The whole fucking tree.

Your wife looked lovely, Lev.

And the children?

This here is us warning you.

You understand?

Cauterize the wound, son.

Or the orchard keeper will be coming for a visit.

With an axe.

[speaks Russian]

You hungry?

Hmm? Where’s that fucking waiter? [laughs]



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