Dispatches from Elsewhere: Everyone Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers for Episode 6*
On this week’s episode of AMC’s Dispatches from Elsewhere, Everyone, the group splits up in order find Clara (Cecilia Balagot) and begins to uncover more details about the Jejune Institute, Clara, and what this game really means.
With the realization that the game they’ve been playing could have real stakes and a deeper truth, the group debates about what to do next. While Peter (Jason Segel) is undoubtedly believing that Clara is still out there, there is some skepticism from everyone else. Simone (Eve Lindley) wants to follow her art to see if there’re more clues, Janice (Sally Field) just wants to play the game like everyone else, and Fredwynn (Andre Benjamin) wants to expose the international conspiracy he still believes is behind everything. Peter then delivers a very personal and dark thought about his loneliness and connection to Clara that’s made even better through Segel’s confident and understandably shaky delivery. It’s a touching moment of Peter talking about his greatest worry of something happening to him and no one caring that hit very deep – especially to the rest of the group.
With Janice and Fredwynn still having some conflict with one another after what happened last week, the group shakes the team up dynamics a little bit with Peter and Fredwynn decide to team up to retrace their steps while Janice and Simone look through Clara’s art for answers. Before they leave though, they are given a message that makes them think that their time is running out and that the game is about to end.
First, viewers join Fredwynn and Peter as they take a stroll down memory lane and see his conspiracy spiderweb that Peter is kind of impressed by. It’s actually interesting to see Fredwynn give Peter the choice to back out, considering he’s so analytical and usually uncaring, but it’s nice to see Fredwynn show a little more care towards Peter and not want to see him get involved in something without knowing the possible consequences. It’s also a great moment of honesty that shows Fredwynn’s determination for uncovering the truth and Benjamin gives it this authenticity to make it feel very real. Hell, even Peter is shocked by how real it comes off.
As for Janice and Simone, they take a trip back to Fishtown and rather than come up with clues about Clara’s waterfall, Janice ends up finding an old connection. After Simone tries to establish a personal connection with Janice by talking about her husband, a loud voice from across the Fishtown bar calls out to Janice as “Janice the menace.” The old man who yells for Janice is a little creepy but reveals some interesting info about Janice’s rebellious days and we even get to see a nice little flashback about Janice’s history in this bar. At first, they can’t get any info out of the old man, but with some smooth talking and tequila shots, the two sprint off to the next location and Fredwynn and Peter make a strange discovery.
As they look to revisit old locations, Fredwynn and Peter discover that all of the magic and interior has been stripped away. While Fredwynn isn’t too shocked, Peter’s reaction is almost like his memories are being taken away from him. The game has been more than just an escape for Peter and the subtle anger and disappointment he has in seeing the one positive thing in his life be slowly vanishing is very relatable. Even seeing him trying to keep hope alive that things maybe aren’t over are very understandable and it’s no surprise to see Fredwynn be annoyed by Peter’s hope. However, the most interesting thing that comes out of this is a voice they hear on the payphone Peter used in the first episode telling them to stay on path or suffer the consequences.
Once Simone and Janice reach the painting they were directed to, they’re a little confused by what they see. However, after Simone has a heart to heart with her inner artistic muse, which is a painting of a painter she likes, they’re led to the cat-ridden apartment of an old lady across the street. There, they take a much nicer approach to getting permission from the old woman to enter but go full on Fredwynn when they begin to tear down the wallpaper next to the window that immediately piqued my curiosity. It’s a painting of a dragon which makes me more curious as to where things are going, but the two are more interested in who lived here before and begin to look into the room’s past owners.
On the run after they are basically threatened, Fredwynn decides that him and Peter need to go to the museum that him and Janice met at and with some tactics that only Fredwynn would come up with, kicking a car to have the alarm lure a guard over, the two enter. After a genuinely rad transition, it’s easy to see that tensions are starting to boil over between Peter and Fredwynn. Peter’s clearly getting annoyed with how Fredwynn treats him more like an obstacle rather than a teammate as Fredwynn enters his memory palace to leave him behind so that he can get him a snack. In his memory palace, all Fredwynn can see is Clara, as well as a clown-faced boy that we saw look at Janice in episode three, and it leads to him feeling like he’s being played, and he ends up finding nothing.
However, after Peter passive-aggressively gets him a fake fruit, Fredwynn notices a logo that’s been hiding under his nose the whole time. While Fredwynn isn’t sure what it means, Peter does since the logo is a group that not only owns many buildings in the city, but also his former job. So, while the two of them figure out how to get into Peter’s work, there’s a great heart to heart between Janice and Simone. As Janice begins to rediscover the bad-ass side of her and Simone finds comfort in Janice’s support of her, the two not only establish a better connection, but make a huge discovery in finding Clara’s full name.
We also get a nice team-up moments between both teams as Fredwynn help Peter and him get into Peter’s old work by posing as his coach, which is great, and Simone and Janice finding out some new info with some library research as they are stalked by a strange man. Once Fredwynn and Peter find his old computer, they attempt to piece together the songs they’ve been hearing to find the next clue. It’s a great scene with two men who are no strangers to the musical world trying to figure out songs and its really fun to watch. What isn’t fun though is Fredwynn leaving Peter behind again, which makes me wonder if Fredwynn is even capable of personal progression, and we see Peter sadly go to great and physically devastating lengths to escape security. While it’s kind of funny to see Fredwynn barely react to how injured Peter is, its kind of frustrating to see him not growing as much care for others as I would want him to at this point.
Simone and Janice ending reaching a former mental hospital that Clara once stayed at – as well as Janice as it’s revealed in a flashback that she stayed here to help with postpartum depression she developed after her first child. To not too much of a surprise though, Peter and Fredwynn also arrive as their clues have led them to the same place and they all begin to head to the penthouse of the building to see whose behind all of this. There’re a couple great moments that further the romantic aspects of Peter and Simone’s relationship and Segel and Lindley have such an infectious chemistry. As they enter and break into the strange and messy apartment, we’re left on a strange and not so surprising cliffhanger that the Jejune Institute and the Elsewhere Society aren’t on different sides. It’s seems like Fredwynn was right.
Even as everyone split up in episode six of Dispatches from Elsewhere, things are really starting to come together. The new team ups allow for some great conflict, growth, and care, and all the new info surrounding Clara creates more complex implications of what bigger picture is. If there’s anything to take away from this week’s episode, it’s that there’s no turning back and the group is about to face some complications and consequences that are going to change their lives forever.