Dispatches From Elsewhere recap: Why there's a Wynn in 'Fredwynn'
An intense intellect, Fredwynn believes the Elsewhere Society and Jejune Institute “game” is an elaborate conspiracy. Tonight, we learn more about him and his mindset, as he continues his quest to find the truth and get his teammates onboard. This part of the story kicks off where Janice’s story last week also began.
As Janice calls after her missing partner, Fredwynn creeps around the limo. Enter Octavio’s narration. He notes Fredwynn’s determination and drive. He says Fredwynn is the viewer if the viewer has ever “obsessed over anything so badly that it ached… if you believe that if you could just cross the finish line — solve that mystery, get that promotion, buy that house, then perhaps you might just feel… okay.”
Fredwynn jumps into the trunk, Janice panicking as she sees this.
Octavio continues: “Fredwynn is you if your drive toward "it" became so all-consuming that it devoured everything [in its path] — relationships, family, friends… and Fredwynn is also you if you’re currently locked in the trunk of my car.”
When Octavio arrives at the parking garage by the theater, he opens the trunk, expectantly. Fredwynn gets out and motions his surrender. Octavio tells him to relax. Fredwynn says he knows Octavio knows everything about him and the other “game” players because Octavio works for “them,” though it’s not clear whom he’s referring to. Octavio plays dumb, and one of his bodyguards calls Fredwynn a “hardcore” — someone who “takes the game of life too seriously.”
Fredwynn insists life isn’t a game, then demands to know the truth about everything.
Octavio says “hardcores” ruin the game of life for everyone else. He asks Fredwynn where his teammates are and Fredwynn says it doesn’t matter. Octavio insists it does. It’s clear Fredwynn doesn’t value personal attachments. He’s been emotionally distant from his teammates since the game began.
Ignoring Octavio, Fredwynn asserts he’s going to discover the truth one way or another. He suspects if Clara is real, Jejune is looking for her because she discovered the truth, too. After some more progressively menacing discourse, Octavio locks Fredwynn in a closet in the theater as an apparent punishment for him not choosing either the blue or saffron envelope.
Seeming relatively unfazed by his predicament, Fredwynn tells himself no cavalry is coming (though it is, thanks to Janice) and that he’s on his own, “like always.” Fredwynn manages to free himself, and in his triumph, says: “That’s why there’s a ‘wynn’ in Fredwynn.”
He then asks a theater staffer for intel. The staffer pleads ignorance but directs Fredwynn to a production office where either the stage manager or a prompt book might have answers.
Fredwynn sees a woman hand Octavio an envelope, which he puts in his jacket pocket. That’s when Fredwynn calls Janice to tell her to get the envelope. Fredwynn hangs up abruptly because he notices someone nearby may be listening.
He makes his way to the production room, where he finds a book and the stage manager. He pretends he’s the intern. As he’s trying to get a good look at the book, Janice’s memories appear on screens in the room — she’s on stage participating in Jejune’s virtual reality glasses demonstration. Fredwynn asks how her experience is possible and a staffer says it’s social media stalking plus VR magic.
Refocusing on his mission, Fredwynn discreetly steals pages from the book. When he turns to leave, he encounters the real intern. The ensuing commotion as Fredwynn tries to talk his way out prompts the production manager to yell, “Can you two just go!” When she turns back to the screens, she hears the Elsewhere Society commander make his introduction, at which point she says, “I didn’t mean for them to go.” Does this mean the intrusion was staged? Is it all a ruse, as Fredwynn thinks? This is our biggest clue yet as to the nature of the “game.”
Cut to Fredwynn finding Peter, Janice, and Simone locked outside the theater and announcing to them that the game is a distraction.
The group reconvenes the next day to learn more about Fredwynn’s discovery. He begins by reading off a script he wrote — which Simone teases him about. He says the people behind the “game” want the “players” to think it’s just a game but it’s not. The pages he stole prove some entity is manipulating hundreds of people into finding a missing girl.
Fredwynn then shares information about himself, for the first time ever. He graduated from college at age 19 with a double major in philosophy and economics. He used to work in big data. He’s rich — he made his first million by age 21. He used to own 11 nice cars, but sold them all for lack of interest, and shortly after, he fell victim to a honeytrap. Fredwynn shares all this to show he has insight into elite organizations and data operations. He used to be a part of companies mining personal data and selling and analyzing it, but he became disturbed when he saw companies begin consolidating into one entity, wielding data for power. He says they must find and stop the people that now own and control everything. His speech concluded, the others follow Fredwynn to an apartment.
There, he takes out the paper Janice stole from Octavio. It’s a list of people for whom the demonstration was prepared — the demonstration was successful because it wasn’t random, Octavio knew which people to choose. That information led Fredywnn to the apartment, where, upon knocking on the door, they find the woman who handed the list to Octavio at the theater. Fredwynn demands information, but she feistily shoos them away. But as Peter, Simone, and Janice pull Fredwynn away, the woman makes a “shhh” gesture at Fredwynn and smiles.
Outside, Fredwynn tells the others what she did but they don’t believe him. Everyone insists on taking a break, and Fredwynn eventually pretends to agree, but when Peter and Simone walk off, he tries again to get Janice on his side. She scolds him for dragging them to the apartment without really filling them in and giving them a choice. Fredwynn says he should’ve just gone alone. Janice tells Fredwynn sometimes it’s important to slow down and let people catch up instead of ending up at the finish line sooner but alone. Fredwynn doesn’t really get this, but when Janice insists he go home and try to sleep and not think about the game, he complies.
Once in bed, Fredwynn asks God for help finding the truth and understanding his teammates better. He turns off the light… but immediately changes his mind.
Cut to Fredwynn breaking into the theater. He looks in the closet for clues. He meditates himself into a dream-like state in which he revisits everything from the day before. When he gets to the part where he sees Janice’s wedding memory on the production room screens, he notices that in the pile of wedding presents, one of the gift tags is glowing green (standing out against a reddish backdrop). Fredwynn can’t see what the tag says, though, because when he’d actually seen it before, he was more focused on the book than on the screen. However, he realizes Janice might be able to help.
So, he shows up at Janice’s house in the middle of the night. She reluctantly lets him in. Before he gets into things, she introduces him to the comatose Lev. Being friendly for once, Fredwynn sincerely asks about Lev. She says Lev suffered a stroke last year. Their son thinks she should put Lev in a care facility, but she can’t let him go. Fredwynn says his mother wasn’t a good caregiver. Then, over tea, he says his longest heterosexual relationship was three weeks. Janice comforts him but gets upset when he brings up his reason for being there: to ask about her VR experience. She doesn’t want to talk about it but he begs her to try his meditation exercise to revisit the experience in her “memory palace.”
It takes a few tries, but eventually, a skeptic-turned-amazed Janice is able to put herself back into the VR wedding memory. He directs her to the gift tag. With the help of Young Janice, she describes it: there are flowers in each corner — three in one corner, one in another, two in another, and five in the last. Where the name should be, there’s a sun, snowflake, and a leaf. Fredwynn realizes quickly it’s an address: 3125 Spring Street in Fishtown, the town Peter and Simone explored earlier in the game — Clara’s home town.
The experience gets Janice fully on board with Fredwynn, and the two immediately call on Peter and Simone, who are initially reluctant, but thinking it’s all part of the game — and not Fredwynn’s quest — they agree to venture out to the address.
They arrive at the building and walk toward the door. There’s a massive hole in the sidewalk that Peter, Simone, and Janice carefully step over. But Fredwynn ignores Simone’s warning and steps right in it… only he doesn’t fall, because it isn’t real. It’s an illusion. They look down and realize they might have just found Clara’s hideout. They open the secret door and the episode ends.
With each of the four characters given their individual due, it seems the focus will now shift toward more progress on the mystery. Will we meet Clara next week? Let’s hope!