The following contains spoilers for The Peripheral Season 1, Episode 4, “Jackpot,” now streaming on Prime Video.
Prime Video The Peripheral is a reality adventure that centers on Chloë Grace Moretz’s Flynne Fisher as she becomes embroiled in a conspiracy across space and time. Flynne and his brother, Burton, are hired by the mysterious Klept Oligarchy of 2100, who want to extract information from the past.
In episode 4, “Jackpot”, the shady research institute seems determined to protect the timestream, while exposing its own secrets, which leads to a bloody war in the two time periods. As anglers search for more information on who to trust and the impending apocalypse of which it is a part, the series pays homage to some iconic sci-fi properties.
Peripheral Headset Winks Matrix and Total Recall
After Flynne becomes an expert in VR gaming, a Colombian company sends Burton a unique headset. It gives a nod to the operator machines used in The Matrix, which uploaded people’s minds to a digital construct that passed for the real world. The design and download also nods to the headsets used in Total recall that could affect people’s memories, plant fakes or dig up the truth. In The ringroadhowever, these headsets are the gateway to the future.
The quantum leap of peripheral tributes
In quantum leapScott Bakula’s Sam jumps into various people’s bodies across the timestream, which the NBC reboot follows with a series of sequels. The ringroad nods to this, as Flynne’s mind is thrust into the future to possess a specific ship. However, in the show, it’s called a “quantum tunnel”, with its destination controlled by those who hire it in future years, as opposed to random jumps.
The device mixes Westworld and Avatar
Westworld focuses on hosts (i.e. robots) in various parks that pass for humanity. Peripherals the future is filled with robots like these, leaving Flynne unsure who is human or machine. The bet is that her host ship is a robotic version of herself, making her a super-powered killer. This remix Avatar, where military officers could pilot Na’vi-human hybrids by synchronizing their minds with the alien bodies. In Flynne’s case, other operators such as Burton and his crew can also pilot the body.
Device Subverts Pacific Rim Drift
Pacific Rim’s the drift focuses on humans mind-fusing with each other and giant robots called Jaegers. This “neural handshake” allows them to move as one and fight the kaiju. The ringroad makes it more of a hive mind, thanks to “haptic drift”, where implants link people’s brains to share data and vision. Burton and his military crew used it in the military, which made them more efficient. Unfortunately, however, Burton ended up beating one guy to death, as one of the other wanderers hated the person. Technology is therefore a handicap, but if someone is killed, it allows others to take revenge. Flynne also uses drifting by synchronizing with his master, Wilfred, which also allows them to sense each other’s emotions, much like the pilots of Jaeger.
Peripheral embraces branching Avengers timelines
Avengers: Endgame fans divided over the time theft, leading to many branching and unanswered timelines. Only those who returned the Infinity Stones seemed important, creating an awkward arc, even the creatives weren’t properly explained. The ringroad also creates branching timelines, when Flynne heads into the future, called “stubs”. But rather than leave them unattended, Klept boss Lev uses these realities to test chemicals and pharmaceuticals. He even kills variants of his family, but it’s not due to control like Marvel’s Time Variance Authority; it’s done for fun.
New episodes of The Peripheral debut Fridays on Prime Video.