Dispatches from Elsewhere: Cave of Kelpius
April 9, 2020 8:55 AM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

The team embarks on an underground adventure as they follow the Milkman; Peter and Simone try to come to terms with their feelings for one another as the players rally; Janice meets a mysterious individual who gives her a clue.

Dispatches From Elsewhere suggests the end is nigh, while delivering a key moment of joy (Liz Shannon Miller for TV/AV Club; rating: B+)
It’s the end of the game of Dispatches From Elsewhere—theoretically. Certainly the public-facing event has been concluded, bringing with it the confirmation that Octavio Coleman and Commander 14 were being played by identical twins, and that this is actually a game. But then there are the episode’s final moments, acknowledging that there’s something bigger beneath the surface, and our gang has the chance to learn the answer to the big question of who Clara is. Or, um, was?
Once the game is over and the after-party for the game has begun, the team tries to take stock, with Fredwynn pushing the actor behind Octavio for more information, and both Peter and Simone chatting with the yeti, who identifies himself here as the “Elegant Squatch,” and feels free to admit that he’s horny for Simone.

However, he doesn’t get his chance, because the after-party is one that brings with it a few important reveals, most important of which was the big climatic moment that yes, literally had me yelling “YAY!” when I watched: Peter and Simone, after the Elegant Squatch taunted them over their obvious mutual attraction, finally kissed. And it was a good kiss, too, preluded by Peter serenading Simone with “On My Own” from Les Miserables—maybe not the most romantic of songs, but remember that Peter’s musical repertoire is limited to the Les Mis soundtrack... and end of list.
Soundtrack for this episode from Tunefind
posted by filthy light thief (2 comments total)
Cave of Kelpius (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) -- Where America's first doomsday cult awaited the end of the world. That's Atlas Obscura's one-line summary of an actual place, which puts a different slant on this episode.

More thoughts and theories in the related Reddit thread (which isn't full of terrible people, from what I've seen in public view).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:49 PM on April 9, 2020

I've been mulling this thing over in my head since I watched it. It just seems so...convenient...that the gang just happens to chase the milkman straight into the game-concluding event (which, apparently, they were so completely off-in-the-weeds that they missed everything that might have led them to the event in the first place) I dunno.

Maybe the point of the concluding event and party was to winnow the game players down to a small group (our four, of course) to continue on to the boss level? Or, maybe there's a for-real mystery to be solved and The Architect needed to find the absolute best clue-solver(s) they could?

Also...Sweet Jeebus, the toxic ageism on the part of the partiers toward Janice. Then again, it got her to bail on the party, go outside, and conveniently meet The Architect. So...I dunno...part of the plan?

An interesting thing I noticed...During the Mind-to-Media part of the event, where all the gamers' memories were being projected...They showed the scene where Peter had just jumped from the second floor of his former office and landed on the parking lot. It showed Peter and Fredwynn running away. It was the same shot that we saw when we watched the episode. Logically, it should have been from either Peter's or Fredwynn's perspective (i.e. down on the parking lot level, from their eyes.) This seems to imply that either A) We are also part of the game and we were projecting our memory of that scene, or B) The scene is from the viewpoint of the security guard who was chasing Peter, which would seem to mean that the guard is also a gamer (and is in the crowd projecting his memories) Or, y'know, it was just a quick-and-dirty edit that means nothing.

And, of course, yay for Simone and Peter!
posted by Thorzdad at 8:58 AM on April 11, 2020

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