Mara is getting the hang of this Reverie rescue gig.
Now if only she could rescue herself from the program's side effects on Reverie Season 1 Episode 3.
She's beginning to grasp the possibilities of Reverie as a therapeutic tool.
After all, that's what has happened so far on Reverie Season 1.
The client who refuses to leave Reverie may be in a program that appears to be escapist at first glance, but he or she is working through some kind of past trauma which has held him or her captive.
This episode found Mara trying to get inside the head of an upright man about to become a father who became the leader of a bank-robbery gang inside Reverie for the past three months.
On a side note, wouldn't Onira-Tech's lawyers have put some kind of liability waiver in the contract so the firm couldn't be sued if the client refused to come back to reality? Since they are offering a cutting-edge program which is still being refined, wouldn't Onira-Tech figure out how to be litigation-proof?
But I digress.
Nate (played by Ashley Zukerman from the criminally underappreciated Manhattan) wouldn't exit Reverie even after Mara confronted him with all the bad things that were happening in his life because he wouldn't leave.
Which, as Mara pointed out, made no sense. There was something that Nate feared more than losing his job, his home, his wife.
Mara did what any former cop would do, go back and interview the person that knew Nate best -- his pregnant wife, Annie.
By doing so, Mara was able to find, what's that Criminal Minds term, Nate's trigger.
As the series continues, we're finding out more and more about what the Reverie program can do.
It doesn't just give the client what he or she wants; it also offers what he or she needs.
Nate was still suffering not just from his home invasion but also from the subsequent visit and threat by the robber.
In his mind, he felt he had failed to protect Annie and their unborn child, so they were better off without him.
So, the Reverie program kind of gave him a kick in the ass to send him on his way toward healing, by creating a Mad Max-style version of the home invader. Subtlety hadn't worked in Nate's case, so let's give him an over-the-top personification of his greatest fear.
The image plucked from Nate's mind gave new details to the police, which helped them locate and arrest the home invader. Having him off the street gave Nate the courage to come back to reality and ID the perp, putting him away for good.
It was touching to have Annie take back Nate after Mara explained all that with which he had been wrestling.
We also got to delve more into the other characters in this episode.
Paul has seemed so much like an upbeat, happy-go-lucky guy. It seemed out of character for him to have suffered from panic attacks and anxiety growing up.
It took quite a bit for him to open up to Mara, to use his own Reverie to illustrate how the program can develop elements on its own.
This time, she got to meet the abusive, alcoholic father who has haunted him through the years, until Reverie helped him come to terms with that issue. Maybe, as Paul suggested, we'll find what those other rooms contain in future episodes.
Mara has gotten comfortable quickly at Onira-Tech. She was even able to help the team's most sullen member, Alexis, using her crisis-negotiator skills to teach Alexis how to best connect with people before her presentation to the board.
Charlie was right to keep an eye on Mara, based on her recent history.
It's hard to fault her for grabbing any connection to her lost family members that she can. However, Charlie has to have his rescue agent, Mara, well grounded in reality if she's going to be entering other people's Reveries. So much is unknown that she has to remain sharp, not distracted.
Mara smartly came around when Charlie confronted her about her derealizations. He was wise enough to leave her in place, while she was smart enough to get back on the meds Paul had prescribed to her.
In that last scene, it seems like she is finally confronting her demons through her own Reverie program. At least, that's what I'm hoping is going on. I don't think she's slipped from reality into fantasy. But we'll have to wait until Reverie Season 1 Episode 4 to be certain.
To follow Mara's journey, watch Reverie online.
How long did it take you to figure out Nate's trauma? What did you think about Paul's backstory? Is Alexis warming to Mara?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.