Owen and Annie are finally disconnected (or are they) when the two end up inhabiting polar opposites of each other’s worlds. Whereas Owen’s family members are re-imagined as being Mafioso, Annie and her sister end up assuming the roles of Elves in a slightly adult Lord of the Rings. By the time the two narratives play out, both begin to realize they’re in a dream world which is counteractive to the intended consequences of the drugs, where participants aren’t supposed to realize they’re dreaming.
I’ll be honest in that I didn’t find either of the concocted fantasy spoofs to be gripping enough and I was simply waiting for the episode to end. Owen’s family executes a member for betrayal while Annie is on a quest to cure her sick dying sister, which is possible by laying their hands on the McGuffin Lake of the Clouds. There’s some hilarity in seeing Annie end up as a female Legolas who swears in a fantasy setup that transcends Tolkein’s world to George R. R. Martin’s and the gruesome drilling in Owen’s backdrop is in stark contrast to the episode’s title, which in turn loosely translates to This Is Not A Drill. Well, it certainly is.
The episode is also noticeably shorter than its companions, and is quite possibly the shortest Netflix episode I’ve seen in a while. At 26 minutes, including credits, it’s more akin to sitcom length, and probably ended up this way to account for pacing issues. Like I said, Maniac looks like it’s been shot together without regard to episode breakup and the split up seems more like an afterthought, which is probably responsible for the erratic episode lengths. Based on run-time, the next one’s probably going to be equally short.
By the end, both Owen and Annie begin to wake up to the fact that this “dream-world” feels a bit off, as we cut to Mantleray overlooking his mother, wondering what exactly is she up to. We’re now in the last leg of Maniac with the final three episodes to wrap up this insane ride of a mystery.
Overall Score: 6.5 out of 10.0
We’re doing individual episode reviews of Maniac. Even though all episodes are out on Netflix, viewers may want to savor the show one episode at a time. These episode reviews may contain spoilers so discretion is advised while reading them.