Sometimes empathy can be too painful.
Mara had to rescue a client who came a little too close to home on Reverie Season 1 Episode 6.
Reverie has proven to be a therapeutic program. That is until the client prefers staying inside it to living his or her real life.
Holly Maxwell got dealt a very crappy hand, going from being a skilled ballerina to becoming a paraplegic in a wheelchair after an accident.
So now she was being cared for by her overstretched sister, Viv.
It's little wonder Holly was getting lost in Reverie, as she was able to do the thing she loved best -- dance.
There's nothing wrong with a little harmless escapism. The recreational electronics industry wouldn't exist otherwise.
But spending time in an unconscious state for a long period isn't beneficial for anyone, but especially not someone in Holly's condition.
So reviving her dance career in dreamland wasn't a realistic option. Even Holly recognized it as imaginary.
Mara's attempt to connect with Holly through dance was humorous. Mara shouldn't give up her day job for the ballet.
She realized something more was keeping Holly inside that empty auditorium, something beyond dancing again.
Something located behind that locked dressing-room door.
It was perfectly logical that the Reverie program would build its own back door to Holly's hidden home. It was roundabout, but it allowed Mara to discover Holly's secret.
It figures that only Sadie, the daughter she lost in the accident, would keep Holly inside Reverie. Sadie also allowed Holly to have a piece of Zeke, the nice-guy boyfriend with whom she nobly broke up after she was paralyzed.
It became abundantly clear then why Holly wanted to stay inside Reverie, There she had Sadie, and she had dance. Outside she felt like a burden to everyone in her life. So she opted to enjoy Reverie until her body expired in the real world.
Unfortunately, this meant that Reverie could be used, as Alexis so crassly put it, as a "suicide machine."
Alexis's solution was to yank the brain-computer interface out of Holly's head, without any idea of how that would affect her. It would force her back to reality. And put Mara out of a job, since Onira-Tech wouldn't need someone to retrieve recalcitrant clients.
Fortunately Paul, and likely the company's legal department will keep that option from ever seeing the light of day. Still the effects of such an action need to be studied. There's going to come a time when a client lies and enters Reverie with ill intent. Then they need another possibility beyond Mara cajoling that person out.
Mara's old flame Chris, who understandably didn't get how Reverie worked, conveniently showed up as Holly's psychiatrist so he would be in the right place to help Mara tap into herself so she could reach Holly.
It was enlightening to get a glimpse into Mara's life before it all fell apart. Along with her job and sobriety, Chris was one of the things Mara let go of while she was circling the drain.
The connection between Mara and Chris was evident, and the lighthearted banter between them was enjoyable.
It was also humorous to see Charlie in Dad mode, protecting Mara's recovery and warning Chris to keep things professional. They did have trouble doing just that.
When Chris opened up about how he was feeling, he got Mara to comprehend that she and Holly weren't that different. Both had lost everything and pushed away those that cared about them. That helped Mara to better relate to her.
Yes, Viv's MS diagnosis was convenient, so that Holly felt a need to come back to reality to help her. But it brought Holly back to life, as a teacher for young dancers, about the same age as Sadie.
As for Mara and Chris, I think it's just a reunion delayed. Mara was right that she's still got some healing to do. And visiting her boogeyman, her comatose brother-in-law, was an excellent place to start.
Besides, wouldn't it be useful to have someone who understands the human brain, more than as code, in residence at Onira-Tech? You know, some medicine to back up Mara's hunches.
Also, there would be no shortage of potential clients on staff there. I'd start with Alexis, but only because he has a conflict of interest when it comes to Mara.
To view Mara's progress, watch Reverie online.
Do you want to see Mara and Chris back together? Should the BCI be researched more? Can Mara overcome her past? Comment below.
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.