Maniac season 1, episode 7 recap: ‘Ceci N’est Pas Une Drill’


In the previous episode of Maniac, Dr. Mantleray brought in his therapist mother to treat the drug trial’s depressed super-computer and Annie, Owen, and the other participants started the third and final trial.

When that episode ended, we saw Annie as an elf standing with her sister, Ellie. As the seventh episode of Maniac, “Ceci N’est Pas Une Drill,”  starts, though, Annie’s nowhere to be found.

Instead, we’re in Owen’s fantasy where he’s talking to his father, a mob boss. Owen’s father tells him Owen had another brother but when his father realized the brother was disloyal when he was 4 months old, he put him up for adoption.

Then his father tells him he needs to take the fall for an issue he’s having with a bookie. He wants Owen to claim responsibility and then say he’s nuts.

Owen, who’s wearing braided pigtails, asks why he’d take the fall. And his father comments that it’s very hard to trust him.

In the next scene, Owen demands that a member of the family named Frank give him pills. Frank initially advises against it but then relents.

More. Maniac season 1, episode 6 recap: ‘Larger Structural Issues’. light

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They’re watching TV and as Frank hands off the pills, they focus on the show. It depicts a medieval quest in which Annia must guide Princess Ellia to the Lake of the Clouds, Annie’s fantasy.

In the fantasy, Annie’s reassuring Ellie, or Ellia in this case, that the Lake of the Clouds will heal her. Ellia is sick and on the verge of death. She is also an elf, while Annie/Annia is a half-elf and a ranger.

Annia is just as caustic as Annie in real-life. She spends most of her time drunk and doesn’t seem to like Ellia much. She makes sure Ellia knows they aren’t companions but are in a business arrangement, which she wants to re-negotiate for more money.

Meanwhile, in Owen’s fantasy, Owen is meeting two NYPD officers in a motel where he’s getting fitted for a wire. One of the cops is his brother Jed’s fiancée, Adelaide.

Owen goes to a meeting between his father and another man. The money the man was supposed to deliver was stolen. When he doesn’t get the information he wants from the man, Owen’s father has the others in the room hold the man down and uses a drill to torture him. Even though he gets the information he wants, he drills through the man’s brain violently killing him.

In Annie’s fantasy, Annia wakes to find Ellia has given her the additional payment she requested. Still drunk, she stumbles out of the cave they slept in and into the woods. Someone shoots an arrow at her.

As more arrows rain down, she attempts to get an arrow out and into her bow. She fails until her enemy shoots her canteen of liquor. Then she quickly and accurately hits her target.

She finds the body of her assailant nearby. While she stares at it, a soldier sneaks up from behind her and knocks her over the head. She collapses. She’s in a semi-conscious state when a dragonfly flies to her.

The dragonfly tells Annia that it thinks the assassins that keep popping up around her are her inner demons.

As the dragonfly flies away, the soldiers look at Annia and talk about how they didn’t think elves exist but they saw three that day. A soldier walks by with Ellia’s unconscious body. Another suggests they take them to Lady Nora.

In Owen’s fantasy, Owen has gone to see the cops again. He’s freaking out. He thinks his father is going to find out that he’s an informant. Adelaide says they need him to keep going and asks if he can do it for her. Owen wants to know if he has a choice, so Adelaide points out if he doesn’t he’ll go to jail.

Later, Owen follows his father to a diner. He sits at the counter. His father is meeting with someone at a booth behind him. Olivia is his waitress. She knows him from class and asks if they can study for their final together. He agrees but then has to take off when he notices his father leaving.

In Annie’s fantasy, Annia is being questioned by Lady Nora about how Ellia came to hire Annia. She asks if Ellia is aware that Annia is being hunted by invisible assassins sent by Queen Gertrude. Annia says she only tells Ellia what she needs to know.

Ellia finally regains consciousness on Maniac. Lady Nora makes sure Ellia is well fed and taken care of. Ellia explains she was cursed to die by her mother but she’s confident Annia will save her from death.

Lady Nora tells Ellia that she knows where the Lake of the Clouds is and she can show her. She instructs a man to fetch a mirror and tells Annia to peer into it.

A seriously annoyed Annia does as she’s told. When she looks in the mirror she sees two sisters. She says the older one is putting rouge on the younger and the younger one adores the older. Their mother is coming home so they’re getting ready. But the mother doesn’t actually show up.

Then Annia realizes the sisters in the mirror are her and Ellia. They’re both confused.

Lady Nora tells them where to find the lake and sends them on their way. As they leave, Annia gets her things back from Greg Nazlund, the driver of the truck she hit in real life. She grabs her stuff and insults him.

After they exit, Annie hugs Ellia. Her accent is gone and she knows who she is now. She tells Ellia that it’s her but Ellia is not Ellie. She still thinks Annia’s her guide.

Annie laughs. Of course, they’re in a fantasy — her least favorite genre. She wants to know what it means, and Ellia starts to talk about understanding moral tales. When she has a coughing fit, however, Annie delicately leads her away.

Meanwhile, in the lab, Dr. Mantleray’s mother is still working with the super-computer. Dr. Mantleray is growing more paranoid about what they could be doing. He thinks the computer and his mother are conspiring against him.

Dr. Fujita comes in and Dr. Mantleray asks how everything’s going. She says the systems are working perfectly. Whatever Dr. Mantleray’s mother is doing, it’s working.

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The episode ends with Dr. Mantleray wondering what his mother could possibly be doing with the computer.

The next episode of Maniac seems set to continue Owen and Annie’s fantasies. Will they stay separated or will they find each other again? Our recap for episode 8 will be up soon.

Let us know what you thought of episode 7 in the comments. Also, stream the series on Netflix and review all our Maniac recaps, including the recap for episode 6.