Brave New World recap: A mad dash for the barrier

BRAVE NEW WORLD -- "Everybody Happy Now" Episode 103 -- Pictured: (l-r) Demi Moore as Linda, Alden Ehrenreich as John the Savage -- (Photo by: Steve Schofield/Peacock)
BRAVE NEW WORLD -- "Everybody Happy Now" Episode 103 -- Pictured: (l-r) Demi Moore as Linda, Alden Ehrenreich as John the Savage -- (Photo by: Steve Schofield/Peacock) /

Everyone fights for survival in Episode 3 of Brave New World.

Brave New World kicks off with John and Lenina desperately trying to save Bernard from bleeding to death. They cart his body onto a dining room table in John’s living room as he yells for his mother.

Of course, when Linda sees the bloody mess, the first thing she asks is “What’d you do?”

Apparently, John’s mother has a background in medicine since she does manage to extract the bullet from Bernard’s chest. John wants to abandon Bernard altogether and make a run for it since he knows the “Sheila” people will be coming after them and the outsiders they’re hiding.

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Despite the somewhat odd nature of John’s mother, she proves to have a level head in a crisis. Between helping Bernard and keeping John from spiraling, she’s the one who implores him to use his common sense, especially when Madysun shows up looking for the outsiders.

Lenina and Bernard stowaway in the attic as she storms the house looking for them in every nook and cranny.

Too bad John is not a very good liar and Madysun is kind of crazy. She says people saw John with someone, likely Lenina and Bernard as he helped escort them.

John tries to pretend he hates the outsiders as much as the rest of them, but he doesn’t sound all that believable. Madysun realizes that berating John isn’t going to get her anywhere, so she tries to seduce him into giving her the information she wants. She threatens to murder his mother if she does find the foreigners on the roof.

Meanwhile, Lenina force-feeds Bernard soma until she runs out and in a tense moment of silence, Madysun hears the click of the empty dispenser, forcing her to draw the gun and threaten John. Just before she can pull the trigger, Linda stabs Madysun in the back, ending the threat for the time being.

Linda is determined to get out of The Savage Lands and she wasn’t going to let Madysun stand in their way.

All this panic and chaos has Linda in her element, she’s thriving and intent on helping Lenina and Bernard, while John proves his cowardice as he continuously tells his mother they should abandon them and bail.

BRAVE NEW WORLD — “Everybody Happy Now” Episode 103 — Pictured: (l-r) Alden Ehrenreich as John the Savage, Demi Moore as Linda — (Photo by: Steve Schofield/Peacock) /

Brave New World: The group tries to make it to New London.

While running from their house, the power goes out, apparently a regular occurrence in the Savage Lands. Still, Linda manages to cajole their neighbor, and her sometimes-fling, into letting all of them stay inside of his trailer while they regroup and close Bernard’s wound.

In the middle of the work, the cult shows up to investigate the house, John watches them scurry around like rats from the window of the trailer.

John realizes that Lenina has no clue why these people are after her, not really. In her mind it’s simple, the savages are selfish people driven by fear and jealousy. John takes offense to that generalization but he can’t say much before Linda snaps at him to leave Lenina alone.

The other guy, John’s maybe-dad, echoes John’s thoughts though, and wonders why Linda is doing all of this to help some outsiders who might get her killed.

“I need him,” is all she says.

Linda takes Lenina into the bathroom to get cleaned up while leaving the boys to finish patching Bernard’s wound. The next step is the most painful, cauterizing the wound.

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Episode 3 of Brave New World reveals that Linda is, in fact, a Beta Plus, just like Lenina. It seems she came to The Savage Lands with an Alpha, too, but he left her there. I’m guessing that may have been John’s real father. It also explains why she knows so much about soma.

The group doesn’t have much time left before the cult catches up to them, especially when Linda’s booty call realizes his wife just showed up. He tries to keep her from going in that trailer but she deduces that Linda is inside, screaming about her in the yard loud enough for the cult members to hear.

Sheila pulls a gun on him and just as Linda, John, Bernard and Lenina escape out the back into his truck, she hears a gunshot. From there it’s a race to the barrier as a few of the cult members chase after the fleeing New Londoners and John.

As they close in on the barrier, the group is forced to leave the car and run through the woods to try and avoid more crazy cult members shooting people in their vehicles. Eventually, they reach the barrier with Jenina and Bernard immediately jumping through.

But John hesitates as he watches another Savage fall through the barrier and immediately disintegrates, he thinks he’ll die trying to make it past, but Linda is confident he won’t. Ultimately, she’s forced to shove him through as Sheila catches up to them and aims her gun at the pair once again.

They make it over the threshold intact! It turns out John’s heritage from a Beta Plus and Alpha Plus seems to have made him an unofficial member of New London. As they all scamper off toward the rocket, Bernard lags behind to hear a final message from Shiela.

She tells him to return home with a message for his people: Do not return to the Savage Lands, they’re free people now and will no longer be mocked by the New Londoners. They’ll kill any other outsiders that breach their borders.

BRAVE NEW WORLD — “Everybody Happy Now” Episode 103 — Pictured: The Savage Lands — (Photo by: Steve Schofield/Peacock) /

Brave New World: A new life in New London.

I had a feeling that Shiela’s final gunshot would ring true. During the trip back, Linda sadly dies in her seat, but at least she gets to see New London from the window one last time. John is forced to watch as his mother succumbs to her fatal wound beside him, helpless to do anything for her.

Once they return, the three remaining survivors go through a decontamination process. John is placed in a cell while Jenina and Bernard are able to return to normal once more.

Bernard is keen on putting everything in the past, but Jenina is clearly far more rattled by the entire incident. Even having soma back in stock isn’t enough to quiet the thoughts in her mind. She questions Bernard on what Shiela said to him as they were leaving and he tries to brush off her dire warning as mere ravings of a lunatic.

However, I did notice that Bernard was drinking what appeared to be liquid soma, a version of alcohol based on the moonshine he was forced to drink during his wound closing procedure. Perhaps not all savage customs are terrible then, hm, Bernard?

Before their visit, it looked like Bernard might be opening his eyes to the oddities of life in New London, but after his near brush with death, he seems more like what we saw in the opening scene of the series. Loyal and intent on brushing everything beneath the rug in order to keep his life perfect, happy, and safe. Jenina, on the other hand, might be unable to move on as easily.

As for John, his mother is tended to by Mustafa and the director, who I believe is John’s real father. Mustafa returns to John’s cell, watching him lash out in his grief, throwing things at the window and screaming at the unseen presence to allow him to visit his mother one last time.

Finally, a voice speaks to him, either Mustafa or Indra, I’m not sure. His cell door opens and he’s given his first official glimpse of his new home.

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The first season of Brave New World is now streaming on Peacock TV.