Hello, PKD Fans! What would you do to feel safe and sound in new surroundings? Find out what Foster decides to do on this week’s Electric Dreams Podcast, where we discuss Electric Dreams Season 1 Episode 9, entitled Safe and Sound.
Foster Lee (Annalise Basso) and her mother, Irene (Maura Tierney) arrive in the Eastern Zone for a year-long stay. Irene is the representative of the Western bubble communities who refuse to live under the Eastern regime. Her mother is a tireless advocate for the freedoms the West has preserved. Foster has to spend her days in high school where all she’d like to do is fit in and make friends. Her anxiety is high naturally and a series of terrible, but typical, high school mishaps leaves her feeling incredibly lonely and upset. The first step in fitting in, in her mind, is getting a “Dex”, the personal tracker that the vast majority of students have. As her mother has refused to get her one, she has a classmate hack in and order one for her.
Even with the Dex, she’s ostracized and humiliated. Her only comfort is the customer service agent in her Dex, Ethan (Connor Paolo) who is becomes friend, confidante, and technical support. Through the application of “Hear Gel”, only she hears Ethan’s voice. When he warns her that there seems to be suspicious activity going on at her school, she follows his instructions in order to track down the perpetrators.
When Ethan’s demands become more insistent, Foster starts to wonder how real he is. Her father had a mental breakdown before dying and she worries that she’s hearing voices in her head the way he did. Despite her misgivings, Ethan convinces her to stage a terrorist attack at her school in order to flush out the “real” terrorists in their midst.
Her attack attempt becomes a springboard from which the Eastern Zone government, headed by Odin (Martin Donovan), is able to arrest her mother under charges of brain-washing Foster to commit a bombing.
As a ward of the state, Foster becomes the face of a new era of Dex-surveillance and mandated tracking. She is escorted everywhere by Ethan, her Dex-friend, in the flesh who keeps her calm and happy.
In the final scenes, an epilogue montage reveals that Odin and Ethan used Foster’s Dex to gas-light her into commiting the attack in order to arrest Irene and create even more fear so that security could be heightened even further in the Eastern Zone.