Incorporated’s political messaging has taken a backseat as the show turns expositional. After learning of Laura’s rescue at the hands of Julian, and how Spiga’s top security agent initially wanted less to do with the company before Elizabeth gained his loyalty, the main plot is back on track. And as Ben gets closer to Elena, there are difficult decisions for everyone to consider.
Ben’s rescue mission is put on hold because, as anyone could’ve figured, his plan to get rid of Roger’s body didn’t work and Julian’s figured out that someone is killing off the competition to help Ben rise in the company. Theo seems to be operating with the same logic, which is why he’s literally fighting his way into the green zone to rescue Elena. But a touch of the good life, of drugs and girls, is making it hard for Theo to deny that life is good at the top of the red zone, almost as good as getting on the other side of the wall. But not everyone’s interested in escapism.
Laura’s self-harm kick was equal parts futile and superficial up to this point. In the green zone, Laura had continually harmed herself as a response to being reminded of the kidnapping that took place years ago. But with 2074 having the technology to spray scars away has helped her issues remain unresolved. This is part of what keeps her something of a bleeding heart and Incorporated’s ethical center. And that she cares what happens to people, other than herself, is what takes her to the red zone to hand out some medical attention.
After avoiding the place for almost a decade, Laura finds herself trapped in that wasteland as people can’t believe their good fortune when they see a doctor for what must feel like the first time. And her generosity is taken advantage of when the local crime element leans on her to open up a clinic, allowing her to help people while allowing them to seem beneficent to the poor people they rule. Even when doing the right thing, Laura finds that the capitalist system that both zones operate under means people are continually under threat by someone.
How her medical venture will play out in the red zone is still a bit of a gamble, as is Ben’s latest move. Now that Julian knows for certain that Elena was targeted by Roger and only Ben stands to gain from the recent death and security breach at Spiga, he’s become the top suspect for all these violations of company policy. And to ward off Julian, Ben decides to use Everclear to delete portions of his memory, particularly his entire history as Aaron, his true identity.
The play here is that Ben’s mind will pass any interrogation Julian puts him under, allowing him to continue his rescue operation once Julian moves on. But in killing Aaron, what complications will arise in the progress of that initial mission?
It’s good to see Incorporated move its A story forward in a way that won’t leave gaps in the pace like it had in the first half of the season. But what made those episodes work was the focus on the disparity of life between zones, the unsubtle references the conniving tactics privileged people use to gain more power, and how the majority are forced to be content with survival. Ignoring that as we’re a couple weeks from the finale, and not finding a way to incorporate those stronger themes into Ben’s narrative, puts the show in peril of being forgotten not long after the season is over.