Forrest Cameranesi Geek of all Trades

(9x03) Virtuality Transcendent: Part 1, Episode 3

Perplexed by how their memories thus far can square with the reality they seem to find themselves in now, where the virtual world is apparently operational and the real world somehow undamaged by the catastrophe that they have recalled befalling it, both Murdock and Annabelle are eager to recover the next of their memories, to fill in the gaps in the story between the apparent end of the real world, and the virtual apocalypse that they were living through until they were awakened here. Metis tells them that this catastrophe they have just recalled is a major traumatic turning point leading to the condition that they are trying to recover from, and she and her team think it best to wait and see how they cope with the memories recovered thus far before proceeding any further.

But that only makes them more suspicious, feeling like something is being hidden from them. They discuss theories of how both their memories and what they experience now can be true, including the possibility that it has been countless ages since their last recovered memories and the real world has rebuilt since then, but that theory goes out the window when they notice that the moon is still intact in the sky outside despite having been destroyed in the cataclysm they now remember, a feat that they cannot believe humanity could have achieved, even in thousands upon thousands of years. As their doubt increases, they begin to suspect that this is in fact the false reality, and that "Metis" is actually the Queen of Hell after all – though they wonder, in light of the verisimilitude of their recovered memories, if they might be true after all, even if all of this is a deception.

Testing that theory, they attempt to access the "magic" subsystem of Virtuality, and finding that they are able to, they confront "the Queen of Hell" with that fact, threatening to destroy this false World Ring with magic (confident that they will survive it, being already dead and uniquely immortal as they are) if "the Queen" does not come clean with them. Metis tries to talk them down from their suicidal threats, but her insistence that she is not the Queen of Hell only pushes them to dig in their heels, until they finally make good on their threat. The titanic magical explosion they summon together cracks open the World Ring on which they stand, and as everyone in it is vented into the cold vacuum of space... Tom and Xiu do not find themselves ghosts, they find only utter blackness.

Next: Virtuality Transcendent: Part 2, Episode 1