The Peripheral episode 3’s grandfather clock password leaps from left field, but the twist is cleverly foreshadowed. The final sequence of The Peripheral episode 3, “Haptic Drift,” sees Chloë Grace Moretz’s Flynne Fisher and Gary Carr’s Wolf/Wilf Netherton explore the missing Aelita’s abandoned hideout. Flynne notices an anachronistic stopped grandfather clock exactly the same as her own back in 2032, except the Fisher house’s clock is stuck at 2:15. When Wilf turns the hands of Aelita’s version to the same time, a hidden doorway opens. If only all passwords of far-future revolutionaries were so easy to decipher, the Research Institute may not be chasing Flynne all across 2100 London.
While Aelita using Flynne’s broken clock as her super-secret code may seem an overly convenient way for The Peripheral to maneuver its protagonists into position for episode 3’s final battle, “Haptic Drift” sets up this twist far in advance. As Wilf explains to Flynne how he programmed their car to drive around the streets of 2100 future London (somewhere around the 29:37 mark), their taxi passes a shop window on the far-left of shot that reads in capital letters, “THE CLOCK TELLS A STORY.” Especially intriguing is how other shop windows Flynne and Wilf pass stay out of focus, whereas the above message is sharp and readable – for those quick with their pause button.
The Peripheral’s Clock Message May Hide A Deeper Meaning
The Peripheral episode 3 forces its audience to question why Aelita uses a grandfather clock in Flynne’s home as the basis of her password, and the plot thickens when considering future London’s prophetic shop window. One possibility (the boring option) is that Aelita created the grandfather clock security mechanism only after selecting Easy Ice as her polt from the past. Perhaps she deliberately chose an entry code Flynne and Burton could figure out. That way, either could enter freely if they came across her hideout, suggesting Aelita wants to be found (by the right person, of course).
Aelita’s grandfather clock may, however, betray a deeper connection between herself and Flynne. Until now, The Peripheral season 1 led viewers to believe Aelita picked Easy Ice because of the account’s impressive video game stats. Maybe if Billy Ann Baker spent more time playing VR and less time cleaning up the planet, Aelita would have pulled her into her future instead. But Aelita knowing the Fishers own a grandfather clock that stopped at 2:15 – and then using that very specific detail as her pass code – implies a deeper connection between them.
What Aelita’s Real Connection To Flynne Could Be
In any sci-fi story connecting the past and future, the possibility of hidden blood ties is ever-present, meaning Aelita could be related to the Fishers through her DNA. The Peripheral still hasn’t revealed what happened to Flynne after the Jackpot, nor what fate befell her brother, but if one of them survived, Aelita could be their grandchild. That would explain her sentimentality in using the grandfather clock password, why Easy Ice was picked for the mission, and even why Aelita wants to save Flynne’s stub in the first place.
Another possibility is that someone from The Peripheral future timeline caused the death of Flynne and Burton’s father. According to Chloë Grace Moretz’s character, the Fisher family’s grandfather clock stopped right after her father died, potentially drawing some connection between the late Mr. Fisher and whatever Aelita is doing in the future. The Peripheral already revealed agents such as the Research Institute and Lev Zubov have been poking into Flynne’s timeline. One of them could have affected the past in a way that resulted in Mr. Fisher dying earlier than he was meant to, hence Aelita using The Peripheral‘s stopped grandfather clock as her entry code.
The Peripheral continues Friday on Amazon Prime Video.