Two things, before I start this mini-recap. First, "manus domini" is translated to mean "hand of God" and this episode tries to explore faith a bit, as in is there a God at work in a virtual reality made up of computer code? Second - and I'm not saying the first thing is the cause of the second thing - this was another friggin' boring-ass episode. Add that to the less than stellar acting and I can totally see why Harsh Realm was cancelled. And yet, here we are, so let's begin! Also: the third thing (there's a third thing) is that this episode is WAAAAAAAAAY heavy on Tom's effing voiceover, as he narrates a letter he's writing to Sophie, exploring the whole God-in-the-machine thing. I hate those droning voiceovers.
Tom and Pinnochio are searching for/chasing after Florence, who has taken it into her head to go sprinting off through the Maryland forest. She is searching for a group (coven/cult) of silent healing women like herself. She finds where they were, and a man is there, saying that his son is sick, can she help? Florence attempts to heal the boy but he isn't really sick; the man wallops her upside the head with a stick. When she regains consciousness, she's tied up: some scruffy thugs think she can lead them to the "sisters" - seems Santiago will not tolerate the women's healing or their faith in a higher power.
Meanwhile, the boys follow Florence's trail through a field and soon learn it's a minefield, as Pinnochio steps on a mine. Tom tries to defuse it but BOOM! They are badly hurt. The healing sisters appear, fix Tom up right there in the field, and drag Pinnochio off for further treatment. When he wakes up, in a barn somewhere, he is being tended to by a pretty young sister. Problem is, one of his legs got blown off and it is beyond their ability to heal; every time a sister heals someone, it takes a lot out of her physically - the worse the wound, the harder it is for the sister to bounce back. Pinnochio is so angry, upset, depressed about his leg. And for good reason: when he was a real-world soldier, he stepped on a mine in Yugoslavia and lost both his legs, and pretty much half his face. Soon after that, he volunteered for Harsh Realm so he could be whole again. This loss is too much for him to bear. He looks for his gun - I just need one bullet - and when the sisters look at him reproachfully, he scoffs at their belief that they are doing God's work: no God in the game!
Tom is still out in the minefield. A lone soldier, scouting for one of Santiago's squadrons, finds him and they tussle, landing on another mine. This time Tom manages to defuse it, and also gets the better of the soldier, relieving him of his gun. Tom runs off to try to find Florence and Pinnochio. He finds her but manages to get captured his own self.
Pinnochio is lurching around on a crutch, looking for another mine in the field to finish the job, sees the rest of the squadron show up. He hobbles back to the sisters and says he'll help them. When the soldiers move off, the sisters go out to the minefield and collect a bunch of mines. Later, the bad guys arrive at the farm where Pinnochio and the sisters are hiding out, Florence and Tom in tow. The bad guys step on the mines Pinnochio planted and there's a lot of gunfire, with both Pinnochio and another soldier getting shot. Florence, showing no ill will, heals the soldier. Pinnochio gets taken back into the barn where he woke up before, and the pretty sister kisses him and then regrows his leg for him. He wakes up and catches her as she falls into his arms, dead and then digitized, having sacrificed herself for him. Tom closes us out with a voiceover, saying that he (and possibly Pinnochio too) now has renewed faith.
But where was Dexter the dog in all this? That's what I'm really interested in.
Previously on Harsh Realm / next time on Harsh Realm
3 hours ago