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Artbound

Episode 11: Circus

Vireo’s hysteria and psychosis finally come to a climax when she wakes up at the medical presentation in Sweden, and literally finds herself at a circus. This is the “circus” that Caroline had promised they would attend. Seen through the lens of Vireo’s mind, the friends and family from her life return as circus characters — Raphael and the Doctor, her Mother, Caroline and the Voice. The dead Cow makes one last appearance from beyond the grave, disguised as a Lion. Vireo’s friends from school come marching in to join her. Another group joins with Caroline who is intent upon burning more witches.

Finally, Vireo has had enough. In a moment of clarity, she recognizes that Caroline is her enemy and charges her with witchcraft. This silences the crowd and the two begin a final showdown. Suddenly, the Queen of Sweden appears. Her appearance presages the beginning of WWI and the end of public study of “hysteria.” The Queen resolves all worldly problems, justifies the academy’s (and humanity’s) turn towards war, and everyone leaves. This leaves Vireo alone to figure out how her life will go on.

Vireo leaves the Circus and the world of visions and time travel.

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