How did Conner lose his limbs in The Peripheral?

Conner has been one of the most formidable characters in Prime Video’s ‘The Peripheral’ in the short amount of screentime he’s gotten so far, piquing viewers’ curiosities about his tragic past that embittered him to the point of self-destruction he currently exhibits.

The Peripheral has introduced the viewers to a slew of different characters that have all contributed to world-building in varying capacities. The main characters in the story’s focus all live in two futuristic worlds and an environment that requires them to be tough.

Flynne, Burton, Wilf, and Aelita are all strong-willed and determined enough to eventually play major roles in world-altering events. Wilf and Aelita are strong and tough because they hail from a post-apocalyptic world.

Burton is battle-hardened from his days in the military and continues to be a tough man with an iron-clad heart for his family that doesn’t exactly live in the best of conditions. Flynne is tough because she needs to provide for her family and care for her sick mother.

However, Conner, a disabled veteran who was with Burton and his friends in the military, is tough because he’s got nothing to lose. Conner has already lost an arm and both of his legs during his military days.

Now he spends his time drowning in booze, trying to fill the empty and incomplete life with alcohol and the forgetfulness that it gifts. He’s still a badass though, riding an advanced unicycle and intimidating hooligans in a standoff with nothing but his deathly, do-or-die gaze.

In the latest episode of ‘The Peripheral’, the tragic event that put Conner into his concurrent state is revealed in a shocking twist, making his involvement in the story feel much more significant and crucial than before.

The God Font and the conspiratorial connection

The Peripheral episode 5 sees a flashback in which Aelita meets her former flame Grace, who also worked at Research Institute and had access to the room with the inverted pyramid that Aelita broke into in episode 1.

The room is called the “God Font”, and the inverted pyramid is one of the many technological marvels that the Research Institute works with and thrives on.

Grace reveals to Aelita how the God Font is being used to conduct unethical research and run immoral experiments in the stubs. She then shows her the visuals of one such stub where the RI ran an experiment.

connor the peripheral
Image Source: Prime Video

This experiment entailed altering the neural chemistry of humans via haptic modifications. The test subjects of this experiment were none other than Burton and his marine squad, including Conner.

The experiments and why the Research Institute ran them

The Research Institute ran and runs these experiments during the current events in the story because it’s a part of a massive research undertaking.

They deal with numerous timelines where the RI can run their unethical tests on immense scales and be free of contending with any risks or consequences of said experiments.

These experiments and the results they produce are part of RI’s “hush-hush, saving-the-world sh*t”, or at least that’s how Grace puts it. She also hints at Cherise Nuland using a similar kind of haptic technology for their world.

Conner’s case and the experimental victim

Conner is a victim of the Research Institute’s unethical research and experiments that they conduct in the stubs — alternate timelines.

The experiment that rendered him an amputee was about altering the neural chemistry of a group of individuals linked with each other at the same time, thanks to their haptic technology.

This technology, used in a way more primitive capacity in Conner’s timeline, was part of a contract that the US military had with one shell company owned by the Research Institute.

Conner’s squad of marines were out on a mission and the enemies were using injured animals, a dog in this instance, to draw the soldiers in and have them step into the landmines.

In a normal case, the soldiers would have shot the dog, but this experiment altered their neural chemistry, tapping into the compassion centres in their brains at a very precarious moment.

Everyone has a different response to this alteration, based on their backgrounds and experiences. While Burton and others remained behind, Conner was compelled by his brain to rise up and dash towards the dog to save him.

In doing so, Conner fell victim to a landmine, resulting in his arm and both of his legs getting eviscerated. As he lies severely injured on the battlefield, Burton and other marines run to him to rescue him, before the visuals end inside God Font.

Also read: What is Jackpot in The Peripheral?