John Isidore sits in his building, watching television. Suddenly, a frail-looking young woman walks into his room. John—who knows that people sometimes sneak into the building, which looks completely abandoned—greets the woman kindly. The woman asks John if he’s the only person in the building, and John admits that he is. John notices that the woman is very beautiful, and that she seems never to have seen a TV before.
John Isidore has been portrayed as an outsider thus far, but now he seems like an “insider” compared to this new visitor. The mysterious woman is unfamiliar with TV—one of the cornerstones of life in the U.S.—so we’re meant to automatically be suspicious of her as possibly one of the escaped androids.
John shows the woman an area in the apartment where she can sleep. He asks her if she owns an empathy box, and the girl replies, “I didn’t bring mine with me.” John rhapsodizes about Mercerism and the importance of empathy. John nearly lets slip that he’s “special.” John can tell from the woman’s face that she understands that he’s mentally challenged.
John may be mentally disabled, but he’s portrayed as the kindest, most empathetic character thus far—and so perhaps the most “human” as well.
John tells the woman that he’s going to work soon. He asks her to fix some dinner for them, but she declines, saying she has to be going. Before John leaves, the woman introduces herself as Rachael Rosen. John recognizes this name—he’s familiar with the Rosen organization. The woman shakes her head and tells John that her real name is Pris Stratton. She walks out of the apartment.
It now becomes clearer that Pris is one of the escaped androids. Her connection to the name Rosen—and Rachael Rosen in particular, as she was just revealed to be an android—drives the point home. It remains to be seen how her arrival will upset John’s dull but peaceful life.