The Peripheral kills off Grace shortly after the character’s introduction to the show, before revealing her connection to an important character and the reason for her tragic departure.
The Peripheral introduced many characters to the fold in the span of five episodes. Some of these characters are more important to the story than they seem, while some tragically serve as motivations for others.
One of those characters whose death could inspire a feeling of revenge in Aelita is her old flame Grace, who is ruthlessly murdered by the diabolical Cherise Nuland.
Here is who Grace is and how she is related to Aelita West:
The buzzing kill
Grace is introduced in Episode 3 when Dr. Cherise Nuland invites her to a meeting at one of the gardens. The purpose of the encounter soon becomes clear to Grace, much to her abject terror.
Aelita breaches RI’s security in the first episode, with the help of an unsuspecting Flynne, stealing something from the futuristic facility that Nuland can’t afford to lose.
This very breach triggers the central conflict in The Peripheral, and is the very reason Nuland meets Grace and asks her about the security breach that recently occurred as well as her part in said breach.
Grace is terrified of this intimidating person, who wields tremendous power. And she is right to fear her, because Nuland takes no pity on Grace and punishes her for her mistakes while sharing company secrets with her old friend Aelita.
Nuland unleashes a swarm of ferocious killer bees that deliver a brutal, off-screen death to Grace.
The flashback of former lovers
In episode 5, the series sheds light on the relationship that once existed between Grace and Aelita and the events that took place before the big security breach.
Aelita and Grace were once lovers but separated a long time ago, following a falling out where, as Aelita says, Grace broke her heart. Meanwhile, the latter also complains about how the former dumped her, leaving a cold, explicit note to break things up.
However, Aelita doesn’t want to dwell on the past, even though she laughs in disbelief at the fact that Grace is now married and has two children.
Either way, the former lovers reconcile and with their bitter dynamic shifting to a sweet dynamic, they hit a bar. Aelita then changes the conversation and asks her ex about his job.
Grace works for the Research Institute and the work is openly confidential and precarious. She takes a risk and offers Aelita a visit anyway, taking her to the room with the inverted pyramid that works with very advanced technological components.
The breakup and the consequences
Grace shows Aelita what the Research Institute is doing in this important room filled with applications of futuristic advances in science fiction.
She shows Aelita, to Aelita’s great astonishment and disturbance, that the Research Institute is experimenting with stubs (alternate timelines) in this room.
However, the subjects of these experiments are still real people, capable of feeling emotions and pain, just like those in this future timeline.
Grace and Aelita are aware of this, but only the latter is sufficiently empathetic and morally sound to feel shaken by what she sees on one of the screens.
The display shows a soldier in one of the experiment heels, working in accordance with the haptic technology that the Research Institute has made possible in this timeline (as part of their experiments and testing the technology on consumable humans) .
This is the same haptic technology that Burton and friends operate with. Aelita can’t stand that the soldier on the monitor suffers the most serious injuries from this experimental technology.
Later, whether entirely due to this disturbance, or a mixture of other fears and urges as well, Aelita steals important data related to this room, with the help of Flynne.
Cherise and the Research Institute cannot afford this stealth, made possible due to the security breach Grace contributed to.
As a result, Nuland kills her in one of the most painful ways, perhaps leaving room for Aelita to take revenge for her former lover’s death.