So what’s the deal with Virginia? No, she was never in Berlin. She was in New York all along. In a flashback to her first Skype interaction with Cody, he asks if she wants to meet in person, and she says, hesitating a second beforehand, that she’s actually in Berlin, and won’t be back in New York for six months. She’s clearly lying, or at least hiding something. She asks if they can keep meeting online to talk, since obviously they’ve hit it off. No pressure, no commitment, no weirdness, just talk, until she returns? Cody is taken aback, but interested in her, and he agrees.
At the end of the film, Cody confronts her with his suspicions. She shows up at Cody’s door in the middle of the night, and the two finally meet. By this point, Cody is a wreck. He’s about to lose his job. He’s covered an entire wall with “clues.” He can barely look at her. She explains that she doesn’t know why she lied, but every relationship she has had has ended badly, and she wanted to try something new with him, since she likes him so much. She wondered if enforced distance would give their relationship a healthier rhythm, where the brain was activated, and sex wasn’t on the table. She was trying to force a new pattern on herself, using Cody as her unwitting participant.
Wigon is to be commended for not trying to create some artificial thriller twist where Virginia is actually a 72-year-old pig farmer in Iowa. His script is about loneliness and obsession, about two people finding huge comfort in connecting every day over Skype, about the yearning for real intimacy, and what it can provide. Cody and Virginia have both invested in it. But Gallagher’s urgent, visceral performance makes the stakes so intensely high, revealing such deep disturbances in his psyche, that Virginia’s reveal feels banal by comparison. It deflates the built-up tension, turning it into a sad story about a relationship breaking up before it even really got started.