Thankfully, this week’s episode returns to the main story as we watch Elle seek Niander Wallace Sr. as the sole survivor of those participating in the doll hunt. Shockingly, he seems aware of being the next target of “Black Lotus” and attempts to prepare his security team for her arrival. Wallace Corporation’s security detail aren’t the only ones keeping an eye out for Elle, as Marlowe is also keeping taps on our heroine, setting the stage for round two of a clash between Blade Runner & replicant. This episode brings back the action that’s been lacking in the past few episodes, which I enjoyed seeing Elle’s fighting skills back on display!
The episode beings with Wallace Sr. is on edge speaking to his security team as he learns the participants of the doll hunt have been murdered. Wallace Jr. doesn’t share the same urgency as he checks in on his father. It seems that Jr. ‘s calm attitude gives the impression of keeping something from his father, assuring the situation with Elle will be coming to an end. Jr. did, however, express the mishandling of the power of creating replicants and seems to be hinting that something bigger is on the horizon. In the series, Jr. hasn’t had a significant presence, but his interactions indicate something that I can’t put my finger on. Could he favor replicants over humans (which seemed to be expressed through this conversation with his father), or is there something specific with Elle that has made Jr. take the stance/tone that he has so far with his father?
The other aspect I anticipated was the reunion between Elle and Joseph, but it didn’t give the emotional reaction I hoped to see. Elle’s lack of disappointment of Joseph’s past was a missed opportunity to regain some emotional appeal that Blade Runner: Black Lotus has been lacking. This moment was being played up and not having the impact that anime fans are used to seeing, making it feel lifeless. Still being at odds with her plan, Joseph believes Elle has done enough and believes leaving Los Angeles would be a wise choice since she’s eliminated all participants of the doll hunt. Elle wants to trust Joseph but proclaims she still has work to do in going after Wallace Sr. It’s a long shot to work, but Elle is willing to work alone to hopefully move forward from the pain she’s suffered.
After Elle abruptly leaves the apartment, Joseph calls someone on the phone, stating how Elle will be free once she’s done with the plan to kill Wallace Sr., and I’m curious to know who is on the other line. This scene seems to come out of nowhere, but it gives just enough information to know Joseph is in talks with someone interested in “Black Lotus,” which is essential considering how the story did have a tone of finality at the end. So having moments like this to keep interest is vital for the series.
Despite Joseph’s pleas, Elle moves forward with her plan as she enters the Wallace Corporation through a delivery truck (her stealth outfit looks good!). After shooting down a security camera in a freight elevator, Wallace Sr. orders the building on lockdown as Elle continues her assault. She triggers a big chase with guards, and a battle ensues, and right when Elle looks to be overwhelmed, Joseph lands a few killing blows as he snipes her opponents from a nearby rooftop! I was so excited to see Joseph helping Elle navigate through security to get closer to finding her target, especially since he’s been trying to stop Elle since they’ve met. After Joseph aids in Elle’s escape, she enters a room resembling a botanical garden that would turn into the playground for Blade Runner Marlowe.
Marlowe crashes into the room as he did at Grant’s apartment and immediately begins his attack! What was easily the highlight of the entire episode, the scene doesn’t disappoint as viewers get another chance to see a beautiful fight sequence between Elle and Marlowe. Both suffered substantial injuries during this brawl and created a bit of doubt as to who would win or walk away alive. Thankfully for Elle, Joseph was able to turn the tide in her favor after shooting Marlowe in the shoulder. And I’m excited about the potential of another fight between the two and possibly have more involvement from Joseph in the future.
Injured from the skirmish, Elle reaches the top floor of the penthouse, but her progress is stopped by a fingerprint scan used at the door. Elle places her hand on the scanner without any real prompt and is allowed entry with the door acknowledging her as Wallace Jr.! This development should have many fans’ heads spinning with all the theories that come to mind. Did Jr. create Elle, and could she be a replicant form of what he wishes he was? Could this have been a scheme to usurp his father and take control of the company? Or is this the start of a replicant revolution? So many questions, and it’s funny how a fingerprint scan can shoot off so many possibilities or motives. Elle carefully enters but is shot from behind by Wallace Sr. as he begins his counterattack to eliminate Elle. Wallace Sr. starts to brag about the doll hunt being a success and continues his taunting by saying her existence (as well as replicants as a whole) doesn’t matter.
I’m often shocked at how on the nose Blade Runner: Black Lotus has been touching on the topics of civil rights or flat-out racism throughout its entire season. Wallace Sr. ‘s view mirrors what marginalized groups experienced historically and currently. Seeing Elle’s expression of pain from the bullet wounds and the words spoken hit a chord with me and probably others who have dealt with these issues first-hand. It was extra sweet seeing Elle kill the last person responsible for her suffering as it would appear that the chase had finally ended. The rest of Wallace Sr. ‘s security arrived, seeing the job Elle performed. Not wanting to be captured and Joseph giving the order to leave, Elle takes a leap of faith by jumping through a window and freefalling to what would appear to be her own demise. Joseph heroically flies toward Elle as both ride off in what feels like the end of Elle’s story (for now).
This episode was a pleasure to watch due to the action and witnessing Elle bringing everyone who wronged her to justice. I was elated to see Joseph in the field, helping Elle to finally see some teamwork from the two characters we’ve been following since the beginning. And I have to give a huge applause to Brian Cox after his performance of Wallace Sr.’s final speech. It was excellent and sheds light on the insensitivity other humans can have to others who tend to be different from society’s standard of normalcy. In light of Wallace Sr.’s death, I’m interested in the role that Wallace Jr. will play now that he’s head of the Wallace Corporation. And what is his connection to Elle? I’m also eager to see what Officer Davis will do after finding out about Wallace Sr. and if she’ll still pursue Elle even though she’s on leave. Many questions still feel unanswered, and the anticipation of learning more is keeping me invested.
Umeko Long is a staff writer for ToonamiFaithful.com. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @blu_temptation
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