Altered Carbon: Season 1/ Episode 3 “In A Lonely Place” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Riley Lai Nelet as Young Rei in Netflix's Altered Carbon.
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As Poe, Vernon, Miriam, and flashbacks make up for our male and female lead, things are slowly getting better.


Network
Netflix
Director(s) Nick Hurran
Writer(s) Brian Nelson
Air Date 2/2/2018
Characters Introduced
Mary Lou Lisa Chandler
Abboud Waleed Zuaiter
Young Takeshi Morgan Gao
Young Rei Riley Lai Nelet
Alice Stephanie Cleough
Clarissa Anna Van Hooft

The Mary Lou Case: Kristin

With making sure Mary Lou’s mother, Mrs. Henchy, got her body, so comes the question of who pushed this woman from the sky? It would have to be a Meth but which one? This was the goal of Kristin when forced to go to Laurens’ party. Something she coerces Abboud to help her with by running plates to see who might have been flying around the time Mary Lou died.

Build A Pack: Kovacs, Vernon, Poe

Quell telling Takeshi that a wolf's true strength is their pack.

As Quell taught her people, do well with what you have. Of which, Kovacs has an AI who wants to assist Kovacs in whatever he can do from the powerful position of the hotel and then there is Vernon. Someone who isn’t necessarily happy to see Kovacs, but with him willing to help Lizzie through Poe’s newest license to do Psychosurgery therapeutics, an expensive procedure, he is willing to be part of the team. Which, for his first mission, simply means watching Kovacs’ back at Laurens’ dinner party.

A Lovely Dinner Party, And Terrible After Party: Kristin, Laurens, Miriam, Kovacs, Vernon, Poe, Lizzie

In a rather large dinner party, one filled with the whose who of Meths [note] It is so difficult to not think of drug addicts when I write this.[/note], Laurens believes Kovacs will find his killer. However, the only thing learned about the Meth people is simply how bored they must be. We have those like Clarissa, who found Kovacs for Laurens, who illegally put a human conscience into another species. A snake to be exact. We watch a husband and wife duo fight to the death for upgraded sleeves and, just for kicks, Laurens throwing Kovacs in there so that rather than the living one getting an upgraded sleeve, while the other is downgraded, they could both upgrade.

Yet, thanks to Kristin growing tired of all the illegal shenanigans, and likely hoping for Kovacs to owe her a favor, she takes the gun Vernon brought, after hacking Laurens’ network from the inside, to end the party. Oh, and speaking of that hack, considering all he could have gotten, the sole thing he seemingly aimed for was the footage of what happened the night Lizzie was attacked.

Someone who, I should add, when Poe is trying to help her, mostly talks about her mom Ava and perhaps what happened to her when she was caught. Something I assume Lizzie didn’t see, but I’m not 100% sure. Either way, it seems that is on the long list of things Poe will have to work on.

But, while Vernon ends up having a decent night, and surely Kristin at least got a debt that is now owed to her, and maybe a suspect for Mary Lou, the night doesn’t end well for Kovacs. Never mind Laurens telling Kovacs to never sleep with his wife again – he can sleep with his daughters, but what ruins the night is Alice. She is the girl from “Jerk It Off” who Kovacs tries to befriend. However, whoever is after Kovacs forced her into drugging him and no sooner does she do that to him does she get killed. Leading to us seeing him carted off somewhere for who knows what purpose. Be it to take his body, his mind, or maybe get info? Who knows?

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

Nikohl Boosheri as a Meth in Altered Carbon.
Nikohl Boosheri
  • Takeshi is Japanese and Slavic, with his dad being Slavic and mom Japanese. His father was an abusive man and it seems often with little sister Rei, they’d hide from their father yet watch their mother be abused.
  • Noted in the last episode: Miriam had 21 kids and Laurens only had children with her, so he claims or knows. We meet one, the 12th daughter Naomi, in this episode while she wears her mother’s clone’s sleeve.
  • Nikohl Boosheri of The Bold Type makes an appearance in this episode.

Highlights

I Liked The Animation For The Patchwork Man Story

A part of me wonders, with how the animation was done with the first couple of scenes, particularly the Patchwork Man story, how the series would look done in that style. I don’t think there are many one hour animated shows, because of how time-consuming it would be to produce, but that might have been an interesting choice, in my opinion.

Gotta Love Poe

Poe saying that faith in him is not misplaced.
I know Poe, I know.

Poe and Vernon are the main things I’m clinging to right now. They are the sugar to this disgusting dose of whatever Kristin, Laurens, and Kovacs are providing. If only because, while he does have a bit of a corny feel about him, his character isn’t written to try so hard. Unlike Kovacs, he doesn’t seem lazily inspired by dozens of anti-heroes. There isn’t this sad token vibe like Kristin has, nor your generic rich a**hole quality that Laurens has. Poe is like whoever the companion is for Dr. Who. They may not be the big star, but if you give them enough screen time, they can steal the show.

Low Points

The Writing Though

I need Kovacs, Kristin, and Laurens to not sound like tropes. Why do all three of them sound more robotic than Poe and he is literally artificial intelligence with an obsession of the macabre, alongside the looks and characters of, let’s say the 19th and 20th century?

On The Fence

It’s The Fact The Past Is Way More Interesting Than The Future That Causes The Disconnect

Quell noting who she controls her sleeve, not the other way around.

I use the term “Trojan Horse” rather frequently as of late. To me, Takeshi is a Trojan Horse for Kovacs in the worse way possible. We have this Takeshi with Quell, who is far more compelling badass than Kristin, alongside Rei who increasingly I’m dying to know, and then get Kovacs. We see Quell whoop ass, taking names, and command our attention, then get Kristin who is as interesting as the random women we see in Laurens’ party or “Jerk It Off.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m getting used to their mediocrity, and I am more leaning towards the writing than the actors being the problem, but I don’t know how much longer I may say that. Which, as always, isn’t to say these actors are terrible at what they do, they should quit, or anything that drastic. More so, they may just need more time in a Poe position, seeing what works for them, before stepping into the kind of positions they are in now. Because outside of physique and attractiveness, I really don’t see why, and I cautiously say, “yet,” these two were cast as leads.

Though, to be fair, the past is where all the quality action is. It is the foundation for all we see and the final years, months, or days of the Envoys is far more appealing than Kovacs hitting one dead end after another or Kristin showing us how tedious cop work can be.


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