Altered Carbon: Season 1/ Episode 9 “Rage in Heaven” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Rei looking stunned at her brother.

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Rei drops another explanation of how things went down on us and all that leaves is the question of will there be consequences?


Network
Netflix
Director(s) Peter Hoar
Writer(s) Russell Friend, Garrett Lerner
Air Date 2/2/2018

I’ll Push You Away To Bring You Back To Me: Rei, Kovacs, Leung, Kristin

Rei has lost her damn mind to the point you may find it hard to feel bad for her. After Kristin destroyed so many of her clones, Rei believes blood is owed. So, the whole Ortega family, children and all, get killed by Leung. Just to make a point. Meanwhile, Kristin is trapped in VR with threats of her being tortured repeatedly coming from Rei’s mouth. Especially as Kovacs refuses to acknowledge all the sacrifices she has made for them. The empire she built and the humanity she traded in just so that one day, that little girl who only had her brother, then a shift of his, then just a picture she had to swallow to keep, she had something to look forward to. Hell, to live for.

All of which took 250 damn years so what is a few more? In her mind, they are all they have and if she has to push Kovacs as far as she must for him to get that, so be it. He was always stubborn anyway.

Lizzie, You Okay?: Lizzie, Poe, Kovacs

Poe worried he took Lizzie down the wrong path to recovery.

As has been noted many times, Lizzie was broken but now she is better. Not necessarily fixed, but clearly reborn. Something that, as Kovacs said, is a violent journey. And in a way, to understand Rei you have to understand Lizzie. Feeling abandoned, left to fight for yourself, becoming empowered through understanding violence and taking someone else’s power, that was how Rei was born. The only question is, has Poe not only given Lizzie the tools to defend herself but also maintain her humanity?

We haven’t seen that exhibited much, since violence has been the foundation of her therapy, but look at the world we are in. Police brutality has become a norm, for medical services you have to pay a mint no matter how severe the damage, and what is the news media but a toe of the Meth? So comes the question of what it means to be human anymore? Could the lack of humanity Kovacs believes his sister just be a showing of how the term evolved over 250 years?

For, lest we forget, culture is forever evolving and despite the lack of deaths, clearly, a whole new era has been defined.

The Truth Behind Laurens’ Death: Laurens, Miriam, Rei, Kovacs, Vernon, Ava, Mary Lou

Rei admitting there is blood on her hands, and that she purposely drenched herself in blood.

To make a long explanation short, to end the 653 proposal, which, according to screen rant, deals with the ability to spin a person up (revive them) so that they can testify in their own murders, regardless of being religiously coded, Rei conspired against Laurens. With the help of Miriam, who owed her a favor and was probably upset that Laurens would have sex with any woman but her, she gave him a kiss which transferred the drug Stallion to him.

This steroid made Laurens so aggressive that he went beyond his usual choking women out to deal with his frustrations. Within Head in the Clouds, he killed two women – permanent deaths. He took out at least two and Mary Lou would have been the third if she didn’t jump towards her death. One she didn’t’ realize would be permanent because, to cover her tracks, Rei would reprogram all girls to be Neo-C classification so they couldn’t be respun. Add in her Hemmingway sleeve keeping Tanaka in her pocket and that made her pretty safe.

So, all that was left was to use Laurens’ guilt, since he truly felt bad, making it seem it was him who went down with the diseased and gave gifts, to end Prop 653 in the UN which he did. However, what perhaps wasn’t expected was his suicide but that ended up being a gift. One which allowed Rei to repeatedly use Laurens’ influence and money to get all she wanted. Truly sticking it to the man, since of course Laurens’ arrogance, forgetting the death of the girls, could never accept he killed himself.

Oh, and as for Ryker? He just got in the way, as Kristin eventually did. And since both had exploitable flaws, hence their current situations. Ryker is on ice and Kristin is about to be tortured by Leung. Who, with Rei conveying her entire blueprint, is able to get to her in time so that Kovacs’ big plan to delete all of Rei’s backups, destroy her empire, and put her on ice to hopefully lead to the return of humanity, seemingly fails.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Did I miss when they explained what happened to Lizzie, officially? What is her part of the grand plan?

Highlights

The World Made Me Like This

Lizzie noting she is going down the wrong side of the street.

Bless the fact Dichen Lachman plays Rei. For even as Rei shows how willing she is to kill, maim, drive to insanity, and manipulate the system solely to her benefit, then there is her reason. One which, I’ll admit, is a bit psychotic, and the more we see of how far she is willing to go the more I wonder if she may eventually try to kiss her brother. Yet, that is only because the passion Lachman exhibits is so powerful that it goes beyond the type of unrequited love we are used to. It isn’t circumstantial or built on infatuation, it is built on survival and seemingly absolute. What remains of her insanity and humanity is the existence and possibility of her brother loving her once more and not leaving her side.

Something I won’t pretend Lachman plays up the point of a major accolade, but I can’t fathom Kristin’s actress handling this in such a way which still makes you feel something for Rei. For, let me remind you, as of now, while Rei has had it rough, they haven’t bogged the character down with any explicit talk of what may or may not have happened to her. Physically or sexually. All we know of is her feelings of abandonment and loneliness and the aftereffects of that. How she found a way to cope, which is certainly unhealthy.

Which is why Lizzie was brought up, despite playing such a small role on the show. For she represents how one event changes the trajectory of someone’s life and how that person is guided to repair themselves, or the tools they are given, determines who they evolve into.

On The Fence

Drop The Mic

Between Rei’s doing a James Bond villain monologue about her plan and Elliot spending way too much time on that 19-year-old, there is a certain amount of frustration. Especially considering Elliott could have drugged that girl and go. And yeah, while I get the point was to show his humanity despite what happened to Lizzie, Ava, and all he has been through, considering the time limit places, a part of me wanted to be shaking mad.

The same could be said for Rei’s speech. Am I glad that every piece of the puzzle, minus Lizzie’s part in it, was spelled out? Yes. Yet, when you realize that in some way this was all about her stalling, it is so frustrating. But, what a better way to make you excited for the finale huh? We have most of our answers and now are left to see what Kovacs and the team will do with them. Especially with their planning, seemingly, failing and so much on the line.


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About Amari Sali 2406 Articles
New Jersey native Amari Sali takes the approach of more so being a media advisor than a critic to sort of fill in the gap left between casual fans of media and those who review productions for a living. Thus being open about bias while still giving enough insight, often with spoilers, to present whether something is worth seeing, buying, renting, streaming, or checking out at all. An avid writer, Amari hopes to eventually switch from talking about other people's productions to fully working on his own. Such a dream is in progress to becoming reality.

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