Altered Carbon “Payment Deferred”

As the second episode starts, it becomes clear that Kovacs has three problems.

Unfortunately, he only knows about two of them.

Let’s cover the two he knows about.  First off, Poe isn’t working right, and he insists Poe just do a reboot and fix his memory glitches.  Poe, however, doesn’t want to because, well, he’s worried he’ll forget all about the people he’s met since Kovacs came into his life.  That includes Kovacs.  But since Kovacs needs a fully-functioning Poe, he will gladly abandon the AI if said AI doesn’t cooperate.

That’s a fairly minor problem for Kovacs.

Moving up the ladder, it looks like his lost love Quellcrest might, might, be the one responsible for the murders.  But this is Altered Carbon where cloning and body-swapping are both a thing.  So, is it the real Quell, or is it someone using her body or a clone of said body?  Kovacs isn’t completely sure despite the fact this Quell seems to recognize him.  Yes, even though he’s in a completely different body, she seems to recognize him enough that he’ll cover her escape from what turns out to be the third problem.

That would be one Colonel Ivan Carrera.  He’s in the Protectorate military, and he opens the episode with his team taking over the murder investigation from the local cops.  Said cops don’t seem to think too highly of the military, but something interesting does come up:  Kovacs’s new body isn’t all human.  There’s some wolf DNA in there.  Or it could be a dog.  Oh, it isn’t, but we do learn the difference when Carrera and his people effortlessly murder all the cops on the scene with the officers’ own guns.

See, dogs whimper when punished.  Wolves bite back.

But that isn’t Kovacs’s big problem.  No, the big problem is when Quell escapes, Kovacs goes off to confront Carrera and his people and learns…he can’t fight back against Carrera.  Like, his body shuts down and everything.  Why?  Well, Kovacs is in a military-caliber artificial sleeve, and they defer to rank.

Carrera?  He says he’s the alpha male, and Kovacs, he’s a bit down the ladder a bit.

Will someone tell Carrera that the whole “alpha male” thing is bad science?  I would, but he’s fictional.

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