Altered Carbon “Broken Angels”

The Elder, an ancient alien with power over the Angelfire array floating above Harlan’s World, wanted either to take out the Founders using Quell’s body, or to take out, oh, everybody.

The Elder is in Carrera’s body now, so taking out everybody is the new thing.

Now, this is the last episode of season two, and what jumps out at me here is…this second season is a bit of a noticeable improvement over season one.  And that’s not just because I like Anthony Mackie as an actor more than I do Joel Kinnaman.  The show just moved  better.  Maybe the mystery was more straightforward, except pretty much everything involving Governor Harlan felt like it didn’t really add anything to the plot.

No, I think the show found a better tone for itself.  It didn’t seem quite so down while still being a sci-fi noir.  It made good use of its setting, and even if 85% of the original cast is gone for very good reasons, it still felt like a continuation of the same show with the same characters.  Heck, this season even seems to have something of a happy ending.  The bad guys are all killed, Trepp and her family are OK, Poe is (probably) repaired and living with Ms. Dig (now calling herself Annabel Lee), and Quell didn’t sacrifice herself to stop the Elder.  Kovacs did…sort of.  He appears to have survived even as his body and stack were destroyed by Angelfire.

Plus, Kovacs Prime is still there.  He turned good in the end.

So, what do we make of a show like this that goes out with a hell of a fireworks show?

Well, for one, I genuinely liked it.  It never felt like a slow slog as season one did on occasion.  Maybe cutting the episode order by two episodes will do that.  It took advantage of the world, kept the most important characters (Kovacs, Poe, and Quell), and showed an interesting sci-fi premise that made for a fun time.  True, not everything worked, but this one largely did.

Still, I don’t know if there will be more after this one.  I hope there is.  It looks expensive, but it was one of Netflix’s top ten shows when the second season dropped for a little while there.  But who can say with Netflix?  We may or may not get a third season.  And if we do, who plays Kovacs?

Maybe the guy who’s been playing Kovacs-Prime?  That is supposed to be the original body.

Oh well.  Let’s say 9 out of 10 shotgun-toting AIs.

So, next week I’ll cover that anime movie Netflix dropped in this slot, but then after that, who knows?

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