July 22, 2024

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Altered Carbon “Experiment Perilous”

Season Two, Episode Seven

OK, so, I may have complained before that actor Neal McDonough wasn’t given a very McDonoughish role as of yet as the mysterious Konrad Harlan.

But then this episode came out, and yeah, they used him right.

See, something went down.  Somehow, Quell can call Angelfire out of the sky, but the act of doing so as precisely as she did is killing her.  Now, the Kovacs we’ve been following and Trepp managed to get her out of there and then called the cavalry (Dig and Poe) to try and fix her before her stack completely falls apart.

See, there’s a good reason Kovacs thought that Quell wasn’t always Quell:  because she isn’t alone in her stack.  Someone else is in there, or maybe someone else.  Point is, two intelligences in a single stack aim’t good, and the AIs do come up with a plan:  download Quell’s consciousness inside a VR enviornment, isolate the other intelligence, and then trap it in there with a firewall.  That’ll take some time, and Kovacs sends his own consciousness in there to make sure things work out right.

He also apologized to Poe. so maybe he’s not a total asshole.  He’s at least a self-aware one.  That makes things a little better,

Of course, Kovacs being out of his body also means Trepp can borrow that sleeve to rescue her wife and son.  That was kinda cool.  Governor Harlan had kidnapped them to try and figure out how a person can summon Angelfire without dying.

She even let Carrera out of prison with a sweet deal offer if he can find the source with Kovacs-Prime, the only survivor at the Angelfire site, left behind by the others.

Well, I guess that means we get to find out what the mystery is all about.  See, Quell made a deal with, well, an alien.  Deep inside her stack is an angry alien hunting down and killing the Founders of Harlan’s World for a very simple reason:  once upon a time, when Konrad and Co. arrived on the planet, they found the core full of the alien’s egg sacs.  Rather than cherish and protect them, they did the very McDonough thing and blew the eggs up, killing all the alien’s offspring.

Ironically, the only one who didn’t was the one who became a crime lord.  Go figure.

So, really, it is about revenge against a very specific group of people.  And since there are a lot of assholes on this show, let’s say it’s just the worst assholes of the lot.

So, now what?  Well, good news:  Dig’s firewall worked, and Quell stabilized.

Bads news:  Kovacs-Prime and a bunch of armed soldiers are coming their way by tracking Dig’s signal.  She knew this and had to shut herself down temporarily.  That means it’s up to Quell, Kovacs, Trepp, Trepps’s wife and son, and a glitching Poe to hold off who knows how many heavily-armed soldiers.

That said, I love it when Poe cocks a shotgun.

More bad news:  Quell ain’t happy about the rescue because her deal was the only thing keeping the alien mama bear from going biblical on a whole lot of other people.

Really bad news:  Carrera and Kovacs-Prime also entered the VR to find the Angelfire source.  And when things went back Kovacs-Prime escaped but Carrera didn’t…right away.  When he did get out, well, it looks like now that alien is riding his stack instead, and he’s not as in-control of things as Quell was.

So, really, things are kinda bad.  Good thing the season wraps up next episode.