Content Warning: This article contains references to sexual assault and murder
With Netflix Love, death and robots Season 3 is out now with 9 new standalone animated stories to add to the much-loved anthology series, it’s important to remember how brilliant the characters from previous episodes are. The series’ varying animation styles and use of multiple genres across sci-fi, fantasy, and horror enhance the grounded themes and realistic characterization that is phenomenal in every episode.
While season 3 of Love, death and robots has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the lowest-rated seasons 1 and 2 are equally beloved by fans. They love the incredible array of amazing characters who are of varying backgrounds, identities, and even species. Each episode features characters with painstakingly detailed stories, ambiguous morals, and fascinating (but often terrifying) personalities who help them through their perilous adventures.
Sonnie – Sonnie’s Edge
“Sonnie’s Edge” is the first episode of Netflix’s iconic adult animated show and pulls out all the stops to showcase a dystopian London, where people fight in battles of remote-controlled bio-engineered beasts. In the final moments, it is revealed that due to an assault that left her more or less dead, her consciousness resides inside her Beastie. This revelation puts her fights in perspective as she doesn’t use an avatar like her opponents, she fights and risks her life.
Incredibly brave, Sonnie is a fighter through and through as she brings justice to terrible men. Every time she fights, she is fighting for her life and metaphorically destroying the men who assaulted her. Making money with dignity, Sonnie is a vigilante in disguise.
Detective Briggs – Pop Squad
Detective Briggs is a haunted man whose grisly job is to kill children. He lives in a crowded dystopian society where humans have acquired biological immortality, so they make it illegal to have children. As the “breeders” are prosecuted, their children are exterminated – that’s where Briggs comes in.
It’s a tough life and a tough job that takes a toll on Briggs’ mental state. With a hardened, icy exterior, Briggs is actually a sentimental, sympathetic man who is just trying to get by in a world where everyone lives forever. Although his age is never specified, Briggs’ soul is clearly worn to the point that he eventually gives in. He chooses to let a child live and is killed for it by his partner – but at least he dies knowing he did the right thing. .
Yan – Good hunting
In this hidden Netflix gem, Love, death and robots incorporates Chinese folklore and steampunk. This is embodied by Yan the Huli Jing (a shape-shifting fox spirit), who becomes an incredibly strong cybernetic vigilante after enduring a traumatic experience.
Yan has a flexible personality that allows her to adapt to the unfortunate circumstances she finds herself in. A kind-hearted soul, Yan always tries to make the best of a bad situation and finds a way to help others like her, and becomes an avenger for women’s rights in Hong Kong steam-punk.
Alexandria Stephens – Helping Hand
In a terrifying tale caught between a rock and a hard place, Alexandria realizes that her bravery and willpower know no bounds when her life is in danger. When his EVA suit is hit by a screw lost among a plethora of orbital debris, he is left with only 14 minutes of oxygen. Initially resigned to despair, Alexandria finds her will to live stronger.
Alexandria’s will and determination shine through as she exposes her left forearm to the void of space. With stunning determination that leaves audiences in awe, Alexandria breaks her arm in a moment of Ave Maria to return to the ship. She miraculously survives and after enduring all this horror, she is still able to crack jokes. She is undoubtedly one of the most stubborn and courageous characters in the entire series.
Lieutenant “Cutter” Colby – Lucky 13
Loyal and strong-willed, rookie pilot Lt. “Cutter” Colby receives the unluckiest ship of the lot, which – despite being technically correct – was shunned for superstitious reasons. After returning from a mission with the entire crew miraculously intact, Cutter finds herself bonded to the machine and learns that the ship’s personality is like her own – headstrong and devoted.
They are both stubborn and strong characters that work together harmoniously. In the ship’s final mission, Cutter and the viewers learn that Lucky 13 is more than just a machine – he’s a character in his own right. Lucky 13 self-destructs, but only on his own terms rather than when told to. Without Lucky 13, Cutter moves on and proves himself to be a bold leader, determined pilot, and loyal friend – be it to humans or ships.
Zima – Zima Blue
In one of Love, Death and Robots best episodes, Zima’s remarkable story and captivating personality leave viewers in awe. Through her art, Zima explores philosophy, beauty and what it means to be alive. Believed to be a human performer with a cybernetically enhanced body, Zima is shown to be a highly advanced android who is more “human” than most.
Originally designed to clean swimming pool tiles, its creator continually improved it and soon it becomes its very own person. Through his stunning art, Zima searched for meaning and truth like many others do, but he’s luckier than most when he finds his answers. When his search is over, he courageously and contentedly returns to what he started. It’s a haunting and poignant tale that touches the soul, Zima makes viewers wish they could live as deeply, as passionately, as authentically as he did.
Hirald & Snow – Snow in the Desert
Snow (a virtually immortal being) and Hirald (a cyborg intelligence agent) are kindred spirits. Both alone, Snow and Hirald are tragically forced to watch themselves outlive their loved ones. But their budding relationship allows them to finally be close to someone who could become a permanent fixture. Effortlessly exploring the loneliness of immortality and the philosophies of humanity, this episode of love, death and robots presents the three main themes.
Snow is impartial – especially after losing his wife – and while Hirald is restrained, she fiercely believes in the good she is doing and knows that Snow’s DNA could save lives. With compelling stories and tortured personalities, their stories and inhibited personalities could be explored in depth in a 2-hour film, where Snow and Hirald’s emotions flare up when they realize they are no longer alone.
Terence – Life Hutch
With a stubborn will to survive like no other, Michael B. Jordan’s Terence is up against a malfunctioning maintenance robot that’s out to destroy anything in sight. The astronaut crash-lands on a planet and finds a “Life Hutch”, where he can wait for his fellow pilots to rescue him. His rest is anything but relaxing when the robot attacks.
He rips his side and crushes his fingers but with steely resolve, Terence barely makes a sound. His high tolerance for pain allows viewers to establish that Terence is a capable fighter with a mysterious past and a brilliant mind. His persistence is exceptional as he outsmarts such an advanced robot with just a flashlight.
“Greta” – Beyond the Aquila Rift
In this terrifying episode, Thom and his crew find themselves thousands of light years from home due to an automatic routing error. Fortunately, he is greeted by an old flame; Greta, who is equally delighted to see him. Thom soon sees through the flaws in this story and demands that Greta tell him the truth. In a gruesome twist, “Greta” is revealed to be an alien guarding Thom in a simulation.
“Greta” deals with lost souls who get caught up in her web. She carefully deals with the victims, such as when Thom learns the truth and begins to lose his mind, and restarts his simulation. With a nurturing personality, she obviously cares about these lost souls and tends to them as she sees fit best. Whether she does more harm than good is up to the audience, but “Greta” is nonetheless a captivating character in a chilling tale.
K-VRC, XBOT 4000 and 11-45-G – Three robots
In a refreshing and hilarious episode, three robots roam the Earth after the collapse of human civilization. Each robot is a brilliant character in its own right; 11-45-G is sarcastic and has a very dark opinion of humans, K-VRC acts like he just drank twelve energy drinks, and XBOT 4000 is curious but grumpy of the bunch. Together, they remind viewers of their own friendship groups.
It’s hilarious to watch these characters learn or make incorrect assumptions about humanity through the desolation of Earth. They are advanced robots with their own consciences, levels of intelligence and a remarkable sense of humor that is strangely “human”. The return of these characters in the third season of Love, death and robots disappointed anyone.
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