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Blade Runner: Black Lotus S1E8 “The Davis Report”

The following contains spoilers through Blade Runner: Black Lotus S1E8, “The Davis Report,” on Adult Swim, and also references the Blade Runner movies.


Welcome back, dear reader, as we continue to review the Adult Swim series Blade Runner: Black Lotus with Episode 8, “The Davis Report.” Gosh, it’s been a whole two weeks since we last had an episode. Can anyone recall what was going on? I sure can’t. You know, what we really need at this point in the series is a recap episode! Am I right?

All sarcasm aside, it’s beyond mind-boggling that we got a recap episode here as Episode 8 of a 13-episode limited series. The recap episode is an artifact of the past, when a broadcast television series might want to indulge in a little bit of audience-service nostalgia for the series’ 100th episode. You know, as a way to celebrate hitting the magic number of episodes needed to go into future syndication.

This also arrives just as the series was finally picking up some momentum. We had that amazing fight scene in Episode 6, followed by some interesting insights into the mechanics of replicant memory construction in Episode 7. Then this. I hate to accuse them of padding the episode count, but it seems like the only reasonable explanation for this move. In fact, that would also explain having to languish through three episodes of Elle’s desert memories earlier in the series, which were only slightly less repetitive than this.

Whatever the case, this is gonna be a short one since there wasn’t much new presented in this episode. Let’s get to it.

Blade Runner Black Lotus S1E8 - Davis sits in a chair, Chen holds a recording device in his hand as we look over his shoulder across from her
“This is a waste of time.”

Investigation

So, if you trim out the two-thirds of the episode that was clips we had seen before, what remains is a bottle episode featuring, frankly, my least favorite character of the series, Officer Davis. With Chief Grant no longer an impediment to her wild replicant theories, she’s taken it upon herself to send her case report to everyone up the chain of command. Rather than getting her reassigned to the case with a task force of blade runners working under her, she’s apparently brought an Internal Affairs investigation down on her head. Oops.

As Investigator Chen highlights, bodies are piling up, and Davis seems to keep showing up when Black Lotus does. Including at Chief Grant’s home, when she was supposed to be off the investigation. Chen starts out playing the good cop, claiming to want to help her, if she’ll let him. Then later, he strangely switches sides, promising to “throw the book at” Davis if he judges that she’s done something wrong.

Blade Runner Black Lotus S1E8 - Inspector Chen sits on the desk, hand under chin as is pondering something
Inspector Chen playing the “good cop”

Recommendation

Davis finally scores with Chen when she points out that Grant reassigned her because of her replicant theory, but then immediately brought in a blade runner himself. Chen can see that either Grant lied to her, or he was hiding something. All of this culminates with a trip out to the desert, following Hooper’s flight record coordinates to the sight of the Doll Hunt. Upon finding the bodies and carnage, Chen seems to be genuinely on Davis’ side. He tells her that she’s “uncovered something big here” and he’ll report it to his superiors.

Unfortunately, somewhere in that collective group is another one of Wallace’s problem solvers. Davis is placed on a three-month medical leave to “come to terms” with her “delusional tendencies that interfere with [her] duties as a police officer.” Ouch. Finding her desk already cleaned out for her, she notices the newspaper on a coworker’s desk. The Wallace Corporation has put the Tyrell intellectual property rights up for sale. All paths lead to Wallace, now including Officer Davis’.

Blade Runner Black Lotus S1E8 - A newspaper, The Independent Daily, sits on a desk
“It’s all connected.”

Quick Takes

A couple of quick takes on the rest of the episode and other tangentially related things:

  • One little tidbit we got out of this episode is that there is a test for the blade runner program, which is an honor to even take, but with a 99.4% failure rate. Interesting that Davis says it was her intuition that caused her to fail it, “same as everyone else.” So blade runners need to go against their intuition?
  • Another tidbit was that the Nevada desert is off limits. This is a tie-in to Blade Runner 2049, where it was revealed that Las Vegas had been devastated by a dirty bomb, rendering it uninhabitable.
  • The Shoulder of Orion podcast just released an episode reviewing the first seven episodes of Blade Runner: Black Lotus. They were riding the same wave of optimism many of us were with the boost that Episodes 6 and 7 finally gave the series, finding that they were starting to maybe even like some of what the show is trying to do here. As they caution, let’s let the whole thing play out before rushing to judgement.
Blade Runner Black Lotus S1E8 - Chen and Davis stand in the desert, a wind storm blowing sand, with a spinner sitting on the ground behind them
Uncovering something big

Conclusion

Well, what more can be said? That was Episode 8 and I’m glad it’s over. Hopefully the last five episodes will pick things back up and the latter half of the series will have a conclusion that equals that of the first half. I remain cautiously optimistic.

That’s all for this week. Please let us know your thoughts and feelings about this week’s episode, and any theories you have on what’s to come, in the comments below.


All images courtesy of Adult Swim

Written by Brien Allen

Brien Allen is the last of the original crazy people who responded to this nutjob on Facebook wanting to start an online blog prior to Twin Peaks S3. Some of his other favorite shows have been Vr.5, Buffy, Lost, Stargate: Universe, The OA, and Counterpart. He's an OG BBSer, Trekkie, Blue Blaze Irregular, and former semi-professional improviser. He is also a staunch defender of putting two spaces after a period, but has been told to shut up and color.

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