Altered Carbon Season 1 Episode 9: Rage in Heaven Recap


Episode 9 is a dark episode, arguably the darkest of the season. But we also hear the real solution to Bancroft’s mystery from the person who orchestrated his evening, so at least there’s closure amidst the real death, betrayal, and disturbing fetishes.

The episode begins with another brief fast forward, this time with two hands playing Rock, Paper, Scissors.

In the present time, Tak sits at Poe’s bar while Poe examine’s Tak’s pardon. Poe pronounces the pardon exceptionally thorough, which is a welcome surprise. Tak says he knows what really happened to Bancroft, but Poe doesn’t take the bait.

Poe’s feeling a little pissy about Tak putting the entire gang in danger and making Poe kill a fellow AI, in order to give Laurens a solution that was a lie. Tak notes that the dead AI was no great loss, and he wanted to turn Lizzie into a sex slave. Poe comments that no one is ever going to hurt his little girl again.


Poe asks Tak if he told Bancroft the truth. Tak says, “What do you think?” Poe replies, “I think your relationship with honesty is passing at best.”

Tak calls the Elliots, who don’t answer because they’re out to dinner. Poe the matchmaker sensed that there was still tension between them and recommended a nice restaurant.

Tak tries to call Kristin, over and over, but she doesn’t answer. Poe, who’s on fire today, notes that maybe Kristin isn’t answering because the last time Tak saw her, he told her that he was throwing her over for another woman. It’s truth time at the Raven.

Just then, Ortega stumbles into the hotel, wounded and bleeding. When they ask where she’s been, she tells them that she’s been killing Tak’s sister, a lot. Poe asks if it’s because of their deception. Tak takes Ortega up to his room to get her cleaned up and healed. He uses the laser wand thingy to heal her while she bathes. She’s appalled that Rei used the sleeve of a child. Tak says that Rei won’t be stopped by this setback for long. Kristin says that he makes Rei sound superhuman.

Isn’t he just making her sound like a Meth who knows how to fight?

Poe visits Lizzie and tells her how worried he is about the escalating violence surrounding Tak. He thought helping Tak would help calm things down for the Elliots, but instead it seems to be making things worse. Lizzie sits and sharpens her knives as she listens to him. She reassures him that fighting back is a good thing, just like he taught her.

Lizzie: I go out on the array sometimes by myself. Just look and listen and find things out. (Poe: You spy on people?) I collate data. It makes a web inside my head. Spiders can spin webs that cover whole trees. But they have a signal line, a single thread they touch, and they know what’s happening anywhere in their web. They can even feel vibrations if something is about to hit the silk, before it even happens. (Poe: Lizzie, I don’t understand.) You will. I have to practice. It’s almost time.

Tak continues to heal and wash Ortega as she sits in the bathtub, naked. He tells her that his sister will keep coming after her. She says she wishes she’d known that before he told her to kill the clones. Tak is confused, since he never told her anything like that. Ortega says she knows that’s what he meant, when they talked outside of Psychasec.

Tak says he was just trying to protect Ortega. She says she knows, then pushes him to tell her he loves her. He’s confused, since she’s supposed to be in love with Ryker. Tak asks Ortega why she’s playing games. She says that maybe she likes playing games, and that finally tips him off for sure. It’s Rei using Ortega’s sleeve, not Ortega.

Rei continues to play games with Tak, once he knows it’s her in Ortega’s sleeve. She says that it took way too long for him to figure out that it was her instead of Ortega, and that she can see why he likes that sleeve. Then she says, “Relax. When you’ve lived long enough, you’ll get it. There are no rules. We do what we want.” Given that she’s still naked, that sounds suspiciously like she wants to sleep with him while in Ortega’s sleeve, and would have if he hadn’t recognized her.

She won’t tell him if Ortega is still alive. Eventually she says she should have known she could trust Tak. But now Ortega owes her for the lost clones. Tak tells her she can have the money Laurens paid him, but Rei says that blood was taken so blood is owed. Tak becomes dense and can’t figure out whose blood.

Rei: I won’t let anything come between us again. Ortega messed with my family, so I’m going to take hers. Let go of all these fireflies, Tak. If you don’t, I’ll do it for you. I’ll burn every one of them down if that’s what it takes to bring you back to me.


Tak races out to try to stop Leung, but it’s too late. Leung is already at Kristin’s brother’s house. Leung asks Xalbador if he’s a believer, making him think that Leung is a church member, so that he lets Leung in. Leung uses his death weapon to quickly  kill Xalbador, Alazne, and the two children, then leaves, with the house still set up to have a holiday meal. By the time Tak gets there, it’s too late.

The next thing we see is like the beginning of a new episode. It’s some time later, and Tak meets with Rei, who’s back in a clone of her birth sleeve, to tell her that he’s done with her and leaving town. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s cover of Johnny Cash’s God’s Gonna Cut You down plays over the scene change.

As Tak waits at a table for Rei, he fidgets with Mary Lou Henchy’s stack. We see images from her death scene. The music sounds like something you’d play before a hanging, or before the four horsemen of the apocalypse ride into town.

Rei walks in alone and sits at the table with Tak. She says she thought she’d have to wait a lot longer than a day to hear from him. Tak plays his card first. He puts Mary Lou’s stack in the middle of the table, and tells Rei what he’s figured out. Rei goes from disappointed to impressed as she realizes he’s figured out the whole snuff whore conspiracy.

Tak: She worked for you, but she was never Neo-C. You found a way to fake religious coding. You recruited street whores, secretly recoded them, served them up. And if they die- they stay silent. So how many lives have you taken? How much blood’s on your hands?

Rei: Girls like Mary Lou are only a small part of the services I provide. I built an empire that spans the Settled Worlds and I did it for us.

Tak tells her that he doesn’t want her empire. He’s going on an all expenses paid island vacation, then leaving this planet for good. Now Rei plays her trump card.

She remembers how she used to always beat Tak when they’d play board games. She knows he still cares about the people he’s leaving behind. Tak says that he doesn’t care about Rei or anyone, and gets up to leave. Rei slams a childhood photo of her and Tak with their mother down on the table. He sits back down and picks up the photo to stare at it. He hasn’t had any photos of their mother or Rei.

Rei: Remember what Mom used to say? “I love you so much I could eat you up?” When you were arrested, they put me in an orphanage. All I had left of you was one of your old shirts. When the yakuza came, they said I couldn’t take anything. I fought them. They ripped that shirt out of my hands. I can still feel it tearing, the threads still in my fingers, and I knew they were going to take those too. So I swallowed them. Just to have something, anything, left of you.

Tak, throwing the photo on the table: It’s in the past. It doesn’t matter.

Rei: You’re the only one who knows me as I was.

Tak: The sister I remember, she was kind. I can’t save you. I can’t save anyone. I’m done trying.

Tak walks out of the restaurant. Rei follows him, saying she doesn’t deserve to be abandoned again, and she knows he’ll come back. Then she tells Leung to follow him.

The shirt and its threads story explains a lot. She’s still trying to eat him up and swallow him whole so that he can’t escape her again. She’s become a version of the Patchwork Man, trying to sew him and everything that’s his onto herself, hoping it’ll make her whole again.

Tak gets into a car with Miriam, who’s dressed in a filmy, revealing dress, and is looking very pleased with herself. They drive away, as Leung watches from the ground. Do you think Leung believes in islands full of sex clones?

The Scooby Gang watches Tak leave from a monitor in the Raven’s lobby. A 2nd Tak watches, too. Wait, what?

We rewind to 18 hours earlier, when Tak found the bodies of the Ortega family. He starts to panic and rushes to find the Elliots at dinner. Ava is still coming to terms with Lizzie’s attack, and they’re both trying to adjust to the changes her therapy is bringing out in her. They seem to finally be making progress, just like Lizzie.

When Tak gets the Elliots back to the Raven, he’s clearly been fussing at them the whole trip. He thought they were dead because their Onis were off. He’s really failing on the whole expendable locals thing.


Mickey shows up at the Raven a few minutes later. Both Tak and Poe draw their guns on him. Poe really, really wants to shoot him. But Tak knows that Mickey used to be a friend of Ortega’s, so he says they should hear Mickey out.

Mickey feels terrible because he refused to help Kristin after he gave her the info on the Psychasec vault. Now her whole family is dead, and she’s missing. He knows that there won’t be any official help for her or an investigation into her family’s deaths. He wants to help the gang find her. He’s finished the Ghostwalker tracking program and knows where Leung is.

That makes Tak spring into action. He takes Mickey’s police ID card so that he can steal some stuff from the evidence lock up, and tells the gang that they need to get out of town by sundown. Poe can get them new IDs. Tak is going after Reileen, and she’ll kill them all if she can find them. Tak hurries out of the hotel, while the rest stand in the lobby in shock.


Reileen has Kristin strapped into a VR simulator. She informs Kristin that she generally murders Tak’s girlfriends. Next, she taunts Kristin with the knowledge that Tak knows where Kristin is and doesn’t care, then she sends Kristin into VR to be creatively tortured by Mr Leung. Maybe that’ll at least keep him off the streets for a while and away from everyone else. Hopefully Kristin’s tough enough to withstand Leung until Tak can rescue her.

Tak brings Isaac’s clone printer and its accessories back to the Raven. Poe has set up a work-ops station in Tak’s room as requested. Tak holes up in his room to enact his evil plan for a solo mission. Poe says that he won’t let anyone into the room.

Five minutes later, Vernon kicks the door to Tak’s room in. Poe cheekily points out that he didn’t “let” anyone in. The team all argue that they have a stake in bringing Rei down, too, so this fight is their fight, and he’s stuck with them. Tak tries to explain the whole expendable locals thing, but they don’t go for it. They all look at what he’s got going on his work station and figure out the plan pretty quickly. They can see that it’s not really a one man plan, anyway.

Ava notices that Tak has the schematics for Heaven in the Clouds pulled up on his workstation, and starts calling out the stats about it, figuring out very quickly which part of the facility Rei lives in. Her quarters are heavily guarded and secure, with the electronic security only dropping briefly, once every 24 hours, while her backup goes through.

The team gets right back to work, starting with printing a clone of Tak, and doublesleeving him. Presumably that’s the lucky boy who got to go on vacation to Miriam’s Sex Clone Island. Apparently doublesleeving is a painful process. Who knew? The Tak twins have a chuckle over how weird it is that there are two of them and that they think exactly alike, then they decide who gets to do what with the game of Rock, Paper, Scissors from the episode opening flashforward. Unsurprisingly, Tak wins. (Sorry. 😋)

Original Tak wins and sends New Clone Tak, who is technically a virgin, off to Orgy Island. That brings us back up even with the point in the story where Tak got into the car with Miriam.

Original Tak visits Lizzie in Virtual, where she’s practicing throwing knives at a picture of a sweet kitten. He’s come to say goodbye. She thanks him for bringing her to Poe, but says he can say goodbye to her later, after one of them is dead. She’s just not sure which of them it will be. She’s happier, saner, and more talkative than when she went into psychosurgery, but she still talks in riddles.

One of the lizard-worm creatures from the Hellsinth Code torture program at the Wei Clinic crawls down Lizzie’s front and lands on her foot. Tak asks if those were used on her. She says that they used them on her to make her mad and silent, but she’s not quiet anymore.


She tells Tak that she’ll miss her next throw, and she does. Then she tells Tak it’s time for him to go. She says goodbye, or is it hello? She can’t keep them straight.

She has her own version of Envoy intuition, but it’s not something anyone else can follow. She was the woman who they’d already tried the Hellsinth Code on and who was driven insane by it, before they used it on Tak.

Vernon inserts the microwire camera into Tak’s eyeball. With it he can record Rei’s confession, so that he can have her backups, clones, businesses, bank accounts, and assets taken away from her. She’ll be put on ice for a century or two. Maybe she’ll come out a human again. It’s the only thing Tak thinks might bring the sister he loves back again.

The mission revolves around getting an antenna within 1 meter of Rei’s backup transmission. The antenna will block her real backup transmission to the satellite, and send a malware virus out to all of her stored backups instead.

Poe and Mickey made Vernon the fake identity of a general in order to get him into Head in the Clouds without arousing suspicion. He’ll have to pretend to be a customer who’s gone through introductory training sessions.

The brothel puts a thermal tag on the customers and any untagged body heat signature will alert them to an intruder, so he and Tak can’t just sneak in.

Once inside, Vernon can access the Head in the Clouds security systems and help Mickey get a thermal tag for Tak . They had to buy Vernon the most expensive package, the Iridium Experience, to give him the access he needs. Then Tak can make his way to Rei’s quarters while Vernon leaves. After Tak enters Rei’s quarters, all communication will be cut off. Tak’s camera will record the conversation for later download, but that’s it. Tak packs up is supplies in his pink Hello Unicorn backpack and they’re ready to start the mission.

It’s the DeLorean of the future, right?

Vernon drives them up to the airborne brothel. They arrive 17 minutes before Rei’s backup. Tak stays hidden in the trunk of the car. Vernon is met in the parking bay by a host dressed as the Pope and two security guards. The guards scan him, then he’s taken inside, while the Pope spouts marketing propaganda at him. Vernon has the whole floor to himself, and a prostitute is already waiting in his room.

Vernon is supposed to drug the girl unconscious and go get Mickey access to the house computer system, but when he’s confronted with a young woman the age of his daughter in a place like this, he freezes. She starts talking, offering herself up however he wants her, moving up from tamer experiences to the Iridium Experience options when he stays silent.

As anyone who’s been paying attention can guess, the Iridium Experience allows the client to murder the prostitute in whatever way they choose, and mutilate the body however they want. The prostitute doesn’t know it, but she’s been recoded Neo-C so that she can’t talk afterwards. She thinks there’s just a lot of staff turnover at Head in the Clouds, and the girls don’t socialize much.

Vernon finally gets them both a drink and slips the drug into hers. She passes out immediately. It’s now 10 minutes until Rei’s backup. Vernon takes the giant knife from the Iridium kit and heads to the computer terminal. When he gets there, the system proves more complicated than expected. He and Ava have to work on it for a few minutes

Meanwhile, security is patrolling near the car and Tak accidentally sets the car alarm off. He uses his knife to give himself a tiny dose of Reaper to lower his body temperature so that he doesn’t set off thermal alarms, then gets out of the car to fight the security guards.

The first goes down easily, but he loses most of the contents of the backpack while fighting the other. He does rescue the antenna that will contaminate Rei’s backups. By the time he’s done fighting, there’s only a little over two minutes left until Rei’s backup, so he decides to take a shortcut through a storage corridor to get to her quarters, rather than through the safer service corridor.

Vernon runs into the Pope and more security on his way out. They’re surprised that he’s finished so quickly, and offer him more experiences, this time with a man or a child if he prefers. Vernon decides that it’s really time for him to leave.

Ava has lost contact with Tak by the time Vernon reaches the car. When the Pope accosts him, again, and says that Vernon just needs to tell him what he wants to do, Vernon has no problem telling the Pope that shooting him in the head is what he wants to do, as he does just that. Then he rushes to find Tak, with less than a minute before backup.


They reach Rei’s door with ten second’s left, and shoot their way through the lock. Tak slides the antenna across the floor to where Rei’s standing, just as the backup starts. The malware gets through, but as it finishes, everything at the Raven goes dark. Poe stands paralyzed for a couple of seconds. They’re cut off from Head in the Clouds. Something got sent back through to the Raven.

Once Rei’s backup is done, she starts tossing out threats and accusations. She can’t believe Tak would lie to his own sister, the only person who ever cared about him, which is a hilarious statement when you think about everything thing she’s done before this. Narcissists are so funny when they aren’t ruining your life.

Tak tells her Jimmy DeSoto says hi. Her backup was spiked with the Rawling that was recreated by Ava from the dead Envoy stacks, which is what you’d call karma. So now she just has the one life to live. Maybe if she loses everything she’ll remember hat it’s like to be a real person and he’ll get his sister back. Rei insists that he hasn’t lost her.

Tak tells her he wants a full confession, and to start with the night Bancroft died.

Rei: I knew he liked to choke girls out, and I knew he was coming back from Osaka angry. That night I needed him to go further. (Tak: Why?) So I could blackmail him into stopping 653.

Tak: You had him drugged with Stallion, how did you do that?

Rei: Transdermal. Through a kiss. (Tak: Miriam.) She owed me. She knew once he was dosed he’d kill the next thing he f*cked. She also knew it wouldn’t be her.

Tak: And Mary Lou Henchy?

Rei: She jumped.

Tak: Yeah, but why?

Rei: Because she didn’t want to die at Bancroft’s hand. I’d invited him to Head in the Clouds, made sure he was dosed, and it worked. He went further alright. He real deathed the first girl, smashed her stack. Even I didn’t know there was that much fury in him. So, Mary Lou ran.

Flashback video shows Mary Lou climbing out onto the edge of the roof. Rei follows. She yells to Mary Lou: “Don’t worry about him! Worry about me!” Mary Lou let’s go and falls.

Rei: She did the one thing she thought could checkmate us both. She thought her body would die, but her stack would be found. That they’d spin her back up, she’d tell the police what happened. What she didn’t know is I recoded her the moment I hired her.

Tak: Brings us to Ryker.

Rei: He wouldn’t back off. He was a piece that needed to be taken off the board.

Tak: So Mary Lou washed up coded and dead, and he guessed what happened.

Rei: I was lucky he was so unstable. He wasn’t hard to frame.

Tak: But 653 was moving forward…

Rei: I’d be ruined. Erased.

Tak: So you used Bancroft for his influences at the UN court.

Rei: It took planning, being ready to leap at the perfect moment, force him to do what I wanted. Once he’d slaughtered two Neo-C coded whores, he had as much to lose as I did. He did what I told him. Derailed 653. But what happened next, I couldn’t predict. He has an archaic streak. You’d call it honor. The fool wanted to forget. As if that would make him clean of what he’d done. He slagged his own stack. His arrogance wouldn’t let him believe he killed himself. He insisted he was murdered. Wouldn’t let it go. Which brings us to you.

Tak: You needed somebody that Bancroft could trust. An Envoy.

Rei: I didn’t need someone, I needed you. You’re right about the blood on my hands. I drenched myself. To build a future for us. I waited. I waited for you, Tak. I waited for the perfect moment to get you out so we could start again. I missed you so much. I never thought I would be whole again. Until now.

A knife flies through the air into Vernon’s leg. Leung and a security team fly into the room and surround Tak. The whole confession and speech about undying love, while they had truth in them, were a stalling tactic. At some point, when she was moving around the room, she managed to sound an alarm. I think it was when she pointedly looked up to the corner of the ceiling, a minute or so after Tak threw the ninja star.



Tak’s team on the ground in The Raven are doomed, if Rei has anything to say about it. Their secret weapon is Lizzie, who is the daughter of a hacker and a Marine, and has a become an AI. She knows the array better than anyone, she also has a grudge to resolve against Rei and the Meths, and she told us that she’s been setting up surveillance and traps. It probably wouldn’t be hard for her to figure out how to do backups on everyone she cares about and store them somewhere safe. Once she accepted Poe’s goal of making her confident about defending herself, she embraced it and became empowered.

Will this season end on a cliffhanger, with Rei winning and everything seeming hopeless, so that in season 2 Tak has to start from zero again to fight her, or will he triumph, at least momentarily, against Rei? She’s probably very difficult to completely defeat, because she’d be smart enough to have isolated back ups and clones that can’t be affected by a transmission. At most she’d lose the time since backing them up. She knows how to lay low for a while as well as Tak does.

Can Miriam and Tak2 help save everyone from Rei? Or are they so isolated that they won’t get word in time or be able to make it back?

Guess it doesn’t matter any more if Kristin’s resleeved, since anyone who might care is dead now. Except for Ryker, who be cleared after all of the confessions we’ve heard now.

They need to actually do the thing to Rei that they said Prescott did to Laurens. She has to be stopped, and that would be the only way to destroy a Meth. Course any smart Meth would still have an off the grid back up or two in an underground vault that would avoid contamination and EMPs, with failsafe codes in place to activate the use of the secret backups if there’s no contact after some period of time.

These Meths who think they aren’t human any more, or even think they are gods, are mentally ill. Feeling so outside of humanity that you feel you’re an alien, or even become delusional enough to think you’re an alien, isn’t that unusual in mental illnesses. They’ve lived so long that they’ve become disconnected from literally everything, symbolized by living in the sky.

They refuse to die, but have nothing to live for. They’ve focussed on materialism as the way to survive, and it’s consumed them. I’d love to know how old Quell actually was, and if having a cause instead of wealth kept her a little more sane, or if her cause was just another form of attachment gone wrong. She was leading everyone else into death with her when she was ready to die.

Are there long lived humans who focus on their families, doing good in the world, spirituality, or wandering the universe, as Quell originally planned, just as examples? But no one pays attention to them in such a capitalist society? Or is it too hard to get replacement sleeves if you aren’t rich? The children of Meths could do those things and perhaps stay sane and keep their children sane, if they aren’t the one who ends up in charge of the family fortune.

Can’t believe they killed Alazne and the rest of Ortega’s family. They had to show us how evil Rei and Leung are, that they even kill harmless, innocent families, including children and grandparents, without cause, and that was one of the reasons for showing us Kristin’s family and getting us to love them. We have to agree that Rei and Leung need to be stopped, no matter the cost. But it’s a bitter pill to swallow.

In a show full of violence, this was the worst. We knew that Rei didn’t care who she killed in order to keep Tak to herself, because she’d already had the children of the Uprising killed. But you could argue that she didn’t know exactly what would happen when she turned them in to Jaeger, or that those families were part of a criminal organization and knew that they were living a risky, dangerous lifestyle.

With the Ortegas, she ordered the hit, knew exactly who would be killed, and exactly how bloody and brutal it would be. She wanted it to be bloody and brutal to send a message. She says that other people mean nothing to her, and this is the proof that she means it. Should’ve known, what with the whole Day of the Dead celebration and all. 😫

I still want them to find a way to save the family’s DHF, I don’t care that they’re Neo-C. It seems like you deserve a second chance if you die an untimely death. Take Quell’s 100 years, then bow out gracefully, if that’s your belief. Probably everyone should give up after 150 or 200 years, before they become too murderous.

How close was Tak’s made up solution compared to the truth of Laurens’ “suicide”?

The fake story: Prescott accompanied Bancroft to Osaka and wore a blonde sleeve. Something violent and sexual happened between them, leading to Bancroft firing Prescott. She paid for the sleeve damage herself. Once they were back in Bay City, Bancroft went to Prick Up, a VR brothel, where he could rape and murder as many women as he wanted. Prescott knew he’d go there and was waiting for him. She contaminated the entire Prick Up AI system with malware so that Bancroft’s stack and backups would be destroyed when his backup transmission went through a few hours later. Bancroft realized what was happening and tried to shoot himself to stop the malware contamination. Prescott stopped him, and held him at gunpoint until she thought his backup had gone through, then shot him in the stack while making it look like a suicide. Bancroft had tricked her into thinking he’d already backed up, so the virus was destroyed and his backups were saved.

The true story: Isaac pretended to be Bancroft in Osaka, but it not clear where Bancroft was stored or who was in on that part of the conspiracy. Rei wanted to blackmail Bancroft into helping her make sure that Bill 653, the bill that would allow everyone to be spun up to testify against their murderers, regardless of religious coding, never became law.

Bancroft found out about Isaac’s deception and came back from Osaka already angry. Rei had Miriam dose Bancroft with the male aggression enhancer Stallion by kissing him as he cast back from Osaka to increase his anger to uncontrollable fury.

Bancroft found Isaac at Fightdrome and violently attacked him for impersonating his father in Osaka, then went to Head in the Clouds, since Rei had invited him to visit. Rei already knew about his sexual proclivity for killing blonde women, so she had some on hand that were coded Neo-C, unbeknownst to Laurens. The Stallion brought out the worst in Laurens, as expected. He smashed one girl’s stack and then killed a second one. Mary Lou Henchy escaped and threw herself off the roof rather than die such a violent death, thinking she’d be spun up and testify against Rei and Laurens. She didn’t know she’d been recoded.

Rei had her blackmail ammunition, and used it. She forced Laurens to use his influence at the UN to have 653 defeated. Unable to live with seeing himself as a murderer and someone who’d derail democracy so badly, he destroyed his stack just before his back up, so that he could forget the terrible 2 days before.

Similarities: Both stories involve something going wrong in Osaka, extreme sexual violence against a blonde female sleeve, Laurens murdering women in a brothel (one a virtual brothel with virtual women, one real), an outside agent tampering with Laurens’ thought processes (malware vs Stallion) and a powerful woman who provided services to him, and whom he trusted, taking away his agency (Prescott through trying to keep him from shooting himself before the backup, and Rei by blackmailing him). Laurens shoots himself as a way to remain a hero in his own eyes in both stories as well, even though his definition of honorable and heroic is questionable.

Tak had really gotten very close to the truth just using his intuition. He just needed to consciously figure out how the Neo-C recoding fit in, which he was instinctively including in the fake story by having Laurens murder virtual women, whose deaths would be without consequences. He also needed to figure out that it was Rei and Head in the Clouds that were the perpetrator and location, rather than any of the other people surrounding Laurens. Of course he did that almost as soon as he’d told the fake story, when he looked through Laurens telescope to find out what the last thing Laurens had looked at before being shot was.

ETA: Commenter Bri suggests that Rei set off her alarm by removing the piece from the gameboard right after she described Mary Lou Henchy’s death. She says that Ryker is a piece that needed to be taken off the board and takes the game piece off. Tak is successfully distracted from seeing it as a threatening move and Rei acts especially subdued and compliant from then until Leung comes to rescue her.

Bri points out that the game piece also makes sense because of the games/competition theme running throughout the season. It’s a strong motif, in which the meths don’t care if they temporarily lose or die because they know they’ll come back, and the rest have been taught that there’s little value to their lives or bodies, so playing games with life or death as the stakes has been normalized. Setting off the alarm instead of working things out with Tak is just one more brutal move in Rei’s long game of revenge disguised as love.

Photo Credit: Netflix