“Peace is an illusion. No matter how tranquil the world seems, peace doesn’t last long. Peace is a struggle against our very nature. A skin we stretch over the bone, muscle and sinew of our own innate savagery. The instinct of violence curls inside us like a parasite, waiting for a chance to feed on our rage and multiply until it bursts out of us. War is the only thing we really understand.”
So, there’s a slightly different tone between Quell’s inspirational voiceovers and Kovacs’ nihilistic calls toward violence and conflict. Having given in to the Quell that lives in his mind at the end of episode 1, stayed awake, and taken the case, Kovacs is left to navigate the world without her, other than as echoes from a long ago defeat. He begins his investigation in earnest, and considers who he can trust to become part of his team. The complexity of the case begins to reveal itself, as hallucination Quell predicted. Meanwhile, Ortega has secrets of her own. She spends much of the episode working on a separate, but possibly related, case.