Altered Carbon Preview: “In a Lonely Place” and “Force of Evil”
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]
I’m taking Altered Carbon one episode at a time because there’s a lot to process in every episode, and because I want to drag it out a bit. I’m not wired to watch 10 episodes in a day and remember everything (i.e. a lot of 12 Monkeys Season 3 went right past me). I want to savor them.
So, just in case you’re old school like me, I’ll preview them individually.Â Four episodes in, I’m already down for a second season. I have no clue if there’s supposed to be one, but I hope there is. Given the post-production involved, we might have to wait a bit.
“In a Lonely Place,” episode 3 of Altered Carbon, finds Kovacs unwittingly attending a Bancroft soiree as their designated party favor. Also roped into attending is Ortega, who’s not terribly thrilled to be summoned, but her Captain makes it clear that it’s not a request.
After Kovacs calls bullshit on being duped–he thinks he’s there to interview suspects and soon finds out that’s not at all the case–it’s Ortega who steps in to help him. She’s not his only ally, either. He rounds back to see Vernon with an offer that, thanks to Poe (Chris Conner, who gets better and better), is too good to refuse, in exchange for a little backup.
Poe also has to tell Kovacs that the room was bugged during his rendezvous with Miriam and it doesn’t take long to find out who planted it, but, again, Kovacs makes it clear he has nothing to lose so threats are a waste of time for all parties.
Aside from an intro that paints in harrowing detail the childhood from which Kovacs and his sister emerged, there’s less character building in this one, and more action. We do learn via flashback, however, that Kovacs is doing what Quellchrist taught him–building a team. Whether and to what extent he can truly trust them remains to be seen.
He also pays another visit to Jack It off, which does not go well at all. Look for Wynonna Earp‘s Michael Eklund in a blink and miss it scene at the end that continues into Episode 4.
“Force of Evil” is indeed that and waaaaay torture porny with Kovacs on the receiving end of some next level virtual reality interrogation at the hands of a tag team of Russian goons (Eklund and a returning Tahmoh Penikett). I’m sure you can imagine the ball Eklund has when the gloves come off and the weapons come out.
Since I’m a big weenie about that sort of thing, it wasn’t my favorite. We’re early enough in the series to safely guess where Kovacs will end up, so it goes on much longer than necessary (for me, anyway) to make its point about mind over matter. When he finally shakes it off, get ready.
The flip side of the episode follows Ortega home for a sweet, strange, and unconventional Dia de los Muertos family dinner courtesy of a recycled biker (Matt Biedel doing an impeccable job in an unlikely role) that draws her mother’s ire. Thankfuly, Alazne has a friend in Abboud (a development I completely adore).
Ortega is eventually forced to tip her hand to Kovacs on why she’s so fixated on him, and it’s a doozy of a reveal. The holiday also gives Poe a chance to decorate and he goes All. Out.
Altered Carbonâ€˜s first season is available now on Netflix.
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