Last we’d seen our guy Takeshi Kovacs, he thrown over a cliff by his clone known as Prime Kovacs and Quellcrist Falconer putting her friend into a chokehold. Now with that much of a cliffhanger, let’s just jump right in.
1. Falconer’s Journey
The first half of this episode has Prime Kovacs following Quellcrist Falconer around the island after her memories are finally returned and he pretends to be the original Kovacs in order to get to a weapon she has stashed away. Prime has Colonel Carrera in his ear the entire time, doing his best to keep him focused on the mission at hand to kill Falconer. The only thing about that plan is that, much like the original Kovacs, he starts to fall for her and see that he can have something that he never had with anyone before. She uses the information from her past conversation with the original to keep him on his toes by mentioning where he used to hide as a child when his dad was on a bender and angry. The audience can see him fighting internally with the way she carries herself until the final moments when she turns the table on him. With Falconer’s memories back in place, she knew from the beginning that he wasn’t HER Kovacs and was biding her time until she could strike without him getting any wiser. It’s refreshing to see Falconer’s confidence come back and see how powerful and methodical she is with her tactics.
Kovacs’s sister Reileen remains an important figure at this point in this season, despite her death at the end of last season. Falconer reveals to Prime Kovacs the truth in how cruel Rei was when she kept Falconer hostage for centuries because of her hatred. His knowledge of the original Kovacs killing her has been fuel to his fire, but as he watches Rei enjoy the cruel methods, he begins to realize how far gone she truly had gone. The conversation Prime and original Kovacs have about her is tough for both of them to admit that when Jaeger recruited them as a child, they had sentenced her to an unhappy life no matter the outcome. They had abandoned her with the hope of a better life but knew the cost was going to be at her life and happiness. By making this realization, Prime Kovacs is able to break his connection to Jaeger and try to live his own life.
3. Joshua Kemp
Joshua Kemp is the leader of the Uprising, the people who are using Falconer’s old beliefs to fuel their side of the war against stacks and hopefully bringing life back to normalcy without re-spinning up people and ending immortality. The signal Kovacs sent out before Prime Kovacs had thrown him off a cliff had somehow reached him and his soldiers, and they were able to rescue Falconer and their crew from Carrera’s soldiers. However, he’s not quick to welcome Falconer and quickly puts her in the “Ascertainment” test which, coincidentally, is something she created. It is an interrogation method that puts the persons focus to the absolute test where they have to answer questions while simultaneously avoid knives being thrown at them and being shot at. Even after she gets through it and he believes it’s truly her Kemp is still sketchy when it comes to his tactics. Trepp tries to ask about her brother, knowing he did jobs directly under him, and he lies to her face despite wearing her brother’s stack around his neck. He’s a shady guy that seems to be leading people to be a part of a war without wanting a peaceful ending, he just wants nothing more than chaos.
4. Mayor’s Inside Man
The unsure vibes from Kemp are quickly proven right by Falconer and Trepp when they turn on him and try to do to their own version of ascertainment. It turns out that he is a puppet and Danica Harlan is the one pulling the strings. It’s her way of controlling the war by playing both sides and being able to say she was the one who created the “standstill” between the Uprising and her people. By doing this, Harlan is once again proving to the audience that she shouldn’t be the leader and as she stated in this episode about her title is meant to be stolen not necessarily earned. As Carrera puts the pieces together, she finds out that about Prime Kovacs and the highly illegal double-sleeving that he did which gives her more than enough grounds to not only arrest him but also real-death him. The pieces begin to fall in place for Harlan where the audience is forced to root for Carrera in this situation because he is the devil that we’ve known and she is a devil, drunk with power that we don’t.
5. Super Saiyan Falconer
Now the last few minutes of this episode gets pretty wild. Harlan’s soldiers have Kovacs and his crew surrounded and seemingly defeated but Falconer is fighting the forces trying to control her mind and body. It usually means she’ll go into John Wick mode, but this time it’s something different and beams of light come from above the planet and reign down on the soldiers killing them and setting fire to the forest. She’d previously mentioned a weapon to Prime Kovacs when trying to distract him but it was uncertain whether there was any truth to it or not. This ultra attack from the sky seems like it was true. The only steps left to do is find a way for Falconer and Kovacs to get her back from whatever is hurting her mind and control it themselves.