by Natalie Murray ’18
If you’ve been to see a movie in theatres lately, chances are that you saw a preview for Netflix’s newest original show, “Altered Carbon.” It has yet to gain the popularity of other sci-fi originals like “Stranger Things” or “Black Mirror,” but Altered Carbon is a wholly entertaining series (though only suitable for people who are comfortable with graphic violence and other R-rated material).
Previously, I reviewed the first five episodes of the season, which, though certainly good, were not nearly as action-packed or suspenseful as the last half of the series. They served primarily as an introduction into the futuristic setting, the my
steries it held, and the hidden corruption. The final five episodes answer all questions raised in the first five, and introduce new ones that could potentially lead to a follow-up season.
The later half of “Altered Carbon” picks up where episode five left off – one of the main characters, Kristin Ortega (Martha Higareda), has been critically wounded in a surprising attack by one of the show’s many villains and is being rushed to the hospital for treatment. As her injuries are treated, Poe (an AI, or Artificial Intelligence, who runs the hotel that the main character, Takeshi Kovacs, played by Joel Kinnaman, is staying in) attempts to heal the broken mind of Lizzie Elliot, the murdered daughter of Kovacs’ ally Vernon.
Though Ortega’s wounds are quickly healed, trouble continues to come for each of the protagonists. With crimelords on the loose, corruption being unveiled, and new villains appearing on every street corner, the season is a non-stop ride with a satisfying and intense conclusion. All of the loose ends are wrapped up: the killers of several young women, including Lizzie, are revealed, and we learn how each of the seemingly-random deaths are connected. Through flashbacks, we also get plenty of details about the Envoys, the war, and the events that led to Kovacs becoming both an Envoy and one of the country’s most wanted criminals. In fact, Kovacs’ flashbacks answer questions that the viewers didn’t even know they had, and tell a complicated story that seamlessly connects with the events occurring 250 years later.
Not only does the series conclude various storylines and answer many previously unanswered questions, it also provides plot ideas for a future season. The introduction of several late-season villains and heroes keeps the season moving and relationships constantly evolving, as well as opening new questions for the characters to answer. However, some questions were left unanswered, such as the status of Quellcrest Falconer (Renée Elise Goldberry), the leader of the Envoy rebellion. This, as well as the mystery surrounding the body that Kovacs was “re-sleeved” in, could make for interesting stories in a potential season two, should Netflix choose to make one; if so, the second season would have a lot to live up to.