REVIEW: ‘Blade Runner: Black Lotus,’ Episode 3 – “The Human Condition”

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Black Lotus Episode 3

Blade Runner: Black Lotus is a sci-fi/action joint Crunchyroll-Adult Swim exclusive from Sola Digital Arts. Having murdered Senator Bannister, Elle barely eluded capture thanks to the timely arrival of J. As she awakens in his apartment, she finds herself face to face with a lot of questions. Meanwhile, Officer Davis begins searching for Elle. Her first step, following up on leads concerning a mysterious woman with a black lotus tattoo in Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 3.

Coming off of the last episode’s bombshell ending, this week’s story takes it much slower for the most part. Elle never leaves J’s apartment as she has more questions than answers after her confrontation with Bannister. And with one of those questions revolving around the nature of her existence, she spends this episode in the psychological weeds.

How Elle is portrayed as she struggles to process the possibilities of her life is handled in a subtle but believable way. Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 3 opts to circumvent any unnecessary melodramatic moments. Instead, Elle’s fidgeting unease contradicts the assertive presence she’s projected before so much that it is clear something is wrong with her. This gives her moments are far more grounded feeling than might have otherwise been.

The other primary side to this week’s narrative revolves around Officer Davis’s attempts to track Elle down. Leads that take her to the gang Elle beat up in the first episode, as well as Doc Badger, Davis is closing in on Elle quickly. How long J can keep her hidden, or even if he’ll try, will be interesting to see in the coming episodes.

My only complaint with this side of the story is my standard disdain for the portrayal of the cop who is sold as both the virtuous preserver of justice while also being more than willing to physically assault others to get the information she wants. This trope just doesn’t land well, and I wish it would go away. While this instance isn’t the worst example of these sorts of moments, it leaves me leery of what else the show will be willing to have Davis do in the pursuit of answers.

While the visual design of Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 3 remains squarely in the competent but uninspired category, the fight moments also continue their respective trend of high quality. While this episode’s moment is brief, I appreciated some of the detail that went into the sequence. Particularly with several combatants that don’t fully know what they are doing. How the show depicts these individuals getting familiar kicks and moves only half right feels surprisingly authentic. Often in action series, characters are either completely incapable of throwing a punch, or they are black belts. These individuals fall more in the middle. They have certainly fought before, but most likely with numbers on their side and little formal training. When compared to someone who does know what they are doing, the trial and error learned moves they depend on come up woefully inadequate.

When all is said and done, Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 3 is a strong aftermath episode to the revelations of its predecessor. The pieces are moving on the board, and I’m interested to see what comes next for Elle and those who inhabit her world.

Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 3 is streaming on Crunchyroll and Adult Swim.


Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 3
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 3 is a strong aftermath episode to the revelations of its predecessor. The pieces are moving on the board, and I’m interested to see what comes next for Elle and those who inhabit her world.