REVIEW: ‘Blade Runner: Black Lotus,’ Episode 4 – “The Doll Hunt”

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Black Lotus Episode 4

Blade Runner: Black Lotus is a sci-fi/action joint Crunchyroll-Adult Swim exclusive from Sola Digital Arts. Having undergone testing by J to see if she is indeed a replicant, Elle continues to search for the answers to her shattered memories. But what she finds may be more than she is ready to deal with in Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 4.

This week’s episode opens with the scene of Elle with her boyfriend as he gives her the black lotus tattoo on her shoulder. The scenic calm of the moment is quickly broken when she opens her eyes to see the previously picturesque pool in ruins. When she staggers outside in confusion, she soon runs into several others who find themselves in a similar predicament to hers. They were somewhere else, and then they were in this wasteland. One individual who introduces herself as Miu offers Elle her jacket. This kind moment helps to steady our shaken protagonist. The confusion of the group soon devolves into terror as the now-deceased Senator Bannister and others show up, rifles in hand and “sport” on their minds.

While snippets of the ensuing chase and confrontation have been littered throughout the series, Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 4‘s filling in the holes between those moments creates a portrait of cruelty and crass brutality. The sequence balances moments of active chase with slower, tension-building sequences of hiding wonderfully. The back and forth keeps this sequence, the bulk of the episode, from running out of steam.

As one would hope, this brutal sequence peaks as it reaches its final confrontation between Elle and one of her attackers. The sadism on display at this moment pushes the scene over the top, as one cannot help but root for Elle to go off as the show has previously shown she can.

Once Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 4 returns to the present, Elle decides on what she must do next. I, for one, am looking forward to watching her pursue her goal and wish her only the best. I expect there may be some catharsis to be had through Elle’s future endeavors.

While the visual design of characters maintains the same acceptable level that has been present throughout the series, the rest of this episode’s presentation is great. The camera angles and facial emotions are both utilized fantastically. There are even several small details granted to individuals and moments that added some gorgeous touches to the weight and effect of the episode’s moments. I hope we can continue to see more of this subtle yet impactful, detailed work in future episodes.

When all is said and done, Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 4 delivers an emotional turning point in Elle’s story. While there are still plenty of questions that need answering, it feels clear that Elle’s pursuit of them is going to knock down a few doors and probably leaves some more corpses around as the hunted prepares to become the hunter.

Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 4 is streaming on Crunchyroll and Adult Swim.


Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 4
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 4 delivers an emotional turning point in Elle’s story. While there are still plenty of questions that need answering, it feels clear that Elle’s pursuit of them is going to knock down a few doors and probably leaves some more corpses around as the hunted prepares to become the hunter.