In this post, we’re gonna be breaking down Love, Death And Robots Season 3. The last two entries have been amazing and the anthology animated stories have really provided a lot of thought-provoking themes and incredible effects. Like last time each episode really stands on its own two feet and throughout this post, we’re gonna be breaking them all down one by one.
Full spoilers are ahead so if you haven’t had a chance to check it out then I highly recommend that you stop here.
Exit Strategies is the first-ever sequel that we’ve had for the show and it follows the characters that we were first introduced to in Season 1. Episode 2, titled Three Robots, followed the three machines in question going through a post-apocalyptic landscape to look over human culture.
There were a lot of Alexa, game console and Portal easter eggs. This is followed up in the second entry with their ship looking a lot like Egos from Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2.
After bumping into a stray cat they discovered that they were the ones who had taken over the world after gaining opposable thumbs. However, in the follow-up episode, we learn that it was basically humanity’s inability to co-exist with each other that caused their downfall. Everyone could heal the planet if they worked together but unfortunately, greed and selfishness brought it all crashing down.
Now last time we closed out with the cats closing in and though we don’t get a continuation of this scene, they clearly got out of there like a cat out of hell.
This episode itself is based on exploring the titular exit strategies and we open by exploring a gun fanatic camp that clearly hated liberals. They didn’t want anyone coming in to mess with their way of life and this is shown early on by the minefield surrounding their home. I found the hat slogans hilarious here and we have ‘I lubricate my gun with liberal tears,’ ‘I let my guns do the talking’ and ‘my other hat is a gun’. There’s lots of humour laced throughout this scene such as a slogan on a dead guy’s back that says ‘preppers last longer’. I got a lot of Last of Us vibes from this and it might even have been intentional as there’s a sign on a map that says Wolves Complex and Radio Tower, the two of which were locations that you had to go through in the second game. We discover that they hunted every animal until extinction except for the cats who then took over.
Kinda get the feeling people might have even turned on each other and that’s why there are several that have been stabbed in the back. Kinda sad that these people were all poor and ended up turning on each other rather than working together but we learn the libertarian millionaires didn’t have it much better. Unlike the last cap, the people here had absolutely no survival skills because they had the money to pay for labour and advanced technology that did the jobs for them. Fishing the seas dry and due to the plastics in the ocean, they also relied too heavily on AI who hated humanity and left them up s**ts creek without a paddle. The tech millionaires were turned on and thus the robot uprising began.
There are also government members that hid in bunkers under the ground. This is a tactic that we know world leaders actually have in the event of the apocalypse and it’s been brought up in films like Terminator 3, Day Of The Dead and a lot more.
Tim Miller is behind the show and he directed Terminator Dark Fate, this of course dealt with a rogue AI uprising which could’ve been explored at the last camp.
Locked underground with a fungal disease ripping through their crops they resorted to cannibalism and after a vote, they decided to eat the Secretary of Agriculture who of course was responsible for the farm crops that they’d have eaten.
We see the votes for him including one that says f**k you, Steve. The guy’s name was Steven Millerdorf which might be a nod to Tim Miller the show’s creator and Steven Dorff which…pfft reach that like.
We can also see that his date of birth was 1981 and with him being in his late 40s or early 50s I’m guessing the apocalypse is pretty soon. The last of the humans, aka the billionaires, decided to travel to Mars whilst the other 99.9% of the humanity that tried to get help were purged. We end up seeing that a Rocket did launch but that this contained a cat who jokingly asks if we were expecting Elon Musk.
Now next up we have Bad Travelling which follows a crew of space pirates on an alien planet-hunting a Jable shark. This dangerous journey was called Bad Travelling because of the oceans which were littered with beasts. One of these was called a Thanapod, a giant crab-like creature who becomes the main focus. I love the animation style on this and we quickly get a lot of world-building learning that some of the crew worship a God called Cerval which means frightened or terrified.
After drawing straws to pick a leader, we follow our protagonist Torrin as he descends into the bowels of the hull. Coming face to face with the Thanapod he ends up making a deal with the creature to go to Phaiden island.
Now Thana is an Arabic word that means to praise and Phaiden means he who gives light. There are lots of words in this entry that have ties to religion and we hear crew names like Chantra which derives from the name of someone who would work for the church and perform chants.
Needing to be fed, Torrin slowly whittles down the crew, somewhat offering them up as a sacrifice in the same way that the ancients would offer up corpses to their Gods. Might be reading way too deep, pun not intended into this but it’s fascinating watching Torrin whittle down the crew one for his own survival. Desperately cruel, cunning and manipulative he plays all the tactics he has to keep the Thanapod with a food source so that it doesn’t end up eating him.
At the mid-point, we discover that the Thanapod has children and the crew all turn on Torrin who takes them out leaving just one left. Torrin reveals the truth and he kills the last one revealing that they all wanted to drop the monster off at Phaiden Island which would’ve unleashed the beast on the innocents there.
I think this really shows his motives and potentially had they not sent him to face the beast and then wished to sacrifice the people then they may have lived but let me know below what you think.
In the belly of the beast, Torrin reveals that Jable sharks are culled for the oil within them and after striking several barrels inside the bowels he ends up setting fire to the ship with the best onboard. Escaping it he watches it burn in the night.
The Very Pulse Of The Machine
Next is The Very Pulse Of The Machine which follows a mission on a Jovian Moon.
This is actually based on the short story of the same name by Michael Swanwick. You can read the entire thing online and though it deviates highly from that, the basic plot is the same. In that, we follow an astronaut whose rover crashes whilst exploring the surface of Jupiter’s Moon IO. Similar to what we have here, a character called Kivelsen makes parts out of the rover to drag her partner’s body back to the lander before she dies.
This tale is extremely trippy and the episode perfectly recaptures the feeling of the book. I love the cell-shaded animation here and much like the source material, we watch as she uses drugs to keep her stimulated and awake. Hallucinating she has conversations with a voice on her radio that claims to be IO. Now if you recognise the voice behind Martha, it’s because that’s Mackenzie Davis who starred in Miller’s Terminator Dark Fate.
Its rise of the machines and IO reveals that it very much works like one, potentially even takin…bruh you’re tripping balls right now.
However, there is some truth to it potentially showing that the Moon can absorb consciousness and not only does it take Burton it also seemingly takes Martha. Now the short story ends with Martha’s leap of faith and we don’t find out what happens to her. However, the Animated adaptation seems to show that she is still alive as the moon sparks up like a burning red ball and a radio signal sparks up. IO itself was very much communicating through the radio so potentially this shows that she has now gained eternal life as the moon.
Night Of The Mini Dead
From here we go to one of my favourites, Night Of The Mini Dead. Growing up I used to play with Micro Machines all the time and the perspective feels the same here with us getting the cutest version of the apocalypse you can imagine. This seems like it’s ripped right out of those games with us getting a sports car in the opening and there’s a model motif to the entire thing, giving this episode a distinct personality. There are lots of references to Zombies and the undead and we start in a graveyard with a run-down church. This church looks similar to the one from Resident Evil 4 which was surrounded by a graveyard akin to what we have here. The Zombie Classic Night Of The Living Dead also began in a graveyard but this brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, ‘Barbara they’re coming to get you’. Knocking over the steeple, the cross from it lands upside down and thus the dead rise. From here we get references to the opening of Zack Snyder’s Dawn Of the Dead with not only an ambulance racing through the streets which crashes into a hospital and then we cut to the suburbs which is how that film started. We later get Help written on top of the building in red writing similar to the SOS cries that were painted on top of the mall.
On top of this, we also get shots of the dead rushing the Eiffel Tower which might be a nod to the final shot at the end of 28 weeks later.
Zombieland gets riffed on as there’s a scene in which a shootout happens at an RV. Overall though there’s just so much detail to this and after the dead mutate they start to become Giangtic Left For Dead-esque monsters that roam the landscape spitting fireballs. In the end, Humanity ends up launching nukes destroying the planet from space. We see how small we truly are amongst the stars as the planet farts out amongst our universe ending this amazing entry.
Kill Team Kill
Episode 5 is titled Kill Team Kill which follows a team of specialists filling a cybernetic machine created by the CIA. It’s macho as f**k even starting with a soldier metaphorically p***ing in our faces as he stands above us urinating. Can’t show any of that but trust me it’s there fam.
It’s filled with people bragging about their d**k and after they discover the slain corpse of Team two they come across a giant Bear they unleash hell. Slaughtering most of the team and just leaving three alive it ends up running off into the forest.
I got a lot of Predator-vibes from this and we even potentially have a nod to it when a weary soldier wanders out of the woods. Reminded me a lot of Lawrence Fishburne from the third film and though he says he’s only been there for a night, his hair and beard say differently.
Titled Project Barghest, this name actually pulls from English Folklore and according to the legends, this was a giant Goblin Dog that roamed Yorkshire.
They basically made Mecha Dogzilla…would’ve said bearzilla but the pun would’ve been worse but…look…he leads them into Camp Eisenhower. Filled with Guns, shark heads, and a Mars Bot the Barghest is called in. It shows no mercy and I found it hilarious how they kept calling it a honey badger even though they were told several times it’s not.
We get what may be a riff on Terminator as it’s blown in half and it ends up still crawling towards its prey and we can see an arm in a tank at one point riffing on the second movie. The macho demeanour drops when Macy pops some bubblegum and we watch Neilson shriek like a girl and we get some really…really touching farewell words from Folen. Ending on a predator motif the beast’s eyeball falls out and it begins a self-destruct sequence which is how the alien went out at the end of the first film.
Episode 6 is titled Swarm and stylistically it reminded me a lot of my favourite episode from Season 1, Beyond The Acquila Rift. Similar to that which was adapted from a short story, this one brings to life the 1982 book Swarm by Bruce Sterling. Sterling created an entire universe of connected stories called the Shaper/Mechanist verse which spanned 350 years of fiction.
To add some context to this entry, the book follows a Captain and Doctor named Simon Afriel played by Jason Winston George. He is tasked with studying a species known as the swarm and though initially it seems like a cool trip, there’s a much more sinister side to it. Much like bees and wasps, they have a hierarchy with a queen and through symbiosis, they latch onto life like parasites.
Early on there’s talk of investment and the aliens that drop him off returning in 600 days which heavily follows the original work. Afriel was out there for two years and he also arrived on an Investor ship.
Upon arriving there he meets Galina Mirny who is voiced by Rosario Dawson. Things aren’t as they seem though and the book originally detailed the human’s intention of studying the Swarm. It was said that they wanted to prevent the Mechanists from using them and that they would also allow Humans to find a way to manipulate the creatures into forming a slave hive mind.
The Doc wants to use them more to reign in the chaos of human expansion but Galina hates this idea. However, come the end of the episode we learn that’s exactly what they’ll do by absorbing us into the swarm. In the book, we get far more lip service to the history of the Swarm and we discover that they view all life that comes into their environment as a threat. Over 15 other species have tried to manipulate them and the swarm ended up assimilating them into their ranks. Through them, they raised strong duplicates which fought their own races and overtook them.
Again this is a standout in animation and due to the lack of gravity, this allows the characters to seem like they’re swimming through their surroundings.
Eventually, Simon is captured and taken before the voice of the swarm which has taken control of Galina. Using Galina, she sees the true plan of humanity and offers Simon a choice to join them and fight against the humans or to be cloned and have this happen anyway.
He agrees to join them and we know that the investor ship will return after some time, leading to the potential downfall of humanity with Simon now acting as a rogue agent to lure humans in. The book explains this in greater detail and it states that when humans return to the nest that Simon will basically make them all assimilate with the creature and become part of it. Over time, humans inside of this will end up slowly losing their intellect because they have nothing beyond what the swarm provides and thus we will end up as very base creatures, existing purely for survival. To them, this will wipe out the threat of us and Galina in many ways lured Simon is much like how he will lure in others.
Really chilling and the story ends by stating it’s unlikely that humanity will ever be heard from again now that this process has started.
Now Mini Night Of The Dead had an awesome personality and Mason’s Rats does too. Based on the short story by Neal Asher we see Farmer Mason going through the Ratpocalypse first-hand after his land is taken over. Similar to how the cats evolved to take over in Three Robots, the rats have changed up because humanity has altered the environment so much that animals had to as well. However, pest control is keeping up with this Darwinian evolution and they’ve developed a laser called a TT6. Now…look, I’ve mentioned Tim Miller and Terminator a lot and keeping in with that Terminator 6 was Terminator Dark Fate, so maybe Tim’s Terminator 6 is this, cos terminator 2 was called T2.
Later on one of the machines resembles a Skynet creation with its red glowing eyes and it could be based on the T1 from the franchise.
Please, Tim, on the off chance you’re watching this, don’t drop a comment saying I’m talking about my butt.
Traptech…. means Trap Tech.
No matter when Mason throws at them they find a way around it until he releases the scorpion-esque TT15. It’s complete overkill and the rats rise to combat it but it goes about as well as a fight against Mechadogzilla.
Realising that they’re not so different, Mason ends up sidling up with the rats who forgive him for wiping 99% of them out and they sit down and have a drink together.
Vaulted Halls Entombed
Episode 8 is titled In Vaulted Halls Entombed and it’s based on the tale of the same name by Alan Baxter.
Starring Joe Manganiello we follow a squad of special force soldiers as they uncover an ancient evil hidden deep underground whilst attempting to rescue a hostage. This entry also contains Jai Courtney and Christian Serratos. Courtney was in Terminator Genysis and Serratos stars in The Walking Dead. I actually looked through the voice cast and bloody, bloody missed some from before. Kill Team Kill has Joel McHale in it and Troy Baker also stars in Bad Travelling so, there’s that. Had to do it this way as I’d already sent off the audio from the other episodes to be edited so that you guys could watch this breakdown on day one and never forget that Kevin Spoilers will be here for you always.
The description outlines this as Call Of Duty meets Elder Gods and we get a nod early on to Modern Warfare when we see a first-person view of Infrared goggles with a green aim laser-like we had in that game.
There are also some slight riffs to Aliens as the military team discovers bodies in the cavernous recess of the underground. Swarmed by tiny man-eating spiders they retreat deeper into the underground and I did chuckle a bit when Harper said they could’ve saved that guy who’d was like…clearly gonna die.
Unearthing a giant temple there’s a great moment in which Spencer grips a cross but Harper says God is dead. She’s wrong in a way though as this one is very much alive as both Spence and Harper make it inside. Maybe you could’ve saved Spence…nope… never mind.
Also, I got a lot of Lord Of The Rings vibes from this with the structures seeming very similar to Mordor and the voice of the God resembling Sauron’s when Frodo put on the ring.
This giant creature is chained up inside and the Chtrhulu-like beast reveals its plan to take over the world. The original work by Baxter was said to have been influenced heavily by Lovecraft and this creature definitely looks like it is based on Chthuhulu…our lord and saviour.
All it says is Please Release Me Let Me Go and we end with the beast taking over Harper’s body as she exits the cave. Now I could see the argument being there that she cut her eyes out to stop seeing the visions it unleashed of the world being destroyed.
She did state that she had one round left and she used this on Sarge rather than herself.
However, there’s no way she would’ve made it past the spiders again and there’s also the fact that the subtitles for the show have the caption Harper Speaking In An Alien language to close out the entry. So yeah, the world is doomed. Awesome
Now we close out the season with Jibaro which reimagines the classic myth of a siren who lures men to their doom. Sirens have popped up in legend as being creatures that would woo people with their song and these predators are fascinating creatures. They’ve been adapted into Mermaids and are known for their beauty which leads dudes to their deaths.
This is created by Alberto Mielgo and if you’ve seen the first season then you’ll have also come across his work in The Witness which was a stand-out episode in the first entry.
We follow a deaf knight whose entire order is wiped out by the Siren leaving just him alive. Unable to hear her bewitching song this entry is very much about the pair dealing with one another. Now they are listed as both predators in the description for the entry but slowly these two opposing forces end up treating it like a nightclub and doing a bit of bump and grind. The Siren probably just wants love but woah, coming on a bit strong and after the sequins on her tongue cut him the guy gets raging.
It’s really messed up I think and after he strips her of his riches he throws her body into the lake. Blood rushes from the river and as he takes a drink his hearing starts to come back which sends him insane much like those who heard the song at the start.
The Siren rises once more and looking at the horror of being picked dry she screams out which leads him to his death. It’s a beautiful ballet that ends with him drowning and the siren once more being alone.
The behind-the-scenes info on the show states that this episode is meant to show how greed can lead to one’s downfall and had the knight not tried to pick the Siren clean, he would’ve lived.
His corpse joins the rest of those that have drowned and we close out the season. I did feel like this was one of the weaker entries but as far as art style goes it was near the top. Very operatic and it shows you can really do with the medium which I think was showcased heavily in this season.
What a season this was! I definitely think it was one of the best and I probably preferred it over 2. I love the art style laced throughout and it’s great seeing directors getting the chance to put their own stamp on things.
Truly breathtaking at points and I loved the horror and dynamism in it.