Blade Runner: Black Lotus
Episode 4

by Grant Jones,

How would you rate episode 4 of
Blade Runner: Black Lotus (U.S. TV) ?
Community score: 3.3

Another Black Lotus episode down and the continued blandness has started to wear on me. We're a month in at this point, and maintaining a "just okay" level of quality isn't going to cut it anymore. I can't help but wish that Black Lotus was better, or at least worse in an entertaining way. There's something to be said for outrageously bad entertainment. Black Lotus, sadly, feels very rote at this point.

The real problem with episode four is the complete lack of any real tension. This episode mostly focuses on the replicant hunting scene from Elle's past. As I mentioned previously, this is not a bad idea on the surface, and it is one of the more original elements of the story thus far. The problem is that, well, we have seen a lot of this already. A lot. There are some new perspective shots from the replicant characters being hunted but we have no time to really meet or connect with any of them. Elle ends up outside, we immediately realize what is happening, and the hunt begins.

A hunt which we already know the outcome of.

Before the scene even kicks off, we already know the basics of the climax and resolution. We know there is a showdown near the fireside, and that she exits the desert largely unharmed on the back of the truck. As such, these scenes have no real impact. This is compounded by the fact that most of the transitory scenes between them are just characters asking “what are we going to do?!” and running or looking for cover. Add to this a stilted fight sequence and a rather awkward-looking car chase (complete with a goofy-looking car explosion) and… yeah, this one's not a winner folks.

Even the revelation about the police leader at the end feels like a non-event. A big-city cop that's in on the corruption might matter more if we, well, knew who this character was. But we've spent no time with him, so the sudden “shock” of him being in on it means next to nothing for the audience.

Here's hoping Black Lotus finds a way to break out of the pack and soon.


Grant is the cohost on the Blade Licking Thieves podcast and Super Senpai Podcast.

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

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