Altered Carbon (S01E03) "In a Lonely Place"

spoiler
Poe has bad news and worse news for Kovacs. The bad news: he detected a hack in the system and Kovacs…uh…dealings *ahem* with Miriam Bancroft were observed by an outsider. The worst news: Laurens has invited Kovacs to a special dinner party of all his friends and loved ones, ie, every potential murder suspect.
To say Kovacs was less than thrilled to get the invite would be a bit of an understatement.
joy
He needs someone to back him up. Unfortunately Poe is not an option, mainly because Poe can’t leave the hotel…because he is the hotel. With that idea off the table, he goes with Plan Beta: Vernon Elliot. Elliot’s highly trained and perfect for the job except for one tiny problem: he’s totally uninterested in the idea.
pretty-please
Kovacs offers a trade: psychosurgery for Lizzie to help heal her and help finding out what happened to her in exchange for Elliot backing him up. Elliot consents. Though it’s touch and go for a hot minute once he realizes the psychosurgery will be performed by the hotel AI.
But Poe has a gentle spirit and a good heart. He spools Lizzie’s stack up into a nice, warm pink AI environment and he does everything he can to communicate to the still very traumatized Lizzie that he’ll keep her save. In other words, Lizzie is in very good hands under the watch of a fiercely protective Poe.
fertilizer
While Kovacs has Lizzie on the brain, Ortega can’t stop thinking about Mary Lou Henchy. She too has received a special invite from Bancroft to attend his little shindig, though his reasons for inviting her are more to grate on her nerves than anything else.
But she sees it as a chance to possibly check into suspects for Mary Lou’s murder. She did, after all, fall from a great height into the water. So what if she was tossed from an aircar?
Abboud isn’t the least bit interested in helping Ortega with her bad girl shenanigans which means of course he’ll help.
Ortega kept an eagle eye out for anything suspicious and when she found someone who pinged her radar, she asked Abboud to check him out, but Abboud sees nothing. How is he invisible on the ONI??
see-me
now-you-dont
The party is as awful and pretentious as you might imagine. The most notable things that come about it are: 1. Kovacs meets Clarissa, the one who facilitated Kovacs’s awakening; 2. Bancroft outs Kovacs as his unusual prize to everyone there; 3. Bancroft’s family is twisted.
Oh and…4. Kovacs is drawn into a fight to the death.
It’s a good thing Elliot is there to back him up! Except, nope he’s MIA, looking for any footage of Bancroft from the night Lizzie disappeared. When he finally does show up, he realizes pretty quickly he might have made a slight miscalculation.
oops
Thankfully, Ortega is on her toes. She takes Elliot’s weapon and stops the fight, saving Kovacs. The people originally in the fight are a married couple who fight to the sleeve death over and over and Kovacs kills the husband in order to ensure Bancroft upgrades their sleeves as promised.
two-words
Bancroft warns Kovacs against any further relations with his wife, though he assures Kovacs he didn’t spy on her. He didn’t need to…he just knows how she rolls after over 100 years of marriage.
They each go their separate ways. Elliot offers to continue being backup but Kovacs rejects it. He has his lead about Lizzie he needs to follow up on. Kovacs returns to Jack It Off, where Lizzie had been working, to see if the girl he spoke with had more details.
Unfortunately, it’s a trap. She injects him with something, apologizing all the time she’s doing it. The two men who compelled her to drug Kovacs reward her for her service by slicing her throat.
They then spirit Kovacs away to parts unknown.
backup
Favorite Moments:

  • Watching how careful Poe is with Lizzie
  • Abboud helping Ortega even when he doesn’t want to
  • Seeing how little the Meths think about everyone who isn’t them

Final Thoughts:
“In a Lonely Place” is crucial in understanding the mindset of a Meth. Just watch those at the party. See how they view humanity as a whole, how little they care about it. They feel they’re above the law in every way imaginable. They believe they are gods.
Meanwhile Poe exhibits the best of humanity, and he isn’t even human. Irony anyone?
I give “In a Lonely Place” 4.5 Kovacs tattoos out of a possible 5.
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