Love, Death & Robots: Season 1 recap and review

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Lucky 13

In some kind of futuristic army, a rookie pilot is given command of the ship that no one else wants, the unlucky Lucky 13. In addition to the numerals of its serial number beginning and ending in the number 13, it’s digits also add up to the number 13.

Before it was given to her, it had lost two crews, the ship itself surviving unscathed. The pilot, Colby, isn’t superstitious, but Chief Warrant Officer Jacko says that ships have personalities and none of them are just machines.

On her first mission, not only is she flying Lucky 13, but she’s out in front of the formation. If shooting starts the lead ship is the least likely to make it home. Once they’re on the ground they’re ambushed.

One of the pilots panics and tries to take off without his men and gets blown up. Colby goes through extreme lengths to collect every man on the ground before taking off. After some fancy flying and risky strategy, they all make it home alive.

After that mission, Colby changes her mind about Lucky 13, and so does everyone else.

She flies 19 more combat missions with Lucky 13 and doesn’t take a single casualty. She’s offered the chance to fly one of the brand new ships coming in, but she decides to stick with Lucky 13.

Of course, there’s always the last mission and one day she gets shot down after rescuing a unit. They survive the crash and Colby covers the men while they make it to cover and wait for evac.

Eventually, there’s nothing else she can do except trigger the self-destruct and escape while the enemy moves in on Lucky 13. She says she’s so sorry, but then Lucky 13 doesn’t explode. She marvels for a moment, saying to herself, “She doesn’t want to go.”

Eventually, the self-destruct does work and takes all the enemy soldier with it. Timing is everything.

Her crew all survives. She’s given a medal for conspicuous bravery under fire and a fancy new ship, but she’d still trade it in a second to fly one more mission with Lucky 13.

I’m not big into war or combat stories, but I really liked this one because it works on so many levels. It’s partly about misguided prejudice based on superstition, but it’s mostly about a pilot who distinguishes herself despite expectation.

Colby’s success in the field had nothing to do with Lucky 13, just like the prior pilot’s failings had nothing to do with the ship. Colby is an exceptional pilot – skilled, creative, determined, and brave.

She never gave up and she let a man down if there was a chance to save him. That’s the real secret to her success.