Love, Death & Robots: Season 1 recap and review

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Three Robots

An impressive looking robot looms above the apocalyptic remains of a city, pausing briefly to take in the surroundings before exclaiming to his straggling companions that they are lost.

Three robots on vacation tour the ruins of a post-apocalyptic world and offer humorous commentary on the hubris of humanity. There is the tall one, XBOT 4000, the little one and tour guide, K-VRC, and a Siri-voiced monolith who takes photos of everything.

First, they tour the gym of a high school, where Siri takes pictures of a dead cheerleader and XBOT pokes a hanged basketball player. They find a ball and discuss how humans would find great entertainment in bouncing it, or sometimes hitting it with a stick. XBOT tries it out and its pretty anti-climactic. Siri quips, “Welcome to humans.”

They sit in a cafe and examine an old burger, discussing human’s intake orifices and how they ate for power. The design just doesn’t make sense, why not just run on fusion batteries like they do?

Who designed them? No one knows, their code didn’t have a creator signature. Siri says they were designed by an unfathomable deity for no reason, then says just kidding, they came from a very warm soup.

Then they discover a cat, because they survived the apocalypse of course. What’s the point of them? No point, people just had them. The cat sits on XBOT’s lap and he starts patting it to make it move, but it starts purring. K-VRC says he might have activated it, and since humans had a game called Exploding Kittens, it seems logical that it could explode if it stops purring.

They find an XBOT 3 at a store, which was an early gaming device used by 13-year-old boys for teabagging their opponents in online battle. XBOT 4000 (no relation) doesn’t know what teabagging is and makes the mistake we’ve all made by looking it up on the equivalent of Urban Dictionary.

Their last stop is a nuclear missle silo, dedicated to a device intended to kill as many humans as possible as quickly as possible. But it wasn’t the nukes that wiped the humans out, but their own hubris that led them to “poison the water, kill the land, and choke the sky.”

So they died out from environmental disaster — that and because they genetically engineered their cats to have opposable thumbs. Once they could open their own tuna cans, that was pretty much it for the human race, explains the cat (deviously performed by Chris Parnell).

He says they better keep petting him, just to be sure he doesn’t explode. Word has gotten out and the bots have to extend their vacation as they are surrounded by cats.

This is one of my favorite episodes of the series. It is smart, darkly funny, and socially conscious. For anyone who has ever had that out-of-body type experience where you suddenly find yourself pondering some of the absurdities of mundane human practices, this one is for you.

Plus, it brilliantly serves as a warning for humanity about the dangers of giving cats opposable thumbs. If that ever happened, we’d clearly be doomed.