REVIEW: ‘Blade Runner: Black Lotus,’ Episode 5 – “Pressure”

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Black Lotus Episode 5

Blade Runner: Black Lotus is a sci-fi/action joint Crunchyroll-Adult Swim exclusive from Sola Digital Arts. Having unlocked her lost memories of the doll hunt Bannister and his associates subjected her to, Elle is more determined than ever to find the others behind the event. But even as she begins looking for them, they are already closing in on her in Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 5.

This week’s episode opens with an unexpected introduction. Viewers are introduced to a previously unseen Blade Runner who seems to be fairly proficient at his work. We see him taking down his target with a chilling indifference and relentlessness. It will be interesting to see this character’s story unfold if their time in the narrative plays out how I expect it to.

After this brief introduction, Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 5 returns to Elle as she struggles to sleep. As it turns out, her hard-won memories are having some adverse side effects on her mental health. However, she soon finds something to distract herself with till J returns so the two of them can continue to examine the video feed of the hunt in an attempt to figure out who else was there.

I continue to appreciate how the story handles J’s character. While he mostly seems to be on Elle’s side, there continue to be small things about the man’s attitude and comments that make me question where he truly stands. Whether he’s truly looking out for her, himself, or something else entirely remains to be seen. However, the air of mystery around the man’s motives and allegiances help to keep Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 5 shrouded in some measure of mystery.

Though I must confess, part of my hope that J’s allegiances are at least a bit colored is to explain an obvious missed path Elle’s investigation should take. If this omission isn’t due to some subterfuge on J’s part, it would have to be chalked up to subpar writing that simply chooses to ignore an option J should easily have at his disposal.

Perhaps the best moments of Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 5 belong to one of Elle’s hunters. The writing and voice work by one of the episode’s key villains does a great job of delivering the mixture of anger, frustration, and fear the character is steeped in due to Elle’s continued hiding. The desperation reinforces what lengths the villains are likely willing to go to keep their secrets hidden.

Also deserving a measure of praise in this episode is some strong cinematography. As the hunters close in on Elle, the camera does a great job of bouncing between the different sides of the hunt, building the moment of attack beautifully. While it doesn’t deliver any new visual tricks, it does a great job of showing why some sequences don’t need new tricks, as long as you can execute the classics perfectly.

When all is said and done, Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 5 introduces new elements to the game of cat and mouse between Elle and those who wish to bury what she knows. I look forward to seeing the ramifications of this week’s key moments unfold next episode.

Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 5 is streaming on Crunchyroll and Adult Swim.


Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 5
  • 8.5/10
    Rating - 8.5/10
8.5/10

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 5 introduces new elements to the game of cat and mouse between Elle and those who wish to bury what she knows. I look forward to seeing the ramifications of this week’s key moments unfold next episode.

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