WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 4 of Blade Runner: Black Lotus, "The Doll Hunt," airing on Adult Swim and now streaming on Crunchyroll.
Blade Runner: Black Lotus protagonist Elle has been trying to figure out who and what she is since waking up with amnesia in the back of a truck in Episode 1. The only clue she has to her identity is a mysterious device she’s been carrying with her but doesn’t know how to access. Along the way, she meets new allies in the form of Doc Badger and Joseph, the latter of whom is able to access her device.
Throughout Episodes 1, 2 and 3, Elle has been periodically experiencing brief flashbacks of her past -- memories that seem to only get triggered when she goes into combat mode. One of these brief flashbacks brings her to Senator Bannister, whom she confronts at an illegal fighting ring. During her encounter with Bannister, Elle learns she is a replicant, which she refutes by claiming she is human. This leads her to unwittingly murder Bannister.
Since learning a possible truth about her past, Elle only becomes more obsessed with learning more of who she is, and she solicits Joseph's help. In Episode 3, Joseph performs two tests on her to confirm whether or not she's a replicant. In the first test, he checks for a serial number beneath her right eye, which she lacks. He then performs the Voight-Kampff test, which she passes. While both tests seem to confirm that Elle is human, there are still doubts about this.
In Episode 4, Joseph is able to access the device Elle has been carrying, which contains a video record of some of her lost memories. In the video footage, Elle is presented with one memory of her unnamed boyfriend, who was also responsible for tattooing the black lotus on her back. Her boyfriend had mysteriously disappeared at some point, and the next time Elle found herself at the same facility, the place had long since been abandoned and left to decay.
Outside the facility, Elle encountered other people who were mysteriously brought to the same location for unspecified reasons. It was then that some people on four-wheelers showed up to "hunt down" the people at the facility. The people being hunted down were, of course, replicants. While attempting to make their escape, Elle befriended a female replicant named Miu, who she also decided to protect.
Unfortunately for Elle, she was unable to defend Miu against a sadistic male hunter because -- like all replicants -- she was programmed against having the ability to harm humans. However, when it came to her own life being threatened, this somehow triggered her combat mode, which overwrote her replicant programming. In combat mode, Elle was able to defend herself and murder the sadistic hunter who killed Miu in cold blood. It was shortly after she killed Miu's murderer that Elle stopped a truck traveling down the road and stowed away in the back trailer, effectively bringing her up to speed on her present.
Reliving her lost memories through the device does two things for Elle. First, it confirms that she is in fact a replicant, but also that she's no ordinary replicant, as she appears to have some sleeper agent capabilities. This actually raises more questions about her origins, especially since there's a strong implication that she was custom-made for someone powerful. This leads to the second thing this revelation does for Elle: motivate her to find out who created her, with the goal of destroying her creator.
Though it isn't confirmed in this episode, the events of Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 4 seem to hint at Elle being a Wallace Corporation replicant. This is especially likely given that the Wallace Corporation was granted permission by the US government to manufacture a different class replicant from the Tyrell Corporation. It's also been shown in the Blade Runner 2049 film that the Wallace Corporation can manufacture custom-made replicants for specific clients. This would at least explain why Elle has unique capabilities that the Nexus-8 replicants don't possess, and could even hint at Wallace Corporation's own clientele base.
KEEP READING: Blade Runner: Black Lotus Puts Elle’s Replicant Status to Question
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