Black Lotus’ Darkest Secrets Setup Blade Runner 2049

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 7 of Blade Runner: Black Lotus, "Reality," airing on Adult Swim and now streaming on Crunchyroll.

Blade Runner 2049 takes place 30 years after the events of Ridley Scott’s 1982 Blade Runner film. In the 2049 timeline, it is learned that Rachael (Sean Young) -- a Tyrell Corporation replicant -- was able to produce a child with Blade Runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford). Rachael alone changed the course of replicant manufacturing, with Niander Wallace Jr. becoming obsessed with creating completely flawless and subservient replicants. Episode 7 of Blade Runner: Black Lotus starts to bridge the gap between the two films.

In Episode 7, Elle continues her mission of seeking justice for all the murdered replicants in the Doll Hunt, although she learns some disturbing truths along the way. The first of these is that her ally Joseph is a former Blade Runner with a reputation for having retired at least 200 replicants in his day. This makes him an even deadlier Blade Runner than Marlowe, although it's unknown why he left the trade. At best, it's implied that he -- like Deckard before him -- either became empathetic toward replicants or -- like K (Ryan Gosling) -- discovered that he too is a replicant.

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After learning this disturbing truth about Joseph, Elle resumes her hunt for the participants of the Doll Hunt, which brings her to the offices of Dr. M and his assistant, the latter of whom gave Elle her artificial memories. During Elle's confrontation with Dr. M, she learns that she is in fact a Wallace Corporation replicant and that the Doll Hunt was arranged by Niander Wallace Sr. as part of "research and development" for his company's replicants. This is confirmed by Wallace Sr. himself in a conversation with his son, Niander Jr.

Since becoming aware of Elle's murders of the Doll Hunters -- two of which include a senator and the Chief of LAPD -- Wallace Sr. has been on edge. In order to avoid being linked to the murders, he has decided to sell off his Tyrell Corporation assets, including the replicant program. This puts him at odds with his son, who is obsessed with perfecting the manufacturing of replicants so that they are completely flawless and obedient to their human owners. Having locked Niander Jr. out of his lab, Wallace Sr. blames his son for creating the rogue replicant that's now murdering the Doll Hunters. This has significant implications about Niander's own past with Elle.

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At Dr. M's lab, Elle learns from his assistant that she has two types of memories; the artificial ones he programmed into her as part of the Wallace Corporation's standards for creating completely obedient replicants and the ones she created on her own. After separating her artificial memories from her real ones, Elle learns that her memories of the Doll Hunt are real, as are those of her boyfriend, whose identity is yet to be revealed. However, given what's known about Elle's past and the confirmation that she was built by Niander Wallace Jr, it's strongly implied that he is the unnamed boyfriend from her memories.

The other significant detail about Elle's ability to form her own memories is that it makes her very similar to Rachael in that she deviated from the norm in some capacity. In the same way that replicants are not designed to be able to bear children, they are similarly supposed to be incapable of creating new memories. What this indicates is that as much as Niander Jr. wants to perfect the manufacturing of replicants so that they're entirely flawless and obedient, he's not going to be able to control their evolution. This realization effectively sets him up to become the monstrous CEO that he is in the Blade Runner 2049 film.

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About The Author
Diane Darcy (212 Articles Published)

Diane Darcy is a features writer for CBR with an educational background in psychology. She is also a graphic designer and a podcaster. As a huge lover of anime, manga, comics, film and television, Diane created several fan blogs and websites over the years. Her most popular blog is the Helena Wayne Huntress blog. Diane has also contributed publications to WWAC, Comics Bookcase, and Shelfdust. Diane is also a regular podcaster on DC Comics and Doctor Who for the Wright On Network. Diane can be followed on Twitter at @HelenaWayneBlog and Instagram at @dianedarcywriter

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