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Ice is the second episode of the second volume, and the overall twentieth episode of LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS.

3 Symbols:

  1. A hand giving the middle finger
  2. An ice cube
  3. A pipe with smoke

Episode Synopsis

In the future, humans are modded with enhancements to increase strength and endurance. The conflict between the modded and unmodded drives a rift between two brothers, who are new to a desolate ice planet, where they partake in a dangerous race with a local crew.

Plot

Sedgewick is a 16-year-old boy on a planet full of individuals who have been "Modded" to give them super-human strength, speed, and versatility to the elements. He struggles with intense feelings of isolation and bitterness because he is not modded. He delivers lines with a surprising amount of ominous heft. One night, he overhears his mother asks Sedge’s little brother, Fletcher, to look after him because he isn’t adjusting well. It is this conversation that leaves Sedge with a new edge and fight; he is aching to prove himself.

Later that night, Sedge forces his brother to let him accompany him as he sneaks out to see some friends. The two brothers venture off into their new frosty town. Fletcher introduces his brother to his modded friends and they play a game of ball together, leaping high into the sky with incredible agility to score. But the main event of the night is still yet to come. Sedgewick follows Fletcher and his friends outside of town, where he is informed that they will be racing, not against each other but against the "Frost-whales", the arctic beasts that live under the ice and come to the surface for air. One of Fletchers friends inform Sedge that the frost-whales typically hit the ice seven times and break through on the seventh. The group has to sprint ahead of the whales to stay alive. As they gear up, they all take a hit from small glowing pipes that get them in the headspace and erase any fear they may have. Sedgewick, being a virgin when it comes to this substance, is immediately high, hallucinating that he is alone on the cold quiet ice range. It takes Fletcher almost too long to snap his brother out of it, dragging him along the ice as the whales come closer and closer.

They race across the frozen sea while the Frost-whales hit against the ice, sending cracks and chasms underneath their feet. The brothers are struggling to stay ahead, and on the fourth or fifth hit from the whales, Fletcher's leg is caught between the ice and his ankle is injured. Sedgewick sprints up behind him, grabbing his brother by picking him up with an army roll that throws Fletcher on his back. Sedgewick continues to run until the final hit, when they are sent flying into the air as the ice bursts into the sky above. The brothers slide down the ice and land next to the friends, their mouths gaping open in awe as they are treated to a spectacular sight. Frost-whales bursting through the ice, into the air, and back again into the frigid water, repeating the beautiful and dangerous cycle. Sedgewick now understands how Fletcher feels about their new planet. He has only seen the bad since they moved there, and been blind to its beauty.

While helping Fletcher walk back to town, Sedgewick has his hat playfully stolen by one of Logan’s crew, which prompts Fletcher to immediately take off after her to get his brother’s hat back, despite his injury. When the hat is thrown into the air, Fletcher gracefully catches it and lands perfectly on his ankle. Sedgewick immediately realizes that either his brother was never hurt in the first place, or his body modifications healed him quickly. Sedgewick looks stung and angry for an instant, but he takes a deep breath and follows his brother and new friends, realizing that he is no longer an outcast.

Characters

Trivia

  • Not all the icons in Love, Death and Robots are static. Many of the images shift or change during the few seconds that they're shown on screen, reflecting the importance of animation in the series. In season 2, three episodes have unchanging symbols — "Snow in the Desert," "Pop Squad" and "The Drowned Giant." The "Snow in the Desert" icons are a strawberry, a symbol of the fertile Earth that Snow remembers (and the strawberry he eats); a large "X" identical to the "death" symbol in the series logo, foreshadowing the multiple deaths in the episode; and an upside-down heart with two dots, perhaps indicating the unexpected romantic connection between Snow and Hirald.[1]
  • The "Pop Squad" icons are more specific. The dilated eye is an image that appears in the episode, a visual representation of the immortality most characters attain through advanced medicine. The hat is a reference to Detective Briggs and more specifically, his role as a rogue detective. The style is reminiscent of film noir, a genre where tough, dysfunctional detectives often rebel against a corrupt law enforcement system to do the right thing, as Briggs does in "Pop Squad." His death wish and his ultimate end also fit the genre.[1]
  • The last icon shows a stuffed dinosaur which, in the short, is a reoccurring symbol of childhood innocence that haunts Briggs. The icons that appear before "The Drowned Giant" are a little more straightforward. The skull with x's for eyes represents the death of the giant, while bones literally appear in the episode after the giant decomposes. The short ends with the image of a gigantic phallus in a tent — not subtle, but lighthearted.[1]
  • The remaining five episodes of Love, Death and Robots season 2 include animated icons. Before "Automated Customer Service," a robot icon vacuums the sunglasses off the iconographic head next to it, foreshadowing Vacuubot's quest to purge a house of all living things. A cactus represents the Western retirement community in which the short is set. The three icons for "All Through the House" include a Christmas tree with ornaments that rearrange into a face, hinting at the surprising and horrifying creature awaiting two children after they sneak downstairs to catch Santa. An image of a wrapped present represents the reward for good girls and boys the short centers on, while a droplet of sweat or possibly blood adds an element of horror.[1]
  • The "Life Hutch" icons provide the most hints to the events of the short, with a hand that starts whole and ends with two broken fingers, warning of the bloody fight awaiting a grounded pilot. An asteroid represents the intergalactic space war that acts as a backdrop for the short, and a flashlight depicts the basic tool that ultimately becomes critical for the pilot's survival.[1]
  • In an unusual title card, the three icons for "The Tall Grass" are all the same (similar to the icons used for the season 1 short, "Zima Blue") — patches of tall grass animated to sway. The identical icons are an appropriate representation of the Love, Death and Robots short, where the tall grass is prominently featured as a setting, symbol of rurality and home for hidden horrors.[1]
  • "Ice" has the icons most loosely connected to the story — a hand flipping the bird that is one of the final images of the short, an ice cube and a pipe with smoke coming out, the drug of choice for modded teenagers.[1]

Gallery

Below are screenshots of the episode.

References

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