Altered Carbon Season 2, Episode 5, “I Wake Up Screaming” is slightly choppy, but opens up the potential of stronger chapters.
This recap of Netflix Series Altered Carbon Season 2, Episode 5, “I Wake Up Screaming” contains significant spoilers.
- Read the Season 2 review.
- Read the recap of Episode 6.
- Read the recap of the previous episode (4)
- Access the archive of all the episode recaps.
Altered Carbon Season 2, Episode 5, “I Wake Up Screaming” is choppy for many reasons — the side story of Poe is so far not working, and it does not complement the rest of the plotlines.
Anyway, Episode 5, “I Wake Up Screaming” begins with Trepp fuming at Kovacs for not giving her the full story regarding Quell’s fragile mind in relation to getting off the planet. Kovacs reveals that Konrad Harland is the last Founder who knows what happened to Quell — they need to find her. But they don’t have to wait long, as Poe reveals that Quell is in the hotel. Kovacs finds her sitting in the shower and she exclaims, “It happened again”. Quell does not understand why this keeps happening to her and she’s upset that she keeps waking up with blood on her hands.
Meanwhile, Poe wants to find out why Quell’s mind is fragile, naming it “P-Frag”. Dig 301 tells Poe that he is unable to save humans but he dismisses that idea and plans to find Konrad.
In a significant moment, serving the twist, Carrera and the clone version of Kovacs talk. The subtitles name him “Kovacs Prime” so that’s what we will be going with. Carrera tells Kovacs Prime to hunt himself; he explains that Quellcrist infected the original Kovacs: “Reclaim your place in this world”. As one last persuasion, Carrera tells Kovacs Prime that Kovacs killed his sister Rei.
Kovacs Prime starts off by investigating Tanaseda Hideki’s death. Meanwhile, Carrera learns that Kovacs is not the meth-killer, Quell is. Footage of Quellcrist performing the murders has been released and has sparked Kemp’s revolution to reignite. Kovacs is now worried about Quell’s safety and that they go behind enemy lines where Kemp resides. Quell insists it is safer if she goes alone. Fuelled with revenge in the mind, Tanaseda Hideki enters the hotel, but then Kovacs Prime shows up and kills him instantly. At this point, Trepp, Quell and Kovacs have left, so Kovacs Prime asks Dig 301 where Kovacs is. Kovacs Prime cruelly overrides Dig 301 over and over again to get information.
It was difficult to watch Dig 301 resisting, as tears left her eyes every time Kovacs Prime gave the override order.
At the midway point of Altered Carbon Season 2, Episode 5, “I Wake Up Screaming”, while heading towards the stronghold to protect Quell, they enter a supplies store; Trepp and Kovacs bump into Trepp’s father. This was an emotional, but unforgiving moment for Trepp and her father as there is a lot of history that involves the war. After they leave, Kovacs Prime arrives at the same store and kills Trepp’s father.
Quell starts losing herself again and Kovacs and Trepp calm her down, asking Quell to breathe deeply. Quell is upset, insisting that Kovacs cannot help her. She continues to argue with Kovacs, claiming the people she killed all deserved to die before running off and fainting.
Back at the Protectorate HQ, Governor Danica holds a meeting with the members and declares martial law. Carrera immediately disagrees with this action. She places all the members under house arrest, suspecting that they were plotting against her. Carrera now knows that Danica released the footage of Quell to gain more leverage.
Altered Carbon Season 2, Episode 5, “I Wake Up Screaming” ends with Kovacs Prime and Kovacs finally going head to head near the stronghold. They fight but they are almost always in sync, but Kovacs Prime gets the edge in this confrontation and kicks Kovacs off the cliff edge.
That was a cool ending to be fair, but Episode 5 struggled to get its story across.
- Poe goes to meet the prophet Soul Brasil to get answers on Quell — he asks Konrad Harland renounced. Elizabeth is there. She offers to find Konrad. He learns the entire construct is fraudulent. Poe threatens to destroy the construct if they don’t let him leave.
- Quell apologizes to Trepp about her brother becoming a Quellist. Asks Trepp to kill her if she loses control.
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Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.