With stunning animation and Tim Miller’s artistry in top form, “Ice” is a masterful stand-alone episode.
This recap of Netflix’s Love, Death & Robots season 2, episode 2, “Ice,” contains spoilers.
Read the recap of the previous chapter.
Episode 2 of Love, Death & Robots season 2 is a cartoon noir titled “Ice.” It’s about Sedgewick, a 16-year-old kid whose father feels he has had it too easy, even if they moved to a “frostbit” colonized world. He delivers lines with a surprising amount of ominous heft. The mother asks Sedge’s little brother, Fletcher, to look after him because he isn’t adjusting well. Later, he finds his little brother trying to leave the house and demands he takes him with him.
The two brothers venture off into the new, frosty town. Fletcher introduces his brother to his crazy friends. They walk off into a shriveling blizzard that might as well be the grounds where the Battle of Hoth took place. All of the humans in this colony have become (or have always been) enhanced to the point of extraordinary endurance and strength. The “unmodded” is now the at-risk group of the world and feels left behind.
The rest of the episode turns into a parable on class warfare that pits the brothers against each other. They race across a frozen sea while waiting for the Frostwhales to hit. “Benga,” the brother’s chant. While running across the frozen sea, Sedge saves his brother, who trips on the ice. He throws him on his back, performing a John McClane, and they fly in the air as the ice bursts into the sky above.
The brothers begin to descend the ice. As this happens, we are treated to a spectacular animated showing of a handful of large Frostwhales bursting through the ice, into the air, and back again, repeating the beautifully dangerous cycle. Sedgewick now not only sees what Fletcher sees but feels what his little brother feels when embracing their new planet. They then walk away, bonded and growing closer from experience.