This standout episode’s non-linear storytelling makes “Life Hutch” the best episode of Life, Death, and Robots second season
This recap of Netflix’s Love, Death & Robots season 2, episode 7, “Life Hutch,” contains spoilers.
There isn’t a lot of lovemaking going on in season 2 of Love, Death & Robots — the show though does have a big-name in episode 7, “Life Hutch.” Michael B. Jordan plays a young astronaut-soldier who’s on a mission to save the galaxy but crashes down on a planet waiting on his rescue mission.
The episode starts with Jordan slumped against a wall, sweating, panting, and just looking defeated in general. After a few moments, the quick episode — that lasts less than 15 minutes — starts to play LOST with its timeline. The story jumps backward, showing how Jordan’s spaceship crashed on the mercurial-looking planet. It does a couple of dozen stops, drops, and rolls before coming to a halt on the side of an alien planet’s mountain.
As the combat pilot walks out of his aircraft, he spots an automated shelter that was sent to the planet. He finds that they both had a rough landing. As he enters the ship, an automated computer message is repeated over and over, “maintenance error.” That’s because the shelter is equipped with a robot guard dog. It now spots the fallen astronaut and thinks he is the enemy.
The aluminum Fido attacks him immediately and hard. It ‘hockey checks’ him into the wall, causing a wound on his right side. As he escapes one hell of a robot haymaker, Jordan slumps against that wall we talked about. He is then saved from Fido, distracted by his helmet that begins to roll down to the floor and away from the pilot.
The segment continues to jump between timelines, showing how the pilot came to the desolate planet. We are treated to a spectacular-looking Star Wars-like battle and find out he is part of the Nova Squadron. He is Nova 4, and he is about to engage with their target.
Hold on; it again flashes forward to our astronaut. He was passed out from the blood loss and wakes up to hear our metallic canine Cujo walking around in circles. The security weapon has now crunched on his hand, and it is taking everything he can to not scream in pain. If he does, he knows he is done for.
Let’s flash backward again in “Life Hutch”. Now we see Nova 4 survive a couple of 360 tumble rolls and fire off a half dozen missiles into his target before being clipped by some debris. He is now in free fall to the planet where our story began.
Flashback to the shelter and our Astronaut now remembers he has a flashlight in his pocket. Cujo strikes the wall when he shines the light on it. He then points the light at the floor. The canine tin can attacks the floor. Then, in a clever stroke of genius, he flashes the light on the weapon’s leg. Whack! He breaks his metal leg in two. Then double whack! He hammers his other robotic knee, sending that flying off to the side. Now, our Astronaut stands up, hovering over his fallen security system, and defeats the machine with a quick stomp of his good leg.
A few moments later, we see our hero sitting at a desk, getting a signal that the emergency rescue team is coming, and an alert from the automated shelter voice control saying, “Warning: Maintenance robot malfunction.”
“No s**t.” He says.