Netflix’s Love, Death + Robots took a political blow against the US Marines during an episode that focused on the Taliban and a werewolf battle royale.
Netflix’s Love, Death + Robots didn’t shy away from controversial topics in its debut season, which is something fans would love to see again in season 2. One of those episodes was “Shape-Shifters,” which put a twist on it. dark to the werewolf. franchise, weaving it into a statement about the military. While the episode focused on the beasts used by the United States as liberators, it took a surprise turn with a shot at the American Marines and their politics.
In “Shape-Shifters”, werewolves are found all over the world, but they are discriminated against. At first, two friends, Decker (Graham Hamilton) and Sobieski (Adam Bartley) are on the front lines, barefoot and leading tanks. They are dogs that hunt the Taliban in Afghanistan, even though the rest of the Marines hate them. They insult them at lunch, calling them “monsters”. The plot acts as a metaphor, putting a supernatural twist on stories of abuse towards the LGBTQ + community in the Marines.
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Despite discrimination, werewolves and human marines fight together when the time comes. One night, Sobieski and his convoy are massacred in a watchtower, leading to a search of nearby towns. Decker discovers that it is another werewolf who killed them. He then sees an old man and a child who disappear when he begins to sniff them.
Later, Decker disobeys his superior’s orders and heads into a fight that turns into a battle royale. As the old man throws Sobieski’s dog tags at him and he transforms, Decker is attacked by a second werewolf. A bloody battle ensues that leads him to kill the two hostile canines. The fight takes a lot out of Decker. When he returns, his companions scold him. However, this time, he lashes out. Decker insults the commanders and leaves, earning the respect of some of the other troops. He buries his friend miles away and places the dog tags on the grave before running off.
The night ends with Decker howling, embracing his wolf side. Now, think that humanity is the real monster. It bothers him that his kind are used as instruments of war to raid countries and kill “infidels” when it seems that they only seek the resources of the people.
“Shape-Shifter” explores the old adage that one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter. And after all the xenophobia and arrogance Decker experienced in the Marines, he doesn’t want to be that war beast anymore. He believes that America is part of the hatred and oppression he fights against, so he frees himself to start a new life in the wild away from a broken system.
Love Death + Robots Vol. 2 releases on Netflix on May 14. Vol. 3 will be released in 2022.
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