Thursday, 25 October 2012

Psycho-Pass - Episode 3

With most of its concept now successfully dumped out into the open air, Psycho-Passfinally has some room to focus a little more centrally on its storyline, and this third instalment takes us into some pretty episodic territory via a specific investigation for the Public Safety Bureau.

The call comes to the team with the news of the third fatal accident in a year to occur at a plant responsible for building robots - a fully automated process with the exception of the testing process which comes at the end of the production line, which is handled by a relatively small number of staff who effectively work around the clock and live, eat and breathe within their workplace.  What's more, to avoid hacking the entire building is effectively an "air gap", cut off from the Internet and online communications.  Yet despite all of this, the Sibyl system is showing that everyone within the company are calm as cows.... how can this be possible in that climate?

Eventually, spending some time around the factory floor throws up and answer, with the department consistently making use of a "sacrificial lamb" who is used for the other employees to literally take out their frustrations upon before replacing said "lamb" once he's outlived his usefulness.  This time however, the target of this bullying has remained with the company from a date which coincides with the first "accident" - the team have their culprit, but are they actually going to do anything about it?  Ginoza seems happy to turn a blind eye to things, only to find himself shouted down by Akane, who along with the Enforcers has a more elaborate yet dangerous solution.

Perhaps inevitably, this week's episode of Psycho-Pass still doesn't live up to the wonders of that first episode (spouted exposition and all), but it still brought us a pretty good one-shot detective drama story told within its unique (well, unique-ish) universe.  It still has clumsy moments and plot holes (the Dominators can suddenly shoot robots?), and moments of needless explanation of things which are either already clear or could be illustrated better, but the crux of the story this time around had plenty to keep my interest while still offering a little more food for thought about its concept of automated psychological analysis in a world where human values seem decidedly skewed.  In short, this is still one of the autumn's better series at this juncture.

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