Episode 6 of Season 3 of Love, Death and Robots is titled, Swarm. The plot is centred on two scientists studying an alien Swarm. When understanding becomes exploitation it starts a chain reaction that could endanger the entire human species. Here’s the plot and ending of Love Death + Robots’ Swarm explained.
What is the Swarm?
It is a race of well-organized animals in space that have evolved over millions of years. Like the bees, they have a queen at the centre, which the Swarm protects. The fact that they have been around for so long indicates that they have continually evolved. The primary means of authorization and communication is through pheromones. Over millennia, the Swarm has had threats from different life in the universe, and those species are absorbed.
How does the Swarm absorb a species?
When the earliest of any species arrive at the Swarm, their pheromones are taken and recorded. Over centuries the Swarm has developed a robust defense mechanism. When they sense a threat from the visitors, they grab them and feed on their minds to learn about their race and what they are really after. Then they breed tougher versions of that species and populate the Swarm with them. And finally, they use the breed to fight the enemy and obliterate them. This is how the Swarm has continuously evolved and expanded; spoilers ahead.
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Swarm: Plot Explained
Who is Dr Galina Mirny, and what is she up to?
Galina has been with the Swarm and studying it in solitude for a long time. Perhaps a couple of years. She has been considered safe during this time and has learnt that the Swarm is populated with various species. She’s dead against exploiting the Swarm for the gains of the human race. Sadly, she doesn’t know she’s going to suffer because of them.
Who is Dr Afriel, and what does he want?
Dr Arfiel comes to the Swarm to infiltrate and steal an egg so that the humans can it to bootstrap their own swarm with another queen at the centre. Then they plan to grow and control their swarm to aid human expansion. Arfiel has smuggled in a set of synthesized pheromones based on the samples sent earlier by Galina. He wants her help to extract an egg and conduct more research on the pheromones.
While initially hesitant, Galina uses these pheromones to control some of the workers that fetch them an egg. This is synonymous with biting the forbidden fruit.
The crude experiments that Arfiel and Galina conduct trigger certain genetic protocols and the Swarms defence mechanism is invoked; the intelligence. While the warrior species attack the rogue workers and Arfiel, Galina is captured and her mind is fed upon. The Swarm learns of the human race and their intentions.
I love how the Swarm claims intelligence to be the trait that hinders survival. It’s the one thing that makes humans as a species turn on each other.
The Swarm gives Arfiel two choices. Help breed the human species within the Swarm making them an army that will eventually wipe out the human race. Or else have his mind fed upon painfully like what Galina is going through. After which, they will clone him and raise human children on their own. To demonstrate the nature of the threat, the Swarm momentarily releases the hold on Galina’s mind to show the extent of psychological pain she is in.
Love, Death and Robots: Swarm: Ending Explained
The ending of Love Death and Robots’ Swarm shows that Arfiel accepts the offer to stay intelligent and breed the human species. Although, his confidence (or arrogance) in the human species makes him assert that they will never become parasites.
Though Galina was against exploiting the Swarm, she is the unfortunate one whose mind is being painfully absorbed. The Swarm will also use her as a means to birth more humans. She pays the price for the arrogance of others.
The episode ends with the opening sentence, “I would have missed your conversation”. While it appears to be a coincidence, it’s a remark on human intelligence which makes us both intriguing and dangerous.
Here are the other episodes of Love, Death And Robots:
Barry is a technologist who helps start-ups build successful products. His love for movies and production has led him to write his well-received film explanation and analysis articles to help everyone appreciate the films better. He’s regularly available for a chat conversation on his website and consults on storyboarding from time to time.
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