The Jelly Creature
Ad Vitam’s ride has been a rather slow one up until this point, with two episodes chock full of artistic beauty but juxtaposed by a methodically paced, slowly unravelling mystery. Still, the two leads are really the driving force of the show and together, they help drag this one through some of the more routine segments of the show.
We begin with Darius looking at all the missing people and realizing that over 200 young minors are either in trouble or have gone missing in the last 6 months. They think they could be the hundreds Linus was talking about in the previous episode. We then find out that it’s thanks to a particular form of Jellyfish that humans were able to use to beat death, as these creatures have a way of rejuvenating and reversing the aging process.
Darius decides to visit Samien’s Uncle but he hasn’t seen him in years. The Uncle has some harsh words for him, demanding to know why the police are determined to stop suicides when the world is over-populated as it is. As he steps forward, eyes on Darius and through gritted teeth, he tells him he doesn’t think the word needs children anymore.
Meanwhile, Christa helps the police with the evidence they found and takes some of the drugs with her. After Linus is found at the morgue where Samien is kept, Darius interrogates him. He tells him about a time where millions of people were sick due to an epidemic. Unlike those millions who didn’t survive, he did. As it happens, he became one of the first to be able to use the process of regeneration. After his near-death experience of feeling his own flesh rotting, he sees life and death in a completely different way now.
In the news, we see that an unknown new species has been found; a cocoon and jelly-like creature. Unfortunately, Darius doesn’t have time to ponder over this now as his wife announces her pregnancy to him. Shocked by this revelation, he doesn’t say a word about it, causing some tension to ensue between them.
Back at the psychiatric centre, Christa asks one of her roommates for a gun in exchange for the drugs she found. She’s later visited by Darius’ wife, Beat, and they discuss her strained relationship with her parents. While they talk, Darius receives a phone call – a minor has some information about a missing girl. When the police questions him, he explains that he and the girl had plans to meet a group of other minors but he didn’t end up going.
As Azuelo takes Linus away, Darius calls to him as he wants to interrogate him more. Suddenly the mother of one of the 7 victims arrives and shoots Azuelo and Linus. As she is about to kill herself, Darius stops her. As they try to deal with the aftermath of the shooting, Christa and Lesky sleep together while Darius visits Azuelo in hospital. Thankfully he survived but unfortunately Linus was not so lucky.
Christa then visits a shop where people can buy experiences, one of which giving you the sensation of being close to death. However, she’s there to buy a weapon and goes for a choking collar. Elias then calls Darius and tell him that they found the missing girl. He explains that it took them hours to identify her and as the curtains open we see that she is the cocoon-like creature from the news earlier on.
Ad Vitam continues with its same methodical pace felt throughout the series. However, the show does manage to blend different genres quite skilfully together, with sci-fi, crime thriller and fantasy all coming together to form an interesting cocktail of ideas. While it never quite reaches the same production standards as Altered Carbon, it still makes for a unique watch nonetheless. The use of electronica from HiTnRuN fits quite nicely with the theme of the show too, and certainly adds an edge to the drama and tense moments here.
With a cliffhanger ending following the strange creature being found, it’ll be interesting to see how Ad Vitam develops this new twist but for now, the show delivers another good but not-quite-great episode to chew over.