Love, Death & Robots Episode 10: “Shape-Shifters” Recap & Review



War Never Changes

Set in the heart of the US’ Middle Eastern conflict with the Taliban, Shape-Shifters is a surprisingly grounded episode, one that complements its own fantastical tale with strong themes of comradeship and patriotism. The result is an episode that discusses strong themes without it ever detracting from the story.

The story follows two Marines who happen to have supernatural powers. Shunned by the other marines and referred to as Dog Soldiers, these hybrids happen to be werewolves, working on behalf of the army. Tasked with sniffing out a suspected enemy werewolf, the Marines go on the hunt whilst warding off the disdain from their own teammates. All of this builds up to a climactic showdown between two werewolves and an overall look at the price of war. The final shot is one that reflects the idea of shedding one’s skin, as the remaining werewolf throws down his dog-tags and walks off into the sunset, alone.

As a straight forward story about the horrors of war, Shape-Shifters works really well but ultimately it’s the way this story sheds light on politics and race that make it as interesting as it winds up becoming. The fear and disgust toward the werewolves is realistically depicted too and really mirrors some of the deeper problems in our society.

The photo-realistic animation of Shape-Shifters certainly helps with this too. It keeps things suitably grounded and really, this feels like a story that could easily be turned into a motion picture. Given the short run time of the episode, it’s quite a feat to pull off such a believable rift between the two factions. 

While some of the language is admittedly quite bad here, gravitating around a plethora of swearing throughout its run time, there’s enough under this facade of dialogue to make for an interesting watch nonetheless. On a deeper level, themes of race and societal fears ring throughout the episode with an ending that perfectly caps off another episode of Love, Death & Robots.


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1 thought on “Love, Death & Robots Episode 10: “Shape-Shifters” Recap & Review”

  1. Omfg🙄

    Though the episode was entertaining, whoever wrote this either has never served in the Corps…or if he/she did, he/she was a goddamn butter bar.
    Firstly, the sentiment about how this unit reflects the problems in our society is assinine. When you serve in the Marines—and I did—its the TOTAL OPPOSITE of society and their problems. At least when I was in. I’m sure there were racist Marines…and there was enough misogyny to go around…but to be outwardly hateful like depicted in this episode is practically a death sentence in the Marines. I served in the late 90’s, and the oversensitivity about race and gender were practically too negligible to notice. Women and minorities got promoted at the same place, and what held back the women were those who became mothers, and that was due to being out of the fleet for awhile. Now it’s pretty non-existent for you can take your MCIs online and not miss or held back from promotions. Unless your MOS is frozen and NOBODY gets promoted for awhile, and THAT is the most common reason.
    But don’t get caught calling someone a racial slur in hate. You got a blanket party for that—ESPECIALLY if that’s a shir-hot Marine you’re insulting. That went for the girls too, btw.
    Secondly, I highly doubt that if werewolves existed and joined the Marines, every human devildog would be clamoring to become one. To be a devildog LITERALLY? Ain’t nuthin’ but a hard-on for every MOS dealing with the front line…and MPs. I can tell you everyone in support (the rear)would go for that shit.
    And if it were that werewolves joined the Marines, I doubt the commandant would let them be in regular enlisted. We’d save those people for spec ops like Force Recon and Navy Seals. And the hatred toward them displayed in this episode would be even LESS tolerated there, since…you know… COHESIVENESS is the bedrock upon which spec ops are built. You don’t exactly become Seal Team Six by ostracism and hatred. That kind of bad taste in individualism is already beaten out of us in the fleet and even moreso in spec ops.Which was why I threw my controller when dude yanked off his dog tags and “walked out” of the Marine Corps.
    You do realize doing that warrants a death sentence, right? Because if the UCMJ doesn’t execute you for that shit, your fellow Marines WILL.You gonna have me believe a Marine would do that? Even WOMEN MARINES DON’T DO THAT. Further more, you actually depicted his commanding officer or staff NCOs and the rest of his fellow Marines would let him just walk out like that? Yeah, sure…let’s let him walk out in the middle of a combat zone, where he becomes a great liability to his unit considering ALL THE INTEL THE ENEMY CAN GET FROM HIM. Shit like: info on our chain of command, where we are stationed, stats on how many men are there, guard rotation, ordnance, firepower capabilities, supply routes and every-fucking-thing else that could be used to our enemy’s advantage. Dude either would’ve been arrested on the spot or shit right then and there. NO MARINE—including those on the Gomer-Pyle or Forrest Gump tip—WOULD NOT ALLOW dude to leave. Do you know how much in the shit the commanding officer and staff NCOs would be in for letting dude walk? If you have a deserter and you did NOTHING to stop him from going AWOL, the leadership could also be facing the brig at least! Not to mention losing their rank and possibly getting a dishonorable discharge or a Big Chicken Dinner. NO Marine is worth that!
    On a final note, I could tell whoever wrote this episode was never in the Marines because dudes got all butthurt being called “dogs” and “animals”. You serious? A DOG is our fucking mascot! It’s in our fucking nickname!!! We took that shit as a compliment! We WANT to be called animals! In nature, animals are instinctual and ruthless, and the goal for and of EVERY MARINE is to be just like that. Anything less and you’re not a Marine at all.

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