Red Colby Standing By
Combining photo-realistic animation with an action-packed episode depicting one pilot’s attachment to her plane, Lucky 13 is a well written little short, showing off some neat camera tricks with a tightly composed story. All of this combines to make this one of the strongest episodes in Love, Death and Robots’ first season.
The episode itself sees rookie pilot Lieutenant Colby, given the keys to a plane infamously known as unlucky 13. After losing all her crew on two separate occasions, the plane is synonymous with the pilots for being the unluckiest plane in the hangar. Unluckiest that is, until Colby steps forward and proves everyone wrong.
As she grows more attached to her plane and the number of successful missions stack up, the original stigma around it drops to be replaced by the title of Lucky 13. As the crew fly out for a high-risk mission to save a group of stranded soldiers, the fight winds up being the last it takes. Colby is surprised by a rogue missile that causes the ship to tumble down a cliff onto the ground below. As enemies pile in around them, Colby says her goodbyes to the ship and primes a bomb ready for self destruct.
As the countdown reaches zero and the ship remains standing, Colby realizes the bond she has with her ship transcends deeper than that of a normal pilot and unleashes a flurry of angry bullets in the direction of the enemies as they pile on and around the ship. Then, suddenly, the bomb detonates, launching a cocktail of debris, fire and dust into the air as the enemies are all but eliminated. The episode closes out with one final monologue from Colby as she reflects on her time with the ship and the sacrifice it made to save them all.
Ultimately, Lucky 13 works really well to showcase our relationship with technology and reliance on it to succeed. This is personified right the way through the episode with Colby growing more and more attached to the plane and unable to move on once it reaches its demise. It’s a really nicely worked message too and the various action scenes work well to reinforce this.
As mentioned before, the motion captured animation is really nicely implemented here too and rounds out another impressive episode in Love, Death and Robot’s catalogue of episodes.