On May 14, Netflix launched the second volume of its animated series Love, death + robots, and he delivered a surprise. No, it was still violent, vulgar, and immersed in nudity, but one episode of the lineup gave us a shockingly pro-life message.
The third episode of the season, “Pop Squad,” takes place in an alternate future where people can live for centuries longer and essentially become immortal. The only catch is that women can no longer have children or risk losing their immortality. With overpopulation now a problem, a new breed of law enforcement, the “pop squad,” find, arrest, and, if necessary, kill any suspected mothers or children they can find.
A grizzled veteran of the pop team, Detective Briggs (Nolan North) follows a suspect named Eve (Emily O’Brien) to find her and her baby girl. Instead of stopping her, however, he sits down and honestly asks her why she would have and keep a child given the circumstances. She simply responds, “Because I’m not so in love with myself that I just want to live forever and ever.” Such a bold response is unheard of in pro-choice screeds, especially those that shout “my body, my choice.”
Beyond thinking of someone other than herself, Eve goes on to mention all the joyful things about new life and raising a child.
Eve: You smile.
Briggs: She’s cute.
Eve: You feel something, don’t you?
Briggs: You should know that this can’t work.
Eve: I’ve been alive for 218 years. I’ve seen too many. But she does everything new. I love to see things through his little eyes. They are so brilliant. They are so full of life. Not dead. Like yours. I remember his first steps. I remember his first laugh. I remember the first time she called me mom. I remember all of those times because I know I won’t have many.
Briggs lets her go with her child without being arrested and even shoots her squad partner to prevent anyone from finding them. Obviously, the words of a loving mother touch him and force him to change his nihilistic outlook. Hopefully people watching this short feel it too.
Unfortunately, the only way people get these messages is when they are sandwiched between violence and other horrible things.