Love, Death+Robots premiered its third season on Friday, 20th of May, 2022. With an exquisite nine-episode lineup from talented filmmakers, including David Fincher and Alberto Mieglo, this Black Mirror-like series has always been exciting and exhilarating albeit ominous.
Created by Tim Miller, the seasons have had an abundance of blood, violence, gore and sexual undertones with an outlandish dystopian premise. With top-class animation and hyperrealistic imagery, the episodes have recorded robot invasions, alien apocalypses and other insane and sinister cataclysmic events while bearing a foreboding about the future of humanity. Rife with socio-political commentary, the episodes cover various themes, including capitalism, feminism, poverty, revenge, friendship, love and humanity.
The third season is perhaps the best so far. Being an anthology series, each episode focuses on new stories that are eerie, grotesque and harrowing in their own ways. However, audience members are visibly terrorised and confused by the ninth and final episode, titled ‘Jibaro’. A brilliant retelling of a mythical siren and her deadly song, the episode is a brilliant commentary on fantasy, greed and lust.
In the episode, a group of soldiers are seen marching towards a lake. They are then lured in by the shrieking song of a siren; slain, they lie at the bottom of the lake. However, the siren’s song has no effect on a deaf knight, the titular Jibaro.
With his comrades’ untimely deaths, Jibaro is free to choose the riches and leave. However, he is infatuated with the siren and the latter, amazed by how unaffected Jibaro is, feels drawn to him.
Together, the duo engage in a graphic foreplay sequence where the scaled tongue of the siren hurts Jibaro and batters his mouth. While the siren is visibly attracted to Jibaro, the knight lusts for her dazzling, ornate scales. He knocks her out and plunders her body by removing the scales and jewels, pushing her into the river.
Although Jibaro tries to leave, he gets lost in the forest and returns to the cursed river which is tainted with the siren’s blood. Thirsty, the knight takes a sip which cures his deafness and the newly-found auditory ability sends him into a state of frenzied mania.
Meanwhile, the siren – now left bare and broken – seeks her revenge by luring Jibaro in with her song, drowning him in the lake and adding him to the list of men who fell to her.
The story is a brilliant allegory for the Spanish invasion of the Americas. The way the Spanish conquistadors plundered and ravaged the Americas of gold and other treasures, Jibaro, too, succumbs to his greed and violates the unsuspecting siren due to his lust for success and wealth.
Academy Award-winning filmmaker, Mieglo’s short is harrowing and uncomfortable as the lead duo lose everything and unleash the worst in themselves. While we feel more empathy for the siren, according to the director, the episode is about an “extremely toxic” yet sensual relationship “between predators” who are attracted “to each other for the wrong reasons.”