Love, Death, & Robots: All Episodes Ranked

Over the past several years, Netflix has had a lot of success with their original movies and series (Stranger Things, Black Mirror, and Bird Box, to name a few). Love, Death, & Robots (LDR) is currently being heralded as Netflix’s latest big-hit TV show. For those of you who haven’t yet heard the buzz, LDR is an animated anthology – every episode is relatively short (~15 minutes and under), has a unique animation style and plot that centers around (you guessed it) love, death, and technology. Even if you don’t love each and every episode, you'll most likely enjoy at least a handful - the plots highlight diversity, and the stylistic as well as visual choices made with this show are pretty incredible. Everyone has their own ranking of LDR's episodes. Here's mine, in reverse order:

18. "Fish Night"

Aesthetically speaking, this episode is beautiful, but it simply lacks the dynamism that seems to be present in the other episodes. This one is about a father and son whose car breaks down in the desert, and who experience a trans-dimensional rift which results in what can best be described as a crazy fish show. It's a bit of a modern take on Icarus and the Sun.

17. "Ice Age"

This is notably the only episode that features live actors. "Ice Age" is cute, considering that it's about a young couple who moves into a new apartment to find that an entire civilization is unfolding from start to finish in their freezer. That being said, it fails to pack the punch that the show has proven to be capable of.

16. "The Dump"

Three words to describe "The Dump": garbage, monster, storytelling. I don’t feel that there is anything really special here, although the episode is sort of fun and goofy. Unfortunatley, no robots are involved, which is disappointing.

15. "Alternate Histories" 

Cool concept here. The premise is about an app that can show you how history would have changed depending on differing events, and the example that they use is how would history have changed if Hitler died. Six very amusing (but also highly far-fetched) scenarios are shown, and it is… interesting, to say the least. Here’s a teaser: death by jello.

14. "Three Robots"

Personally, this is where the ranking starts to get a bit trickier, because even though ranks 7-14 don’t seem like good places, I actually did enjoy all the episodes from this point on. In this episode, three robots take a tour of a post-apocalyptic human landscape and offer some commentary of what they come across. The twists are strange, the mood is surprisingly lighthearted, and the humour is fairly solid.

13. "Lucky 13" 

HAH! I didn’t even plan to rank this episode 13th; it just happened magically. "Lucky 13" is like a "TL;DR" fighter pilot action movie, but it's refreshingly straightforward and positive, which is unlike most of this show's episodes. I think this episode is a pretty safe bet, because it's easily likable, and the main lead is a great choice.

12. "When the Yogurt Took Over" 

This particular short is animated just like a high-quality Pixar movie, and the premise is both bizarre and adorable: sentient yogurt takes control of the world. Need I say more?

11. "Helping Hand"

While I've never seen Gravity, I hear this is very similar. In this episode, a woman in outer space finds herself in a very precarious situation and must rely on her wits to save herself. If you like space stories, this episode will be memorable.

10. "Sucker of Souls" 

This episode is like a gory re-imagining of an intersection of Dracula and Indiana Jones. It has cool animation, dark comedy, and an ending that absolutely stands out. No robots here either, I’m afraid, but there are cats. And detonators. And "vampire" depictions that make every other depiction look like child’s play.

9. "Shape Shifters"

This particular episode feels very reminiscent of something that I would see advertised for the PS4. It doesn't have robots, but it does have humans stationed in Afghanistan as servicemen who can shape shift into werewolves, prejudice toward these wolf-humanoid creatures, and gore - a winning combination.

8. "The Secret War" 

This episode's animation looks like real life, so much so that I was definitely experiencing the uncanny valley. This episode is about a historical, secret war that took place between Soviet soldiers and demonic creatures. The action and violence give this one a very similar vibe to "Shape Shifters," but the stakes are certainly higher.

7. "Blindspot" 

"Blindspot" is a good representation of the show as a whole; it’s incredibly fun and fast-paced, the entire cast is robots, and there most certainly is violence. What's more is that the colourful animation is visually pleasing, and the heist plot is a good time. It’s not quite as deep as some of the others, but it won't take away from your enjoyment. 

6. "The Witness" 

There are some themes in this episode that people have recently pointed out as being somewhat problematic, so I do want to acknowledge that. However, based purely on enjoyment and shock-factor, "The Witness" was one of the most memorable episodes for me. The plot is about a woman who witnesses a murder and runs for her life, only to realize something incredibly shocking at the end.

5. "Beyond the Aquila Drift" 

Sci-fi + horror + love story + the Matrix? This episode has been one of the most talked-about since the release of the series, and it’s easy to see why. The entire short is well-constructed, and animated so realistically that it doesn’t even look drawn. Even if you don’t plan to invest your time into the whole show, I would highly recommend giving episodes ranked 1-5 a chance.

4. "Suits" 

In this episode, a team of farmers uses robot mech-suits to protect their livestock and their people from a destructive alien species. You’ve got love, you’ve got robots, and you’ve got death, yet the tone is fun and light. The ending is also one that makes you think. Watch it!

3. "Sonnie's Edge" 

This is probably the most quintessential LDR episode. It does an incredibly effective job at setting up the intrigue and mood for the rest of the series, because "Sonnie’s Edge" could be an entire movie premise all on its own. This episode is based around a world where humans watch gladiator-style battles between beasties controlled by people, and is dark, swarthy, violent, and full of twists.

2. "Zima Blue" 

This one is truly an incredibly special, thought-provoking episode that feels almost like an artistic short film. While this episode is one of the least violent and dark in the series (zero death here), it's undeniably beautiful and stylized. Its plot involves the story of a reclusive artist finally agreeing to participate in an interview with a journalist.

1. "Good Hunting" 

Adapted from a story written by Ken Liu, a three-time Hugo Award-winning author, "Good Hunting" is my personal favourite of the bunch and an episode that I’ve re-watched a few times. It meshes the steampunk genre with traditional Asian folklore, as the story is set in colonial Hong Kong. The friendship between the two main characters is both charming and heartwarming, and the theme of female vengeance is strong. This episode is a gem.