For anyone confused about the ending to the third episode of volume 3 of Love, Death and Robots then allow us to help! We’ll also be covering the remaining episodes of volume 3 of Love, Death, and Robots, but here is the ending explained to The Very Pulse of the Machine.
When an exploratory expedition on the surface of the moon Io ends in disaster, an astronaut must trek to safety dragging the body of her co-pilot while using potentially mind-warping drugs to deal with the pain of her own injuries
With her oxygen levels critical, Martha Kivelson has no hope of making it back to base on Io. With less than two minutes to go before running out of oxygen, Martha has extremely little time to decide what to do next. Her friend and fellow astronaut Barton lives on through Io, after the information from her mind was taken. Rather than dying, Martha leaps into the lake of thermal liquid and allows Io to assimilate her mind into the machine. As an eruption of brilliant gold light erupts around the moon, a satellite in orbit of the moon arrives, allowing the Io version of Martha to begin communicating with those on Earth.
Was Martha hallucinating?
Whether or not Martha was hallucinating may be subjective to viewers, however, there are signs that everything Martha experienced with Io was a figment of her imagination as a coping mechanism while dying. Her oxygen tank was damaged in the wreckage, and while she was able to connect her tube to Barton’s there’s no guarantee that the lack of oxygen may have caused hallucination.
While dragging the corpse of Barton across Io, Martha fell over and fractured a bone in her arm. To deal with the pain, and the potential of dying, Martha took some Morphine Sulfate, which she was warned could cause loss of motor function, hallucinations, and euphoria.
In the end, Martha jumping into the thermal lake, believing her consciousness would live on like Barton through Io could be a symptom of Euphoria, allowing her to die without pain.
Did Io trick Martha into suicide?
If Io was in fact real and not a hallucination, then there is a chance that Io tricked Martha into joining the machine. Martha was using Barton’s equipment to keep her oxygen levels up, but during the night when Barton’s corpse, risen by Io, carries Martha away, instead of taking her safety, she leaves her by the side of the cliff of the thermal lake. Upon awakening, Martha has rapidly depleting oxygen and has no chance of making it to safety, which leads to the possibility that Io gave Martha almost no choice but to trick her into joining Io’s ever-expanding conscious.
What are your thoughts on The Very Pulse of the Machine? Let us know in the comments below!