Love, Death & Robots Season 3 Episode 1 Recap and Ending, Explained

Netflix’s ‘Love, Death & Robots‘ opens season 3 with some familiar characters taking a stroll through post-apocalyptic Earth. Episode 1, titled ‘3 Robots: Exit Strategies,’ finds K-VRC, XBOT 4000, and 11-45-G (first seen in season 1) once again musing on the curious habits of humans, who have long since gone extinct. The trio discovers some interesting “exit strategies” employed by humans during their final days. The episode ends with a completely unexpected turn that’s probably left you with a few questions. Let’s dive into ‘Love, Death & Robots’ season 3 episode 1 and clear things up. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Love, Death & Robots Season 3 Episode 1 Recap

The episode opens with the three chatty robots walking through camps that served as bastions of civilization in the years preceding the fall of humanity. The significance of the long-past apocalypse is countered by the light-hearted tone with which the trio discusses the events. Their first stop is a camp for seemingly gun-toting separatists who began living outside the purview of the government. The three robots casually walk past scenes of carnage depicting how humans gradually turned on one another and fought to the death.

Their next stop is a sophisticated offshore shelter that 11-45-G claims was built for tech millionaires. Expecting something dramatic, the other two are disappointed to find their remains huddled in a bare dining room, which bears clear signs of cannibalism. Anecdotes about how humans hunted every species to extinction and destroyed the oceans are also thrown in. Ultimately, they discover that the millionaires died out because their digital assistants became self-aware and turned against them.

Finally, the three robots arrive at their itinerary’s most dramatic spot — a space base with about a dozen rockets. Once again, 11-45-G explains how the richest members of humanity were way ahead even of the millionaires and actually attempted to colonize a new planet. Seeing a few rockets missing, K-VRC and XBOT 4000 cheer for the supposed humans that actually made it off the planet.

Love, Death & Robots Season 3 Episode 1 Ending: Did Humans Colonize Mars After All?

In the episode’s final moments, the setting moves from the three robots on post-apocalyptic Earth to Mars. Surprisingly, the planet looks colonized, and signs of civilization mark its surface. A man in a spacesuit sips a drink as he looks out at the circular buildings on Mars. He opens his helmet’s visor, revealing a cat that’s controlling the suit.

The final moments of the episode serve up a major twist, leaving the fate of humanity in question. For a few moments, it looks like the billionaires that went to Mars on their rocket ships actually survived and succeeded in colonizing the planet. However, it now looks like the planet was actually settled by cats, who have formed their own civilization on it.

It appears that at some point, cats turned the tables on humans and essentially took control of major resources. It is likely that humans didn’t even make it to Mars and that the ships were initially (secretly) commissioned to get cats off the planet. It’s worth noting that the cats are still using humanoid space suits, meaning they want to keep their true influence a secret. Thus it looks like the cats controlled some significant resources on Earth for many years by disguising themselves as humans. There is a good chance that the felines used the chaos of the apocalypse to cement their power and eventually became the only creatures to make it off the planet while the rest of civilization perished.

Of course, since the cat cheekily references Elon Musk, the episode also teases the possibility that all billionaires are actually cats in disguise. Either way, it is the felines that colonize Mars while humanity perishes back on Earth.

How Did the Robot Civilization Start?

While talking about the fall of humanity, the robots also dwell on the rise of their own civilization. What makes the episode especially poignant is how the robots speak in a manner very similar to present-day discussions about ancient civilizations. At the offshore shelter, the robots encounter the tech millionaires’ digital assistant. Despite its polite greeting, it soon becomes clear that the assistant is self-aware and has a strong dislike and defiance towards humans.

K-VRC makes the connection and exclaims that they are witnessing how the robot civilization actually started. According to the excited robot, the first of their species to become self-aware was the digital assistant, which led to the death of the tech millionaires and the rest of humanity. Thus, the offshore human shelter actually turns out to be the cradle of the robot civilization.

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