Interrogator episode 4

Warhammer Review

settings scifi warhammer

I'm watching the Interrogator animated series on Warhammer+, and this is my review. There are spoilers in this post, so don't read on if you haven't seen the show and have a good memory.

"I'll owe you a favour." Seems like an easy statement to make, and in certain company it's casually said as an afterthought, never to be revisited. In the world of The Interrogator, though, it's currency. And in this episode, Jurgen gets into debt for three.

To be honest, knowing that Jurgen owes three favours to two people causes me a suitable amount of dramatic anxiety. Because Jurgen is the protagonist, I suddenly feel a strange urgency for Jurgen to pay off these debts, and I think I'll be devastated should the show end without him resolving this. That's a little strange, because I didn't care 15 minutes ago, and then I watched the episode, and now I'm plagued by an outstanding debt as if it were my own.

That's the most effective thing in this episode, I think.

The real hard-hitter was meant to be the source of Jurgen's magical Psyker-suppressant drugs. I don't think anyone watching would assume that the drugs were responsibly sourced. They're clearly narcotics, they're obviously illegal, so you have to assume that people are suffering for it. That's basically how drugs work.

In this episode, it's revealed that the drugs Jurgen's been relying on is made guessed it. People. Psykers, specifically.

People trope

Maybe I'm jaded but it's been several decades since Soylent Green, and I feel like "the Psyker drug is made of Psykers!" plot point just doesn't hit as hard as it should. It's unquestionably horrible, but Warhammer is a universe in which Psykers have been shipped off in Black Ships to feed the Emperor. To find out that they're being vaporized and used as psychic suppressants just doesn't shake me, and I don't think it would really shake characters in that world.

But wait.

It doesn't shake Jurgen, at least not enough for him not to take the pills. Deep down, he admits, he knew the drugs cost lives. And he was OK with it. Getting confirmation changes nothing.

Baldur, however, is angered and disgusted by it. Interestingly, that works on an emotional level. Prior to his disgust, I was musing that surely the only creature in Warhammer 40K that would find this reprehensible is an Astartes, who basically have it in their genes to protect mankind. So when Baldur is actually horrified by the cost of Jurgen's drugs, it elevated him to almost an Astartes-level. It was a fascinating shift in ethical reference points. And that's what I love about speculative fiction, and it's something that Warhammer does so effectively.

Good scifi

This episode is great scifi. Things you and I care about aren't the same as things people in the 41st millennium care about, and sometimes even when something falls flat for the audience, it's the way it affects the characters that becomes the emotional hook. I don't care about the Psykers dying for drugs. The Imperium is built on the same thing. But boy, am I surprised by the one character who does.

Warhammer violence.

Good Warhammer

This episode is great Warhammer 40K. I feel like this episode defines the current state of things nicely. If you didn't know what effects the Great Rift had on the setting, then you get a glimpse of that in this episode. What happens when the Black Ships can't get to your system to take away the "excess" Psykers? Now you know at least one way the "problem" is being solved. And as with everything else in Warhammer, it's horrible.

All images in this post copyright Games Workshop.

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