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When Luv confronts Lt. Joshi she says:

"...because he told you, because we never lie. I'm going to tell Mr Wallace you tried to shoot me first..."

Can we assume that Luv thinks she can lie to Wallace, and get away with it? (Or was it just effectively dialog between them, and she doesn't think Wallace would care what she did - i.e. there'll be no need to explain to him?)

If she intends to lie to Wallace, is it more likely to be because:

  1. She thinks she can, based on conscious design/programming by Wallace; i.e. Wallace is aware some replicants/Luv have the ability to lie?
  2. She thinks she can because she has discovered or guessed that Wallace is unaware she can lie?
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    We don't see enough of Wallace in my opinion to know for sure. Either of the options you have presented could be the case. We do get to see quite a bit of emotion from Luv while Wallace is inspecting the new replicant and with that camera pointed at her face the entire time it is hard to think Wallace doesn't know how uncomfortable she is in the situation. I felt that he was using one of those cameras to view her reactions as an attempt to see if she cared/harbored resentment towards Wallace for the way he treated her kind. That would indicate it was possible for her to hide things from him... – Odin1806 Jan 24 at 19:15
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To your first question, the visual language of the film suggests that Luv genuinely plans to lie to Wallace. As she delivers the line, you can see her shed a single tear. The only other time in the film you see her do so is when Wallace kills a female replicant in front of her. Luv does not seem particularly torn up by the casual violence she inflicts on others in the film, so it seems that what prompts the constrained emotional response is rebellious feelings against the man she's programmed to obey without hesitation.

To your second question, I'm leaning towards option two. Everything in the film suggests that the obedience of the NEXUS-9s is just taken for granted. The opening crawl states that "Wallace acquired the remains of Tyrell Corp and created a new line of replicants who obey." K tells Sapper that "we don't run, only you older models do." When Joshi asks K if he's saying no to her order to kill a child, he responds "I wasn't aware that was an option, Madam."

Wallace meanwhile refers to replicants as "angels" throughout the film as part of his warped God complex. "The best angel of all, aren't you, Luv?" he tells her. He really does seem to believe that the new models of replicants are perfect or close enough to it. Either he isn't aware they can be rebellious or he's deluded himself into thinking that they cannot.

  • It's also interesting that (in ref to your 2nd para) is that K lies to Joshi yet tells Sapper 'we don't run'. Maybe their ability to lie is more prevalent than anyone knows, including themselves? Would they (those that have 'discovered' the ability to lie never think 'if I can lie, so can others'? – Adrian K Feb 1 at 20:11
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Well... it might be neither.

Saying that "I'm going to lie" doesn't mean that she can lie: she is just saying that she will TRY to lie to Wallace, it is never stated that she succeeded. So it is quite possible that this scene can be read this way:

  1. Luv says to Lt. Joshi that she will tell Wallace that Joshi shot first
  2. When Wallace asks, Luv says that she shot first.

At neither stage, Luv says a lie: she BELIEVES (or rather makes Joshi believe) that she will lie, yet her programming prevents her to do so. It is like telling yourself "I'm going on a diet" and few days later visiting McDonald: you haven't lied at the moment of your first statement, you were just unable to commit to your honest-to-God promise.

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