I've watched the episode ending several times and have not been able to figure out how this scene could maintain continuity.

In the scene Rei answers "I told her it was because they gave me life," when Kovacs asks her why she

killed Quell.

However, moments later Kovacs says, "The only reason you wouldn't remember what happened is that..

you were backed up before the shuttle crashed."

If that was the timing of the backup, how could Rei have answered Kovacs as she did? She could not have known that answer.

  • 1
    Presumably she is just lying?
    – Jack
    Feb 8, 2019 at 1:36
  • 1
    It's been a while since I watched this show, so I don't want to post an answer until I can sit down and re-watch, but I believe the reply "because they gave me life" was a response Rei gave to Quell, regarding why she had betrayed them to CTAC. The question Kovacs literally asked her may have been "why did you kill Quell?," but Rei was actually recounting her conversation with Quell regarding "why did I betray you all to CTAC?" (which she does remember because she did that long before the backup.)
    – Steve-O
    Feb 8, 2019 at 14:55
  • Your question is based upon how could she remember the conversation if she was backed up prior to it happening. Her answer would not have changed in the short time after she was backed up so her answer would still be truthful to the character and story. But as you point out she says "I told her..." which would say she remembered the actual conversation... I think I agree with @Steve-O here, but just the same I would have to rewatch as well. It is possible she knew she was planning to reveal her treachery prior to her backup and simply assuming she followed through with her initial plans...
    – Odin1806
    Feb 8, 2019 at 16:57
  • Thanks for the feedback Steve-O, Odin1806. Yes. Please let me know after you get a chance to re-watch. The language Rei used was pretty specific "I told her...". But as you said, there may be another interpretation I am missing. Looking forward to hearing what you find. Thanks.
    – beichst
    Feb 9, 2019 at 0:44

2 Answers 2


So, yes, the scene basically plays out as follows:

In the flashback, Quell asks why she (Rei) did this, and Rei responds with "they gave me life", and a few seconds later they're destroyed. Then Kovacs pieces things together (after finding the conveniently easy to access plot-sleeves) and deduces her prior claim to not remembering those final moments but also her stack miraculously surviving the explosion are inconsistent. She had to have been backed up. He then asks her why she did it, and Rei tells him Quell asked her the same thing, and that her answer then was "because they gave me life". Rei then gives the "real" reason, saying she really did it all for him.

Nevertheless, you're right there appears to be a continuity error, as there's very little time between Rei responding to Quell and the explosion for a backup to occur in. I didn't see the telltale eye movements in those moments on a rewatch. Nevertheless she correctly asserts that Quell asked her the same question, and what her answer was.

Getting the answer right is easy. This wouldn't have been a spur of the moment decision, as the Protectorate needed time to enact their attack plan. Rei would have thought this out ahead of time. So it should be easy for her to know what her answer to that question would have been, as she would have played it out and analyzed it many times in her head before then.

Getting the question right is a little tougher. I'll give two possibilities, one of which is based on a subsequent episode and I'll put in spoiler tags.

First possibility: she spent enough time with Quell to understand her well enough to accurately predict her response to the situation. And, honestly, it's not that hard to figure that the first thing someone you've betrayed will ask you, if they have a chance, is "why?". She also knows Kovacs well, and knows that Quell and Kovacs were similar and had a bond and were likely to think similarly. In short, the answer may be Jack's comment: she was lying/improvising to suit her own ends.

Second possibility: in a subsequent episode she claims that just before the explosion she backed up Quell's stack, and only she knows where to find it. If we assume this is true, then Rei could have easily found out what happened via that stack. By interrogating her in a sleeve, say. Or we might believe she really did back up herself, too, between answering Quell and the explosion if we take her "just before the explosion" line quite seriously. Kovacs still entertains the possibility Rei was telling the truth at the end of the story, or at least that Quell's stack really might have survived somehow.

In the second season:

We learn that Rei really did back up Quell's stack, and her own, just before the explosion. And had enough DNA from both of them for clones. She also says that she had intended for Tak to be there with her instead of Quell, so that she could back him up and clone him instead. So the last second backups of two people was pre-arranged. She just got lucky that Tak managed to survive on his own.


I believe when Rei said "I could never lie to you", my take is that it is not about the capacity that she could not lie. She may very well lied. But what she is saying "I could never lie to you" is that her brother can see through her lies and now know the truth. So she is admitting that she is the one betraying the envoys.

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