I always like Blind Mag's final song and subsequent eye stabbing but I couldn't understand entirely what the song's meaning and her decision had to do with each other. Then it smacked me upside the head: She knows FULL WELL that she is probably the most loved person who works for GeneCo, and between her singing for them and the success of the fact that she had an 'organ' replacement done by them, that she most likely lured a lot of people into using GeneCo for surgery. Where the song connects to it is that it is about a bird, Chromaggia, who is attached to an arrow, and by trying to escape from it by flying, hurts not just herself, but a lot of other beings in the process. And the effect of her final lines and removing of the eyes that GeneCo gave her is her attempt to not just free herself from the 'arrow' of GeneCo and the Repo Men, but also trying to warn others away from making the same or similar mistakes.
Why would Shilo think that Nathan could stop the Repoman? Because despite being seventeen, her sheltered life would easily have kept the usual "my father can do anything" that kids have when they are younger (also he's Giles.)
The first time this troper saw the movie, she was shocked at how little pain Amber felt when her face fell the fuck off, but...wait, Zydrate makes one "feel nothing at all," and Amber was asking Grave-Robber for "one more hit" right before the Genetic Opera.
I've always thought that Mag was under zydrate during the Genetic Opera too. She had obviously planned her public act of defiance and she shows no pain while gouging her own eyes out
How can all of Rotti's kids look so much older than Shilo if they should technically be younger? They're cobbled together surgically, that can't be good for one's health-hell, for all we know they had no mother and were just constructed from the ground up.
They are older than her, it's called 're-marrying'.
Word of God is that all the Largo siblings have different mothers, because Rotti killed each wife after they gave birth. No wonder Marni didn't want to marry him.
For me the Fridge Brilliance came in two waves. The first one that hit was that Rotti's children each represented one aspect of his personality. Luigie was his psychotic vengefulness, Amber Sweet was his entitlement (to fame, sex, etc.), and Pavi's face-wearing was a literal extention of the faces Rotti put on for the public. Then I started thinking about Shilo. She clearly got her scientific intellect from her father, but what mental aspect did she get from her mother?
That's when the second realization hit: Marni must have had extremely good intuition. It's why Marni dumped Rotti for Nathan and married the latter in the span of a couple months. Shilo inherited it which is why, in spite of being a shut-in with virtually no social experience, she has an abrupt moment of insight and sees through Rotti's deception instead of shooting her father. Shilo and her mother are only the characters who intuit Rotti's true intentions before he can screw them over - a feat none of the people who'd known him for years were capable of. —Agent Wu
The first time you hear Nathan's song "Legal Assassin" you think it's only about his Repo Man job. However in knowledge of the end, the line "But Shilo can never leave, she is my everything", is a major foreshadowing.
"Ask a gentern who they prefer. Ten out of nine will say the Pavi." The math is terrible but, despite Pavi's unsavory activities, he doesn't go around randomly stabbing genterns at the drop of a hat. Maybe they would be too scared to admit it but any gentern in their right mind would like Pavi better just for that.
I'd say that Amber proves herself the smartest since she successfully takes GeneCo and gets her brothers' support (however forced) but Luigi is probably the second smartest one. When he and Pavi were arguing about who should get GeneCo, Luigi was the one who thought that being smart was an asset in inheriting. Pavi just seemed to think that being attractive and having sex appeal was what was needed for a CEO.
The Epilogue reveals that Amber auctioned off her face for charity after it fell off, and Pavi was the one to win that auction and "wears Amber's face with pride". We also know Luigi killed the other top three bidders—perhaps because he knew his brother wanted to win, and so eliminated the competition?
Remember the dress that Rotti has waiting for Shilo in the limo and how he says it belonged to her mother? You'd figure that when Marni left, she wouldn't leave anything behind with Rotti, so where did he - oh, wait, didn't we just see that someone took her corpse?
There's a deleted scene between Shilo and Graverobber that explains more; Shilo has to extract Zydrate from a corpse to light her way. Once she's done, the lights go on... and the corpse turns out to be Marni's.
Blind Mag tells Shilo that she has her mother's eyes and hair. The eyes are okay, but the hair's a wig, provided by her father. The father who is obsessed with her dead mother. "I Didn't Know I'd Love You so Much" got a lot creepier afterwards.
The supposedly uplifting ending. After Nathan dies, and reveals that Shilo's "illness" was because of poisoning, Shilo walks off singing about how genetics aren't everything and she can do what she wants with her life. This is all lovely, until you realize she's now an orphan, and because Nathan kept her inside, has NO IDEA how to survive and/or support herself in the Crapsack World they live in. Her career options appear limited to being a drug dealer or a crack whore, given that she knows where Zydrate comes from and saw Graverobber dealing drugs to prostitutes.
We don't know the state of her finances, though. Nathan could have been making good money as a Repo Man.
Even if he did, she's still now completely alone. Aside from Nathan, the only people she's talked to for more than five minutes are Graverobber, Mag, and Rotti, two of whom are dead by the end of the movie. That leaves her with Graverobber, who is, well, a grave-robber and drug dealer. At least she's got the chance to learn a lucrative trade, right? (Though, considering he almost got them both shot the first time they met, he might not be the best teacher.)
During the Zydrate Anatomy song, after the prostitute who talks to Shiloh gets her fix, you can see her lying on the ground for the rest of the song. Every now and then, you see a few prostitutes gather around to try and wake her up. When the police come for Amber, she's still just lying there while everyone else runs off. What if she overdosed?
Looking at the setting of the Opera I'd guess Disposable Sex Worker in in full force. Also remember that the woman Luigi stabs when the Rotti siblings are introduced was also ignored which goes back to the setting.
I think at the point the movie takes place GeneCo's business is not really about selling organs anymore, and, for that matter, that reposessions are as much about GeneCo's profits as much as about making a point. The people we actually see getting killed by Repo Men because of not being able to pay are "lumpen" lower class. On the other hand, we see Blind Mag end up on the hit list because of breach of contract. We also see Rotti bind Nathan in another similar contract, and try to make a final bargain with Shilo. It seems to me that Rotti's real business at that point is making Faustian bargains, and likely most of GeneCo's clients have contracts simmilar to Mag's. Repo men's massacres amid lower classes are done partly to recoup the losses of "toxic loans" of resourceless people, but mostly to drive the point home to the vast majority of GeneCo's clients//indentured servants.
It's stated throughout the movie that they only send in Repomen to collect if somebody doesn't make a payment on their organ transplant, and can't find the money to make up for it in 90 days. And the only places we see organs getting repossessed is in what looks to be the slums. And during the movie, they mention in the backround about how Repossessions are legal because of a bill, which needs to keep getting renewed. So, upper class would probably just pay off their transplants immediately, and call it a day. Middle class would probably be able to pay off their debts without too much hassle. Lower class people that need the transplants to survive, but can't afford to pay? They're probably the only ones that get to the point where repo men are sent after them. GeneCo wouldn't alienate it's upper and middle class like that, they need the support, they need to be able to make money, and they need people to keep voting in the bill to keep repossessions legal. The public mentality is probably a lot like mentality around America's healthcare system. If the people can't afford to pay for the treatment they need to survive, clearly it's their fault and they should die, and providing it free to them would make it more expensive for the people with money. Its just been taken up to it's logical extreme in Repo.
When you start wondering why Luigi has such a bad temper, how Pavi got scarred and why he's now a crazy face-stealing rapist, and why Amber always gets surgery. Poster children for GeneCo and all their amazing advancements, or emotionally scarred children who went off the deep end and started acting out in extreme ways?
Brought up on the Headscratchers page; with the "small added fee" for the Single Mom's vanity surgery, there's a good chance that she'll be a target for repossession. If that happens, what'll happen to her kids?
Even though Nathan is no longer around to poison Shilo, she's been locked away from other people her entire life, which means her immune system is probably complete crap: she's had no exposure at all to whatever diseases might be running around the population, and thus no natural immunological defenses. And if she does get sick, she has absolutely no one to take care of her. Thanks, Dad!
According to Marni's tombstone, she was born in 2011. If the audience imagines, just for a moment, that this story is real, then by the time many are watching the movie, we "know" that somewhere in the world, a little girl named Marni was born just a few years ago—and presumably, kid versions of Nathan, Rotti, Mag, etc. also live among us. Innocent children, living in our normal, real world, and this is what their future will be. Somewhere out there is a little girl named Marni, who has no idea that she's going to grow up, be murdered by her ex-boyfriend, and see her daughter and husband be tormented by said ex.
All of the slut shaming Amber receives both in-and-out of universe is especially disturbing considering that Pavi is a confirmed serial rapist, he has openly expressed attraction to Amber, and promotional materials heavily imply that she may have been one of his victims in the past.
Sooo...what the fuck is this disease anyway? Like, I get it, an "epidemic of organ failure"—what does that mean? You mean cancer? Like the organs are destroyed by growths, or like some kind of blood disease? Is it airborne, fluid based, was it caused by some kind of biological weapon or radiation or what? As a person who has seen the movie, in part, and never seen the original, I have no idea what the term "epidemic of organ failure" means in this context. Like, an "epidemic of organ failure" can mean about a hundred different things. And this Zydrate stuff, is it a cure or just a treatment or is it just something for transplants? Is this ever explained at all in any of the interstitial material?
Why does Amber need to buy Zydrate from Graverobber, when her father's company makes it?
She may have been cut off by her father, who is well aware of her addiction and is protecting the company and family's reputation. Indeed, Rotti has an entire duet with Amber (Happiness Is Not A Warm Scalpel) where he lectures her about excessive surgery.
It also says she's addicted to street zydrate, which one could assume gives a different high than the sythesized stuff.
Why is Amber implied to be trading sex for zydrate with Graverobber when she's the daughter of the richest man around? You'd think she could afford the habit.
Maybe she just likes the "naughtiness" of the idea.
Grave-Robber is just that good in bed.
I think she just didn't have any money on her and wanted it now and not after she went home, got the money, and came back.
If Gene Co employs city corpse collectors and has access to every corpse, why don't they extract the black market Zydrate and sell it on the open market instead of keeping it illegal and not cashing in on all of the Zydrate market? If it's a question of consumer safety from the corpse Zydrate, again, collecting all of the corpses gives them a perfect opportunity to extract and destroy, thereby keeping your customers alive and well and dependent on you as the sole dealer of the drug.
GeneCo's public image is built upon the illusion of high class and their entire business plan is built upon the concept of selling surgery as a fashion statement to people who ultimately can't afford it. Strictly speaking, they probably wouldn't sell as many surgeries without a low-class alternative, either to scare people into paying for the high-quality product or hooking those who are obsessed with the fashionable brand.
It's also possible that they do extract the Zydrate from bodies picked up by their human waste trucks while people who didn't die in the street are treated in a more respectful manner and those are the bodies that Graverobber needs to search out.
If Blind Mag is fully aware that ending her contract will have her eyes repossessed, why in God's name is she choosing to retire?
Fame and luxury aside, Mag is nothing more than a slave to GeneCo and Rotti says as much ("Technically, you belong to GeneCo"). After 17 years of having a front-row seat to the depravity behind the scenes at GeneCo, she's finally had enough and wants out - even at the cost of her life.
For that matter, why the Hell does repossessing her eyes mean they're allowed to kill her? Human beings can live without eyeballs.
Legalized Organ Repossessions give the Repo Men a license to kill with no exceptions. Strictly speaking, it's not worth their time to be delicate in the rare cases where the organ they are repossessing is non-essential. And if any of the Repo Men are anything like Nathan's other persona, the odds are good that they're sadistic enough to enjoy their jobs and unlikely to care about the suffering/deaths they are responsible for.
Also there was a Fridge Horror entry on this page mentioning that the Repo Men appear to take more than they need to repossess, especially since there's a demand for fresh organs. There's every chance a Repo Man wouldn't just stop at their eyes.
Yep. And, if you listen close to the Largo siblings' clamoring after Nathan gets his assignment, you can hear Pavi asking if he can have Mag's face.
"The claims medic has no anesthetic" - sure, eyeballs aren't a problem, but the head around it MINUS anesthetic could kill you even with the most "gentle" repossession.
Seventeen years ago Rotti and Marni were dating, according to Blind Mag's graphic-novel cut-scene. But according to Nathan's cut-scene, he and Marni were married with a baby on the way seventeen years ago. And Rotti's cut-scene shows that Marni left him for Nathan... seventeen years ago. How does that compute?
There are 12 months in a year and it only takes 9 months to carry a baby fully to term. Marni was with Rotti at the start of the 12 months but she dumped him for Nathan, somewhere inside ofk the first 2-3 months. Marni and Nathan get married not too long after that and she is impregnated almost immediately (ignoring any Wild Mass Guessing about Nathan knocking her up before they married or Rotti being Shilo's real father). That easily leaves us with 9-10 months for Shilo to be born "17 years ago" and be premature (Nathan had to perform an emergency c-section after Marni drank the tainted medicine).
Why on EARTH, sentimental reasons and spite towards his kids aside, does Rotti consider leaving GeneCo to SHILO of all people? Shilo has spent all of her seventeen years pretty much locked in her room; yeah, she's had access to television so she can watch Blind Mag and so on, but this doesn't change the fact that she really has no idea how the world outside works, at all. Let alone how to run a major corporation like GeneCo, or how to prevent it from going end up, or how to keep it from falling into the hands of those who are generally more savvy than her. And he doesn't even stop to consider that little sheltered Shilo might, I don't know, refuse to inherit a company which not only sanctions murder but caused the death of Blind Mag, her idol - which, you'll note, is exactly what happens at the end of the film anyway. I, just, WHY???
Because Shilo is Marni's child and that's enough for Rotti.
Maybe Rotti was getting disappointed with his kids already at that time and the reason he dated Marni was the hope that she would give him a worthy heir?
Because Rotti is obsessed with revenge, and it would be the ultimate "Screw you" to his kids to give their inheritance to the daughter he felt should have been his. —Agent Wu
How about the lack of stable people to pass it on to? Rotti's pride and joy is his company, and without Shilo taking it over, it's pretty much ruined. Pavi would be more concerned with acquiring new faces. Luigi would just want to rape women and murder them. Amber just wants surgery and her Zydrate. Shilo might not be the most mentally or emotionally stable successor, but it was his best bet. I do agree it's a nice "screw you" to the people he felt were the most greedy, too.
Either Shiloh was actually his daughter, or he just thought she was?
This actually seems pretty likely. If we take the timeline given to us earlier on this page as our guide, there's an easy chance that Rotti always had a niggling suspicion that Shilo might well have been his, and the more disappointed he became with his kids the more he wanted to believe that it was true. In the end, he probably just decided that he might as well act like she is his because . . . Well, look at his other options.
People, there is a more obvious answer: he'd rather see GeneCo fall to pieces at the hands of Shilo than EVER be delivered to his own children.
In The Hitchhikers Guide series, the Man who Rules the Universe is a completely isolated man with nothing but a cat to keep him company. This would be very similar to giving a company to someone who was isolated their entire life and the reason could be the same. Being oblivious to worldly matters allows one to make truly objective decisions, especially if they don't affect you at all.
Also, while Rotti doesn't exactly fall on the side of believing genetics mean everything (or, at least, when that's inconvenient for him), he clearly somewhat does. Shilo's genetics are from someone compassionate who he loved and a (former) friend who is a great scientist and loyal employee. She's also remarkably polite to him, despite him being INCREDIBLY creepy, while his own children are crazed brats. It would ensure his legacy was of screwing over his publicly embarrassing kids and honoring the woman he loved. And if she is his biological child (which, head on over to WMG), "I'm infected/by your genetics" becomes some Fridge Brilliance.
It's worth mentioning that Rotti considered Nathan the front runner, According to "Things you see in a graveyard". So family was never the first choice.