Revisiting Blind Mag's final song and subsequent eye stabbing, the song's meaning relates much more closely to her decision than some might think initially: Blind Mag 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.)
One would have expected Amber to feel more pain when her face fell the fuck off, but... then again, Zydrate makes one "feel nothing at all," and Amber was asking Grave-Robber for "one more hit" right before the Genetic Opera. Blind Mag might have even been 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
The deleted scene, "Needle Through a Bug" shows that Amber cleaned Graverobber out of his Zydrate. Maybe some of that was for Mag?
Think about the Rotti children; each one 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 extension of the faces Rotti put on for the public. As for Shilo, she clearly got her scientific intellect from her father.
To go further into Shilo, she might have also inherited her mother's intuition. Her intuition is 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 the only 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.
"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.
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?
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, Disposable Sex Worker might be 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.
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!
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 synthesized 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.
Possibly 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.
So Rotti's plan is to give a company that the whole world practically relies on to a sheltered 17 year old girl who doesn't know ANYTHING about how the world works, much less how to run a company. That makes TOTAL sense.
The whole thing is a giant "fuck you" to his kids, Nathan and the world in general, not a reasonable business decision.
Why don't people fight back and kill the Repo Men more often? Civil wars have been started over far less.
I have a feeling this is for a few reasons:
1) because most people actually do pay off their payments, and so have no reason to think that GeneCo's repossessions are unfair. If no one paid GeneCo there would be no profit- and while 'surgery as a fashion statement' probably raised a lot of money outside of repossessions through beauty pageants and the Opera and such, the company still relies on what they earn from what are essentially loans. The fact that GeneCo are the most powerful company in the world of Repo! just goes to show how many successful loans they've had- the Repo Men are canonically a last resort after all.
2) because the public have an 'eye for an eye' mentality when it comes to repossessions. Graverobber sings about the Repo Men so nonchalantly because everyone believes it's what people rightfully deserve for missing their payments. The poorer citizens therefore don't even bother to get surgery because they know they'll be an easy target for Repo Men (and after that, graverobbers!), and the richer citizens make sure they pay off what they need to in time. Anyone who dies at the hands of the Repo Men therefore obviously doesn't know how their society works.
3) because there possibly were some protests when GeneCo first started carrying out repossessions. Considering the Largo family's violent tendencies (and allusions to the Mafia), they were most likely more than able to deal with anyone who dared to take a stand against them. It might be that people simply don't bother to fight back because they're fully aware of how powerful and dangerous GeneCo is.