Waking up in a new body 250 years after his death, Takeshi Kovacs discovers he's been resurrected to help a titan of industry solve his own murder.
The series begins with a nude human body, dubbed a sleeve, floating aimlessly in a body of fluid as it rises to the surface, beginning to breathe. Takeshi Kovacs, as an Asian man, and Sarah, a white woman, are showering together, washing blood from each other's bodies as they begin to have sex. While making love, Takeshi has flashes of an African American woman. Back in the bedroom, as she cleans and sorts the cortical stacks they have collected, Takeshi stands up and walks to a window showing a sunset in paradise, but the hologram changes into a view of the futuristic city below them. However, Takeshi, through some sort of sixth sense, sees CTAC praetorians getting ready to ambush them. The CTACs break-in by literally bursting through the wall and open fire on Takeshi and Sarah.
In the present, about 250 years later in Alcatraz Prison, a man instruments his female apprentice on resleeving, with the current sleeve, a strong white male's, to house Takeshi Kovacs. He says the newly sleeved can barely walk at first, so make sure to pull him. She complains that she'd going to get the protective fluid all over her. He tries to take off his umbilicus, but Takeshi wakes up violently and grips him. The woman is frightened, but the man tells her that they flop around if their last sleeve died violently.
In a flashback, the couple hide as the CTAC begin to scour. Holding two guns, Sarah looks over at Takeshi, but he shakes his head. Sarah doesn't listen, as she slides the gun to him, alerting the CTAC of their direction. Through his sixth sense, Takeshi sees through the wall and kills the first two soldiers. A shootout begins, with the pair managing to kill many CTAC soldiers. Sarah ignities a small explosive device and throws it at the soldiers, electrocuting their headsets and thus killing them.
In the present, the man orders the woman to get Takeshi into the chair, but she's too scared. The man tries to get him to stop, but Takeshi hits him and he is thrown into the wall.
CTAC soldier, and former friend Jaeger tells Takeshi he is under arrest under the charge of treason and working for terrorist leader Quellcrist Falconer. Jaeger asks Takeshi for Sarah's true identity, but Takeshi lies and says she is a local merc. Jaeger doesn't believe him and shoots his gun into the back of Sarah's body, destroying her stack, and so now she cannot be sleeved or ever come back. Takeshi tries to resist and run but is killed.
In the present, about 250 years later, Takeshi Kovacs is resleeved into the body of a strong white male in Alcatraz Prison. Many others were also resleeved with bodies that day after serving their criminal sentences. Takeshi's case is reviewed and he was wrongfully charged for destroying Sarah's stack, but Takeshi does not correct the record. Takeshi learns he was resleeved into a military grade neurachem with combat muscle memory, according to specifications of Bancroft Industries and Laurens Bancroft, who has leased him. However, the bodies of other resleeved persons were from leftover inmates and prisoners or whatever bodies were on hand, causing confusion, as one little girl was resleeved in the body of an old lady.
Upon release from the prison, Lt. Kristin Ortega approaches Takeshi informing him she is his escort. On the way out, they see a mob of protesters, the Spirit Savers and Afterlifers, protesting the resleeving process saying it is immoral, unethical, and against religion.
Lt. Ortega escorts Takeshi to the residence of Laurens Bancroft in the Aerium, crashing into the front lawn. Lt. Ortega questions who Takeshi is, and disbelieves him, saying that all the Envoys died. She is suspicious as to why a man convicted of mass murder would be resleeved into a combat ready body by the Bancrofts.
They are greeted at Suntouch House by Miriam Bancroft, who is hostile towards Lt. Ortega. Moments later, another limo ship lands containing Isaac Bancroft and BCPD Officer Samir Abboud, to whom Miriam questions why they didn't escort Takeshi. Lt. Ortega leaves but remains suspicious; Miriam escorts Takeshi into her lavish estate, showing off how rich they are, and how she is proud to have the only Songspire Tree on Earth after great cost. Miriam brings Takeshi to Laurens Bancroft, her husband.
Laurens Bancroft greets Takeshi and gives him a gift - a rare book written by Falconer herself. Takeshi is amazed at the gift, but indicates he cannot be bought and starts demanding answers why he was resleeved. Laurens then offers him a full pardon from his crimes from the President of the Protectorate as well as the reduced sentence of working for him, as well as a small fortune as reward for completing a task - solving Laurens' own murder.
Laurens discusses details of his murder, including how the only gun is kept in a biometric safe that only Laurens and his wife Miriam can open. Laurens' stack was destroyed too, and the only reason he is still there is because he has a full-spectrum DHF remote storage backup, which limits his memories to 48 hours before his murder. Also, there was an attempted hack on his satellite feed which stores his backup data. Takeshi says it seems like simple suicide or murder by Miriam.
Takeshi refuses the job, but Laurens suggests he relives life in the city for a night. Takeshi takes credits from Laurens and goes into the city. In his memory, he has a conversation with his sister, and tells her his plan to get high, get hookers, and then go back on ice. He buys drugs from a street dealer and gets high, looking at the broadcast projections for hookers, fights, and hotels.
While disillusioned, Takeshi sees broadcast from Heaven and Seven, Jerry's biocabins, The Raven Hotel, and Fightdrome. Lt. Ortega goes to Takeshi and puts a Broadcast Blocker on him, ending the projections. They have a drink and she presses him again what the Bancrofts are doing and why they want Takeshi, an Envoy and mercenary. Takeshi tells her of Laurens' offer to look into his murder, to which Lt. Ortega dismisses it immediately as no case, closed as suicide. Takeshi departs for the Raven, an A.I. hotel, and Lt. Ortega tells him no one goes to those types of hotels anymore.
At The Raven Hotel, Takeshi is greeted by the A.I. caretaker, Poe, who offers him the VIP room and a choice of hookers. A gang of armed men lead by Dimi approach Takeshi, wanting to kill him. The men reveal they know Takeshi is an Envoy and rough him up. Takeshi pays the hotel bill, triggering the full protection of the hotel caretaker and laser guided machine guns drop from the ceiling and together, they wipe out all the armed men. Takeshi interrogates Dimi to find out who hired him but before he can get an answer Poe aims his gun at Dimi's head and slags his stack.
Lt. Ortega arrives to the Raven hotel to investigate Takeshi and the bodies of the armed men. She finds the sleeve of Dimitri Kadmin, a hit man who does double sleeving. In retrieving Dimitri's stack, it was damaged and can only be used to identify Dimitri, not spin him up for interrogation. Poe tries to apologize, but Ortega tells Poe that his guns are overkill and they have enough power to bring down an airplane.
In light of this, Takeshi determines that the hired top hit man's involvement indicates Bancroft's death was not a suicide, and goes back to Bancroft to accept his job offer.
- Joel Kinnaman as Takeshi Kovacs
- James Purefoy as Laurens Bancroft
- Martha Higareda as Kristin Ortega
- Chris Conner as Poe
- Dichen Lachman as Reileen Kawahara
- Ato Essandoh as Vernon Elliot
- Kristin Lehman as Miriam Bancroft
- Trieu Tran as Mister Leung
- Renée Elise Goldsberry as Quellcrist Falconer
- Antonio Marziale as Isaac Bancroft
- Olga Fonda as Sarah
- Daniel Bernhardt as Jaeger
- Paul Lazenby as Trooper #1
- Jane Hancock as Orientation Woman
- John Emmet Tracy as Warden Sullivan
- Tahmoh Penikett as Dimitri Kadmin
- Troy Rudolph as Re-Meet Dad
- Elfina Luk as Re-Meet Mom
- Glynis Davies as Old Junkie Woman
- Howie Lai as Meditech 1
- Kwasi Thomas as Meditech 2
- Joel Montgrand as Meditech 3
- Nicole Anthony as Trainee
- Zahf Paroo as Curtis
- Shayn Walker as Security Guard
- Cory Chetyrbok as Spirit Saver Demonstrator
- Jay Cardinal Villeneuve as Spirit Saver Demonstrator 2
- Morgan Gao as Young Tak
- Riley Lai Nelet as Young Reileen
- Dario De Iaco as Gene Freak Neanderthal
- Fraser Aitcheson as Gene Freak Rhino Man
- Amitai Marmorstein as Junkie Dealer
- Simon Chin as Alcatraz Guard
- Alyson Bath as Woman Speaking Hologram
- Lisa Chandler as Mary Lou Henchy
- Leonie Bennet as Sexy Synth Girl
- Kat Pasion as "B" Side Synth
- Jason McKinnon as Handsome Guy
- Tina Grant as Overextended Mom
- Richard Ian Cox as Cheap Lawyer
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