Directed by Yuzo Sato, “Exception” is really a little bit of an exceptional series, playing off on the cliche storylines of survival and surviving. Only this time round, it’s not the actual humans who do it, but their reprinted versions. The character design, as such, is not very unique. However, the color palette they chose to follow does make it so. Releasing on October 13th, the series brings in a rather new concept and engages the audience for quite a while. The series encompasses a great deal of reality checks about the world, and the characters behave convincingly as humans. It goes to show how technology has developed in that timeline.
‘Exception’ Season 1: Plotline – What Is The Series About?
The story revolves around five crew members, Nina, Patty, Lewis, Mack, and Oscar, who have been chosen for a scheme where they are sent from Earth to find a planet like Earth that will sustain life and also get the humans away from a higher technologically advanced race that has invaded the Earth and kept the humans captive. By borrowing their technology, the crew members are reprinted on the other side of space, where they have found a planet named Planet X-10, which has a similar juxtaposition to Earth. The crew members started experimenting to find out if the planet could sustain Earth’s life. While waiting for the other crew members to complete reprinting, Nina and Mack start the experiments, along with Patty, who was the first to be reprinted. However, when it was Lewis’s turn, there was a solar flare which resulted in Lewis being misprinted. Oscar joined the crew before Lewis, and thus he was saved from the technical malfunction that occurred due to the flare.
They reprinted Lewis and tried to euthanize the other Lewis, which resulted in a failure. But through the misprinted Lewis, let’s call him Lewis A, reprinted Lewis, let’s call him Lewis B, came to know about a traitor amidst them who had stolen the RA bomb and was keen on botching the entire experiment. With time, they find out it is Patty, and the other crew members try their best to keep Patty from destroying the mission. Nina, the surviving crew member, went on with the mission and made sure that life existed on Planet X-10. Before concluding her experiments, Nina reprinted Katy for Lewis, as she had promised him.
Why Were The Crew Members Reprinted? What is Reprinting?
The spaceship these crew members were on had a system called Womb. This is similar to the Womb of a woman, but instead of a child, the Womb directly produces a clone version of the original body after acquiring the proper biometrics and data for it. Reprinting is another word for cloning. Patty was reprinted first, with Nina and Mack following her after, then Oscar and then Lewis A. They tried euthanizing Lewis A at first, but their incapability pushed them to just create another version, Lewis B.
The reprinted versions were the versions of chosen human beings who were sent by the Planetary Development Agency (PDA) to test out the conditions of the new planet and to make sure that human life could exist on that planet. Their prize for the chosen crew members was to reprint their entire family on the planet once they succeeded. But this mission would definitely cause the living organisms of Planet X-10 to die out. To prevent this, Patty stole the RA bomb before the other crew members got it reprinted and stopped the mission from destroying the organisms. Lewis got misprinted as an anomaly due to the solar flare, only to be treated like a monster. However, only Patty was against euthanizing him among all of the crew members.
Why Did Patty Betray The Other Crew Members?
Always expect the unexpected. If movies have taught us one thing, then it is that it is usually the innocent ones we should look out for. Years of true crime prepared me for the plot twist, and although Oscar and Nina were a little suspicious, Patty took the crown. She refused to side with the other crew members and euthanize Lewis A even after he murdered Nina. However, the moment Patty started worrying more about the living ecosystem on Planet X-10, the warning bells set off and evidence started piling up against her, causing her to act out. It was a given that she’d try to stop the mission because it goes against her ethics to colonize another planet and destroy its living system just so humans could have a habitable place. The only plot twist I didn’t foresee was the clone Patty and the sexual tension they both had for each other. A new meaning is added to self-love. Patty and her clone first steal the RA bomb, pin the blame on Lewis A, and then attempt to set it off inside the ship so that they are killed, and the organisms live. She loses her life in the process and also assists in the killing of all the other members as well, with the exception of Lewis A and Nina.
When Patty was reprinted, she first got introduced to her clone and spent her time collecting the biomaterials of the other crew members to get her plans ready to sabotage the mission. While doing so, she gets involved in the process where Lewis turns out to be an anomaly. Patty took extra biomaterial from Lewis to complete her authorization to access the Ra bomb. Before collecting others’ biomaterials, Patty chose the first tank, which was of Lewis, to gain the material. The Solar Flare created a huge miscalculation on her part because the outer film of the tank protected the biomaterials from radiation, but due to her measures, it exposed Lewis and caused a misprint. The Solar Flare completely destroyed her plans and also left her feeling guilty for her actions. Patty, being a humanitarian, could not fathom such a happening, which is why she was staunchly against Lewis A being euthanized and reprinted as Lewis B. She even apologized and confessed her actions to Lewis A in the last episode.
‘Exception’ Ending Explained: Was Kate Reprinted?
Before they started the mission, the crew members were promised that they could reprint their family members and loved ones. Lewis A and Lewis B both of them retained their reason to complete their mission. Their reason was Kate and the necklace that belonged to her, and they had her biodata uploaded to that necklace. While fighting with Patty and her reprinted clone, all the crew members except Nina and Lewis A lost their lives. Lewis B lost his life in space, which was seemingly the end of him. Nina and Lewis A continued with their experiments to make Planet X-10 habitable until human beings immigrated and began their life there. Nina, before taking her last breath, makes her journey toward the Womb and reprints Kate, who is later joined by the original Lewis. This Lewis is none of the reprinted versions; he meets with Kate straightaway after the immigrant ships land on the planet to colonize. The series ends on a happy note, with Lewis reuniting with his lover, Kate, and living happily ever after.
The weird and intense intimate energy that Patty and her reprinted clone were giving off was a little unnecessary, I think. I mean, everything was going well; the plot was thickening, New Patty rose, and bam, they were in a relationship. The mythological story of Narcissus repeats itself, only this time, it’s a clone instead of just a reflection. Patty staunchly believed that it was wrong to kill living organisms, as well as Lewis A. Because she believed this to be equivalent to homicide. Oscar plays the indecisive character, while Mack is the self-righteous character who is ready to sacrifice his life and get printed again just to prove his innocence. Misprinted Lewis and Reprinted Lewis develop trust and work on their shared mission to be reunited with Kate. Nina is the doctor. Her character could do more instead of just using a one-dimensional storyline to define her. A little more information about her backstory would’ve been good. Reprinted Nina really carried out the entire mission and the team. The characters are really one-dimensional and a little bit more detached. This could be because they are reprinted versions of their original selves. Almost human, but not? The Womb did keep their emotional intentions intact, but there is still a sense of detachment. Also, on Planet X-10, the Original Lewis comes out of nowhere, and then it clicks; oh, they were intent on colonizing this planet, too, so the ships must have landed. The sacrifices that they made to get the planet to where it went were simply overlooked after Kate met OG Lewis. It just goes to show how coolly the world moves on, and life just goes on.
The thing about Patty’s decisions is that she was not wrong about her opinions, and all the other crew members were acting on what they thought was right too. They were convinced to colonize the planet to make it livable for humans, but in doing so, they never took the living organisms on that planet into consideration. Patty was fighting for the native organisms and was eventually silenced. This kind of draws a parallel between the fight for native citizens and the racism they faced before being silenced. It’s very gruesome, but it’s in history. Although the need for the weird dynamic between herself and the clone can’t be explained further. However, except for Oscar, who was clearly trying to survive and keep himself sane, all the other characters had extreme reactions. Mack kills himself voluntarily and gets reprinted to prove his innocence, while Nina gets herself killed when she tries to euthanize the anomaly, misprinted Lewis. Meanwhile, both Lewis A and B capture and lock up the other crew members because of their suspicions. And Patty, her behavior just rivals them all. In comparison, Oscar seems to be the most rational of them all.
They never really expand on what happened to the original bodies and the family members of the crew members. But if Lewis is reunited with Kate, then my guess is that the others would be alive too, and with their families. The ones who died were just their reprinted versions. They also did say in the beginning that their original bodies were dreaming of their reprinted lives, so they must have felt the pain, the grief, and the solitude affecting their psyche too. Well, that could be the reason for them not choosing to land on the planet, or they could just not have been shown. It was good, worth a watch, and kind of draws a parallel on how people treat people a little differently from “what they’re supposed to be.” Seeing misprinted Lewis be treated like a monster for a long time until he proves his worth kind of shows how the world works. The world is cruelly displayed everywhere now.
“Exception” is a 2022 Animated Thriller series directed by Yuzo Sato.