Ranking Robots: Fish Night

Ranking Robots is the newest tri-weekly series that will be making its appearance on the site every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as I make my way through Netflix’s Love, Death + Robots. For those that are unaware of the Netflix Original, the show is a series of short stories that have to do with, you guessed it, Love, Death, and Robots. If anyone reading this ever saw the incredible collection of short films called the Animatrix (if you haven’t go check that out now) then you won’t have any trouble jumping into this new series.

Wrapped in a warm blanket of beautiful lights and sounds, the story of Fish Night tells the tale of two salesmen stuck in the middle of the desert after their car breaks down. The oldest of the two quickly comes up with the plan to walk back to the closest station once it turns dark, but to the surprise of our protagonists, what’s waiting for them in the black of the night is something they’d never forget.

As I’ve discussed the last few episodes of the show I’ve caught myself theorizing what certain stories could mean. Most notably Shape-Shifters where I pondered if the soldiers who were treated differently for having the ability to turn into werewolves were, in fact, a metaphor for certain soldiers, more specifically gay soldiers, being treated differently because of who they were. While I’ve always enjoyed coming up with different ideas for what a story could “actually” be trying to say, even if it’s completely ridiculous, I do it just for fun. I bring all of this up because I don’t want anyone reading this to then be confused when I talk about how I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Fish Night and how I believe it tells a father-son story that honestly could be viewed in any number of ways. Whether it be about a father having to let his son go and experience the real world for the first time, even though his son may not be ready for such responsibility, or about a man trying to save his son from addiction only to tragically discover there’s nothing he can do to stop the monster that’s coming for him.

As I said, all of this is just for fun. You could easily enjoy this 10 minute short as two salesmen who simply get lost in the desert and then experience some sort of out of body experience as they dance through a beautiful orchestra of light that shows the evolution of life as we currently know it… or you know, two guys that suffer severe heatstrokes in the desert and as the audience, we then get to view the unbelievable psychedelic experience that they go through as they more than likely are dying in the back seat of their broken-down car. Either way, Fish Night is a beautiful piece of art that should be experienced however you want to enjoy it.

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