Grace and Simon, the leaders of the Apex, take their wards on occasional missions to different practice automobiles the place they loot, pillage, and destroy the world inside them with glee. It’s brutal to observe, even when the denizens–the nulls”–are simply anthropomorphic objects. On one specific mission, the practice “shifts” (relocating all the automotive, mainly), leaving Grace and Simon to traverse the automobiles to get again to the Apex HQ. Alongside the best way they meet a younger lady named Hazel and her giant, highly effective, protecting companion, a gorilla named Tuba, who has literal tubas related to her. Hazel intrigues the Apex leads, partly as a result of she’s human, and the Apex recruits people, however partly as a result of the quantity on her hand doesn’t glow, whereas the others people’ numbers do. The course of the season at first is about venturing again to the Apex automotive whereas determining a technique to get Hazel on the Apex facet and ditch/get rid of Tuba.
In the middle of this mission, nonetheless, Grace grows an increasing number of affectionate in direction of Hazel, opening as much as her about her previous and establishing an “older sister” dynamic to the lady. Grace’s cautious manipulations to tug Hazel away from Tuba and in direction of her finally ends up additionally bridging Hazel and Grace nearer. Simon, nonetheless, regularly begins to really feel pushed away, significantly in an episode the place they meet Simon’s former companion, a cat named Samantha, who ran away from him when he was youthful and at his most helpless. Grace apologizes to Simon for her neglect, however this second additionally vegetation the seed by which Simon’s damaged, vicious downfall begins. Within the following episode, Simon begins to step up his direct challenges to Tuba, and whereas Grace tries her greatest to take care of some form of peace, Simon finds a technique to “wheel” Tuba–to basically kill her.
It’s an specific, horrifying second, and Simon expresses no regret. Hazel, fully distraught, rushes out, however when Grace follows, Hazel transforms into a wierd, turtle hyrbid. Hazel isn’t human however a “null,” and the revelation immediately makes Simon an actual, vicious menace if he have been to search out out. Now Grace has to make use of her ability for manipulation much less as a mechanism for weaponizing and management, however as a software for cover and survival. It’s genuinely nerve-wracking to observe Grace wrack her mind in subsequent episodes to maintain Hazel’s fact a secret and to maintain Simon off guard. It’s even tougher as Hazel struggles to maintain her true feelings at bay, bottled up as a result of direct concern that Simon will kill her.
The human characters that traverse this practice all wrestle with some form of private failing or wrestle, however the Apex’s worldview solely exacerbates the problems. Grace, for her half, channelled her loneliness and isolation into artful acts of need and a spotlight, and directing that in direction of Hazel inadvertently beginning on the trail to therapeutic. However Simon by no means was afforded any potential outlet for compassion or empathy. We don’t get a backstory about him, but it surely doesn’t matter. Samantha “leaving” him traumatized him, and seeing her once more triggers him within the very direct and trustworthy sense of the phrase. With no actual outlet to manage or be taught (Simon doesn’t get an opportunity to essentially enterprise the automobiles to even considerably develop; Grace a minimum of appears to discover a bit), his trauma and pains festers, solidifying into three unhealthy, self-rewarding truths: a quasi-love for Grace, an influence/standing position within the Apex, and a misguided understanding within the function of the “true” conductor.
So it’s inevitable that Simon wouldn’t care in any respect about Hazel’s loss, ache, and/or concern. Simon’s incapacity to supply help or empathy in direction of Hazel, not two episodes after Grace reveals sympathy in direction of Simon’s traumatic relapse over dropping his previous “null” associate, is telling. Simon’s ache is predicated on what he believed to be his previous associate’s betrayal and abandothemodernhealthcarent, which partly explains why he doesn’t belief nulls, however he additionally weaponizes his ache and trauma, wielding it the very methods abusers typically do: guilt journeys, passive-aggressive behaviors, snide and unsympathetic remarks (“I bought by way of it, you must be capable to, too” – by no means thoughts that no, Simon clearly has not “bought by way of it”.)