Sym-Bionic Titan Merges Rene Descartes, I Am Legend

Television’s coolest robot has its come-to-Descartes moment in the Sym-Bionic Titan episode “I Am Octus,” which also riffs on the solitary apocalypse of Richard Matheson’s 1954 sci-fi novel, I Am Legend.

The latest episode of Sym-Bionic Titan, which aired Wednesday and repeats Saturday morning, employs Descartes’ self-aware philosophical statement Cogito ergo sum to probe the limits of uber-nerdy robot Octus’ sanity and ingenuity after a mysterious force immobilizes every human on Earth.

The situation is made worse by the bot’s relationship with the hottest human cheerleader in school, and by his realization that he can analyze Jackson Pollock‘s splatter art in multiple dimensions but still can’t penetrate its meanings as creatively as his extraterrestrial wards, Ilana and Lance.

“I Am Octus” is another sharp, smart blast from Genndy Tartakovsky‘s animated mecha series. In its debut season on Cartoon Network, Sym-Bionic Titan has shown a stunning ability to conjure cerebral sci-fi, nightmarish horror, earnest sweetness and killer gags for viewers of all ages.

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