Off-world: The Blade Runner Wiki
Advertisement
Header Tag Spacer
DADOES Continuity

Phil Resch was a bounty hunter in northern California. Although he was initially unaware of the fact, he was employed by a precinct that was occupied entirely by androids.

Biography[]

At some point, Resch slept with the android Rachael Rosen, who intended for him to quit his job as a bounty hunter, but he continued. Resch owned a squirrel named Buffy.[1]

When bounty hunter Rick Deckard was brought to the precinct for questioning after retiring the android Max Polokov and preparing to act upon his next target, Luba Luft. Officer Garland – while realizing he was Deckard's next target – summoned Resch to see if Deckard was an android Resch was assigned to retire. Upon learning of Polokov's nature via a bone marrow exam, Resch suggested he test the station's personnel with the Boneli test, which Garland opposed.[1]

Resch left to get the equipment. Upon his return, he had expected an ambush by Garland, so once he saw Garland's arm point toward him, shot him dead. Deckard told Resch that while he was away, Garland confirmed to him that he was an android and that the whole precinct was staffed by androids. Suggesting they resume Deckard's assignment to retire Luba Luft, Resch suggested the two of them find her before anyone could warn her. After posing Garland's body, Resch handcuffed Deckard so they could leave the precinct without incident.[1]

With Garland's revelation, Resch struggled to come to terms with the fact that he worked alongside androids for several years. However, Deckard pointed out that it could not have been years, as the androids had only arrived on Earth months before. Resch then reasoned that either Garland had replaced an authentic Garland or that he had been outfitted with false memories, which would make him an android. Resch then requested that Deckard perform either the Boneli or Voigt-Kampff test on him after they dealt with Luft.[1]

After a stagehand at the opera house informed the bounty hunters that Luft went to a museum to view an Edvard Munch exhibit, they followed her there. While searching for her, Resch took particular notice of a painting which portrayed a tormented, screaming creature. Resch wondered aloud if this painting could relate to the plight of androids. Deckard then pointed out Luft to Resch and they grabbed her, Resch keeping his laser tube obscured but at the ready.[1]

As they took her toward an elevator, Luft asked if they could purchase a print of a painting she was viewing, and Deckard complied. Luft then pointed out to Resch that an android would not have done this. In the elevator, Luft continued to taunt Resch and despite the fact they had not performed Voigt-Kampff or Boneli test on her, Resch brandished his laser tube. After Deckard attempted to disarm him, Resch opened fire on Luft, killing her.[1]

During the rest of the descent, Deckard burned the painting, an action that confused Resch. His confusion went even further when Deckard explained that the bounties on the androids – including the two Resch retired, as he would be unable to claim them – would give him enough to afford burning the art. Once they reached the first floor of the building, Resch was left with the body as Deckard called for a car to pick up the remains. As he waited, Resch lit a cigar and Deckard returned, openly hoping that Resch would test positive as an android, due to his apparent lack of remorse over his kills.[1]

While they returned to the car, Resch gave his laser tube to Deckard for his safety, assuring Deckard that if he was identified as an android, he would kill himself by holding his breath. He pointed out that this was possible due to the fact that humans and androids had differently-structured vagus nerves. Reaching the car, Deckard subjected Resch to the Voigt-Kampff test, and Deckard told the expectant Resch that the latter was human.[1]

He passed the test and Deckard wondered aloud about Resch's lack of empathy towards androids, which Resch explained as a strength, in that it allowed him to defend himself. Deckard then used the Voigt-Kampff machine on himself to demonstrate that he was only empathetic for certain androids, Luft being one of them. Resch then reasoned that this was due to Deckard being sexually attracted to her. As a solution, Resch suggested that if he were to be attracted to an android again, he should have sex with it before retiring it. The two bounty hunters then parted ways.[1]

Personality and traits[]

Phil Resch was a cold, efficient bounty hunter. He was fast on the trigger, never questioned his own methods and strongly believed he did what was good by retiring androids. Observing Resch's actions, Deckard thought of the former as a nigh-sociopath who had no empathy for anything aside the things which were "important" for him, such as his squirrel, and his need of having sex. Despite his self-confidence, Resch seemed to have a degree of insecurity, such as when he was afraid of being an android and willing to kill himself for it, and murdering Luba Luft after she taunted him.

Behind the scenes[]

Resch appears in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and its comic book adaptation. He has no equivalent character in the film adaptation, Blade Runner. However, his personality, characterization and self-doubt about his memories are somewhat symbolically comparable to Officer K, the protagonist of the movie's sequel, Blade Runner 2049. Furthermore, K, similar to Resch, works with Deckard in an initially uneasy alliance that eventually turns for the better.

It is possible that Deckard lied to Resch about being a human; whether or not Deckard told the truth is left to interpretation. Some clues hint that Resch might be an android, but Deckard chose not to kill him out of his growing empathy for androids. Firstly, Resch is seen as a strangely aloof person, who seems to care only for his survival and his duty. The only sentient being he seems to have empathy for is his squirrel. Yet, he repeatedly mentions he loves his squirrel, hinting a possibility that this is a programmed memory. Resch is also cold towards Deckard, although it is not out of spite, but again possibly due to his potential nature as an android.

In the stage adaptation, Resch is changed to a female bounty hunter named Phillipa Ryan.

References[]

Advertisement