Officer K is a Nexus-9 Replicant model (though this is not explicitly stated in Blade Runner 2049). K is tasked by the LAPD with "retiring" outdated Nexus-8 Replicant models, which were rushed into production in 2020 by the Tyrell Corporation upon the death of its founder, Dr. Eldon Tyrell, in 2019. A number of the remaining Nexus-8 models have formed the Replicant Freedom Movement, which K and the LAPD seek to terminate as well.
On June 30th, 2049, following his "retirement" of rogue replicant Sapper Morton earlier in the day, K's superior in the LAPD, Lieutenant Joshi, tasks him with terminating the child of the female replicant whose remains were unearthed from beneath Sapper's Tree.
K is portrayed by Ryan Gosling.
June 30th, 2049
Retiring Sapper and the Dead Tree
"I hope you don't mind me taking the liberty. I was careful not to drag in... any dirt." - K to Sapper Morton, their first words
Officer K's task involving the search and "retirement" of illegal Nexus-8 Replicant models leads him to rural California, well beyond the city limits of Los Angeles, where rogue replicant Sapper Morton lives as a reclusive protein farmer. Following some brief questioning of Sapper by K, the two engage in violent hand to hand combat inside the small farm house. After a vicious struggle, K manages to fend off Sapper and recover his gun. At gunpoint, Sapper reveals that K is a replicant and that he has "Never seen a miracle". K fires twice shortly after, ultimately "retiring" Sapper. While sitting in his spinner, K's droid provides a reading of the ground beneath Sapper's Tree, revealing a large crate buried underground.
Return to Los Angeles
"Honey: you can go wherever you want in the world. Where do you wanna go first?" - K to Joi after giving her freedom
Back in Los Angeles, K enters the LAPD Headquarters were he is given an immediate "Voight-Kampff" type examination, his baseline test. Unlike older V-K testing, the new system is rather crude and impersonal. Excerpts from Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire are heavily utilized in the examination.
Later that night, K returns to his apartment in Los Angeles where he is accompanied by his girlfriend, the Wallace Corporation designed and produced "Joi". K gifts Joi an "emanator" (also of Wallace design) as an "anniversary present". The emanator allows Joi to be portable or in K's words, allowing her to "Go anywhere in the world" unrestrained by the need of home projector.
"I've never retired something that was born before... To be born is to have a soul, I guess." - K to Joshi on receiving his orders
Shortly after, K is recalled to the LAPD headquarters by his superior, Lieutenant Joshi. In the forensics lab of the LAPD, K, Joshi, Blade Runner Nandes and lab technician Coco examine the skeletal remains obtained from inside the crate, which was recovered from underneath Sapper's Tree. It is revealed that the skeletal remains, carefully placed within the crate, which was re-purposed as an ossuary, belong to a woman tracing 30 years back. Further examination of the remains revealed a narrow birth canal and a fractured ilium, which in addition to cuts in the iliac crest led to the conclusion that the cause of death was an emergency C-section. K's intuition led him to examine the remains closer, where a serial number was discovered to be inscripted on the bone.
At Joshi's office, K is informed by the lieutenant about the gravity of the situation, and the necessity to maintain the discovery in secret. The knowledge of a female replicant capable of procreating, something thought to be inconceivable, could spark a violent war between humans and replicants on Earth, as well as in the Off-world colonies. K is then tasked by Joshi with eliminating "the child". K considers this for a moment, as he "Never retired something that was born before", since "to be born is to have a soul", but then proceeds as ordered. Before he leaves, K is told that he has been getting along fine without a soul by Joshi.
July 1st, 2049
Wallace Corporation - Meeting Luv
"He named you. You must be special." - K to Luv after introductions
K's search for the child leads him to the Wallace Corporation Earth Headquarters, where he requests information on the dead female replicant's serial number, providing a sample of DNA from a lock of hair found inside the ossuary. Inside Wallace's archives, K is informed by an employee that the serial number is belongs to a pre-prohibition, standard issue, "unremarkable" replicant made by the Tyrell Corporation.
Moments later, Luv introduces herself to K before leading him to memory data-bank containing decade-old memories. A small audio memory fragment of former LAPD Officer Rick Deckard's Voight-Kampff testing of the unknown female replicant is played.
Gaff Interview and Meeting Mariette
"Didn't you hear your friends? Don't you know what I am?" - K to Mariette on him being a Blade Runner
Later that day, K visits former LAPD Officer Gaff at his retirement home. K questions Gaff about Rick Deckard, asking of his whereabouts, to which Gaff responds he has no knowledge of. Gaff mentions Deckard is "nyugdijas", retired.
While dinning in Los Angeles that night outside of BiBi's Bar, K is approached by a prostitute named Mariette under the orders of an unknown woman. Despite her best attempts, Mariette is unable to retrieve any substancial information from K, who denies her sexual advances.
July 2nd, 2049
Return to Sapper's
K returns to Sapper's protein farm to continue his investigation, where within Sapper's piano, K finds a cigarette tin containing an old baby sock and the photograph of a woman holding a baby in her arms. In the old photograph, Sapper's tree is visible. Before leaving, K discovers the date "6.10.21" inscripted at the base of Sapper's Tree. K is deeply disturbed by this discovery. He the proceeds to set Sapper's farmhouse afire.
"I feel a little strange sharing a childhood story considering I was never a child." - K to Joshi on his implanted memories
Following the murder of Coco at the LAPD Headquarters, Lieutenant Joshi visits K at his apartment. Joshi is greatly distressed since the remains of the replicant woman have been stolen, increasing the possibility of a leak to the general public and reminds K of the importance of finding the child and eliminating it.
Moments later, K and Joshi have a conversation in which K recounts an intimate memory of him as a child. In the memory, K reveals, he is living in an orphanage where a group of children chase after him in order to get a wooden horse toy from him by force. K, determined to stop this from happening, hides the toy inside an abandoned furnace. He is then beaten by the children. K tell Joshi that he considers such recounting as insignificant since memories such as the one recounted are implanted into replicants such as himself and thus hold no real meaning.
Joshi makes a pass at K and, after being denied, orders K to look into the DNA of the child at the LAPD the following day.
July 3rd, 2049
Searching For the Child
"Your memory. The date carved beneath. 6.10.21. Coincidence?"
"A dangerous coincidence." - Joi and K in the DNA room
K continues his investigation at the LAPD Headquarters. Because of the Blackout, the majority of all electronic records were damaged or destroyed. Thus, K is forced to carry out the DNA analysis personally. Whilst doing this, Joi joins him in the DNA analysis room. The two have a private conversation in which Joi produces the wooden toy horse which was referred to by K in his childhood memory. Joi reveals, however, that the date "6.10.21" was also carved on the base of the toy horse. The appearance of the same date on both the horse and Sapper's tree opens the possibility of K being connected to the investigation itself. K calls this a "dangerous coincidence" while Joi tries to convince K that he may have been born, not made. K establishes the dangers that such truth may have. As a replicant, he could face persecution and unwanted examinations.
The DNA analysis ultimately reveals the birth of two children, a boy and girl. This is particularly strange since two individuals cannot have identical DNA. The records reveal that the girl died at a young age due to a genetic disorder (Galatians Syndrome), while the boy was processed at the Morrillcole Orphanage in San Diego.
Attacked at the Trash Mesa
"Aw, come on. Get up. Do your fucking job. Find the child." - Luv after saving K's life
K and Joi fly in their spinner past the Sepulveda Sea Wall and towards the outskirts of Los Angeles which, because the mega-city is so large, is San Diego. Now no more than a location for LA to dump its' trash and completely flooded due to a lack protection from the rising ocean, the entire area is covered in old refuse, ruined buildings and ships, and scavengers living off of what they can.
K's spinner is attacked and brought down by a crude but sophisticated harpoon that shuts down his electronics, forcing his spinner to crash land. Scavengers cut open K's door, prepared to kill him and take his property. K kills 4 of the scavengers and orders the others to stay back only to view many more coming down from the trash hills. Suddenly, they all come under fire from missiles, one so close to K that it blows him back into his own spinner.
Unbeknownst to K, Luv has been tracking him in hopes of K locating the child. She saved his life so that he could continue his search for the replicant child.
K reaches the top of one of the trash piles to discover large, domed buildings, implied to be where the orphanage once existed. Finding his way inside one, bald children begin to form around him and touch his jacket. As K makes his way into the center of the structure, he runs into a child slavery ring taking apart electronics for their master, Mr. Cotton. After K reveals he is a Blade Runner and beats Cotton with his pistol, Cotton takes K down into an older section of the building to show him records of all the children who were present in the orphanage since the 2020's. However, the pages K required had been torn out by an unknown party.
Frustrated, K follows a path back through to the furnaces because he seemed to recognize them earlier as part of his memory of the wooden horse. Shockingly, K discovers that the exact toy horse in his memory is where he placed it, wrapped in cloth, inside one of the furnaces. K begins to show signs of breaking down as he realizes that his memory was real.
Personality and Traits
A Nexus-9 replicant model, Officer K is inherently obedient and devoted in his duty as a member of law enforcement in Los Angeles. He is predisposed to be truthful and loyal to his superiors.
Despite his cool and collected demeanor, K can and will demonstrate that he is an experienced, hardened police officer capable of turning aggressive and contentious.
He thoroughly enjoys listening to vocal jazz & standards, big band jazz and the like.
K enjoys sipping on some bourbon upon returning from a hard day's work.
The events of Blade Runner 2049 push K to the limits, both emotionally and physically, yet ultimately he chooses to act selflessly and courageously as he rescues Deckard from the Wallace Corporation.