At the very beginning of first episode of Altered Carbon, Takeshi Kovacs is in his birth body on Harlan's World. There is a woman with him and I've never figured out who she is. The things I've noticed to try to identify her are:

  1. She is familiar/comfortable with weapons and fighting (although apparently not as proficient as Tak)
  2. (IIRC) she appears to be inspecting a pile of stacks (which I think are the stacks of Tak's fellow Envoys), so presumably she's familiar with Tak's history
  3. She isn't Tak's sister or Quell.
  4. When asked about her by Jaeger, Tak says she's just a local prostitute. This is presumably a lie as Tak is angered when Jaeger slags her stack.

She's never mentioned again and these details don't seem to match with any other characters introduced in the show (at least not that I remember). As a result she seems to be dismissed as quickly as she is introduced, which confused me. Given Checkov's Gun, I expected an explanation for her to surface eventually. I kept thinking that she would turn out to be Quell, but it isn't until the very end of the show that we find out that both options are impossible.

So do we know who she is, or is she just one more of Tak's "Soon-to-be-dead" love interests?

  • 1
    That's his girlfriend/partner at that time... Tak just lied to Jager to show that he has no concerns about her, but truth is, he did. that's what angered him
    – Vishwa
    Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 4:04

1 Answer 1


That was Takeshi's girlfriend/partner at the time..

According to Fandom and Wikipedia, her name was Sarah (played by Olga Fonda). An article from Variety.com also states that Fonda's character in Altered Carbon is indeed Sarah.

The episode recap from the Fandom article explains the incidents on the first few moments with Takeshi and Sarah.

The series begins with a nude human body, dubbed a sleeve , floating aimlessly in a body of fluid as it rises to the surface, beginning to breathe. Takeshi Kovacs, as an Asian man, and Sarah, a white woman, are showering together, washing blood from each other's bodies as they begin to have sex. While making love, Takeshi has flashes of a African American woman. Back in the bedroom, as she cleans and sorts the cortical stacks they have collected, Takeshi stands up and walks to window showing a sunset in paradise, but the hologram changes into a view of the futuristic city below them. However, Takeshi, through some sort of sixth sense, sees CTAC praetorians getting ready to ambush them. The CTACs break in by literally bursting through the wall and open fire on Takeshi and Sarah.

Jaeger tells Takeshi he is under arrest. Jaeger asks Takeshi for the girl's true identity, but Takeshi lies and says she is just nobody to him. Jaeger doesn't believe him and shoots his gun into the back of the girl's neck, destroying her stack, preventing her to be re-sleeved, which angers Takeshi.

  • Thanks! I forgot about the flashbacks to Quell. I think they confused me at the time and added to my expectations that she would eventually be revealed to be Quell (which would certainly explain why he lied about her identity)
    – conman
    Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 11:08
  • At the beginning, the viewer have no idea about who is who and what's the importance of them to the story. For me, I only knew Quell after and it was implied that mysterious black woman had deep connection with Kovacs, unlike the girl we see at the beginning. He lied to Jaeger just because he cared about Sarah, because he hated Jaeger and anger+frustration got the best of him at the time
    – Vishwa
    Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 11:31

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