It is established at the start of the movie that the replicant workforce has been resurrected and improved upon by the new model of replicants that do not rebel.

In the course of the movie, K, who is a new-model replicant, does exactly that (lies to his boss, disobeys orders, hurts humans etc).

Why are these new models considered safer?

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    On the last point, the humans know that K is going off the rails because he's failing his "baseline test" ... normally he'd not be allowed out again into society, and I'm guessing he would be himself retired, but his boss allows him to continue because she's desperate that he finish his task. – iandotkelly Oct 13 '17 at 13:16

Even though Nexus 9s are supposedly "built to obey", they can still get "off the rails" after a traumatic experience. Hence why there is a Baseline Test as a fail-safe mechanism to ensure Nexus 9s act like Nexus 9s, and don't start having "human" emotions. It's a mean for brainwashing.

We are not quite sure what happens after a Nexus 9 fails the test. I assume they either get retired, or they get a special training that emotionally boosts them back to baseline (in other words, they get brainwashed again). The reason why Officer K was let off the hook is that he claims to have killed the child. Remember, at this point, he thinks he is the child, which leads him to believe he is not a Nexus 9, but a brainwashed servant.

So not only is he actively in the mood for rebellion after such an infuriating realization (that he had been brainwashed all along), he also has to protect the truth that he is the child, in order to survive.

  • In other words, K, as a relatively ordinary Nexus 9 replicant, has both the ability and motivation to rebel. He even withholds some information from his boss (the date on the bottom of the carved horse) when his life is not directly threatened. Is the only difference between the models then the baseline test? Basically my question is more about the "built to obey" part. – Celos Oct 14 '17 at 10:59

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