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Landing the hovercar at the new Hall of Justice, Crams takes Rick to a police department that Rick did not know existed. When he tries to phone Iran, he instead reaches a stranger. An inspector named Garland interviews Rick, listens to his claim about being a bounty hunter, and goes through Rick’s briefcase. Garland then informs Rick that he, Garland, is the next name in Rick’s list of targets. Garland brings in another bounty hunter, Phil Resch, and together Garland and Resch interrogate Rick. They have not heard of the Voigt-Kampff test to expose androids, but they have a test of their own, based on response time for a reflex pathway in the spine. Garland and Resch begin to disagree over what should be done with Rick. They openly discuss Resch’s belief that police higher-ups such as Garland should be tested. When a lab report on the tissue remains found in Rick’s car confirms that Polokov was an android, Resch believes Rick’s story and insists that Garland submit to a test.
While Resch is away fetching the testing gear, Garland admits to Rick that Garland and the others in Rick’s file are all androids that came from Mars together. Resch joined them a week later, Garland says, but he doesn’t know that he, too, is an android. The supposed new Hall of Justice is a covert operation used by androids to counter bounty hunters’ efforts. When Resch returns, Garland moves to shoot him with a concealed laser. Resch is quicker, killing Garland first. Informed by Rick that the building is full of androids, Resch handcuffs himself and Rick together, so the two can walk out of the building looking like captor and prisoner. They head back to the opera house to take care of Luba Luft. During the escape, Resch wonders how he could have been working for androids and not known. Eventually he proposes that at the next opportunity, Rick should administer one of the tests, to find out whether Resch is android or human.
At the opera house, Rick and Resch learn that Luba has gone to a nearby art museum. They find her and escort her out, taking advantage of the fact that androids habitually avoid attracting attention. At a kiosk near the museum exit, Luba asks Rick to buy her a gift. Rick obliges. After admitting she is an android, Luba takes Rick’s willingness to grant her a last request as a sign of his humanity. She taunts Resch with the suggestion that he is an android. At that, Resch kills Luba. He is not sorry.
Rick and Resch now use the Voigt-Kampff test to confirm that they are both human. The test also reveals that unlike Resch, Rick feels empathy for androids—or, at least, for some androids. Rick particularly felt empathy for Luba. He believes he was moved by her artistry, but Resch insists it was simply physical attraction, a pitfall that bounty hunters are warned about. There is nothing wrong with being attracted to android women and even having sex with them, Resch says with a smile, but one must be able to kill them afterward.
In a bewildering and tense rising action sequence, Deckard must puzzle out the blatant lies and inconsistencies of the alternate police department he’s taken to, and he’s forced to accept the help of another supposed android. Garland’s explanation seems to make sense to Deckard, and Resch’s status as an android who thinks he’s human seems confirmed by Resch killing Garland and helping Deckard escape the station. Safe from the reach of Garland and the other androids, Resch begins to question his own humanity, making quick, logical deductions from Deckard and Garland’s actions at the station. However, Deckard needs the help, considering the difficulties he’s already faced. Deckard relies on a supposed android for help on his next assignment, twisting up Deckard’s feelings about androids more and more.
When Deckard and Resch take Luba Luft into custody, Deckard’s odd behavior reveals a deepening crisis of empathy in Deckard. His bizarre actions with the book of Munch paintings reveal this crisis to Resch, who accuses Deckard of having empathy for the ‘andys’ they must ‘retire.’ Again, relying on his precious Voigt-Kampff test, Deckard realizes the truth: he does feel empathy toward androids. The fact that Resch tests out as human is overshadowed by Deckard’s crisis of empathy. Resch pounces on Deckard in his vulnerable state, explicitly blaming Deckard’s empathic response on his sexual attraction to female androids. Resch is a foil to Deckard, since he lacks the basic empathy that supposedly makes a person “human,” but he is human, and thrives in the upside-down world of the novel and the brutal profession of bounty hunting. As Deckard questions more and more about his job and his moral position, Resch inhabits the opposite tendency, unconcerned for the lives of androids.