As this series has gone along, it’s reminded me more of Asimov’s classic robot novels. Those books, of course, were notable for centering on the Three Laws of Robotics - - a set of rules that explicitly ordered a robot’s self-preservation impulse beneath its directive to protect human life. Many of the shorts in I, ROBOT, of course, were procedural mysteries detailing cases where robots might still murder human beings without violating those laws somehow.
PSYCHO-PASS is basically doing the same thing with the Sybill System, Dominators and Crime Coefficients. Season One set up the rules of the system, and showed the one notable exception to it. Now, Season Two is showing the multitude of ways that system can be gamed. We’ve now seen that Inspectors can be blown up by their own Dominators, and that innocent hostages can be (legally?) murdered by officers who won’t bother using their own judgment to discern terrified bystanders from malicious criminals.
The best part of this dialog is the little throwaway detail about how the professor voluntarily admits himself to custody. He’s all too aware that ‘bad ideas’ can be infectious - - as this hostage situation demonstrates - - and he knows that his secret meeting with Kogami will catch up with him, sooner or later. So, he’d rather cool his jets in a prison than decorate pavement somewhere when one of these trigger happy Inspectors blows him up.
If the hostages had been smart enough to grasp any of that, they might’ve walked away alive, but the show’s repeatedly stressed how regular civilians are basically sheep in this world. It’s not an accident that the Inspectors get referred to as bloodhounds, and the criminals might as well be wolves. This whole fiasco is a pointed follow-up to part in the first series where a crowd of bystanders just watched and took photos while a woman was beaten to death in public. Here, you have a dozen people who could easily over-power an old man with a stick, but they’re not going to act, because they don’t even know how to act anymore.