Copyright Notice: It’s easy to see when our selected quotes have been copied and pasted, as you’re also copying our format, mistakes, and movie scene descriptions. If you decide to copy from us please be kind and either link back, or refer back to our site. Please check out our copyright policies here. Thanks!
Starring: Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Awkwafina, Glenn Close, Adam Beach
OUR RATING: ★★★★☆
Apple TV+ sci-fi drama written and directed by Benjamin Cleary. Set in the near future, Swan Song (2021) centers on Cameron (Mahershala Ali), a loving husband and father diagnosed with a terminal illness who is presented with an alternative solution by his doctor, Dr. Scott (Glenn Close), to replace himself with a carbon copy clone to shield his family from grief. As Cam grapples with whether or not to alter his family’s fate, he learns more about life and love than he ever imagined.
Our Favorite Quote:'It's hard to be left behind.' - Dr. Jo Scott (Swan Song) Click To Tweet
Dr. Jo Scott: [referring to Jack, Cameron’s clone] I know that some of these concepts are uncomfortable. Just remember that if you decide not to proceed at any point in the evaluation process, he never leaves this facility.
Cameron: [referring to his illness] And there’s no way he gets this thing?
Dr. Jo Scott: As outlined, we modified the relevant strands of his DNA to prevent that happening again.
Cameron: And what happens to him if I decide not to do this? He just…
Dr. Jo Scott: He goes to sleep that night unaware. Doesn’t know a thing. We’ll be calling him Jack for now, if that name’s okay with you.
Cameron: [to Scott, after seeing Jack for the fist time] I’m sorry, Doctor. I can’t do this.
Dr. Jo Scott: I know what a momentous decision this is for you. I know what you’re going through. But just the second you tell your wife that you’re dying, your opportunity to do this is gone. You can tell her, or you can do this with us, and let life go on for your family. But given your worsening condition, we can’t afford to delay, Cameron.
Andre: [referring to cloning] The article said it’s not. It’s regeneration.
Poppy: It doesn’t matter what you call it, Andre. It’s still weird. I don’t care how good they say the tech’s going to be. You’d know it wasn’t a real person in seconds.
Andre: Look, I’m just saying, hypothetically speaking, what if it was actually possible? What if they did actually work it out?
Poppy: You can’t copy a human being. You can’t.
Poppy: [referring to cloning] Look, if mum could be sitting here right now with us, and like, you know, we couldn’t tell, she was indistinguishable, then, yeah. You know, screw the ethics. I would take that. I mean, that being said, if they happen to delete her fondness for yacht rock, I would not be devastated.
Dr. Jo Scott: I know how you’re feeling, but there is no lie. When the memory of this process gets wiped, he wakes up that day, at home, as Cameron Turner. And no one knows. Not even him. It’s the only way this works. A clean swap.
Dr. Jo Scott: [referring to cloning] This will be as common as a heart transplant within a few years.
Dr. Jo Scott: Come back and spend a week with him before making your decision.
Cameron: This is not just my decision. My wife needs to know.
Dr. Jo Scott: Either you decide that your wife would want this, which requires secrecy, or you decide that she wouldn’t, and tell her you’re dying. Either way, you’re deciding for her.
Dr. Jo Scott: [to Cameron, referring to Kate] Listen, the woman you’re about to meet has no idea she’s a duplicate. Neither does her daughter, her mother, or her friends. So, where is the lie?
Poppy: [to Cameron, referring to her pregnancy] Are you bracing yourself for sexy bowling ball bod? I still can’t believe it. We’re going to fall in love with a new little person again.
Cameron: [referring to Jack] So he has everything?
Dr. Jo Scott: Even the memories you’ve stored deep in your subconscious.
Cameron: All those memories, they’re not just mine. They’re my wife’s, my son’s. Not part of some experiment. I just wish I could talk to her.
Kate: When they sent “me two-point-o” back, seeing my mom look into her eyes not knowing it wasn’t me, seeing her talking to my daughter. I mean… And then when they wiped her, knowing she was no longer in on the lie, my guilt faded pretty quick.
Cameron: [remembering the first time he met Poppy] Hi, remember me from a few weeks back?
Poppy: Yeah. You ate my chocolate bar.
Cameron: See, I also purchased an Echo bar. And I’m hoping you worked that out by now. Yeah.
Poppy: Yeah. I’d have loved to see your face when you realized.
Cameron: Not a strong moment for me.
Poppy: [referring to Cameron’s drawing of her] Wow, you’re good.
Cameron: Oh, thank you. I realize now that even makes me look more like a psycho. But I’m not! I’m not. I promise.
Poppy: A talented psycho is better than a talentless one, so.
Cameron: Yeah. I appreciate that.
Poppy: Oh, my God. Okay, you’re definitely taking the blame for this specimen.
Cameron: No. I believe Cory picked that out himself.
Poppy: What? At three months?
Cameron: Yeah. Because I was with him. We were in the store walking around, and I’m pushing him in the stroller. And he’s like, “Hey. Yoh, big man. You see that yellow mustard onesie right there? I need that in my life.” Yeah, he’s so charming. I was like, “Hey, what do you say to that?”
Poppy: Yeah, he is very charming. I’ll give you that. But this is criminal.
Cameron: [to Cory, referring to Poppy] Together, me and you will take care of her till she can take care of herself again. Alright? Me and you got to be strong for her, okay? She’s just sick right now.
Rafa: [to Cameron] Okay. Keep your eyes closed. I’m going to count you down from three. And on three, and two, and one.
Dr. Jo Scott: [as Jack opens his eyes] You’re okay. Breathe.
Dr. Jo Scott: [to Jack] For the time that you are in this facility, that freckle is the only place on your entire body that isn’t identical to his. If you get confused, you find that freckle, and you’ll know who you are. Okay? We know how strange this is. You got the good deal here. You’ll see.
Cameron: They’re saying any of these seizures could kill me. And I could die out here this week before getting home to see them. I can’t stop picturing her getting the news, having to tell Cory. Poppy and I have been going through some stuff. The other night I made her laugh. And I can’t remember the last time I did that, you know? Just made her laugh.
Kate: That’s because you’re not funny.
Cameron: Yeah, that too.
Cameron: [as Kate lights up a joint] Those things will kill you, you know.
Kate: Oh, you are funny. F*** that.
Jack: [to Cameron] I don’t know how to, what to say here. I know you don’t think I’m you.
Dr. Jo Scott: He knows you’re nervous, Jack. Just answer the questions. Cameron, you’re you. There are no wrong answers.
Dr. Jo Scott: Did you always want children?
Jack: I think after I met Poppy, I realized I wanted kids. I was cynical for a long time.
Jack: This idea of finding true love or a soul mate. Then someone like Poppy comes along and you realize you’re just surviving. I could have just gone on like that forever. I just lucked out, I guess.
Cameron: He looks like me. He sounds like me. But I don’t know.
Cameron: In seven months, that child is going to come into the world without a dad. Seven months.
Kate: Hey. At least you’re not feeling sorry for yourself.
Cameron: [laughs] Oh, okay. That’s fair.
Kate: You’re going to be good, man.
Cameron: And what about you? How you doing?
Kate: [jokingly] Me? Never better. Any other great questions?
Cameron: No. Okay.
Kate: Yep. Having the time of my life out here. Nature’s awesome. Great food.