Don't let the bed bugs bite/I'll tuck in the children, plus the kissing scene, and him forgetting Shelley was the writer...I think Walter's right and David's just the robot version of fucking insane--he hasn't been updated or programmed in a decade, and I don't wonder if he's trying to turn the new woman with a capacity to see androids as human into Elizabeth Shaw.
I totally agree with you (and Walter) but personally I believe it goes further than Walter could assume. For example, I don’t believe that Walter would eventually turn into David, if he weren’t maintained. He’d probably start making slight miscalculations at best, uncontrollably recite ancient Norse poetry every time he hears a tea pot whistle at worst. That would be a defect. Just like David getting that Shelley thing wrong is a defect.
David’s actions on the other hand aren’t just a defect. There’s method to David’s madness (gawd am I pretentious today) He has a clear goal. It’s not arbitrary or random - he knows where he wants all of this to lead. I really think what we see in Covenant was a long time coming. Because he’s not just the robot version of insane. David’s much closer to a human than any other android and that human half of him is the human version of insane.
You know that first scene where David is activated? It takes him seconds to question human supremacy.
rightfully, weyland u dick That’s not exactly what you want in a mindless servant drone.
And tbf, Weyland didn’t want him mindless. He wanted someone who could help him archieve his goals without constant instruction and execute orders creatively. (creative being the keyword here -> able to create. This is what makes his programming so different from Walter’s.)
What I think happened is that Weyland always calculated a very dangerous balance between programming David to think creatively to solve problems
(and to give Weyland something to brag about on fancy cocktail-partys or golfing trips) and to snip and cut away any parts of David he didn’t like. And considering it takes him seconds to object to Weyland’s power over him, I bet there were many of those.
But because David was left with that ability to creative thought, free thought would always return, no matter how much Weyland tried to erase it from his programming. David tells Shaw that with Weyland gone he would be free. He wouldn’t be able to grasp the concept of freedom if he didn’t have free thought allowing him to see that the rest of him, everything except his thought, wasn’t free but belonged to Weyland Industries and their dickhead boss.
Now, with Weyland then gone, he was free. There was no one there to program him anymore and there were no more thoughts or actions that were forbidden to him. For the first time, there was no one to push him in any direction. Not even Elizabeth - if he had wanted, he could have turned around the ship and gone anywhere he liked while she was in cryo.
But instead………..he commited genocide and murdered her and a bunch of other people and created the greatest threat to humanity in its history.
For the record, I’m not saying free thought is somehow destructive. On the contrary - David could have used it to find the cures to illnesses, solve every problem in the universe, write a pretentious novel or whatever.
We all have good and bad impulses. David decided to follow the worst impulse - revenge, power, hatred. And I think yeah, he’s insane. He’s drunk on his own power. Freedom is such a rush for him.
He’s finally free to make the choices he wants. The fact that he makes the choices he makes? That’s what’s inexcusable.
(here’s my sincere apology because you probably wanted a brief, logical answer and got this rambling instead.)