Previously on Humans, “Episode 1”
It was a nice surprise to see how many season one characters organically returned for season two; characters I wasn’t sure we’d see again. This episode revisited three – one human and two Synths – and next week promises to bring back another.
Laura’s original plan to set Niska up with another lawyer who can take her case goes tits up when Niska is taken into custody. Though Laura is assured that if Niska proves she’s conscious she’ll be afforded the same protections under the law as a human, she eventually agrees to act as Niska’s attorney. Despite their promise to each other to move the family forward, Joe insists he’s behind Laura’s decision.
Mattie hasn’t moved on, either. She wants to know why the consciousness code hasn’t awakened all synths at once. This means digging into anything she can learn about Elster’s early work, and leads her to George’s decommissioned Synth, Odi. Presenting him as a school project to her parents, Mattie works on uploading Laura’s copy of the consciousness code to Odi.
Dr. Morrow also believes the answers she seeks will be found by going back to the beginning. After determining that the awakened Synth’s “brains” have been reformatted, she’s even more determined to learn how it was done or if it’s actually a really good hack. She arranges to head to the UK to locate Hobbs. Fingers crossed he has Fred with him. We miss you, Fred!
While the best part of the series is the main Synths and their relationship to one another, the first season provided excellent side plots that eventually linked back to what we really cared about: the Elster Synth’s reuniting. So far, this season, the Morrow storyline has yet to grab me like the season one subplots did almost immediately. Hopefully, with Morrow meeting Hobbs, this will pick up.
Karen and Pete seem to be settling into domestic bliss, but while she’s anxious to return to work and be a normal couple, he might be on his way to getting caught up in the Synth drama again. He notes that Synths are being privately sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. This may very well be cases of people secretly selling conscious Synths.
For all of Mia’s talk about Leo’s recklessness, she compromises her secret after Ed discovers she altered his loan paperwork. At first he assumes she’s broken, but when he kicks her out of his restaurant, it’s not clear what he’s thinking. This episode introduced a fad where people walk around pretending to be Synths. They’re called Synthies. It’s possible Ed assumes this is what his “Anita” is or he could be creeped out because he understands she’s alive. I’m sure it will be confirmed next week.
Hopefully this season will explore how a newly awakened Synth’s personality is developed. Mia was made to be a caregiver and that part of her code is evident in her relationship with Leo and the other Synths; even in her “jobs” as a Synth. But we also know that they’re capable of developing a personality based on their experiences. It was implied that David Elster had a sexual relationship with Niska even though he made her to be a sibling to his son; essentially, she was his daughter. Niska attitude about men and sex are based on that betrayal and her work in a Synth brothel.
How does this work for the ones awakened by Niska’s upload? Ten (Radiator) was affectionate, optimistic, and friendly. Hester is …. a bit of a psychopath. She tortures the man in the barn, wanting him to explain they (humans) hurt them (Synths). Leo and Max explain to her why it’s wrong – though Leo seems to be ready to play dirty – and she seems to get it… until she murders the man in the woods after Max lets him go.
Starring: Gemma Chan, Katherine Parkinson, Colin Morgan, Emily Berrington, Lucy Carless, Tom Goodman-Hill, Ivanno Jeremiah, Theo Stevenson, Sonya Cassidy, Pixie Davies, Carrie-Ann Moss