Previously, in “Episode 4”
These might have been the best two episodes of the entire series thus far. With only two hours left in the season, the action and lies ramped up and true motivations were laid bare.
As a Synth, Mia isn’t just stronger than her captors; she’s smarter than them too. When a literal strong arm doesn’t convince Ed to let her go, she resets her programming to the Anita personality. As that Synth is bonded to the Hawkins, the Qualia goons refuse to buy her and accuse Ed and his friend of trying to scam them. Afraid he’ll be arrested, Ed leaves Mia stranded in the street.
Niska realizes she will not be given a fair trial and escapes government custody. They put out the most ineffective BOLO ever, and after a few close calls, Niska ends up back with Astrid.
Leo and Hester capture the woman who killed Ten, and Leo allows Hester to interrogate her alone after she promises not to kill her. Of course, Hester does kill the woman and keeps this from Leo before and after they have sex. Mattie tracks Leo and is prepared to tell him that she completed the Elster code in order to wake the Synths all at once, but she’s put off by Hester and keeps quiet. She does warn Leo against their plans to break into Qualia’s silo, though. Hester intercepts a call from Max after he figures out that she killed the man they were holding. She lies to him, forcing him to deny Leo access to the program locating conscious Synths.
Athena learns of Milo’s true plans to create and sell Synth children. He blackmails her into helping the process by threatening to keep and mass produce the V consciousness. Athena increases her efforts to find the Elster Synths and Leo after she learns her daughter died back in California. She also comes clean to V about using her daughter’s consciousness to create her.
Karen puts space between her and Pete as she doubts their relationship will work; he’s intent on not letting her forget what she is, and she’s determined to do just that. But when he finds a Seraph (child Synth), they work together to locate its owner and their investigation leads them to Athena’s office. If she doesn’t know straight out that Karen is a Synth, she definitely suspects something’s not right with her. At home, Karen’s connection to the Seraph, who she names Sam, may be keeping her put for the time being.
Mia ends up at the Hawkins’ new address, still behaving as Anita. Mattie provides a patch that finally brings Mia forward. The magnitude of Ed’s betrayal sinks in, and Mia decides its best for her to be with her own kind. Reunited with Leo and Hester, she reveals she’s willing to help them break into Qualia.
Bits & Bytes
Poor Odi. He’s having a hard time finding his purpose and discovers how cruel the outside can be. When Mia tells him he’ll have to be strong to survive, it appears as though he has no interest in trying.
The stakes don’t feel as high as they did last season, and I was having a hard time caring about Athena’s story. These episodes changed that a bit, as she seems to become a bit more ruthless in her pursuit of the Elster Synths.
Kid Synths are creepy AF.
And that includes when sweet Sophie pretends to be one. Well, that’s more sad than creepy. There’s a nice bit where Sophie tries to question Renie about how she achieves her Synth look and Renie refuses to break character. Sophie’s fixation on looking and behaving like a Synth may be a bit too on-the-nose in being a representation of real life children trying to emulate celebrities, but at times it’s more frightening because they are figuratively and literally surrounded by their idols all the time.
On that note, it was interesting that they introduced the fact that there are towns that have chosen to be Synth-free. Could Joe be looking to move again?
Show of hands: Who else is downright giddy at the thought of Niska meeting Hester?
Leave your thoughts on the episode below or on our Facebook post for this review, and we’ll read them on tonight’s podcast.