As it is increasingly questioned how synthetics can carve out and secure their future, humanity has the same discussion without them. Possibly to their own detriment.


Network
Channel 4
Director(s) Jill Robertson
Writer(s) Jonathan Brackley, Sam Vincent
Air Date 5/24/18
Actors Introduced
Stanley Dino Fetscher
Neil Sommer Mark Bonnar

The Future For Synthetic Life: Sam, Joe, Laura, Karen

Laura asking Stanley if Dr. Sommer lied to her.
Stanley (Dino Festcher)
“Stanley? Was Dr. Sommer lying to me just then?”

There is a lot of conversation about whether to integrate, separate, or plain eliminate the self-aware synths. It’s something which comes up during the Dryden Commission and there is even something called “Basswood” brought up. Which, of course, Laura, being new to things, doesn’t know about, but her new friend Neil might. Something she only learns because of her new, mandatory assigned, synth named Stanley.

Someone who, of course, Laura is worried about having about but as seen when she was married to Joe, way back in season 1, she is no supermom. So having the extra help makes life a bit more easier. Even though the guilt and fear of a self-aware synth discovering this worries her.

Though, the one who is truly worried about the state of their life and family is Karen. With Joe discovering her boy is going to school amongst humans, within a community which prides itself on being synth-free, so comes the worry he might out them. Which is especially dangerous for Sam since he is still, alongside Karen, on the run.

Commentary

Sam asking Karen if Joe is really their friend and if he can be trusted.
Sam: “Is he really our friend?”

One of the things which makes Humans different from most sci-fi productions is that it doesn’t do big moments, outside of its season finales usually. Everything else is vague enough to be drawn out but intriguing enough to raise an eyebrow out. Case in point, “Basswood” and how the mention of that may set the stage for the end of this season or the next. That is, alongside Laura getting to show how one of the best ways to be an advocate is to get yourself in the room of the decision makers. For now she is able to map out allies, neutrals, and enemies of synth rights. Making her much more valuable to the movement than just arguing cases which, clearly, she can barely afford to take on. Not just money wise but time wise as well. Not to forget safety.

Which will make this whole Stanley thing interesting. Not just because he is a mobile lie detector, and can help her work Neil to her benefit, but also the fact she needs a synth in her life. She has three kids, two which consistently are in her home, and can’t do it all. That is, on top of being unable to have a green-eyed synth on hand. At least a green-eyed synth who isn’t willing to put on some contacts anyway.

Leading to Karen and Joe – I hope he doesn’t do something petty and just leaves Karen the hell alone. I get his ego is greatly bruised thanks to synths making his former job obsolete but between synths and other forms of automation, it was bound to happen right? Of course everyone thinks it’ll be the next generation’s problem but sometimes it hits much sooner than you think. So here is hoping he doesn’t see outing Karen and Sam as a means of revenge. Especially since Karen was quite open about not just her situation, but foolishly where she lives.

A New Future: Mia, Niska

Mia asking what it was like for Niska to be alone with Astrid?
“What was it like, being with her all this time, just the two of you?”

With both Mia and Niska having a taste of close human relationships, Niska with Astrid and Mia with Laura’s family as well as with the restaurant owner, how to expand those opportunities is in question. Though, also for Mia, there is the issue of getting over betrayal and dealing with those emotions. Something which Niska, being that she had quite the tumultuous life before Astrid, understands yet also has insight on. Which, of course, she doesn’t divulge much into, since she isn’t much for being mushy and talking about feelings, but she does note to not let one experience ruin everything.

Something Mia may remember well but it doesn’t sole that personal issue or the much larger one of how to continue life after their bodies, which last for approximately 50 years, are no longer optimal. Much less, with the consciousness code no longer producing new aware synths, and everyone having no idea how to replicate or adapt it, there is also the issue of their kind dying out. An issue Agnes takes up with Max as Mia and Niska go about trying to save synths new to the country. Well, Mia goes to save them and Niska to interrogate.

Commentary

Mia talking about their inability to procreate. Especially since she recognizes her body is finite.
“We can’t procreate, Niska and our bodies are finite.”

It’s kind of weird to see, after Mia has been the knowledgeable big sister for most of the show, Niska now be the sort of worldly and mature one. Granted, she still has a bit of bloodlust but the way she spoke to Mia about not letting one person, human, ruin all the possibilities of her future was touching. Making it really seem her time with Laura and her family, being defended by her as well, changed a lot for her.

Not to downplay Astrid, but considering Laura knew who Niska was, warts and all, but still tried to defend her and give her justice, I think had a stronger impact. Because, as mature as Niska may seem, she is still someone with emotions who I can imagine getting jealous or maybe self-conscious. Like if she visits Astrid and she is being friendly with a nurse.

But, something else which had to draw your attention is the lifespan comment and also that Mia and others were looking for a way to continue the awakening. More Day 0 synths. Yet, somehow, seemingly they lost the ability to do so. And what perhaps tickles me about that is the wording around it. That is, making it sound like procreation. For, lest we forget, Mia had quite a close relationship with Sophie and considering how attached Karen got to Sam, maybe older synths like Mia see awakening new synths and getting them acclimated like parenting? The only kind they can do since they haven’t evolved, tech-wise, to the point of giving birth to real human babies.

Sacrifices To Maintain Order: Max, Leo, Mattie, Agnes

Agnes looking at Max after being knocked down by him.

Being an elected leader of newly mindful synths is difficult. After all, as Mia implied with the idea of “procreating,” these new synths are basically children and while they develop quickly, they still go through some kind of puberty. Of which Agnes is clearly in her teenage rebellion years. Though you gotta admit, Max going from the benevolent leader, technically elder, to pushing down Agnes and speaking with a commanding tone is a shift. One that has awoken something amongst his ranks to the point it leads to two thoughts: One, Max may not be able to contain the rising anger and two, Leo and Mattie are no longer safe.

So, when it comes to Leo and Mattie, they are just sent off and that handles that. However, as for the rising anger that Agnes is the head of? That is a problem for another day. One which, with the loss of Flash and others, maybe something even this new authoritative Max, who now will have it where no one gets in or out,  may experience great adversity with.

Commentary

Agnes noting if synths had pride they wouldn't be in the situation they are in.
“If we had pride…”

With there being a secret machine in the yard which had messages being given about synths who need help, it makes you wonder if maybe Agnes has outside connections? Because, with a few hundred synths while, as Max notes, they can’t take on an army, if they find a way to be like Karen and integrate, they could easily do quite a bit of damage. Plus, with the way Max talks, Agnes’ change seems a bit startling.

For while, as you could understand, seeing your fellow synth die under the oppressive thumbs of humans could lead you to this hatred, it is hard to not believe there might not be an outside influence. One which could very well already be in the yard and recruiting. Maybe pushing Agnes to lead and cause a full-on rebellion. One in which, if you aren’t for synth supremacy then you are the enemy and all the stuff Agnes talks about for self-sufficiency, with planted moles everywhere, they might one day have.

After all, Karen taught a child robot to adapt to fool kids and adults so how hard would it be for Agnes and crew? Well, as long as they could control their attitudes.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

Life cannot merely be preserved. It must be lived.

Highlights

  1. The rise of infighting and indecision within the synths.
  2. Mia being schooled by Niska about learning to trust again and forgive. Also Niska’s phone conversation with Astrid which was quite cute.
  3. Laura learning a bit more about politics and being one of the few synth advocates in the Dryden commission.
  4. Leo being alive and well and Mattie coerced to take care of him. Which is a highlight since he sees himself as a bridge between synthetic and human, even though the synthetic part has apparently

On The Fence

  1. As usual Joe’s part of the show.

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I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and have aimed to be that friend who loves watching various forms of media and talking about it. So, from bias, strong opinions, and a perspective you may not have thought about, you'll find that in our reviews.

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