There are a handful of shocks and surprises in episode 4. Be it something physically done to Anita, which characters finally have their storylines converge with another, or perhaps who we learn is a possible sentient synth. More below.
Trigger Warning(s): Attempted Sexual Assault
Characters & Story (with Commentary)
Topic 1: Replaced by a Synth – Peter
With Peter assaulting a journalist and thus being suspended, it puts quite the strain on his relationship with Jill. After all, worse enough he now is stuck at home, not working or on this case in which he can prove synths aren’t all what they crack up to be, but now he has to deal with Simon being around him all day. Which, of course, makes him very agitated to the point of yelling and screaming at Jill. To the point where she decides that Peter has to go. Not to imply they are getting a divorce, but with her not feeling happy, and of course Peter feeling replaced, it does seem that while papers may not have been filed, things aren’t looking good at all.
Luckily for Peter, though, he has some backup plans. The first being working with the journalist so that not only can he be back on the force, but also he can be an informant which can start to slowly poison the public opinion of synths. Alongside that victory, he has Karen allowing him to sleep on her couch. Which, while one could maybe argue could be due to feelings, I highly doubt such exist. If only because the actress who plays Karen makes it truly seem that she is more worried about Peter getting closer than happy. As for why? Well, it is because Karen is, in fact, a synth, much less a sentient one which has mastered being human so well that it seems she eats like a human, but disposes of the broken down material before she charges at night.
Topic 2: Distrust and Suspicion – Joe, Anita, and Laura
Despite all that has happened, Laura continues to look at Anita with suspicion. Though what fires up her engines this time is Mattie talking about the glitch Anita had, in which Mia seemed scared, and a case her law office rejected dealing with a synth possibly enjoying the theater, yet being kicked out due to being a synth. This combination, which includes Laura investigating the synth mentioned, leads to her wanting to know, without a doubt, whether it is Anita who is different, or maybe Laura herself who is crazy.
However, during the time in which Laura is speaking to Howard, the aforementioned Synth, and his owner, Joe is being a very bad boy. For, you see, with Laura having to suddenly slip away, during a night all the kids are gone and he was expecting some hanky panky, he gets suspicious. Leading to him asking Anita to do a few things which seem a bit out of character for Joe. Be it asking for Laura’s personal documents, tracking her movements, asking about Tom, who apparently is still alive, and then this final shocker: he puts Anita into adult mode. Meaning everyone’s favorite dad, who has instilled guilt within his wife for not being there, among other things, is the one who does wrong in their relationship. Granted, after having sex with Anita, he looks guilty as hell, as does Anita who I think slowly is gaining consciousness , but it doesn’t erase the fact he not only slept with her but then asked her to keep it a secret.
Leading to perhaps another one of the most significant moments: The moment we learn Anita is 14 years old. Something which is important for it begins to allow us to understand how long ago it was when Dr. Elster perhaps created the sentient beings, much less it also leads you to question how long was Mia, alongside Leo and the rest, were on their own? This question, alongside how did Elster die, makes this small, almost insignificant thing, dealing with her age, almost act like opening a can of worms. Though that little tidbit is just the beginning.
Topic 3: When Characters Converge – Leo, Mattie, Niska, and Dr. Millican
To begin, like her father, in some way, Mattie has an odd experience with a synth and sex. Of which, as you can imagine, doesn’t deal with her having sex with one, but more so preventing a boy she knows from doing so. For at a party she and Toby go to , she prevents a synth from being sexually assaulted or even raped. Which seemed almost odd since she has used the term “slave” for synths, but being that the would-be slave is a woman, and the perpetrator was being rather creepy about it, I guess the feelings her empathy for it, human woman to synth woman, override her almost absolute hatred for the things.
Borderline problematic talking about rape aside, in the episode we find Leo’s storyline converge with both Mattie’s and Dr. Millican. Though with Mattie’s it is rather quick for they meet at a diner, to speak about Mia, but with Leo acting rather weird, and aggressive, Mattie makes a quick exit for her own safety. However, this isn’t before revealing Mia is her synth and effectively making it so you know Leo, with Max’s help likely, will be stalking the poor girl.
As for Dr. Millican’s involvement, he helps expand on the show’s mystery by helping us learn that not only is Leo Dr. Elster’s son but also that Leo is dead. Effectively making you wonder what exactly is this Leo we know? Is he simply the top of the line sentient that can be made, which perhaps has human memories implanted? Could he be a hybrid of some kind? What perhaps led to Dr. Millican leaving the synth project? Or could he very well be confused and maybe not even know what he is, and his would be brothers and sisters don’t have the heart to tell him?
Oh, and speaking of sisters, Niska is still causing trouble in the human world, and hardly being discreet about it. This time around, she finds herself in a smash club, a place where humans take their frustrations out on synth and decides to smash some humans. All the while someone is filming, another calls the cops, and she nearly gets caught. Which, luckily for Leo, she doesn’t. For, alongside what has been mentioned, another finding during Leo’s time with Dr. Millican is that Dr. Elster liked to hide things within the codes of his synth. Thus leading Leo to believe he needs his brothers and sisters to discover how to allow synths to gain consciousness. Something which he can’t do unless he has all his brothers and sisters, for it seems the information needed may be split up. Leaving us wondering if, alongside Fred, Leo, Max and Niska, could Jill possibly have part of the code, and maybe others like Vera?
Things To Note
: Being that Anita is often hard to read, since it is hard to say whether Mia doesn’t have her moments when she takes over, I must say sometimes it seemed like she was ok with the idea of Joe touching her, but then reneged once she perhaps realized she did a bad thing. It is hard to say though because I find myself often questioning if Anita is simply a defense mechanism or is Mia’s personality truly buried deep within her code. Either way, Joe has definitely taken a dive in how I see his character and can’t bounce back.
: Toby has a very small storyline worth noting in which he rejects a human girl, Caroline, for he seems to be interested in someone else. Note: Caroline is very fit, kisses him publicly, and seemingly wants to have sex with him. Yet, likely due to feelings for Anita, Toby rejects her like an absolute idiot.
“I’m an analog man in a digital world.”
— “Episode 3.” Humans
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