Tuesday, 21 July 2015
Humans: Episode 5
"She saved our son's life. And you're calling her a sex toy!"
Lots of revelations this week, some of them dramatic. It may be an episode of, essentially, exposition, but this is how you do it.
We begin with the meme of a "killer synth" having escaped into the public imagination, and we assume that it's Niska. Isn't that too obvious, though? Could it be Karen, for example? Interesting, if so: she and Pete are put on to the case.
We continue with a family debate about what to do with Anita. Joe, with a dirty secret to hide, wants rid of her, but no one else does, motivated by curiosity and not a little affection. Something is going to happen.
Leo sends Niska to George, where she'll be safe,which is awfully crazy newbie to because the two of them are both fascinating in their interaction and able to further the plot by exchanging information; for the first time it's confirmed that Niska was constructed by the mysterious David Elster.
Joe nearly succeeds in getting rid of Anita and his dirty secret, but she is rescued by the increasingly heroic Matilda and taken to Leo and Max, only for a devastated Leo to ultimately fail at restoring Mia from inside her. This is a crushing blow both to him and to us.
George experiences a fascinating, philosophical side to Niska, as he exposure that he was "lured over" from MIT, twenty-five years ago, to join David Elster in his work. But Elster, apparently, intended to pursue consciousness, hence his children. Even curiouser, Leo Elster was officially declared brain dead; this gives us a heavy hint as to how and why he now appears to be some sort of cyborg.
The big revelation finally arrives: Mattie notices that Anita's sex circuits have been activated. At first Leo is blamed, and is happy to take the rap for his dad, but Joe isn't quite as bad as all that and eventually confesses. This is very well written and played; Joe is arguably a rapist of sorts, but he is not played as a monster, just as a weak man. Tom Goodman-Hilll deserves a lot of praise here.
This leads, of course, to a lot of drama and to Laura throwing Joe out. Whatever the arguments about whether he's committed adultery or a type of masturbation with a sex toy, what really disgusts Laura is how rapey it all feels.
Pete, meanwhile, has his anti-synth feelings reinforced throughout the episode- he has, after all, been cuckolded by one. An interesting scene sees him attending an event on the streets, addressed by a fascinatingly persuasive anti-synth demagogue. All this is clearly leading up to something. As are many things. Humans still rocks.