Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Humans: Episode 6

"If you power me down now, I will be unable to penetrate your wife."

It had to be that quote. There were plenty of potentials early on but when that one came along I knew it was The One.

Anyway, Humans. The revelations and the drama continue as per the last two episodes in what is turning out to be an interesting visually well-paced eight-parter, with no signs thus far of things dragging. Yes, there are times where the story has slowed down to explore theme and character, but there has been no padding. The writers deserve praise for that. 

They also deserve praise for this episode as a whole. The early scene with Fred, thus far a neglected character, both shows him to be a fascinating individual and raises the possibility that he, not Biska or Karen, may turn out to be the "killer synth". He's now on the loose. Max, too, gets a chance to shine, and die heroically to boot, as we examine his personality. He's a lovely bloke- loving, caring,  trusting, if not stupidly so, and with a faith in both humanity and, tentatively at least, God; the scene where he prays is quietly powerful. And yet he's the one who dies in an act of self sacrifice. What happens to Leo we will find out next week.

The repercussions of Joe's somewhat tapes act of infidelity are profound, yet they lead to a moving rapprochement of sorts between Laura and Mattie as we discover who the mysterious Tom was. It seems he was Laura's younger brother, who died as a child while his older sister was dying to look after him. Since then Laura has been dead to her awful mother, and Laura is terrified that the cycle is continuing with her and Mattie. I feel it won't, somehow.

The relationship between Biska and George continues to fascinate; Niska won't admit it, but heckles the old man. And we empathise with him, too, especially as we discover that George, after a stroke, has forgotten all about his late wife, relying on Odi to keep memories for him. It's clear he loves that poorly synth.

Niska, meanwhile, is five years younger than Mia and, it's implied, was used early on by David Elster as a concubine. Lovely. How very rapey. There's an obvious parallel here with Joe. 

Most dramatically, though, Mia makes a brief appearance to Laura and Mattie; the Anita personality keeps deleting her on the surface but she is always there in the nervous system, a metaphor for the subconscious. Interestingly, she says that she lost a son. This leads to Mattie and Laura making contact with a philosophical Max and a disconsolate and nearly dead Leo. At this point the revelations cone thick and fast, about David Elster's use of synth tech to resurrect his brain-dead son, of Nia being made as his surrogate mother, then Fred, Niska and Max, before his mysterious suicide. 

Mia agrees to stay with Laura and Mattie for the time being, but the increasingly creepy Hoe decides to snitch on Leo and Max, with the aforementioned tragic consequences. Is this the point where he stops being an empathetic character and just becomes pathetic?

Perhaps the most tragic character is Karen, though: after making love to her "favourite human", Pete, she all but declared her love for him and reveals her true nature, only to be horribly rejected by the appalled Pete, whose dislike of synths is well-established. This is yet another cliffhanger on an episode which is even more superb than usual. I can't wait until next time.

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