Tuesday, 28 July 2015
Humans: Episode 7
"Oh, David. What did you do?"
Things get more and more intense this episode until the climax, which promises to lead to an emotionally draining finale. Humans, it's now clear, is one of the all time greats of British television.
The world has turned upside-down. Laura has to learn to make her own coffee again. But we begin ominously, with a flashback to Karen's creation and her traumatic rejection by Leo and her other siblings. In the present, protest rallies indicate an ominous was beyond the characters we know.
The synths and the Hawkins'- including Joe- are altogether and seem to be getting on in a way which, despite some awkwardness, seems at first to hold out hope for peaceful co-existence. Even Joe seems to accept the nature of these sentient synth siblings. Best of all, it seems that Max could possibly be saved.
But in the background lurks Karen, whose story comes out both through Pete's investigations and in her conveniently expository chat with George. It seems Karen represents the overreaching of David Elster- a recreation of his dead beloved. His other creations reacted with hostility to her unveiling, and that night he killed himself. Karen has been left conversation need that she and her sentient synths are not meant to be, and must be destroyed. This is disturbing. Is she so very different, in extending her death wish to others, to those who kill their families before turning the gun on themselves? There is no excuse for her. She wants to murder sentient beings. And (I'm calling it) this makes her capable of killing humans. It must be her- not Niska, not Fred- who is the killer synth.
One thing is certain: she shoots George, and that's a shock. Is it an accident? Perhaps. Still, George's death is extremely moving, with the similarly dying Odi by his side, filling his last moments with memories of his late wife.
That's the most moving moment. The most disturbing is when Mia discusses with him how he had sex with Anita, telling him that "I was in there the whole time". Mia is clever, psychologically acute, nice and has a sense of humour. She may joke to Laura that "They think we plan to conquer the planet and make humanity our slaves", but the point is that synths have no united agenda of any kind. Why should they? They may not be human, but they're people, with all the messy diversity that implies.
And yet- can synths truly be happy in their skin? Karen isn't. And, as Leo tells Mattie. We are not emotionally designed for perfect recall. It is a curse to be denied the luxury of forgetting. That's the think about Humans: it's always throwing out cool ideas like this.
Our happy little family of Hawkinses and synths is upset by discord, firstly by the evaluation that Joe called the police on Leo and Max, and secondly by some TV footage of Niska at the synth Fight Club implying that she's a killer. (Is she? I think not, and the heartwarming scenes of her playing with Sophie are there to get us to earn to her.)
Max, it seems, cannot be salvaged, but the code in his head is still there, and could be used to bring sentience to all synths worldwide. But that's a whole different kettle of fish, and starts a debate for which there simply isn't time: Laura, putting her family first, asks them to leave. But, before they can do so, the trap springs. Karen betrays them, and riot police storm the house....
How can I be expected to wait until Sunday? How?