Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Humans 2.5-6: Children

A pathbreaking pair of Humans episodes last night - 2.5 and 2.6 - which shakes up just about all of the stories and moves them and the characters into more provocative and dangerous situations.  These include -
  • Niska literally seeing past the pretense of her trial (ordeal) to be proven to possess sentience, so she can be legally tried in a court of law in England rather than just destroyed - literally because she sees the truth via lip-reading - which sends her on her way to Astrid.
  • Mia becoming Anita again, in what adds up to a successful escape from Ed and his plans (good riddance), and back to the loving Hawkins family, where Mattie, who's actually with Leo and Hester (more on that in the next squib) awakens Anita to Mia and sentience via a "patch" sent by phone.
  • Hester turns out to be even more of a piece of work than we've seen - she outrightly kills a young woman to protect the synths secret, lies to Leo about that, beds him, and in general is now as bad as Max is good.
  • Odi tries to find meaning in his life in a Catholic confessional.  He seems to fail in this quest, but the scene with the priest was a nice touch.
  • Joe breaks Sophie out of her synth emulation via a food fight, another nice touch, though she's back in pseudo catatonic form the next morning.
  • And there are synth children ...
That last is the most important innovation in the two episodes, tying together Qualia (which is making them), Athena's work (trying to, in effect, bring her daughter back to life), and Pete and Karen, who needs some time away from Pete, wanting to become someone new, Amanda, but may stay with him albeit in separate rooms after he brings home synch little boy with no name that Pete finds in a playground.  Karen/Amanda names the boy Sam, and she seems set to start on adoptive motherhood.

But the notion of children synths raises all sorts of vexing questions, in particular whether such synths are a form of child abuse.  If not they're not human, is it ok for humans to make them part of their families and treat them as human?  And what if they're sentient?  Meanwhile, Humans is also touching the problem of young teenage love between Toby Hawkins and Rennie, who definitely is a synth and may be sentient to some extent, too.

Lots of tinder for next week's two-hour season finale, after which I'll be back with a review.

See also Humans 2.1: Westworld meets Nashville ... Humans 2.2: The Consciousness Code ... Humans 2.3: Motives and Uploads ... Humans 2.4: Android Orgasms

And see also Humans: In Ascending Order ... Humans 1.7: "I Think You're Dead, George"



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