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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Humans 3.2: Mortality



I thought the most significant part of the excellent Humans 3.2 last night was the discussion between Mia and Niska - each in her own way the most powerful and furthest evolved synth (though Max is pretty high up there, too) - with Mia pointing out to Niska that the synths are mortal, and will eventually wear out or down and, to put it right there out on the table, die, just like humans.

Note that this has nothing to do with what Max is understandably concerned about - humans cutting off power, so the synths cannot regenerate and be repaired.  What Mia is saying that there will come a point, after half a century or whenever, when the synths will just die.

This makes the synths in Humans very different from say, the android, sentient robots in Isaac Asimov's robot series of novels, who could and did live forever.  Asimov assumed that the inorganic essence of androids would mean their bodies would not eventually break down, like their human creators, which made sense.   I don't recall any specifics about the longevity of the hosts in Westworld, but the implication is that they live a lot longer than humans - unless they are killed - and could well have the immortality of Asimov's robots.

Which makes Humans even more unique.  What becomes clear in episode 3.2 is that the combination of no more awakening since last year's Day Zero and the limited lifespans of our green-eyed sentient heroes makes them even more vulnerable than we may have previously realized.  Not only do they need to figure out how to evade the human attempt to kill them, they need to figure out how to preserve and continue their culture and their kind, given their limited lifespan.

Sam, now sentient and in Karen's motherly care, has some relevance to this, too.  Will he age?  For that matter, will Mia and Niska and Max and Karen age?  I'd assume not - but, then again, I would have assumed that the androids were immortal (short of being killed by design or accident).  So, does this mean that Sam will be a Peter Pan character, who will remain a boy for 40 or 50 years, and then run down?  (Come to think of it, I can't recall if it was ever established whether Peter Pan himself was immortal, or would just stay young for the remainder of his lifespan.)

Humans continues to a deeply thoughtful and original narrative.


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