Humans S02E07 “Episode Seven” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- After Mattie reveals she has the code that can turn on all the synths, Hester wants it. She’s even prepared to hurt Mattie to get it. Thankfully, Mia tells her to stop.
- Karen is still a bit freaked out about little Sam, who’s being adorable in a synth-kid kind of way. She is conflicted, knowing he’s not real and she’s not real, and so leaves him for Pete to look after while she figures out what to do about her feelings.
- Mattie returns home to find that Odi has effectively committed suicide: he’s turned off the update that made him feel, as he can’t figure out what he wants with his new life and he’d rather have his old, unfeeling one.
- Karen goes to see Dr Morrow at Qualia and outs herself as a synth. Dr Morrow says she can copy Karen’s mind onto the Qualia server and Karen agrees, saying she doesn’t want this body anymore.
- Mia pretends to be a newly-conscious synth so she can be taken inside Qualia. Hester does the same. The moment they’re left alone, they wake up.
- Sophie has been in full-on synth mode and is worrying everybody. She has a little chat with Renie, and inadvertently upsets her by saying she wants to be just like her because Renie doesn’t feel anything. Renie runs off.
- Toby thinks she’s about to commit suicide, so he rushes to her house with his dad. Nope: Renie was just reverting back to human with a nice bath. Embarrassing.
- Still, it was very nice of Toby to care, and now Sophie can see that Renie isn’t a synth anymore, so this might help her a bit. (Although with Sophie, nothing seems to help, weird little sprog that she is.)
- Laura goes to see Astrid, who is in Folkestone. She tells Niska about the plan the other synths are in the middle of pulling off at Qualia. However, Laura was followed, and Niska and Astrid have to run for it.
- Mattie visits Max and his new synth friends and takes them to join Leo at the Silo. First, though, Max has a little kiss with the pink-haired synth, who has rather wonderfully named herself Flash (guess who lived with kids before waking up?).
- Mia and Hester find a room full of synths and wake them up. They make a grand escape. However, Hester refuses to leave, saying she’s going to go back and take care of the people in charge of all this synth-torturing nasty business. Mia follows her, knowing it’s going to get bloody, determined to stop it.
- It’s a good thing they don’t leave with the rest: all the synths in the Silo, including them, have charges in their bodies that explode as soon as they step outside of the complex. Almost all the synths in range of the device drop down dead, much to Leo’s horror.
- Pete arrives, just as Hester takes Dr Aveling hostage so she can kill Dr Morrow, who’s behind a glass wall in her office with Karen. There’s a standoff. It’s tense. Pete tries to talk Hester down.
- It’s no good: Hester kills Dr Aveling, then stabs Pete.
- Mia arrives – stopping dead when she sees Karen, who is of course her creator’s wife (sort of) – then she chases Hester off. She stops along the way to turn off the device that killed all the synths.
- Pete dies as Karen looks on in grief and horror. She cries. It’s uncomfortably human of her. And our chins are wobbling…
- Hester leaves the complex and sees all the bodies. She is NOT HAPPY.
So much happens this week that it feels as though it’s the season finale – luckily we still have one episode to go, so we don’t have to wave goodbye just yet. Hopefully next week’s Humans will be a little more upbeat, too, if only to send us off on a high – unlike the way we felt after watching this!
Doom and gloom are the order of the day here, from the deaths of two beloved characters to that awful, shocking mass slaughter of synths just as they think they’re out of that horrible place. Kudos to the writers for making us feel so much for them by giving them little gestures and mannerisms that make them seem human – the panic when they wake up, the fact they hug and hold hands… awww. Poor things. Qualia, you bastards.
Still, despite these huge events, some aspects of this episode seem bizarrely low-key given their importance. The synths dropping one by one don’t quite have the devastating impact they could have been given by a rousing score or, alternatively, deathly silence. The same goes for the standoff with Hester: okay, the music at least ramps up a bit for this, but you can’t help wondering why the synths don’t just break the glass and fight each other when they’re both stronger than humans; or why Hester so patiently listens to Pete wittering on about love when she had no reason to. And if you couldn’t see Pete’s death coming a mile off, you’re way too optimistic for a show like this.
Worst of all is Odi’s “death”: given how much we love the little guy, he really deserved a more poignant send-off than Mattie finding him, having a quick blub and then the script moving us back to the main storyline. Poor Odi, always the unloved doormat. We will mourn you. *crooked, slightly mangled fist-bump*
While we do think some of the action here could have been given more oomph – for want of a better word – it’s still great television, reaching a high point with Ruth Bradley’s performance as Karen reacts to Pete’s death. And this episode also benefited a great deal from the Renie storyline, which reached its inevitable conclusion as the poor girl just couldn’t keep up the act. Some great acting from Letitia Wright here, too: it’s nice to see how she really looks.
- Sam taking Karen’s pulse and assuming she’s dead. “Please accept my condolences.”
- We also love the little hug he gives her as she leaves, and her response: “I know you’re just programmed to do that, but thank you.”
- Speaking of hugs, THIS:
- Pete! Nooooo! Not Pete! We’re so sad to see him go; he always felt like one of the most realistic, relatable characters in this show. Thank you, Neil Maskell.
- Karen’s grief-stricken face here is heart-rending and horrifying. Synths don’t feel, eh? Stick this one in your pipe and smoke it, British justice system.
And The Random:
- It’s hard to screengrab, but when Astrid and Niska run away, Astrid runs like a human – all arms and legs and flailing – while Niska runs like a synth, all straight lines. It’s not the first time we’ve seen it, of course, but we do love how it’s so subtle and perfect.
- Best Quote: Joe to Toby, after accidentally surprising Renie in the bathroom: “You explain to her, okay? I’ll be downstairs having a coronary event.”