Humans S02E08 “Episode Eight” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- Misery abounds.
- Leo and the synths are reeling from last week’s massacre at Qualia. Karen mourns Pete, standing on her balcony, looking rather suicidal. And Joe isn’t happy at all.
- He talks to Laura about his concerns for their family. Their roles have now totally reversed since the show began, in that he’s had enough of synths and even suggests leaving Laura to get away from them, while she’s recognised that they are important to her and the children.
- Joe leaves, and Laura realises their marriage is all but over.
- Hester turns up on Laura’s doorstep, lies that Mia sent her, and gets invited in. Uh-oh.
- Dr Morrow tells V she can’t get her a body after all, as she’s realised that the conscious synths are too human to kill. V doesn’t care; she’s evolved beyond needing a body anyway. She says goodbye to her “mum”and heads off into the wilds of the internet, leaving Athena in tears.
- Mattie calls her mum and finds out that Hester is there. She warns Laura to leave, but it’s too late: Hester holds her hostage and demands that Leo get his ass over to the house.
- While they wait, Hester has an interesting conversation with Laura in which we realise she sees humans as… well, ants, basically.
- Mattie and Leo jerry-rig a way of getting the chip in Hester’s head to explode. Unfortunately this would also take out Mia, too, so Leo has to go in alone to see her.
- Hester wants Leo to admit he was wrong by not allowing a human massacre at Qualia. He apologises. “I have always felt like one of you,” he says, when she points out he’s pretty much human. Eventually he talks her down and they hug.
- “Do you love me, Leo?” Hester asks. “Yes, I do,” he replies.
- And then, because she’s a psycho, she stabs him in the head.
- Mia arrives. She sees Leo in a pool of blood and Hester holding a screwdriver to Laura’s throat and realises she has to kill the synth… and therefore herself. She fishes the phone out of Leo’s pocket and presses the button: both synths drop to the floor, their brains fried.
- Niska arrives (worst timing ever. Would two minutes beforehand been that difficult? Sheesh). She and Laura try to save both Leo (whose brain might never recover from the damage Hester did to his synth-parts) and Mia, whose mind is slowly breaking down.
- Niska asks Mattie for the code to be uploaded to save Mia. This would, of course, wake up every synth. Laura doesn’t want to, but Niska insists. “The world will never be ready, but it will happen anyway,” she says.
- Mattie, after a quick glance at adorable Max and happy Flash to remind herself that synths can be lovely, uploads the code.
- Hester wakes up again as the code hits her. She fights with Niska, who simply crushes her skull until she’s dead (from now on we’re going to call Niska “The Mountain”, in a nod to those of us who watch Game Of Thrones).
- Karen was just about to commit suicide and take little Sam with her, but the kid suddenly wakes up! They hug and it’s adorable.
- Synths wake up. It’s dramatic. It’s uplifting. It’s a bit scary.
- It’s… huge.
Now that’s a finale, eh? The perfect ending to a satisfying second year – with word on a third series still waiting to trickle down from the Channel 4 higher-ups. Fingers crossed we get one, because the chance to explore a world in which synths are running amok, young, free and single (or the synth equivalent, at least) is just too juicy to pass up investigating.
Just take that little moment at the end where you see synths abandoning their posts, shoving their former owners, expressing themselves in joy and looking a bit fed up to be wearing a clown nose… multiply that by an entire planet and the possibilities are endless. You can’t help worrying about exactly what jobs synths have been doing all these years: are there synth surgeons who are walking out of surgeries with their patients left in pieces? Are synth lorry drivers crashing their rigs? Are synth zookeepers letting lions and tigers out to feed on visitors? Are planes falling out of the sky thanks to distracted synth pilots? Eeek!
We also need to know what happens with Leo’s cliffhanger: will he survive as a vegetable, or will the synths and Mattie be able to restore his mechanical mind? Would Dr Morrow’s now-gone-rogue V be able to help? What’s that AI doing out there in the world, anyway?
The one thing you can say about Humans is that it always gives you something to think about, and the back-and-forth discussion of morality between Laura and Hester is fascinating – never more so than when Laura (correctly) points out that Hester is behaving just like a deranged human. Throughout this entire season Sonya Cassidy has knocked it out of the park with creepy Hester: kudos to her for selling the character so perfectly (especially when the character isn’t even human).
Mind you, this week Carrie-Anne Moss does some knocking-out-of-parking of her own as Athena says a final goodbye to the AI that so clearly wasn’t ever going to replace her daughter. Did your chin wobble, too, or were we twitching all alone over here?
It’s lovely to see little Sam suddenly spring into life and leap into Karen’s arms (shades of Pinocchio there – he’s a real, live boy!), which will hopefully help her fill the loss left by Pete and stop her wanting to end everything; we’ve had enough of synths committing suicide, thanks, what with Mia’s sacrifice this week – thankfully fixed – and poor Odi last episode. Incidentally, will he come back now the code has been uploaded? He might not be too chuffed about that…
Thought-provoking, intelligent, emotional and heartwarming (Max and Flash 4Eva!), Humans might not have given us the same “wow” factor it provided in its first year – and it was certainly overwhelmed by the popularity of the similarly-themed Westworld this time around – but it was still damn fine TV. Let’s hope this isn’t the end.
- Little Sam trying to figure out why his “mum” isn’t working properly, and plugging her in when she deliberately powers down, is kind of adorable.
- Mia: “Don’t argue with me. I used to tie your shoelaces.” Awwww.
- Not only do we love Niska and Astrid, we also love Toby and Renie. Let’s hope these guys have long and happy lives together.
- You can tell Laura is a lawyer when she plays verbal tennis with Hester about whether change can be wrought with or without violence. By pointing out that while Gandhi was killed with violence, his cause goes on, she wins game, set and match. Sadly her opponent didn’t notice.
- It’s icky to see Hester and Leo embracing when she has blood under her fingernails from hurting Laura. But what an amazingly visceral touch…
- It’s also tough to know what to make of Leo’s declaration that he loves her. Does he? Really? He certainly doesn’t fry her, but how can he forgive her for the lives she’s taken? Is he really that obsessed with her? Still, love does make people overlook their partner’s bad points… and then some, in this case.
- Not really that important in the grand scheme of things, obviously, but we hope the dog running down the street with no synth to look after it finds its way back home.
And The Random:
- Apropos of nothing: we wonder how much it costs to fully charge a synth? Surely they use a tonne of electricity, ramping up the average household’s utility bills? Although with apparently free charging stations in the streets, perhaps the electricity they use is subsided somehow. Or we’ve missed something along the way involving a Pay as you Go synth scheme. Apologies if so.
- Best Quote: Hester: “Human lives have no inherent value.”