Humans 1×03 Review: Episode 3

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The nice thing about short seasons is that there is much less filler, and every episode advances the story in some way. Last week, I mentioned that all of the plots on Humans are seemingly interconnected. This week, it’s clear that they are. Whereas before, there were very thin threads connecting all of our main characters, now we can very firmly see how they all fit together.

Let’s start, as always, with the Hawkins family. Picking up right where we left off, Laura is determined to return Anita, believing her to be malfunctioning. Toby is so creepily attached to Anita that he immediately races off on his bike to stop his mother and almost dies as a result. The only reason he doesn’t die is because Anita can somehow sense that he is in danger and steps in front of the truck, taking the hit for him. This action makes everyone in the family extremely hesitant to listen to Laura’s assertions that something is wrong with Anita. In fact, predictably, Joe takes the word of the synthetic human over that of his own wife, furthering the divide between the two of them. The way Joe casually dismisses Laura’s feelings and doesn’t even seem to pick up on the fact that she is upset makes me wonder what exactly his motives were when purchasing Anita in the first place. Not to mention, Anita discovered a picture in Laura’s secret photo album of her as a girl with a boy named “Tom”. Anita’s “innocent” questioning about the photo leads to Laura having a particularly visceral reaction, which naturally Joe overhears. Not that he has the right to be upset after his “examination” of Anita. (Speaking of, why would a synth need undergarments?)

humans 1x03 2The only apparently sane member of the Hawkins family is Mattie, who secretly downloads Anita’s code in an effort to figure out why she’s different from other synths. Whatever she does triggers Mia’s resurgence; Mia manages to break through “Anita’s” programming and ask Mattie for help. Mattie is so startled that she unplugs her from her computer, and Mia reverts back to “Anita”, which disturbs Mattie even more. So whatever was done to Anita doesn’t seem to be permanent, which makes me wonder just what exactly they did to her, or rather, how complex is her programming that a memory wipe didn’t actually wipe her memory. This also begs the question, is Mia aware of everything that is going on with “Anita”?

Searching for answers, Mattie posts Anita’s code on a hacking message board, which, coincidentally, is exactly what Leo and Max were hoping for. Of course, we’ve known that Leo and Max were already searching for Anita, but now that the story is progressing, they are more thoroughly intertwined. (On that front, did you notice that Leo has a nightmare very similar to the flashes Anita experienced in an earlier episode?)

On the other side of Leo and Max, Niska appears to have gone rogue. Understandably upset that Leo left her rotting in a brothel – wondering if he would have left her there if she were human – Niska has gone off on her own, brushing off Max’s attempts to get her to stay by attributing his arguments to “human words”. She shows no remorse for humans 1x03 3taking a man’s life, which leads me to wonder if remorse is an emotion that even these “special” synths are incapable of feeling. She indicates that she would take another life if that person deserved it, and doesn’t seem to care that she will be drawing attention to herself and the others. (“I’m practically one of you,” Leo reminds her, which makes us revisit the question of what, exactly, he is.) Niska is smart enough to disguise her obvious, synthetic eyes (which makes me wonder if she can dye her hair) and change her clothes, and when she goes out to a bar, she immediately gets hit on. It’s unclear to me whether her intention was to troll for deviant men, or if she rolled with the punches and just took the opportunity when it presented itself, but it is clear that she absolutely meant to kill the guy. Does she believe that all men are like the man that she killed, as her only interaction with men (other than, presumably, Leo and their “father”) is less than ideal? I will say that I’m glad that she left, because for a second I was worried that Niska would be “saved” by “love”, and wouldn’t that be boring. Niska on a mission to rid the world of perverts is much more interesting.

Niska’s storyline connects Leo (and thereby Anita and the Hawkins family) with Peter, who along with his partner, is called in to investigate the murder in the brothel. Learning the killer was a synth seems to solidify whatever opinion Peter has about synths. By stating that it was bound to happen sooner or later, he is basically crowing “I told you so”, because this is apparently a discussion that he has engaged in more than once. He is even further angered when he learns they are meant to claim that the murder was an accident. Because Hobb, who is chasing after the “special” synths for as yet unknown reasons, wants to derail any official investigation so that he can find Niska on his own. What is Hobb’s angle? What does he want these synths for?

Still off on his own right now is George, who in a desperate attempt to keep Odi from being recycled, pulls a move straight out of a Lassie movie and takes him out into the woods to let him go. Odi’s defects cause him to wreck the car, which seems to damage him even further. George instructs him to hide before climbing into the drivers’ seat, taking the blame. When he returns home, George worries about Odi being left in the woods all on his own. We’re still not sure if Vera has malicious intentions or if she is simply programmed to be as clinical as possible. Nor do I think we quite understand the depth of George’s attachment to Odi.

We’re slowly learning how everything connects, but what we still have no concept of is why this is happening. What is it about right now that has Hobb trailing after the “special” synths, or has he always been after them and we just came in on his latest attempt? Why is he so interested in them in the first place? Just what exactly is the bigger picture?

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.

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