Humans 1×05 Review: Episode 5
Storylines are colliding all over the place on this week’s episode of Humans. With Leo, Mattie, and Anita/Mia all in one place and Niska seeking refuge at George’s house, most of our major players have crossed path with each other. The overall plot arc is advancing, albeit slowly. We are now more than half of the way through the season and have learned some very crucial tidbits – namely that Hobb, the man who is chasing after our special synths, once worked on the project with David Elster and George. This explains why he is so interested in them, but we still can’t be sure why now, of all times, he has been coming after them. Of course, we have no way of knowing just how long he’s been after them; it’s clear that they had been on the run a while. And whoever he is working with (or for? It’s hard to tell who is calling the shots) orders him to destroy Fred so that whatever code is hidden in their heads stays that way. However, after learning that Hobb worked on the project and the way he sincerely apologizes to Fred for having to destroy him, I’m going to assume that he pulled the bait and switch on his bosses.
One sort of mystery was solved, at least. Leo is the reanimated son of David Elster. He drowned as a boy and was declared brain dead, which is why he is part synth. It’s still unclear how much of his system is synthetic, but at least now we know what all the flashes of water mean.
We still have the mystery of what is going on with Anita/Mia. Joe and Laura break the news to their kids that Anita is an old model and illegally modified, which convinces Mattie that Leo was telling her the truth last week. Joe and Laura again disagree, because Joe is determined to send Anita back so that no one discovers his indiscretion, while Laura seems to be coming around to Anita’s presence. Mattie kidnaps Anita, steals the family car, and meets Leo and Max so that they can try to pull Mia out of Anita’s programming. When his efforts prove unsuccessful, a heartbroken Leo tells Mattie to take Anita back, stating that Mia is gone. Colin Morgan’s acting during these scenes was phenomenal, all of his despair and frustration simmering under the surface and visible with just a few tears.
Meanwhile the Hawkins family has more trouble to worry about when – searching for ways to bring Mia back – Mattie discovers that someone activated her adult mode. She assumes that it was Toby, who realizes it was his father but confesses to save his parents’ marriage. However, Joe admits to Laura that it was actually him. Their argument makes me dislike Joe even more than I already did. When he compares Anita to a sex toy, Laura points out that she lives in their house and watches their children. Can a dildo take care of the children? Does a blow-up doll reciprocate? Then Anita is more than just a sex toy. He repeatedly throws Tom in her face during this episode, though only once during the argument, as a way to lay blame on her for his cheating – not that he views what he did as cheating (which is why he wasn’t at all ashamed of his behavior, right?). We can sit here and theorize all we want about who Tom is, but the point is that it doesn’t matter. Joe was trying to justify his behavior and Laura was having none of it.
(But really, who do you guys think Tom is?)
Laura and Joe aren’t the only one with marriage difficulties. In last week’s episode, Peter’s wife tossed him out because she didn’t think their relationship was healthy anymore. She has come to rely heavily on her synth, which is bad news, because he was only a rental and is due to be returned. When Peter finds her to let her know, she launches into a speech about how it was easier to be with the synth than with him, because she didn’t have to watch what she said or wonder if the synth still found her attractive. These are all extremely valid points, however, does no one on this show actually talk to each other? Is the solution to just completely forego the warmth and intimacy of human contact and spend your time solely with synthetic humans? On this show, I would have to say yes. Remember, Toby also passed up a girl who had a crush on him because of some warped crush that he has on Anita.
Niska and George have a very different sort of philosophical discussion. George, as a scientist, is fascinated by the idea of a conscious synth, but he was against the project when David Elster proposed it to him and was thrown off the team shortly after. George is intrigued by the hows and whys of Niska’s existence, trying to figure out how she is different from a human. Niska, however, does not believe that she is any different, except that she is better – faster, stronger, smarter. Niska’s superiority complex is going to get her into trouble, if it hasn’t already. Maybe, though, staying with George will have a positive effect on her.
The idea that synths can pose as human troubles Peter, who is completely unaware that his own partner is a synth. What exactly is Karen’s motivation? Is she trying so hard to find Niska because Niska is like her? Or does she have some sort of nefarious purpose? Maybe she has a plan to infiltrate human society and is worried that Niska will blow her cover. Maybe she has something to do with our group. Karen is still a largely blank slate, but she goes to extreme efforts to blend in. Hopefully we will learn more about her in the next few episodes.
Did you watch this week’s episode of Humans? What did you think? Do you think that Mia is still somewhere inside Anita’s head? What do you think is going on with Karen? Do you think Vera lied to Peter, or did she honestly believe that Niska was human? Who is Hobb working for, and what do they want with our synths?
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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