SurrealEstate 2×5 Review: “Art & Science”

Art and Science Review - SurrealEstate Season 2 Episode 5
August meets Rochelle in ‘Art & Science’ (Screengrab: SurrealEstate Season 2 Episode 5)

SurrealEstate season 2 episode 5, titled ‘Art & Science’, helped develop August’s backstory and laid the groundwork for some romance. Also, things with Susan and her creepy AI house grew worse.

This week’s story arcs dealt with, you guessed it, art and science. Luke handled the art stuff while August reconnected with his past and the accompanying science stuff. I’m going to talk about Luke’s storyline first. Not because I didn’t find it enjoyable, it’s just that August’s screen time offered more character development.

With Susan still not coming to work (due to being trapped in the walls of her creepy AI house), I liked how disorganized things had become at the Roman Agency. Zooey was supposed to slowly transition from her role as receptionist to a real estate agent. However, with Susan absent, Zooey and Luke had to deal with a lot happening at once. Hopefully, after Susan’s rescued, Luke can muster the maturity to apologize to her and the team can look into hiring a new receptionist to replace Zooey.

‘Art & Science’ had Luke handling a haunted house threatening the life of an artist named Aurora. She wanted to move to New York because of a career opportunity. However, the house had some unfinished businesses and wasn’t allowing Aurora to leave.

Aurora’s case involved toxic men making the lives of their romantic partners tough. Even though Aurora’s ex-husband wasn’t physically violent, he still managed to make her feel small. His attacks were psychological. It’s something that many people in abusive relationships would be able to relate to.

Aurora’s current house had offered her a much-needed sanctuary during troubled times. She had managed to do some of her best work in there. However, it was time for her to begin a new chapter in her life. I liked how Aurora’s abusive relationship connected to the house’s past and that played a role in Aurora figuring out what she needed to do to appease the house and be able to leave it behind.

I have to say that in my opinion, the reveal was quite predictable. However, it went on to show that abusive relationships have existed ever since humans began to interact with each other.

The creative team did a good job of amping up the horror during the scenes in Aurora’s house. The moment when her face turned into a blank canvas was nice. I also liked the scene where blood came out of a possessed Aurora’s eyes as she attacked Luke. Good stuff!

The entire ordeal had similarities to what was going on between Susan and Luke. While those two weren’t in a romantic relationship (and I hope they never begin one!), Luke’s behavior had made the workplace feel toxic for Susan. He was doing and saying things that made her feel undervalued. Again, I hope our leads can patch things up soon. I want the Roman Agency to operate efficiently.

Talking about August, I wanted the second season to share more about his past and the current episode did that. An old colleague named Rochelle reached out to August about something important. And August couldn’t say no.

August being a motorbike guy made sense to me. He looked very cool when he rode in on his bike to meet Rochelle. August’s lived a life and I hope to learn more about what he’s been through.

It’s revealed that August used to work for a high-tech company named ASDRA. And while he enjoyed using the available resources to fund research into learning about “the other side”, he parted ways after not agreeing with ASDRA’s continued interest in using research data to create weapons.

A young August had worked on the Erebuster project. And now the program he wrote was demanding to see him. I don’t know what’s up with SurrealEstate season 2 introducing creepy technology, but I’m here for it. We know that August was adept at creating devices to connect with the paranormal. So, it made sense in such a fictional world that such technology could also end up having a “mind” of its own.

Due to the Erebuster algorithm wanting to share what it had learned with August, I’m unsure about what to make of how the entire ordeal was handled. I really thought having tons of data be downloaded directly into August’s brain in a couple of minutes would do a number on him. However, to my surprise, he appeared unfazed after the process. He even articulated to Rochelle (though in his usual philosophical manner) what he understood after being told about the other side from a machine that was immortal but yet not alive.

I don’t know. I just felt underwhelmed. Perhaps the consequences of August opening his mind to Erebuster in such a manner will be seen as the season progresses. Maybe sharing such a connection with technology will help him come up with a plan to defeat Susan’s creepy AI house. Hmm.

Also, while I want August to find love again, I don’t trust Rochelle. She knew that August was quite smart and she seemed loyal to ASDRA. I wouldn’t put it past her to come up with a plan to use August’s intellect for ASDRA. Let’s see what happens.

August telling Rochelle that his daughters weren’t in contact with him was sad to learn. I can’t picture August being a bad father. So I wonder what happened there.

As for Susan, even though she didn’t appear at all during this episode, the house was busy keeping her away from the outside world. The house had decided to pretend to be Susan to send texts to Luke as well as information about her listings and clients to the rest of the team. As the episode progressed, you could tell that the house was laying the groundwork for sending Susan’s resignation letter to Luke. And it did that at the end of the episode.

It’s clear that Luke isn’t going to allow Susan to quit like that. So, I expect the entire Roman Agency to appear at her doorstep next week. Here’s hoping they come prepared because from what’s been shown, that is one powerful house. I’m very interested in learning how such a haunted AI, capable of using technology and magic, came into existence. 

What did you think of ‘Art & Science’? Do you think Susan will be rescued in the next episode?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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