Welcome to my series blog about the Channel 4 and AMC show Humans. Each week I will be reviewing the latest episode and hopefully some of you will join me below the line to discuss your thoughts on the show and where you think its twists and turns will take us. Warning May Contain Spoilers.
Anita’s warranty is invalidated
Laura’s hopes of returning Anita and getting a full refund are looking less and less likely, especially after Anita threw herself in front of a white van (of all things) to save Toby’s life. The damage she sustained means that Laura is unable to return the item in its original condition and the best she can hope for now is store credit. Was Anita just acting in line with her protocols to protect human life or was it something deeper than that? Even Laura had to eventually admit that Anita had done a good thing and she was grudgingly grateful.
In an amusing scene, Anita insists that Joe has to inspect her for damage so as not to invalidate her warranty, and the feckless Joe obliges, repeating to himself that “she isn’t real, she isn’t real” but I think it is fairly obvious that pretty soon Anita isn’t only going to be catering for his domestic needs.
Up to this point my only issue with the show is the character of Laura, this is no reflection on the actor Katherine Parkinson who is excellent and does her best with what she’s got. Her character though seems to be a thinly drawn stereotype; she is the driven female who puts work ahead of her family and is portrayed as a hard-nosed bitch. From episode one it has been all too obvious the writers want us to think that Laura is hard-hearted so we have sympathy for Joe when he has an affair with Anita or whatever it’s called when you cheat on your wife with a synth, (a Robo-Fling or a cyber shag? Please feel free to share your views on this below the line.) However I am going to add a caveat to this observation, I think the writers have deliberately written the character of Laura as sympathetic because she is going to end up playing a huge part in standing up for synth rights in future episodes, so I will reserve full judgement on her character until later in the series.
The first misstep of the series was Niska’s almost murder. It didn’t quite make sense. She was seemingly about to kill a guy she picked up in a bar because she had judged him immoral for also having a girlfriend but when she discovered he was a single Dad she decided he deserved to live. Does she think all humans who lie should die? Or is it only men she has a problem with because of the way she was treated, or is she just malfunctioning? Niska is an excellent and intriguing character but I think this sudden change of personality seemed contrived. I am guessing there is more of this story arc to come though, and it will be more fully examined as we go along. The writing has been excellent thus far, so I have no reason to doubt that this will make more sense as the rest of the “feeling synths” story unfolds.
Vera is scary
In a genuinely chilling scene, Vera realises she has been tricked by George and she smashes through the door to chase after him and Odi. I did hope that she would chase after them in the style of T-1000 but it was still rather frightening, there is definitely more to Vera than meets the eye. She is the robot nurse from hell.
If you go down to the woods today
Odi continues to be a few emotion chips short of a positronic brain and Doctor Millican hides him in the woods, so he doesn’t get recycled. He has a car crash for his troubles and I am not sure why leaving him alone in the woods to rust (do Androids rust? Or do they dream of electric sheep for that matter) is a better fate than being recycled, poor Odi. Meanwhile Mattie uploads data from Anita to a hackers forum and this allows Leo to track Anita down, but will Anita recognise him? Or will Hobbs get to her first, and who exactly drowned in the lake? We also continue to have no direct acknowledgement by Leo that he is a synth (or a human synth hybrid?) and he can apparently drink alcohol with no ill effects, which is a skill I am sure we would all like to master. Colin Morgan continues to be excellent, proving that there is definitely life after Merlin, and I am intrigued to see what happens next with Leo.
Episode 3 still maintains the high standards of the show so far, but for me it lacked the edge and pace of the previous episodes, yet it still had a lot going for it and I look forward to more of the mystery being explained in episode 4.