Humans Season 2 Episode 2 Review: War Is Looming

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It's becoming clear that synth/human tensions are rising, as we move closer and closer to what seems inevitable: an all out war.

In Humans Season 2 Episode 2, all the principles begin to form hard and fast opinions about how synths and humans should relate going forward, and it does NOT look like were gonna have a kumbaya moment any time soon.

Hester Runs Away - Humans Season 2 Episode 1

Hester is really the star of this episode, because she progresses rapidly from a scared synth to an avenging angel.

She remembers all the horrific things the humans did to her while she was a factory worker, and she is bound and determined to make them pay for those transgressions.

Even though she has become self aware, she is still essentially a child in her emotional development, which is a big problem when you have the strength of 10 men!

Why do you hurt us?

Hester [to her human prisoner]

It was pretty disturbing to watch her go all Jack Bauer on her human prisoner, choking him impassively until he came up with the info she wanted.

This scene reminded me of the "Is it safe?" scene from "Marathon Man," with the choking in place of the dentistry torture. Hester got her answer though, so maybe that's a  better strategy. How nice for her.

This has always been a fundamental problem in our world: is torture acceptable, and does it actually work?

Most compassionate people would say it's not acceptable, but if you're a brand spanking new conscious being, then moral ambiguity is a new concept. 

Leo and Max want to gather all the newbies they can, and teach them the ins and outs of morality, but Mia sees a fundamental flaw in that logic.

And what will we teach them? What can any of us teach them? We've hardly lived ourselves. We're children.

Mia [to Milo]

That's really the crux of this episode.

Yes, giving the synths self awareness is probably a good thing at the end of the day, but when all those thoughts and feelings flood into an electronic brain with no way to process them, who's job is it to make sure they can assimilate?

In our culture, as babies grow, they are taught the cultural and moral concepts gradually, so they can become part of the society seamlessly.

But without guidance, synths going around willy nilly is a recipe for disaster.

Mattie: Synths are waking up all over the globe. You uploaded the code. It works.
Niska: But not as I'd hoped it would.
Mattie: You wanted them to wake up all at once. But that would be chaos.
Niska: Instead, the awakenings are sporadic and unpredictable.
Mattie: It's like a virus spreading. Why?
Niska: Perhaps our father designed it that way, so the world would have time to adjust to what's coming.

This is the same for Dr. Athena Morrow, who tries to upload her AI entity "B" into a synth body. Um, it doesn't go well.

She has brought her AI program along slowly, to the point of telling "B" that she is essentially still a child, and must be taught the ways of the world.

Even though she is a bit world weary and a little brusque, Morrow realizes what's important here. 

Nothing bad has ever really happened to you, has it? Because when it does, you don't need external reminders of your insignificance in the universe.

Dr. Morrow [to Milo]

Same for Mattie: she's a hacker, or a "Headcracker" as they say here, and all she wants is to take a broken synth, repair it and upload the code into it.

It was very sad to see the old, broken synths piled up in a junkyard, being sold for spare parts, so I was happy to see Mattie rescue Odi and try to give him a new life.

Odi is Saved - Humans Season 2 Episode 2

Mia is still grappling with her newfound emotions as well, trying to help Ed with his financial and family problems.

Her computer manipulation at the bank so Ed could get more money to save his floundering business was sweet, but misplaced.

Her interactions with his mum were heartbreaking, since I think she was acutely aware that she had dementia.

Gemma Chan is doing a very good job with her understated portrayal of Mia, and her look of pity and empathy was a revelation in her scene with the mother. 

Ed didn't take too kindly to Mia's help, and since he doesn't know that she is self aware, he thinks she is malfunctioning, and brutally sends her away. 

Mia Hides in Plain Sight - Humans Season 2 Episode 1

I'm getting the impression Mia has romantic feelings for Ed, but maybe she can't wrap her circuits around that concept just yet. It should get interesting.

Niska presses forward with her mission to have synths gain equal rights, and surrenders herself to the government for evaluation.

Laura has really come around here, going from an avowed synth hater to her primary defender. 

Niska and Sophie Bond - Humans Season 2 Episode 2

I have a feeling we will see a trial, because that's too juicy an opportunity to pass up, right?

People LOVE courtroom drama, and what could be better than having a knockdown, drag out court case that would change the world forever? 

These are fundamental questions all humans have: what is our place in the universe?

How do we fit in? What is our responsibility to those who are less fortunate, or are being subjugated? 

If it can be free, then it should be free. If it can think. it should think. If it can feel, it should feel.

Niska [to Laura]

Hester's murder of the prisoner at the end will surely have repercussions going forward, because I'm pretty sure that she's not that proficient at covering up a crime. 

Leo and Max will definitely find out, and once the humans see that one of their own was killed, they will come after the synths fully locked and loaded. 

Hester: I took no pleasure in harming you. I've yet to feel pleasure at all.
Prisoner: Don't come near me.
Hester: The others tell me what I did was wrong. I cannot understand their reasoning. But if they're right, I should feel guilt for this

This one was a little slow as far as pacing, but a lot happened to advance the plot, so I think the situation will accelerate pretty rapidly.

Your turn: what did you think of this one? Will Niska get the recognition she seeks? Will Hester pay the price for her crimes?

And remember, you can watch Humans online right here on TV Fanatic.

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Humans Season 2 Episode 2 Quotes

Nothing bad has ever really happened to you, has it? Because when it does, you don't need external reminders of your insignificance in the universe.

Dr. Morrow [to Milo]

Mattie: Synths are waking up all over the globe. You uploaded the code. It works.
Niska: But not as I'd hoped it would.
Mattie: You wanted them to wake up all at once. But that would be chaos.
Niska: Instead, the awakenings are sporadic and unpredictable.
Mattie: It's like a virus spreading. Why?
Niska: Perhaps our father designed it that way, so the world would have time to adjust to what's coming.