Humans Season 2 Finale Review: Awakening

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After an entire season of robot/human drama, we end up at the same place we started. That's progress?

On the season finale, Humans Season 2 Episode 7 and Humans Season 2 Episode 8, there were lots of deep philosophical discussions about what it is to be human, and it turns out the self-aware synths are just as screwed up as we are, except they have super strength.

Not good for us, apparently.

Breaking In - Humans

The season started out with great promise, questioning what it would be like if the synths had human emotions. Answer: a hot mess. 

I was very disappointed in how it all turned out.

Yes, there were good moments at times, but the season went off the rails in the back half, and the two-hour finale was a very sad slog indeed.

Just like in practically every sentient robot story, it seems like this one followed the same trajectory: a clueless scientist thinks it's a really good idea to give something MUCH more powerful than us puny humans a self-aware mind.

What could go wrong? Plenty.

Even sweet Mia, who was the most moderate of the synths, eventually came around to the inevitable conclusion of smarty pants robots.

It's time for them to fear us.

Mia

Gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling, doesn't it?

I was hoping the producers would maybe take the well-worn trope in a different direction, and for the first season and half, they did, for the most part, examining big human questions through the prism of AI and all that good stuff.

But, like most movies these days, the final act was a mess.

Mia and Hester are in Danger - Humans Season 2 Episode 7

Mia and Hester allowing themselves to be captured in order to infiltrate the Silo was very predictable. When the Qualia agent recognized Mia from a previous capture attempt, major alarm bells should have gone off.

Sadly, the writers let this huge plot problem just go by, assuming no one would notice. I did.

And was it really a surprise when all the escaping synths were fried by an invisible fence? Shouldn't SOMEONE have known about that? Hello, Mattie! Somebody, ANYBODY? Bueller?

The paint by numbers, robotic (see what I did there?) storytelling was very disappointing to witness.

I was impressed by the series up to the last half season, but they failed to close the deal in my opinion.

The whole thing was too grim for me.

Poor plodding Pete, who was clearly out of his depth, met with a totally unfair end. And Karen trying to commit suicide with little robo kid Sam was heartbreaking. Thankfully we didn't have to see THAT.

A Return to Berlin - Humans

The Niska storyline, as well as the character herself, was totally botched. Her crusade to have all synths recognized was a noble cause, but it just went poof. 

Her romance with Astrid went nowhere. Even her attempt to save Laura was a day late and a dollar short. Waltzing in after all the action happened was very weak.

I tried to be selfless. I accomplished nothing.

Niska

I really wanted to see a Niska/Hester Terminator-style smackdown. How cool would that have been? Did we get that? Nope. 

Mattie had to use the code to save Mia, even if it meant waking up all the synths worldwide to full consciousness, but why wasn't she there with Leo and Mia to help? That's her deal, right? It makes no sense.

And wasn't it sooo convenient that after Hester woke up, she suddenly died again? Why? Mia woke up and was hunky dory – why not Hester? Uh, because it was the finale, and the big bad had to die. Huh?

And don't get me started with that poor, pathetic puppy, Odi. 

Odi: I don't know how to live with myself. I don't know how to help others as I am now. I long for the past. I felt nothing then, but I had a purpose, a place in the world. Thank you for a glimpse into another life: it is a great gift, but I cannot accept it. Goodbye.

Was his only function to make us feel sorry for him? Mattie brings back that sad, broken thing, gives him something he doesn't want, and we were forced to watch him slowly implode, using his newly found consciousness to basically kill himself, reverting to his factory settings.

And what of the new code Mattie sent out? Does this mean he woke up again? Isn't that cruel? No wonder the synths hate us!

Joe continued to be a dick. First, he shagged Anita, blowing up his marriage. Then he did everything he could to run away from the new normal, trying to force Laura and the fam into a synth-free community. Thankfully, Laura wasn't feeling it.

We can't just walk away from people we care about when it costs us something. That can't be what we teach the kids.

Laura [to Joe]

If there is another season, I predict Laura will kick Joe to the curb, and rightfully so.

The only story line that ended well for me was Renie. She saw a mirror of herself in Sophie, and it hit her hard.

Toby was just trying to help his sis, but in reality, he helped Renie find her humanity again.

Nothing's wrong with being a synthie. It was cool at the start, I could, you know, control everything. It felt like I couldn't get out. It was fun, but you can get lost in it.

Renie

Toby is a good kid, and his motives were pure. I like him.

Dr. Morrow's tale ended in a predictable way as well.

Her plot was all about her inability to let go of her daughter Ginny, which gave rise to the AI program she created.

But, after meeting Karen, the prototype Elster created to mimic his dead wife, Morrow finally realized that an imitation is just that – an imitation. Oh, and this little bit from "V" kinda drove the last nail in the coffin.

"V": I remember her feeling that.
Dr. Morrow: Her?
"V": I began as Ginny. The core of me is made up of her feelings: her love for you, and her father. But I'm not her: not anymore. I'm something else.

So she allowed "V" to send herself into the interwebs, away from the sleazy Milo. And how did Milo react? Like he got the wrong order at a coffee shop. WTF?

I thought he was supposed to be an evil tech billionaire. His "oh well" reaction made the entire, season long intrigue a wet noodle. Why should we care if he doesn't?

After trying to invest myself, the last half of the season left me in much the same frame of mind as evil Hester.

Hester: Do you know what the difference was between the first life I took and the last?
Laura: No.
Hester: Nothing. Your lives are as meaningless to me as ours are to you.

An opportunity wasted. Good start, bad finish. Anyway, you want to say it, the high hopes I had crashed down into a sad, predictable finish.

Will they renew? The fact that AMC ran TWO double episodes back to back on consecutive weeks (FOUR episodes), out of an eight-episode season, smacks of burning off the inventory to me. That's what most networks do when they have a failed show, dump the episodes and move on.

Tell me what you think. Did it float your boat, or were you disappointed like me? Fire away in the comments.

And, of course, you can always watch Humans online, right here on TV Fanatic.

Awakening Review

Editor Rating: 2.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (11 Votes)

Ron Gilmer is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and read his personal blog at Idiotbox Watcher.

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Humans Season 2 Episode 7 Quotes

Odi: I don't know how to live with myself. I don't know how to help others as I am now. I long for the past. I felt nothing then, but I had a purpose, a place in the world. Thank you for a glimpse into another life: it is a great gift, but I cannot accept it. Goodbye.

It's time for them to fear us.

Mia