“Humans”, Season 2, Episode 2, “Forward to the Past”

[Image via AMC]

[Image via AMC]

It’s time to dig a little deeper in the world of Humans, and that’s exactly where Episode 2 has taken us. And if there’s one thing this episode has taught us, is that no matter how hard you try to put the past behind you, it seems you can’t.


Niska and the Hawkins:

Come morning Niska (Emily Berrington) is the center of attention at the Hawkins’ household. Sophie (Pixie Davies) is probably the only ones happy to see her. Though she is more human-like, Niska’s personality is still that of “full-on asshole” and she keeps trying to blow Sophie off, who is certain that the synth has returned because she missed the family. It finally takes Toby (Theo Stevenson) and Maddie (Lucy Carless) to cover for Niska, telling their little sister that the synth is practicing being evasive.

Laura (Katherine Parkinson) and Niska discuss what the later wants to do. Laura lets her know that she’ll run some ideas past her people and see what sort of options they have available as far as being able to try Niska as a sentient being. Laura also takes this moment to explain that she just cannot represent Niska, that someone else will have to do the work.

Maddie makes a point of reminding Niska that this synth owes her a disk drive, as she knows Niska took a copy of the consciousness code with her. She’s also fairly certain that Niska uploaded the code and it is now spreading out to others synths. Niska can’t understand why there isn’t a mass awakening: Maddie wonders if it’s because the consciousness code is acting like a virus and is infecting slowly. Niska realizes this makes sense; as she says, perhaps their father realized the world would need time to understand sentient synths.


Athena and the Qualia Gang:

Athena (Carrie-Anne Moss) is still at Qualia Headquarters working with supply of synths of which Milo (Marshall Allman) seems to have an endless supply. She’s unable to figure out how the synths gain consciousness, though she’s certain something happens to the base code. For shits and grins she tries uploading V (Marshall Allman) into one of the synths. There is a moment where she comes awake in this body and then the synth start spitting up blue blood and “dies”. V is fine, however, and seems to be enjoying her new home at the server farm at Qualia.

Athena is frustrated with her progress; she seems even more frustrated with Milo’s “Don’t give a shit” attitude and lets him know that she really doesn’t care for him, that with all the money they spend on simple ass tech advancements he could actually improve the lives of millions. She tells him that she’s missing something and she needs to go to the UK to get some additional information. He wants to know what’s in the UK and she tells him: Professor Edwin Hobb, a genius in the field who’s been off the grid for some time. She wants to find him…


Headcracking Maddie:

Maddie tells Laura that Niska was up in her bedroom and that it seemed as if she was looking for something. Naturally, Laura runs up to the bedroom and checks to see if the spare disk drive is okay, and it is. As soon as she leaves the bedroom Maddie, the gaslighting little bitch, steps out of her hiding place and heads right for the disk drive. The turn this into even more of a three ring circus as Toby walks in on her and wants to know what’s going on. Realizing that her brother isn’t the terminal wanker she always thought he was, she confides in him: she has a line on a synth that once belonged to Dr. George Millican, who did a lot of pioneering work in synths and died a couple of months ago. Maddie wants to use his old synth so that she can run tests on it, and perhaps it will give them some insight into where Mia went.

She finds the old synth and we’re reunited with Odi (Will Tudor), Dr. Millican’s longtime companion. She gets them back to the house and actually manages to get him partially running, though the boy is still all busted up. What Maddie didn’t tell Toby, or her family when she introduced Odi to them, was that she really wants to see how the consciousness code works on him—


Pete and Karen:

Pete Drummond (Neil Maskell) and DI Karen Voss (Ruth Bradley) are shopping for furniture just like any normal couple. They find a new bed and Pete has to carry the mattress in a couple of other pieces out to the car, which is a bit of a struggle for him. After he gets everything loaded in the boot he notices a female synth carrying and loading a large role of carpeting without issues, and the implications are clear: part of Pete sort of wishes Karen had done all the heavy lifting, but that would’ve given away what she really was.

Over dinner she tells Pete that she’s ready to go back to work but he wonders if it’s going to be a problem. He finds it strange that she has to pretend to be human, with all the limitations of the human, and wonders if she’s going to have any issues returning to the job. She tells him not to worry: she’s done it before and she won’t have any problems.

They seem to have a good relationship, though that evening Pete makes a point of letting Karen know that she doesn’t have to pretend with him, that while she is currently lying in bed next to him like any other woman would, he knows that the moment he’s asleep she gets up to recharge. It makes one wonder how long the relationship will last if he keeps reminding Karen that he knows she’s not human.


Mia and the High Price of Humanity:

Ah, Mia (Gemma Chan). Once more she tries to help out Ed (Sam Palladio). Since he’s going to be busy with a few things, she decides to not only deliver something to his mother—who’s living in a assisted care facility—but she’ll also drop off his loan application. Easy Peasy, right?

She sees Ed’s mom in the assisted care facility in right away mommy—who suffers from dementia—starts getting confused. Seeing that no one is coming to the old woman’s aid, Mia drops her act and speaks to the woman like a human, calming her down. It was a risk because she was in a public place, but there was no harm.  This time.

Then Mia goes to the bank and fills out Ed’s loan application. Only Mia decides to get a little creative and asks for £14,000. The loan clerk looks at this and is like, no fucking ways this is happening, so she gets up to confirm the numbers with her supervisor. The moment she is away from her computer Mia reaches over and, without having to bother to look at the screen because she’s probably interfacing with it in some other way, adjusts Ed’s account so that when the loan officer comes back she sees the new information and assumes that she must’ve been looking at the wrong screen.  So he gets the money–good thing, right?

Mia may be an advanced synthetic being, but in this instance she’s really fucking stupid. Ed gets the notification that he’s been approved and immediately smells something bad, as there’s no fucking way he could’ve been given that much money. He asks how it happened and Mia tells him that she fixed it so he’d get the money. He wants to know why and she tells him that she wanted to help. Ed knows there’s something fishy going on, because it’s literally impossible for a synth to do what Mia did and as he starts to confront her she decides it’s time to leave. However, in the process of leaving she accidentally touches the grill and her hand is burned—but instead of just staring at the injury dumbly, Mia gasps and cradles her hand just like a human would. Before Ed can say anything else Mia boogies the hell out of the restaurant and heads for home.


Meanwhile, Back at the Home:

Things are sort of tense. Leo (Colin Morgan) doesn’t want to let their prisoner go. Max (Ivanno Jeremiah) does want to let them go. Hester (Sonya Cassidy) decides to spend some quality time with their prisoner and puts him in a massive chokehold while asking him why his kind wants to hurt her kind. Yeah, it’s not looking good for this poor bastard.

Anita comes home and everyone knows she full of shit when she says there’s nothing wrong. She and Joe have another discussion about the awakening synths and she once more tells Leo that he can’t save them all, that at some point they have to think about themselves and the life they need. Leo doesn’t give a shit: he’s on a crusade and he’s gonna save every goddamn awakened synth if it kills him. In the end neither one has changed their mind and it doesn’t look as if this is a conversation that is going to end anytime soon.

That night Max goes out to the storage area, cuts the cords holding the prisoners hands together, and tells him he can go. He gets a ways out in the wood and looks like he’s clear of the place—oops! It’s Hester, and she’s not there to reenact a scene from Wuthering Heights. She feels she can’t let this guy go, drops his ass to the ground, and shoves his face into a puddle of water. She may be an awakened, advanced synthetic being, but she is also one cold bitch, and she murders this dude without so much a second thought.


In the Gaol:

Eventually Laura cuts a deal and Niska agrees to be turned over to the authorities, which they do it a remote location in the middle of the night. Niska is held in custody while Laura and Joe (Tom Goodman-Hill) discuss her reluctance to take the case. She realizes it boils down to one pure fact: they said they were going to put the whole incident with the synths behind them and move on.  But as they’re discovering, the more they try to distance themselves from what happened, the more it seems to come back at them in ways they hadn’t anticipated.

Eventually Niska is told that representation has been found for her and she’s about to meet her lawyer. Laura shows up with a UN human rights observer in tow, there to videotape everything and make certain that her client is not being abused. All the players are in place: now begins the preliminaries.


As always, leave us a comment and tell us what you think!


The Cast:

Niska — Emily Berrington
Mia/Anita — Gemma Chan
Max — Ivanno Jeremiah
Hester — Sonya Cassidy
Leo — Colin Morgan

Laura Hawkins — Katherine Parkinson
Joe Hawkins — Tom Goodman-Hill
Mattie Hawkins — Lucy Carless
Toby Hawkins — Theo Stevenson
Sophie Hawkins — Pixie Davies

Pete Drummond — Neil Maskell
Detective Inspector Karen Voss — Ruth Bradley

Dr. Athena Morrow — Carrie-Anne Moss
Milo Khoury — Marshall Allman

Ed — Sam Palladio
V — Chloe Wicks
Odi — Will Tudor


Humans airs in the US on AMC at 10 PM EDT.

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