Monday, March 20, 2017

Humans

Image result for humans season 2

Humans is back. I discovered this show from AMC and Channel 4 last year and loved the smart writing and the premise. It's a near future show about synths (synthetic people) who become conscious and what that means for a society in general and one family in particular. The Hawkins family acquire a synth named Mia and she turns out to be part of a small group of synths that have gained consciousness. The show explores themes of artificial intelligence and what it means to be human but it does so in a subdued, thoughtful way.

So we left off with the conscious synths going into hiding while the Hawkins family tries to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. Mia, unlike the others, doesn't want to hide but wants to mingle with humanity, wants to learn and see who she can become. Niska, who is sort of the rogue one, has the code that could make all synths conscious, and as we start season two she is debating with herself whether to upload it. Doing so would potentially make every synth conscious. Max and Leo are hiding and the Hawkins have moved into a new home, trying to start again.

This one starts in Berlin as we catch up with Niska going to a nightclub. She likes to go there and watch the people dance, and she attracts the attention of Astrid who manages to break through her tough exterior. Astrid of course has no idea she's a synth and they spend the night together, and we can see that Niska has questions for Astrid. Is she creating new life by uploading the code? And should she do so? She can't come right out and ask this, of course, but it's her conversations with Astrid that help her decide. She uploads the code.

Weeks pass and synths all over the world are becoming conscious- but only a few. Hester is one and she escapes from a factory and meets up with Max and Leo, who take her in. She's tracked though and the company comes to retrieve her, leading to a confrontation that ends with another dead synth. Mia has been working in a cafe and comes back when she realizes what's happening, and her and Leo disagree about how to proceed. Meanwhile we are introduced to Athena Morrow, a top synth specialist, played by Carrie-Anne Moss, who it turns out is developing sentient neural networks but is trying to keep it secret. She finds herself recruited by some tech bigwig who has been collecting the newly- conscious synths, and wants her to figure out what's going on.

Image result for humans season 2

No one but Niska and her fellow synths of course know about the uploaded code, so Athena has no clue why synths all over are becoming conscious. She's going to find out though. She asks her new patron if has more than than one, and he says yes.

"Good. Because I'm going to need to take it apart." Nice.

This first episode of season two flows nicely and picks up right after the events of last year. Carrie- Anne Moss is a fabulous add.  A very well done start to the season and I think this one is going to be more compelling than last time.

Random Thoughts

At one point the Hawkins' are seeing a synth therapist for their marital issues (Joe slept with Mia last season while drunk) and the therapist asks them if she should remodulate her tone, so they're more comfortable. "The Edinburgh dialect is a popular choice,"  she says as she slips into that dialect effortlessly. 

After weeks of being together Astrid asks Niska to see her "scar", which Niska keeps bandaged (it's really her port which would give her away) and Niska refuses. Astrid naturally feels hurt and when Niska realizes that synths are waking up, she tells Astrid she has to go. Poor Astrid- I can't help but think that Niska used her to learn about intimacy and then just leaves when it's time. Does she care about Astid? Hard to say. 

"Not what I was made for, but who I might become," says Mia when discussing the way ahead with Leo. Alone of all the conscious synths we've met so far, she is clearly the most interesting, and I would even say the most human?

2 comments:

  1. Lovely! I missed out on the second season but will play catch up on Amazon Prime or Netflix when it comes there. I did love the first season though =)

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  2. Humans is awesome! The second series aired here the same day as the UK (it finished in December) so it's cute watching people in the US react to it. They'd better make a third series!!

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