Episode 2 Season 2 Episode 2Angelica Jade Bastién writes: In tonight’s episode, Niska firmly commits to proving her own consciousness to authorities even though it means risking her own demise. This dedication isn’t about saving herself or the slim hope of getting a trial in regard to the murder she committed last season. It’s about starting a revolution. If she’s able to prove her own consciousness is not a mere glitch, but rather an irrefutable fact, she will she reshape the world itself. “They should be born in a fairer world,” she says, while discussing the synths coming into consciousness. Laura, who is reluctant about being Niska’s counsel, wonders if these synths should be “born” at all. The thing is, Humans doesn’t depict a fairer world. The gleaming surfaces and touches of futuristic technology sometimes call to mind the utopian world of Star Trek, but utopias don’t form on their own. They require blood, tears, and sacrifices — and Niska’s may be the first. Despite more synths waking up thanks to Niska releasing the code, this cataclysmic event has been conspicuously absent from the news. Who is keeping this quiet? Will Niska have to contend with more powerful forces than she may be ready for, even after proving her consciousness? Her dedication to this cause shows the growth in her character, underscored every time she plays with the delicate bracelet that Astrid gave her. At times, the episode slips into heavy-handed crafting with regard to Niska’s nascent role as a revolutionary, but even then, her story gives it a great sense of urgency. Although the plotting is bit frantic, jumping quickly between its ever-increasing amount of story lines and characters, the episode excels in using its narratives to explore the different reactions people have in the face of Niska’s desired revolution.
Laura is apprehensive of Niska and the other synths returning to her family’s life, especially as they’d wreck what little normalcy they’ve reestablished. Mia yearns for deeper connections with human beings like her boss, Ed, even as it becomes increasingly difficult to pretend she has no consciousness when around him. Leo is so myopically focused on saving the newly awakened synths that he hasn’t taken a moment to ponder what might happen next. Trying to save them from “the silo” — the ominous-sounding antagonist mentioned by the security figure they kidnapped in the season premiere — is admirable. But it may very well be impossible. The divide between normalcy and revolution courses through the lives of every character on Humans.
Still, Athena’s desires are a bit harder to read than Niska’s. It’s clear she cares deeply about V, going so far as to upload the conscious program into the body of a synth Milo gives her, only for it to be overloaded by the data. But what exactly is her end goal? Her fundamental disagreements with Milo hint at an interesting motivation: She doesn’t understand why he uses his genius for fame and fortune, since his creations could be used to heal societal ills. At one point. … (read more)