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Humans - Episode 3.06 - Review: An Impossible Choice

22 Jun 2018

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With last week's chilling finale, Humans left me waiting day by day to see what's next. It certainly did not disappoint! In this phenomenal episode written by Daisy Coulam and directed by Ben A. Williams, we discover the true extent of Anatole's plans.
The episode jumps straight into a chilling speech from Laura laid over scenes of Stanley and Anatole preparing for their "big day." Agnes has gotten a message telling her 2PM as well, and she takes two bombs with her as she leaves. That can't be good! Niska (I missed her last episode!) continues to see the strange visions, and she's evidently still on the hunt for the Synth Who Sleeps.

One thing I always give credit to the show for is how real it is. Despite it being set in an alternate reality where robots are conscious, Humans delivers a rawness that is all too rare for television. The characters are often put in situations that many of us might find familiar. We see a mom struggling to connect with her kids. We see all these people and Synths alike just trying to find a place in the world. We see a side of these characters we've fallen in love with that we wish hadn't come to light. Realistic situations with realistic reactions — that's part of what makes Humans such an amazing show. Yet, I was still shocked when the pregnancy storyline was thrown into the mix.

It makes perfect sense, in hindsight. This season has been mentioning how Synths have no way of reproducing, as well as dealing with Leo's daddy issues, and thinking back, it's not like we saw Leo and Mattie reaching for protection (though, not many shows actually go into that). So, Mattie is pregnant. Surprise!

On the side, I just want to point out that none of the Hawkinses seems to know that these two are together. How is the family going to react when they find out not only about the blooming romance, but also the fact that they're having a baby? It probably won't be a priority to care too much, given everything else that's going on, but it's still a comical thought. Also, with Mattie's friend, Audrey, snooping around, the baby's future does not seem too promising.

Niska finds herself at a bar in her search. She comes across an awkward, but kind, man who rambles on about how he thinks Synths deserve rights. After seeing so many nasty humans (apart from the Hawkins family) the past few episodes, it's a bit of a breath of fresh air. Not all humans are bad (I think)! There, she meets a man who claims he can take her to the Synth Who Sleeps. There's no knowing as of now if the man was telling the truth about the Synth Who Sleeps being from a research facility, but there's an interesting thought there. Last time we saw Fred, he was left to be taken by some researchers. It could also have something to do with Athena Morrow and her studies. Perhaps it is something entirely new, though I believe that the writers wouldn't build so much anticipation over something that isn't meant to be too shocking.

Speaking of surprises, it turns out that Stanley is a conscious Synthetic who stole the eyes to sell the act. It takes Laura nearly poking him in the eye to give up his sham...I have to give the guy credit. He tricked nearly everyone. With this new information, Laura begins to unravel the whole plan — something terrible will happen at the Dryden Commission at 2PM. My heart was beating out of control as the two of them made their way to the Commission, and as Laura begged Joe to keep the kids safe. It's go time.

Agnes heads over to the Day Zero Memorial to honour her part of the plan. Perhaps it is seeing the humans grieve over their kind just as she grieves about her own, but Agnes warns a girl to leave the area. It's almost as if she actually cares about human lives! Back at the Dryden Commission, Stanley shows his own hesitation. It's also time for Max to find out the truth about Anatole. I have to say, I felt some joy in him being found out. No more manipulation!

Niska continues on with her journey, which leads her to an eery shipping container which is said to contain the Synth Who Sleeps. Instead, it contains a ripped apart Synth who spends the last of her energy to warn everyone about the dangers inside. Cue epic fight scene! We don't get those too often, yet this was the second one this ep!

The show excellently keeps cutting between the tense situations to keep the audience on their toes. Stanley changes his mind about murdering the Dryden commission, and for a brief moment, I truly thought all would be okay when Agnes hesitated. I thought she wouldn't be able to press the button. It's a jolting moment when she slams her finger against the trigger and the screen goes white. I have to say, after all these episodes hating her, I was a bit sad to see her go. It was her final moments that made me like her, only for her to go out with a bang (quite literally).

It takes only a brief few seconds for the Dryden Commission to see the smoke outside, and immediately get that it's Synth terrorism. And with that, Basswood is activated. Uh oh.

Stanley may have spared the Dryden Commission, but it comes with a price: Laura's family is now in danger. It's a rush back to the Hawkins home to keep everyone safe. For a minute, it seems like they got there in time, but as they're rushing to the door, Anatole makes his sudden appearance...and with an unwilling guest.

Remember that raw and real aspect of Humans I mentioned earlier? "Realistic situations with realistic reactions?" That comes back in full force during the scene where Laura is forced to choose between the old man and Sam's lives. In a heartbreaking moment, we find out that Laura puts the lives of humans over Synths. It was an impossible choice with no right answer, yet I couldn't help but feel a little betrayed when she said Sam's name — the same Sam who vowed to protect her just moments before. Her family evidently felt betrayed as well.

Niska, on the run from the humans trying to harvest her parts, gets picked up by that awkward guy at the bar. He claims that he knows the Synth Who Sleeps (for real, this time). She portrays a rare show of faith when she turns herself off in the presence of this near-stranger. Considering that she has every reason to distrust the humans in the area after her recent incident, it's obvious that this is how much trust she places in the Synth Who Sleeps. Now, that meeting is something that I look forward to in the episodes to come!

The episode closes with a throwback to season 1 — back to when Max prayed to God for his family to reunite. It leaves us with a bittersweet nostalgia as it cuts between the characters and their current issues. Leo's going to be a dad, Laura is broken by her choice, Mia has been arrested, and Max knows that humankind will now never accept them.

After my second rewatch (it was just too much to process in one go!), I can say with certainty that this is my favourite episode to date. It was more intense than I ever would have thought, and to be quite honest, I still have goosebumps. I have to applaud everyone that worked on that episode; they did a phenomenal job in breaking the viewers' hearts.

What did you think of this episode of Humans? Do you think Laura made the right choice? Who do you think is the Synth Who Sleeps? And what exactly is Basswood? Let me know in the comments below!