After eight weeks, we come to the end of the line for both the Hawkins and Elster families, and the end of Season 1 of Humans. After all this time, what have we learned? A great deal, it turns out, and the feeling that some of the most inhuman beings in the show were born and not made—
RT: I always suspected with this show we would always turn out to be the greater of the two evils CF: I believe you always have to count on humans being complete dicks most of the time. And when it comes to having someone who we view as “non-human” do all our work for us, we don’t have a great track record.
While Hobb has all of the Elster family in containment—including Karen, who is watching everything from the sidelines—we watch the police going over the Hawking house with a fine toothed comb. They’re gathering as much evidence as they can and taking any recording/storage device the family owns. This isn’t setting well with Laura, and her Lawyer Feelings are twitching like mad, because she knows this whole operation is bullshit, the police are pretty much jackbooting all over them.
But the boss shows up, and he’s there just in time to get braced by DS Pete, who’s still sort of reeling from what happened with Karen. He tells the boss he wants to meet with Hobb, but is pretty much told to piss off and shut up. Inside the Hawkins home the boss is getting reamed by Laura, while Mattie is going, “You have no idea what you’ve got, do you?” on him. Pete’s boss gives zero shits about what he has or doesn’t have, and offers the obligatory “You got a nice place here; be a shame if something happened” crap to shut everyone up.
Laura has really gone from zero to hero in the last few episodes, however, and she hauls the family off to tell them they need to go public with what they know. Unfortunately, all they have is that root code that no one will understand—oh, and yeah: Matter remembers there’s a laptop out in a police van that has Leo’s downloaded memories.
RT: That was handy… CF: They found the laptop at Deus ex Machina R Us.
But who comes to the rescue but DS Pete! He’s like, Hey, I hear these special synths can actually feel . . . Before he can swap stories of fast and not so great robot sex with Joe, Pete helps Mattie and Toby get access to the van where the laptop in question is kept. They get it and all three take off like it’s no big thing.
Back in Hobb Lab of Terror, Hobb is getting ready to wipe the synths, something he relates to Karen. Leo, Fred, Niska, and Mia all try to link in order to get Max back on-line, but it’s bingo conciseness. Mia figures it out: they’re not all linked together, and we know who they’re missing . . .
But all that fun is interrupted when the big wigs who seem to be bankrolling The Hobb Show arrive and want to know what the hell is going on. Hobb shows them by bringing in Fred, and showing that he, while still thinking and feeling, can’t hurt him. Hobb basically wants to continue with David Elster’s work, only he wants his thinking, feeling synths to have zero free will, because what this world needs are non-human slaves who are pretty much human and can never revolt. Now that he has Fred and the modified root code Hobb is like, fuck it, time to off the other four.
RT: Because nothing will ever go wrong with Hobb’s plan of robotic slaves… CF: Nope, nothing at all, it’s gonna be so shinny . . .
Mattie, Toby, and DS Pete get the root code and Leo’s memories hidden away in the back roads of the Internet, and tell Laura to get the show rolling. She tells Pete’s boss she wants to speak to Hobb and wants their phones back, and she wants it now.
However, Hobb is speaking with Leo while Karen listens in another room. Hobb tells Leo you can’t kill synths ‘cause they aren’t alive, so don’t be sad. Leo ain’t having it and wants to die the synth dead as well. Not gonna happen, Cyborg Boy, because Hobb has no idea how David Elster created the organic interfaces inside Leo’s body, so they’re gonna keep him around to run “tests”. Karen watches this go down, and she’s looking less pleased as time goes on. This leads her to speak with Leo, to get him to see reason. What he does is plead with her to link to the others, but she’s not falling for that shit. While she doesn’t want Leo to die, he wants the others to become alive. He tells her that he can see all the others in her, that she was made that way, Karen seems deeply affected as she walks out stone faced.
RT: Completely off topic for this blog, but I am getting a totally cyborg/clone vibe off this. Imagine if AMC went all Orphan Black with Humans next season? CF: I see Leo becoming the hunted one next season simply because he’s got all that interface gear inside his body. I’m waiting for him to get into the Internet without a computer.
The message goes through and Hobb shows up at the Hawkins home to speak. Laura drops the bomb on his ass: we got Leo’s memories. Hobb calls bullshit; she goes all in and shows him a few images. He called the center and says don’t do anything, we’re letting them those shiny, happy synths go. Which happens, with the Elster family together—save for Karen, of course. Now that the danger is somewhat over Laura calls Mia and sets up a meeting. They split and Karen remains unhappy, but that’s when she hears from a tech: don’t worry, Hobb has a failsafe . . .
This gets Karen to looking at some of the memories Hobb took from Leo’s memories, and there’s one in particular that Leo apparently keeps playing. She watches it, and it’s her/Bernice playing peek-a-boo with Leo. You can almost hear her little synthetic heart breaking . . .
While waiting for the Elsters Joe wants to know why they’re meeting at this one place; Laura says she used to come here as a kid. She almost talks about Tom but here’s the snyths, so no time for small talk. In the internet cafe where Mattie and Toby are are hanging they get the message to meet the family and get up to leave. Pete tells them to leave the laptop with him, he’ll see that it gets to the right people.
We discover what the failsafe is: Fred has a trace. Once it looks like they’ve stopped moving, Hobb sics the dogs on them. This leads to the Hawkins and Elsters running off to lose themselves in an anti-synth rally, and after a few uncomfortable moments they find a place to speak. However Toby puts the finger on Fred, says he’s acting strange and shit. Leo shrugs and wants to talk to Fred, and the synth attacks him. Before too much happens, Joe turns Fred off. That’s it, baby: Leo calls Hobb and tells him he’s fucking with the wrong people, and oh, let me speak with Karen. He gets her on the phone and tells her the truth: we need you, please comes. She hangs up and leave, which Pete sees as he’s pulling up to hand over the laptop.
The Two Families are hiding out, waiting to see what happens. Sophie is a crabby little girl and not having fun. Laura figures now’s as good a time as any to tell Joe everything about Tom, and she unloads. He listens, and when it’s over his reply is simple: “How could you think I wouldn’t understand?” Reconciliation Time, people.
Leo tries to hack Fred to remove the Hobb Code, but he’s not having any luck. Karen shows then, and the other synths freak wanting to know why she’s there. Simply, Leo says: I told her to come. Karen still isn’t digging all this consciousness stuff: she knows it’ll change the world, and not in a pretty way ‘cause humans are gonna lose their shit over this. Leo does not care: he just wants his family back and isn’t worried at all about humans.
With all the unique synths there, they decide to run to Consciousness Code. Leo will be the focus, and everyone will link through him. They turn on Fred because they have no choice, and the link starts—
It’s like a forest in their minds, a pretty forest of synth linking. They are all there; they are all seeing bad things—put the blame on Karen, who is trying to shut everyone down. She doesn’t want conscious synths; she wants them all to die because she knows they’ll never be accepted—it’s better to be dead. Mia appeals, pleads with her, lets her know that while she didn’t have a choice being made, or looking like Leo’s mother, she has a choice now—she can help them: she can help him. Finally Karen feels something in that cold little robot heart of hers, she stops what she was doing, and . . . They are there, totally aware—even Max, who’s back big time! They quickly shut Fred off and Karen gets a strange look on her face and leaves.
RT: And now I am having a Sense8 moment… CF: It was all very pretty, but as an author you know how difficult it is to show these “group consciousness” scenes in a book, much less on the screen. To me it had a real Cylon “Build Your Own Environment” feel.
They all now have a full set of feelings, just like real humans, and they know passing this along isn’t going to be an easy decision. Niska hands the drive with the code to Laura, because she feels they can trust her. But what are they going to do with Fred? Almost everyone wants to leave Fred, but Max is having sadness, because he likes Fred, and if there is anyone who is totally human, it’s Max. Before he leaves he tells Fred they’ll be together again, and as they prepare to go Niska tells Leo and the others she wants her own life and won’t join them. More hugs and sadness, and they let her go. Leo and Max leave the room, and Mia stays behind and hugs Laura and thanks her. Sophia wants a goodbye and a hug, and Mia gives her one, sad that she is leaving her little mouse.
At the end we see Karen is walking alone down a dark street when Pete finds her. They have a little small talk about her existence, and Karen realizes something—maybe she does like Pete. They turn and walk away together; you know, this could be the start of a beautiful relationship.
Laura’s back home with the drive, and before going downstairs she hides it away, like she did her memories of Tom. She heads downstairs with the family, who are doing family things. Sophie is cleaning up, doing what Mia did—even mimicking the “I don’t understand your question” line, because she misses her. Mattie can’t find her flash drive that had a copy of the synth wake up code on it, and figures it’s around somewhere . . .
Yes, like on a train with Niska. Is she gonna bring everyone awake? I guess we’ll have to wait for Season 2 of Humans, which is coming next year.
Now that Humans is in the bag, next week it’s Fear the Walking Dead, and lots of pretty zombie goodness.
RT: Thank you so much for hoping on board and recapping Humans for me Cassidy. It has been such a pleasure and your recaps have always been the perfect blend of insightful and hilarious 😀
As for your recaps on Fear The Walking Dead – I really, truly can’t wait for them!
CF: I’ve had enormous fun watching and recaping Humans, and I can’t wait for Fear The Walking Dead to raise its, um, undead head and surprise us all.
Hobb is the biggest asshole on the show, and I hope he dies miserably in Season 2. I do want to see Mia and Sophie reunited—and I do wonder if Sophie will grow out of her “being Mia” act we saw.
Laura Hawkins — Katherine Parkinson
Joe Hawkins — Tom Goodman-Hill
Mattie Hawkins — Lucy Carless
Toby Hawkins — Theo Stevenson
Sophie Hawkins — Pixie Davies
Synth Mia — Gemma Chan
Dr. George Millican — William Hurt
Synth Odi — Will Tudor
Synth Vera — Rebecca Front
Detective Sergeant Pete Drummond — Neil Maskell
Detective Inspector Karen Voss — Ruth Bradley
Leo — Colin Morgan
Synth Max — Ivanno Jeremiah
Synth Niska — Emily Berrington
Professor Edwin Hobb — Danny Webb
Humans airs in the US on AMC at 9 PM EDT.