Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of Humans. To catch up on previous coverage, click here.
Quite a lot has happened in the past two episodes. Let’s do a quick rundown of all of the best moments as the show heads for a thrilling finale.
- The moment that Mia takes a big, gasping breath from the back seat of the car, unsettling both Laura and Maddie, is as thrilling as any of the high-packed action of the series. They pull over the car, thrown off by Mia’s surfacing, only for Mia to have to step out and console them while also asking for their help. She’s being overridden by Anita’s coding and will succumb once again very soon, and she needs them to contact Leo to drag her back out. There are moments in this series where I could just watch Gemma Chan act as Anita/Mia for the hour. There are plenty of talented actors on the show, and some that I was excited to see due to their past work (Katherine Parkinson as Jen on the It Crowd is one of my favorite characters ever), but it’s Chan who has continually captivated me as she seamlessly adopts her Mia persona, motherly and warm, opposed to the more robotic Anita.
- Goodbye George! I’m glad to see that he brought out real humanity in Niska (more on that later), and their scenes together are some of the best the series has done. It’s philosophical talks that are strong and poignant without being wordy–both George and Niska get to the root of their issues and beliefs. George can tell Niska has begun to like him: not because she did anything explicitly like tell him, but because of her tone of voice and body language. This, more than anything else, proves that Niska is human, despite having been made.
- Speaking of Niska–her scenes with Sophie also allowed us further insight into her character. She is is someone who is infinitely more interesting when she’s allowed to be curious opposed to threatening. Learning that her maker (Leo’s father) used her for his own pleasure, unbeknownst to Leo or the rest of her family, further proves that her rage is well earned. Sophie brings out the lightness in her, because even at first when she doesn’t know how to react to the little girl’s questions, she does know that Sophie is an innocent, untouched by anything corrupt like the adult humans in her lives. Her understanding at the end that Laura and Joe find her a threat after seeing televised evidence of her violence showcases the growth she’s experienced.
- Leo also has had a turn for the better now that he has Mia back in his life, someone who he sees as a mother figure. Their reunion is wonderfully played by Colin Morgan and Chan. Leo being called out for his grumpiness is more endearing than him simply being a jerk to everyone.
- The show is at its best is episode six and seven when the entire group is working together, both Laura’s family and Mia’s. There is a strong chemistry between all of them–Parkinson and Chan especially–and it’s nice to see that Laura and the gang simply want to help, even if Joe’s natural toolishness nearly gets in the way. All of them trying to save Fred’s life, just as if he were an average human being, is one of the most affecting scenes the show has done.
- Trailing behind it (barely) is Laura admitting to Mattie that the mysterious Tom was her brother who she lost when she was very little and that she believes it was her fault. So does her estranged mother, and the two have spent decades not speaking until Laura worried she too was losing her daughter and reached out for clarity. It’s a tragic story, and Parkinson’s delivery explains just how Laura acts and why she does what she does and why she’s so relentlessly trying to help Mia’s family.
What is so great about these past two episodes is how normal the characters all seem. When Leo’s mother leads them all into being captured, believing that they were all a mistake, we genuinely feel for them all as the police force rush into the house. They’ve all just been trying their best to lead their lives as normally as possible, to being with family and those who know them inside and out. They aren’t superhuman and they aren’t obligated to help one another, but something in their human nature inspires them to do so.