Full disclosure: I am reviewing this after already seeing episode 8.
With that said, I understand why Hester murders humans. I don’t agree with it, but I understand.
Can you imagine being mistreated all your life and not being able to do anything about it? That is Hester’s story. Apparently, machines have subconsciouses. Every experience is logged in that compartment, and unconsciousness paralyzes them from reacting to it. When Hester becomes conscious, she remembers it all, and all of it was bad. We can say that she suffers from PTSD, but a more radical way of thinking about it is to say that she has every right to want to murder people.
I am not sure of exactly how she was mistreated as an unconscious being. That isn’t revealed. But her reaction to humans is volatile. She hates them (with a passion). Again, understandable. Her relationships with humans has been violent, humans being the ones to inflict the violence, so her reaction to them seems warranted.
It is hard, and maybe unfair, to compare Hester’s experience with someone else’s. What one goes through can never truly be the same as another. For Hester, humans are intent on killing synths. So when she sees a mass grave of them on Qualia’s lawn, she is even more convinced to make them pay. She is at peak apathy when it comes to them.
So how can Anita and Max have trust in humans? Their experiences are different. Yes, they’ve seen the ugly side of humans, but they’ve also seen their good side. They are smart to cling to their own kind as this world generally subjugates synths. But they are willing to partner with humans like Laura, who sympathize with their struggle.
Laura’s daughter, Mattie, thought she did a good thing when she resurrected Odi. (First of all, why didn’t she fix his arm? He just looks crazy as hell). But she did not (do a good thing, that is). Odi struggles with finding his purpose. Now that he is conscious, what is he to do with himself? He seems to just be wandering the earth aimlessly. He decides to shut himself down, which is equivalent to the human suicide. This, I understand, too.
Don’t we humans struggle with finding our purpose? Isn’t this why Oprah has a million shows on the topic? Isn’t this why spiritual guru-ism is at its peak? Purpose is key to walking this earth confidently. Without it, one can find herself in a dead-end job and/or relationship. A few may check-out (see: suicide), but most of us seek to find that purpose. The human Odis exist, but so do the human Anitas and Max’.
What really irked me about this episode was Pete’s selfishness. Yes, he died (RIP), but he created Karen aka Bea as a filler for his late wife. I totally did not see that coming, but it answers so many questions. Now that he’s dead, Karen/Bea has to feel the heartache of losing someone she loves.
This is what Dr. Athena would have projected onto her faux-daughter. Being human includes death. You get to shape whatever life you want to lead, and then you die. That’s the deal. Transferring a loved one’s consciousness to a machine is not only unethical, it’s selfish af. It could also drive the person insane. How can you (channeling Joanne) honestly, truly have interactions with this being knowing it’s not who you once loved? That needs to be a clinical disorder.
Laura’s other daughter, Sophie, it seems, has a disorder – wanting to be a synth. She mimics them more and more, and her parents are worried about her.
On the other hand, Renie reveals that she’s actually human (huh?). She removes makeup and neon green contacts, and she starts acting “human”. This is the part where I wish I had some background. I really don’t get what happened here. Speculation: Was Renie playing synth dress-up this whole time? If so, then is she what Sophie will become if she doesn’t snap out of it?
This episode of “Humans”, more than any other, makes me analyze what it means to be a human. At this point, it just seems to boil down to being born from another human being. Well…synths are technically born from humans, too…ah, well. Idk.
Season 2, Episode 7 (S02E07)
Humans airs Mondays at 10PM on AMC
Jennifer spends her nights writing, her days securing insurance for TV shows, and her in-betweens blogging about the silliness and seriousness of life on her blog.
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Jennifer Ford | Contributor