INCORPORATED Review: “Human Resources”

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An espionage rescue is the name of the game this week on INCORPORATED. As we further delve into Aaron’s (Sean Teale) backstory, now he must help extract a Spiga spy out of a rival company. Meanwhile Aaron’s coworker Roger Caplan (Douglas Nyback) takes Aaron’s encrypted drive to a Red Zone hacker. This is the show’s strongest episode thus far, but this show still has a long way to go to prove itself.

INCORPORATED -- "Human Resources" Episode 103 -- Pictured: (l-r) Sean Teale as Ben Larson, Dennis Haysbert as Julian -- (Photo by: Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy)

The opening Inazagi cartoon was really well done in showing how these corporations condition the citizens as early as children to obey and be complacent. It’s propaganda that’s used as a form of brainwashing, using an animated character to talk to the impressionable minds of children. This was also a good segway to this week’s central plot of extracting the Inazagi defector out to Spiga. She holds valuable secrets that are useful to Spiga. Thankfully, Hendrick (Damon Herriman) visited Aaron earlier to tell him to be careful and that a body is on the way out. Aaron tells Elizabeth (Juila Ormond) and Julian (Dennis Haysbert) about the body and his Ocean’s 11 type plan of faking her death and swapping the bodies.

This was very cool and the highlight of the episode as we learn the defector has a fail-safe in her blood that will kill her as she’s essentially held prisoner at Inazagi. They use a very cool cloaking device that manipulates the surrounding environment that hides any part of a room or certain people in it. The tech in this show is always a highlight and “Human Resources” has it in spades. If there’s one thing this show should showcase more of it’s the tech and how it can be used in the plot in clever ways like this week’s episode did.

While Aaron dealt with that in the present we flashback throughout the episode to Aaron tracking down Elena (Denyse Tontz) and reconnecting. Of course, in this timeline she falls in love with Aaron and everyone really tries to see this, but I’m not really buying it. The whole show is predicated on this relationship; remember Aaron is only trying to move up in the Spiga ranks to get her out of the executive club of forced prostitution. This is hard because he’s also married to Laura (Allison Miller) who truly loves him. In fact the two are planning to have a child together. It’s hard to be sympathetic to Aaron even as more of his backstory is revealed to us. And I’m still unimpressed with Sean Teale’s performance. He’s supposed to be an everyman type, but it’s hard when you’re watching a wooden block as your main character.

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Speaking of Laura, this week once again shows why she’s the only character worth caring about. Her Red Zone maid steals bacon from the house she shares with Aaron. The maid reveals the reason that she did it was because her neighbor is going be evicted due to her not making rent as her daughter is sick. Laura tells her to bring the child to her so she can help with her illness which she easily and correctly identified. Sadly, the word got out and most of the maid’s building showed up seeking help leading to a riot between Red Zoners and Green Zone police in which Laura is hurt as well.

Picking up from last week, Roger Caplan tries to read the encrypted drive which Aaron smartly had a fail-safe on which deleted the data if anyone but himself used. Roger being Roger (which is slimy and conniving) goes to a hacker in the Red Zone which doesn’t work out well for him. She immediately identifies him and in addition to hating suits, she identified his father who was a truly despicable man. She makes him pay all he has on him and then has him chase down and kill a rat. Once Roger does this, she makes him eat the rat. After his complies (and expectedly vomits) she tells him she recorded it. After unsuccessfully trying to attack her, Roger is told if he comes back seeking vengeance the video will be released to everyone in both Green and Red Zones. She then hands him an organic encryption that’s on a maple leaf as its virtually untraceable, another case for cool tech.

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So far truth be told, outside of the main plot I was bored. This show is becoming increasingly a chore to watch. There’s nothing really rooted here to make us care about the characters still. This show reminds me of the film Passengers in which they both have strong concepts that are executed in the most basic and route way possible. There are ways they can make this show stand out and the writers choose not to. It also doesn’t help that Sean Teale still leaves more to be desired. It’s almost as if the log from Ren and Stimpy has come to life as a flesh and blood actor. I know this is only the third episode, but we still have ten left. Maybe if this was a miniseries this could’ve been much better. Maybe. But as of now, I’d be surprised if this gets a second season. Only reason this gets a B minus is because the main plot was very cool this week. Otherwise this would be a C minus.

TB-TV-Grade-B-Season 1, Episode 3 (S01E03)
Incorporated airs Wednesdays at 10PM on SyFy

Read all of our reviews of Incorporated here. 
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A lifelong film enthusiast since he can remember, Brandon is an indie filmmaker/screenwriter and freelance critic who resides in Trenton, NJ. Feel free to hit him up on Twitter to talk movies, shows, and music (especially hip-hop) .
Follow Brandon on Twitter: @bwood0824
Keep up with all of Brandon’s reviews here.

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