Guest Review Humans

Humans 1×04 – Episode 4

“Folks need reminding sometimes…we’re supposed to be the dominant species.”

Episode 4.Niska (Emily Berrington)

That was a little slow, wasn’t it?

Humans has finally reached its halfway point and there were ultimately several storylines to juggle. The result was, sadly, a bit messy and dull. The show continues to move at a relatively slow pace, and that slowness kind of brought the quality down this week. It simply wasn’t as captivating as the past three installments.

Perhaps that’s partly the Hawkins’ fault. They keep saying there’s something wrong with their synth and keep trying to fix her, but they don’t realize they’re the real problem here. Take the teenage son Toby, for instance, who literally turned down the possibility of being with an actual, attractive girl because of his obsession with Anita. Or Mattie, who continues to do all kinds of weird stuff to figure out why her synth is creepy without realizing that she’s the bigger creep—what was the point of that entire restaurant scene with her, Leo and Max?

And then there’s Joe. We have to admit that we knew it was going to happen sooner or later, but boy was it uncomfortable to watch him finally use his “adult” options to get laid with a robot. Sadly, my issues with the guy playing Joe resurfaced as I found him particularly tedious in all of his scenes here. The writing surely doesn’t help his character (“I wonder what it’s like, not feeling anything”), but the main problem here is still that he is hugely miscast, and it especially shows when he’s playing opposite Gemma Chan, who’s been knocking it out of the park with her endearing, brilliant performance.

Peter’s storyline didn’t help the episode either because the show hasn’t taken the time to really develop this character yet. I couldn’t really grasp why he was having such a hard time with his synth and couldn’t care about his marriage falling apart, but if that final scene is any indication, it looks like his storyline is about to get real good.

What salvaged this hour from becoming completely useless was, once again, Niska. Her little Fight Club-esque scene was incredible. I love this character so much more with every passing episode, and the way she attacked all those men on her own was undoubtedly the most amusing couple of minutes this show has ever produced so far. I can’t fathom what exactly makes this storyline so intriguing, but Niska is definitely the most exciting thing in Humans so far.

I love the idea of a war coming between the humans and the synths and even though this was a slight bump in the road, I’m still hopeful that the show will rise again to greater heights in its second half of the season.

Bits & Synths

– I’m starting to get creeped out by the phrase “I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question”. It’s just so eerie and weird.

– Funniest/Scariest/Creepiest moment: Anita walking out of Mattie’s room and saying “hello, Laura”, ultimately freaking her out. Laura really does make a terrible spy.

– I kinda miss Odi (George’s synth). Whatever happened to him?

– I could have lived without the super-lame, super-annoying teenage party scene. Why the hell does everyone on this show want to have sex with robots?

– Joe using Anita to track down where Laura was going was very off-putting at first. You know, before Anita touched his hand and freaked the hell out of him. You gotta love this woman (ahem, synth).

– Speaking of which, the only time this episode went back to the Hawkins storyline was to tell us that Anita is 14 years old. Talk about a rip-off.

– Also, does that mean Joe just had sex with a 14 year-old?

– Finally a bit more on Leo’s background. It wasn’t the biggest shock of the hour (that title goes to the final scene), but it was definitely intriguing to see more of him and how his storyline integrates with George.

– Seriously, that cliffhanger! Definitely my first big jaw-drop of the series. Here’s hoping for a few more to come!

Human Talk

Joe: What about this? This unlocks you, makes you…passionate. That’s a feeling.
Anita: It creates the impression of passion. It’s a simulation of an emotion.

Mattie: Do you think it’s normal to drag an unconscious woman to a room and rape her? Is that standard party activity for you?
Boy: She’s not a real woman.
Mattie: So why are you trying to put your dick in her?

Laura: Anita, who were you before you came here?
Anita: I’m sorry, Laura. I don’t understand the question.
Laura: I think you do.

Conclusion
Slow-placed and less gripping than usual. Thankfully, Niska’s fight scenes at the end elevated the hour drastically.

Chris Rating
B-

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