Humans S02E05 “Episode Five” REVIEW

Humans S02E05 “Episode Five” REVIEW

0 comments 📅28 November 2016, 16:15

Humans S02E05 “Episode Five” REVIEW

stars 4
Airing in the UK on Channel Four, Sundays

Writers: Jonathan Brackley, Sam Vincent
Director: Francesca Gregorini

Essential Plot Points:

  • A synth comes alive while playing hide and seek with some children. She leaves the house and gets a message from Max, who rescues her from those seeking to take her to the Silo.
  • Mia wakes up to discover she’s tied up in the back of a van and Ed is about to sell her to pay for his mother’s care.
  • She attacks him, only stopping herself from really hurting him with an effort.
  • She’s about to run out of power, but manages to hack into a phone and reprogrammes herself to be Anita again so the buyers think she’s just an ordinary synth and don’t want her.
  • Ed and his friend leave her to fend for herself and run off.
  • Leo and Hester find the Silo. They rent a room to use as a base while they scope out the area, and Hester is baffled that people bring synths there for sex. (“What satisfaction can he derive from pretence?” she says of a man who’s bonking a synth who’s only pretending to enjoy herself.)
  • Dr Morrow sends out a team to find the Elster synths. Then she gets a phone call from her ex husband: their daughter has finally died.
  • It’s the day of Niska’s hearing, and she senses that Laura is upset. She finds out that Laura has been warned off the case, then lip-reads the prosecutors and seems to come to some decision…
  • Karen is having an existential synth crisis, and tells Pete that she needs time away.
  • Joe takes the family to a town with no synths, to remind them of what life used to be like.
  • Toby, bless his heart, goes back to Renie’s house but when she indicates (in a hilariously synth-like way) that she wants to have sex with him, he backs off, saying he just wanted to get to know her better first.


  • She throws him out. We get the sense that she’s desperately lonely as her dad is never around. Aww, poor Renie.
  • Leo and Hester spot the sniper who shot Ten. They capture her, and Hester says she’s going to find out how to get into the Silo from her using any means necessary. Leo goes back to their room and leaves her to it, disturbed, but he still needs that info.
  • Mattie, the little genius, has updated Elster’s code to fully mature it. She can make any synth conscious now! “I don’t think the world is ready for 500 million Niskas,” says Toby.
  • Dr Morrow tells V she’s actually her daughter in AI form. “V for Virginia,” says V, understanding at last.
  • Hester tells Leo what she learned from the sniper, and despite being covered in blood, she tells him that the woman will be fine. Then she seduces him.
  • The woman isn’t fine, actually: she’s floating in the canal, dead. Bloody hell, Hester.
  • Niska stands before the tribunal, but before Laura can argue her case, Niska declares that she doesn’t recognise the court and the entire process is corrupt.
  • “This was your chance, Niska!” says a shocked Laura. “No, this was theirs,” the synth replies, before escaping like Jason Bourne on a mission.
  • Dr Morrow visits the Silo, sneaking in despite the fact she’s not supposed to.
  • Pete, meanwhile, is following a synth dealer who has a Seraph.
  • Morrow walks into a room filled with something extraordinary…
  • …as Pete finds the  Seraph. It’s a little boy…
  • …and the Silo is also full of child-synths.



A good, solid episode, this, with a carefully considered combination of plot-furthering and character moments – particularly for Leo, who’s been sadly neglected this season. Not only does he get to have angsty sex with Hester, he also laughs: we were beginning to think it would never happen! That must have been nice for Colin Morgan, who’s worried-scowly-face was in danger of sticking like that if the wind changed.


Niska’s declaration that her trial was a sham and her subsequent break for freedom will have you pumping the air in delight – not that we ever thought otherwise about her fate, because the odds have been stacked against her from the start. Laura’s clever ruse of bringing in Astrid last episode didn’t actually convince anybody that Niska was sentient; it merely made Astrid look a bit dense. At least now, with Niska on the run, nobody’s going to be threatening the Hawkins family again.

Speaking of them, you have to love Joe taking his family on a day trip to a town without synths – rather like those places you hear in the US where mobile phones are banned because their signals make people sick. When Toby later points out that Mattie can instantly bring 500 million synths to consciousness (assuming he’s not exaggerating with that number), you really get a sense of how ubiquitous they are in this society – so ubiquitous that a town with no synths is weird.

And while 500 million Niskas is one thing, do we want 500 million Hesters? With her brutal torture and murder of the sniper this week – which she lies about – not to mention her seduction of Leo, it’s like she’s working on an agenda all of her own. The end result of which, we bet, will be devastating to us humans. Leo has unwittingly unleashed a mini Pol Pot or Adolf Hitler on the world. Slow handclap from us on that one…

Elsewhere, Mia realising that Ed has betrayed her is suitably tragic, although she recovers breathtakingly quickly and nearly kills him – hell hath no fury like a synth scorned. And as for the Big Twist at the end of the episode… well, we’ve been assuming the Seraphs Pete and Karen have been tracking are the conscious synths, but it seems they’re actually android kids. What the bloody hell is going on now?

The Good:

  • Carrie-Anne Moss hearing the devastating news about her daughter is heartbreaking, although somewhat leavened by us finally learning the truth about V: that she really is her daughter in AI form.
  • The synth Max rescues at the start is instantly likeable – we love how she tells the little kid to be kinder. As well he should, the little bully!
  • Love Karen looking at the clutter on each side of her bed: synth versus human. Little touches like this in Humans are very poignant.
  • “Don’t be agitated,” says Renie, “you are fully approved.” If this is the future of teenage sex, we have to admit it’s a bit formal…
  • Sophie giving herself synth eyes using a mirror is both sweet and disturbing.


The Bad:

  • The guards shooting at Niska are clearly the worst shots in the world.
  • We don’t know what happened to Mia! Is she really Anita again? Has she forgotten everything? Where is she now? Gah, we can’t wait!
  • We’d love to know what Niska saw when she lip-read the lawyers. Anybody know?

And The Random:

  • The police mention Asimov Blocks, which – as we’re sure you all know already – are the commands created by Isaac Asimov that controlled the robots in his stories, preventing them from hurting humans. They’re such a good idea they’ve not only been adopted by storytellers ever since, but are being touted in the real world, too. Shame we can’t use them on humans themselves.
  • Best Quote: V: “I can do things!”
    Dr Morrow: “Yes you can, baby.”
Reviewed by Jayne Nelson

Read our other reviews of Humans

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