In an alternate human timeline, there are androids called Syths who have taken over all of the blue-collar jobs – jobs humans no longer want to do. In essence, they’re the new slave labor.Â There are hundreds of millions of them and according to one Synth expert, they can’t harm humans. They’ve been programmed that way and so far, there hasn’t been even one reported incident of a Synth knowingly harming a human.
But Anita’s different. Her real name is Mia and before she was kidnapped and her memory wiped, she was on the run with a group of Synths who have emotions, feel pain, access memories and can think for themselves. According to Hobb, they’re a threat to humanity and he hopes Fred will lead him to the others.
One of these unusual Synths, Niska, is hiding in plain sight. She can act like a normal Synth, but refuses to turn off her pain, even though she’s working in a brothel. Leo, their de facto leader, is forced to keep Max with him, because Max can’t act like other Synths; he isn’t able to hide what he really is. Together they’ve been searching for Mia and planning to rendezvous with the others. Their timeline has shifted now that they suspect Fred’s in trouble.
Why hasn’t Mia/Anita contacted Leo? It seems like she doesn’t remember her former life. She’s been “reassigned” as a domestic and is purchased by the Hawkins family. Since Laura’s been away on business, Joe’s been overwhelmed with looking after the kids and keeping up with the housework. Since it’s unclear when (and maybe even if) Laura will return home, he sees Anita as an easy solution. But Laura doesn’t want it in the house and their oldest daughter Mattie basically views Anita as a slave.
For some reason Joe is adamant that they won’t be returning Anita, even though Laura is extremely uncomfortable with having her around. I would be, too. AnitaÂ looks like a person and speaks like a person, but she doesnâ€™t move like a person. And she doesnâ€™t really have a personality, because thatâ€™s not something sheâ€™s been programmed with. But Laura knows something’s not right, especially after she finds Anita outside admiring the moon.
Anita: “The moon is beautiful tonight, donâ€™t you think?”
It’s weird. She’s weird. Or, I guess,Â to put it more accurately, Anita isn’t acting like an android and it makes things very uncomfortable and strange for those paying enough attention to notice.
One person who has truly embraced his Synth is Dr. George Millican. He had some role in helping create them and he’s determined to hold on to his original model D, Odi, even though Odi is glictching.Â While Vera may be an upgrade, Odi has memories of Georgeâ€™s wife, who has passed away. And because Georgeâ€™s human mind is also glitching, he relies on Odi to be the keeper of all those memories. But whenÂ he’s powered down after attacking someone and it looks like he’s lost all his memories of Mary, George still refuses to recycle Odi. He’s going to take care of this problem himself. But just as George is about toÂ take a mallet to the back of his head, Odi remembers something.
It’s a point in the future when technology surpasses us, when it becomes able to improve and reproduce itself without our help. Thatâ€™s the moment we become inferior to the machine.
Is Hobbs paranoid or is he onto something? His world is on the verge of relying completely on Synth labor. I understand his concern because the thought of millions of machines being able to think and act on their own could mean the end of humanity. I just don’t want to see him hurt Fred or any of the other sentient Synths to make sure that doesn’t happen. Apparently, I’ve already bonded with them.
I like that Laura doesn’t come across as entirely sympathetic. We know she doesn’t want Anita in the house, but I find myself feeling uncomfortable with the way she treats Anita. I know Anita’s a Synth, but it’s difficult to watch Laura treat her like a robot, especially since we know she used to (and maybe still currently) can think and feel and remember things.
Like all technology, these Synths are supposed to make life easier and bring humans closer. But like most technology, it only seems to push them farther apart. Anita has been inserted into this home and while she’s helping, she’s also causing problems with every member of the Hawkins family.
WhenÂ Joe’s quick to hide the 18 plus options from the owner’s manual, I assumed the worst. I thought even though he told Laura about how Anita could improve their marriage, it was all lip service. So I asked Tom Goodman-Hill, who plays Joe, to explain himself.
â€œWhat he’s doing is he’s protecting Toby. It just made me think immediately, when your teenage kids, or younger than teenage, when your infant children, primary school children start surfing online, you have to talk to them about security. And making sure you’re not visiting sites that you shouldn’t be visiting. You’re putting parent locks on things. We’ve just given that a physical form. The 18 plus options are something Joe is just very concerned about. He just doesn’t realize the impact it’s going to have on him personally.
If David Elster, the man who created the Synths, is able to give consciousness to a few of these â€œfreaksâ€ as they’re called, it can be done for all of them. Or that’s what Hobbs thinks. But are they really a threat and whatÂ lengths is he willing to go do in order to stop the rest of the Synths from gaining sentience?
Why is Anita so protective of Sophie? And where doesÂ she think she’s taking her in the middle of the night?
Want to know about the Synths? We talked to the cast and writers about this new generation of AI. Want to know more about what to expect this season? We talked to the writers about this 8-part series.
Humans airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.
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