Humans has been criticised for its sometimes glacial pace, but this episode sees a lot more happen, and the various threads start to tie together – and the final revelation of the hour throws up a lot more questions about exactly how integrated the Synths are into human society.
We find out who Colin Morgan is playing, and something of what it is he’s after, but we haven’t really got to the bottom of what he is; Morgan’s Leo feels as if he should be the lynchpin of the series, but it’s only really now that a reason for that is forthcoming. His scenes with William Hurt give both men some stronger material to play than they’ve had separately.
The sexual side of the Synths is explored further, with Joe’s use of Anita (and there really isn’t any other word for it) compared with his daughter’s protection of the Synth at the party. It’s sensibly not done in any sort of titillating way: the sex scene is devoid of any sort of warmth (Anita’s programming certainly doesn’t seem to be providing any sort of Girl Friend Experience), and Mattie makes it clear that she regards any attack on the Synth as rape. That’s contrasted with Toby turning down the chance of some playful exploration with a real teenage girl because of his nascent feelings for Anita.
Of the Synths, once again it’s Gemma Chan and Emily Berrington who are provided with the most opportunities to shine. Chan’s hesitant line about everyone being scared and Berrington’s kickass attack on the humans are very well-played. Katherine Parkinson’s Laura is still the most rounded character, though, and her scenes with a potential client serve to show just how different Anita is from the usual Synths – played as much off Parkinson’s reactions as the information.
Verdict: The questions continue to mount but at least we’re starting to get some answers. 8/10