By far the strongest episode of the series to date, this week’s Humans fills in a lot of the gaps in Leo’s story, explaining who (and indeed what) he is, as well as progressing all of the other characters in credible ways. The old Super-8 type cinema film for Leo’s memories doesn’t make any logical sense but is a good stylistic choice for separating the “human” part of his memories from the Synth/human hybrid he becomes. Colin Morgan always rises to strong material, and his performance has become increasingly engaging as the series has progressed.
Katherine Parkinson’s Laura is more of a lynchpin in this episode, with the scenes where she explains who Tom is to Lucy Carless as her daughter well-written and played. That’s followed by one of Gemma Chan’s best performances in the series, with the camera deliberately focusing on her during the discussion between mother and daughter as Mia’s personality finally breaks out. (Leo’s “flashback” also explains some of the glitches in Anita’s personality, as the caring side of Mia has clearly been trying to push through the code.)
Danny Webb’s Hobb also puts his cards on the table, but doesn’t get the answer he anticipates, although it will be interesting to see if he is able to get to Max in time next week. The scenes between William Hurt and Emily Berrington also work very well, as the old scientist works to earn the trust of the Synth, although I hope he doesn’t trust her too much…
And as for the Drummonds? Their plotline has a nice symmetry, as Jill Halfpenny’s Jill takes her Synth to bed (and we were all relieved to know that he used the best angle for penetration) and discovered that they can sometimes be too literal, while Ruth Bradley’s Karen seduces Pete – and only then reveals exactly what she is. Neil Maskell plays the moment with just the right amount of revulsion and self-loathing.
As the Swedish original has proved, there’s plenty of material to mine in this format, and I’m hoping that there won’t be a desperate rush in the final two episodes to answer all the questions that still remain.
Verdict: Another strong episode. 9/10