There are moments in this week’s episode that are heartbreaking if you’ve watched this series from the start, notably between George, Odi and Niska – the Synths’ reactions are so human to the situations that they find themselves in, particularly when tragedy strikes. (One particular character does seem to get very short shrift though – to the extent that it feels as if a plotline was edited out during production.)
The episode starts with a further twist to Karen’s true identity, although that isn’t fully explained until much later on – and the significance of her appearance, and the influence she can exert on Leo is yet another gamechanger in a series that has been full of twists. Ruth Bradley subtly changes her performance as Karen abandons the “truth” she has been maintaining for the past few years, while Colin Morgan demonstrates in little ways how Leo’s strength is stripped away when she appears.
There are some good moments for Gemma Chan and Katherine Parkinson as the roles are reversed, while Emily Berrington is excellent opposite people twice and half her age, in the scenes with William Hurt and Pixie Davis respectively – there’s a palpable rapport in both, making the final twists even more shocking.
Once again the direction adroitly emphasises certain elements – the split between the human family, for instance, compared with the closeness of the Synths – although the slow motion “take down” at the end is a little clichéd.
Verdict: The pieces have now come together (metaphorically and literally), but I hope things are not neatly wrapped up in one hour next week. 8/10