For those who have enjoyed this series, the open ending – it’s a little disingenuous to describe it as a cliffhanger really – gives plenty of scope for the second year to go in many different directions, while still wrapping up a lot of the arcs from the first. So much goes on during the episode that you may well find yourself watching it a couple of times just to understand all the ramifications.
As the series has progressed, the human family has gradually splintered, although it’s perhaps not too surprising that they’re together again by the end – with the direction once again emphasizing this in the final shots, as Leo’s Synth family goes its separate ways while Joe and his family are bunched in tight. Those who are familiar with the Swedish original may have been expecting different developments, but I think that this is the better choice – we have plenty of possibilities for the future, and we know that at some point, the Synths will want to retrieve the knowledge they have stored.
Ruth Bradley and Emily Berrington are once again given pivotal moments, but the piece has increasingly centred on Colin Morgan’s Leo – all the diverse characters’ connections come through him, after all. Many shows are described as ensemble pieces, but really focus on one or two people; Humans has pulled off the balancing act better than most, and there aren’t really any characters whose future you don’t want to know in the now-confirmed second season.
While there have been elements of the pacing of the series that have surprised me – episodes two-four felt glacial at times, with almost too many revelations in the back half of the season – overall Humans has been a strong contribution to UK TV SF, and I look forward to the new season.
Verdict: The characters and the show itself live up to their potential in this strong finale. 9/10