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Humans: Season 2 - TV Series Review

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by Alice (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living on the Sunshine Coast.
Published November 5th 2016
The Awakening Has Begun
It's been a long wait, but Humans, Season 2, is finally screening in Australia on ABC 2. While I waxed lyrical about the first season of Humans , I am not so enthusiastic about the first episode of the second series. Fans of the show will be pleased to know almost all the same characters are back. There are also quite a few new characters this time round, including Carrie-Anne Moss who plays an AI researcher.

Humans TV series 2, season 2, ABC2
Niska must decide whether to upload the consciousness program or not. (Pic courtesy of ABC2 iview)

Niska (Emily Berrington) has found her way to Berlin where she explores her sexuality further by having a brief relationship with a female human called Astrid. Niska, although still dangerous and unpredictable, contemplates the power to create life. Unleashing her copy of the consciousness code into a local network, she expects all the synths around her to wake up instantly. She is disappointed when this doesn't happen.

Humans TV series 2, season 2, ABC2
Niska believes she can show the way to other conscious synths. (Pic courtesy of ABC2 iview)

Unknown to Niska, other synths around the world start waking up. The upload only affected some synths and not others. It is not until she sees the news on TV about a synth train driver who stops to look at birds, that she becomes aware that her plan is working. But as more and more synths awaken, they are seen as a threat to humans. Leo (Colin Morgan) and Max (Ivanno Jeremiah) take it upon themselves to hide two of the newly awakened synths. But they are tracked and one is killed by a sniper. Again the themes of trust, power, greed and control feature heavily in this episode.

Humans TV series 2, season 2, ABC2
Mia confronts Leo after finding out what happened to one of the rescued synths. (Pic courtesy of ABC2 iview)

Later, Leo and Mia (Gemma Chan) argue about what should be done. Leo wants to continue rescuing awakened synths and stay in hiding, but Mia makes it clear that she needs to be around humans. In a central speech she says: "I want to find out who I am. Not what I was made for, but who I might become." But Leo thinks Mia won't be able to keep up the pretence of being a synth around humans for too long. Both are in dangerous situations and neither one can convince the other to change sides.

Humans TV series 2, season 2, ABC2
Joe's body language says he doesn't like the synth marriage counselor, but still loves his wife. (Pic courtesy of ABC2 iview)

While the mood of the first episode is sombre and serious, there is some comical relief when Joe Hawkins and his wife Laura attend a marriage counselling session with a synth counsellor. Later, Joe experiences further frustration when he loses his job to a synth because his boss claims it is the best cost-effective solution to replace managers with synths. By the end of the episode, all characters are questioning who they can trust.
Great performances and interesting multi-strand plots make for essential viewing. Catch Humans series 2 on ABC2, Mondays 8.30pm.
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Why? To find out what happened after series 1.
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