HUMANS returns with the third season on AMC. Season one introduced viewers to a parallel present where technology is more advanced. Synthetics were manufactured specifically to serve their human owners. Some synths work in child care, elder care, and other public service positions. Other synths are being exploited for more degrading services.
The show focuses on the Hawkins and the Elsters. The Hawkins are just an average family that form a bond with a special set of synths. The Hawkins matriarch, Laura (Katherine Parkinson) is a lawyer and started a campaign for Synth Rights. But her husband Joe (Tom Goodman-Hill), sees the synths as tools. He’s most concerned with the influence on his children, especially the youngest Sophie (Pixie Davies). Sophie is so taken with the synths that she begins to act like one. Their oldest, Mattie (Lucy Carless) develops a huge interest in synths as well, but it’s purely scientific. Mattie eventually becomes friends with the Elsters. And Toby (Theo Stevenson), well, he’s pretty easy going. He gets along with everyone.
The Elsters aren’t so average. In fact, they aren’t even human. Mia (Gemma Chan), Niska (Emily Berrington), Max (Ivano Jeremiah) and Fred (Sope Dirisu) were created by Dr. David Elster to care for his son Leo (Colin Morgan). Dr. Elster gave them self-awareness and the ability to feel emotions. Elster made a fifth synth, Beatrice, but she wasn’t able to bond with the others, or Leo. Beatrice later showed up as a cop named Karen Voss (Ruth Bradley). Leo had a accident when he was a boy. Dr. Elster used the synthetic technology to save Leo’s life. Now that Leo is an adult, his only concern is keeping his family together.
Keeping them together is not easy. Mia wants to be accepted in a world that profits off of her kind. Niska lashes out at those who have used her body and tried to shut off her mind. Fred was taken early and is bonded to a man who wants to enslave all synths, and Max….well, he’s the most loyal companion that Leo has.
The synths had a secret code hidden within them. Mattie was able to combine the code and define its purpose: awaken all synths. She kept the code safe until Mia died saving the Hawkins family. Mattie activated the code, awakening all synths in the world. For some, this can be interesting as the synths are capable of love and happiness. Yet, there are synths that want to protect other synths, at any cost.
Day Zero is the day that the synths were awakened. It is also the day that an estimated 110,000 people died in accidents caused when the synths walked away from their jobs. Within a year, a new synthetic line of servants has been created. They are the Orange Eyes and just as subservient as the Green Eyes once were.
The world mourns the estimated 110,000 people that were killed on that day. Some hold vigils, some sit at home and watch the vigils on TV. The “anomalous” synths are also watching and are becoming more resentful of the humans that don’t acknowledge the millions of synths that have died since that day. Synth Agnes (Holly Earl) steps forward saying the humans don’t respect them and are still killing them.
Since that day, Max and Mia have taken in hundreds of synths and they live at a rail yard outside of town. The power goes in and out, causing more synth deaths for those low on battery life. Mia tries reaching out to magazines and reporters to gain support for the synths, but they are getting tired of talking to her. Max just works on trying to keep the synths calm and powered up despite the power outages.
Joe and Laura have separated. Joe lives in a synth free community and works at a grocery store. Sophie no longer acts like a synth, Toby is just as carefree as ever, and Mattie feels responsible for the 110,000 deaths on Day Zero. Laura has been working to get laws passed to protect the synths lives.
Niska and Astrid (Bella Dayne) are still together. Astrid works at a synth friendly bar where human sympathizers frequent. On a day that Niska meets Astrid at the bar, a man sets off a bomb, killing five humans. Astrid and Niska survive, but Niska has to run. She’s still a wanted synth. The news reports the bombing, blaming it on the anomalous.
Laura picks up Toby and Sophie from Joe’s store. They return home to find Mattie is gone. Mattie leaves a note saying she needs some time alone. The next day at Sophie’s school, a man talks to her class about synth safety. He tries to teach them the Green Eyes are dangerous and should never be trusted. Sophie asks if she can trust the nice ones. One of her classmates dismisses the question by telling everyone that Sophie’s daddy left the family because he loves the Green Eyes.
Laura meets a synth client Roland (Greg Austin) at her office when one of her old partners Neha (Thusitha Jayasundera) pays a visit. Neha asks Laura to join the Dryden Commission, a government department created to decide what to do with the anomalous synths. Neha tells Laura this may be the only way she gets to really fight for synths rights.
Karen teaches Sam (Billy Jenkins) how to act more human, saying he has to be consistently imperfect and move around a lot. She masked his signals so no other synth can detect him. Karen says no one can touch Sam’s eyes, see his charging portal and he needs to react when someone touches his skin. She takes him to school confident that he will do well.
Laura is asked to appear on a news panel to talk about the bombing. Mia is also on the panel from a remote location. Claudia Nowak (Susannah Doyle), leader of a human group called We the People quickly dismisses any fear that Mia expresses. Laura says We the People promote hate and fear. The interview is cut off because a video has emerged from those responsible for the bomb.
A group of rogue anomalous synths bombed the synth-human friendly bar. They say that they have tried peacefully to appeal to the humans. Now they will take their rightful place in the world and they will do so violently.
The synths at the rail yard hear the message and some consider this may the only way they can be safe. Some of the synths don’t want to wait for the humans to decide their fate. Max believes it’s up to them to change the humans minds. They have to show mercy and forgiveness even when the humans won’t. And if they are struck down, the synths have to reach up to them. The humans who take their hands won’t let go. He wants to appeal what’s best about humanity. Afterward, Flash (Ritu Arya) tells Max that she is going on a supply run. She has paid human escorts and believes they will be safe.
Laura gets a call from Sophie’s school. Sophie hit the girl who teased her. The headmaster believes Sophie is acting out because of her parent’s separation. Laura and Joe say they always appear to put a united front for the kids. After the meeting, Joe expresses his annoyance with Laura for making fun of where he lives. He is hurt that Mattie won’t talk to him and now Sophie is fighting at school.
Flash and her companion buy the supplies they need and even pay extra to the store owner for selling to them. When they leave the store, their human escorts are nowhere to be found. A group of humans approach them and start blaming them for the bombing. Flash tells her companion to be calm. One of the humans hits her in the head and Flash falls to the ground. She reaches her hand up, but no one grabs it.
Laura sits Sophie down to talk to her about the fight at school Sophie says she likes fighting, but Laura knows there’s more to it that that. Sophie tells her about the girl who made fun of her. She says she knows what really happened and it bothers her that she can’t tell the truth. Laura tells her that if anyone found out that it was Mattie, she could go to jail. Sophie reminds her that it’s better to tell the truth. Laura reminds her to let the adults handle it.
Mattie arrives at the rail yard to some menacing looks from Agnes. Max tells her that things have changed and it’s not a good time to be around. He takes her to see Leo, who’s in a coma. They had to remove all of Leo’s synthetic parts to save his life. He’s human again. Anatole (Ukweli Roach), one of Max’s most trusted synths updates Mattie on Leo’s condition. He has some brain activity, but that could be his brain dying. Max asks Anatole to keep Leo’s presence a secret. They leave Mattie to sit with Leo. Another synth retrieves Max and takes him into the woods. They find Flash and her companion hanging from trees, dead.
Laura meets with Mia in the woods. She says no one wants to hear a case for synth rights. They have been working for a year on this and no laws have changed. Mia says they are dying and now some of the synths want to fight back. Laura tells her about the offer to join the Dryden Commission. Mia doesn’t like it. She says she can’t justify it to the others. They will think that Laura gave up on them. Laura doesn’t think of it as giving up, just going about change in a different way.
Max takes Flash’s body back to the rail yard. He’s sad about her death, but he learns another synth, Cristabel is dying because she can’t recharge. Anatole tells Max that Flash lived a full life. Max doesn’t think he’s doing a good job protecting them all. Anatole says the only way Max can protect everyone is to cut off all human contact.
Niska goes to see Astrid in the hospital. Astrid is resting so Niska goes to the railyard. She wants to find the synths responsible for the bombing. Max doesn’t think that any of his people did it, but Niska says he can’t read their minds. Max tells her there are only 520 synths. He would know if they were the bombers. Niska promises to find those responsible.
Max doesn’t want to lose another friend. He asks Anatole what it will take to save Cristabel. She needs to recharge and with the power constantly going out, the only thing that could help is the batteries from Leo’s life support machine.
As they are talking, men with guns descend upon the railyard. They force the lookout to open the gates. It’s a police raid. They gather up all of the synths, threatening to shoot if they don’t comply.
Mattie talks to Leo about how she feels. She calls herself a mass murderer. She wants to tell everyone that it was her. Max and Anatole enter the room to take Leo off life support, despite Mattie’s protest. Anatole sets up a syringe for Leo, in case he can’t breathe on his own. Anatole asks Max about Leo. He knows Leo is special and mentions that Leo has strange injuries. Max doesn’t answer him. They set up Cristabel to recharge and leave to join the others being held at gunpoint.
The police make them all get on their knees and raise their hands. They ask for the leader and Max comes forward. They ask him who planted the bomb, but Max insists it wasn’t any of them. The police decide to get all of the serial numbers off the synths and search the rail yard. Niska is still there, hiding from the police. Mattie realizes that Leo is having a hard time breathing and tries to help him.
Agnes stands up and lowers her hands. A cop points a gun at her, while Max pleads with her to get back down. He tells her the police will shoot all of them if she does not do as they ask. Another synth stands up and lowers his hands too. The police get ready to shoot.
This is going to be an intense season. Much different from the last two seasons. The Elsters must chose a side, but whichever side they chose will be the wrong side. Laura has been labeled a traitor. She has to do what is best for her family’s safety. I really hope she can get through to someone, but the humans outnumber the synths. And now that there is a rogue group, things will only get worse for the synths. Makes me sad.
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