The growing tension on Humans is about to explode. And the synth family is once again separated. Max (Ivano Jeremiah) has locked down the rail yard. Mia (Gemma Chan) left to find another way to reach the general public. Niska (Emily Berrington) set out to find the rogue synth organization responsible for the bombings. Leo (Colin Morgan) is 100% human now. Max sent him and Mattie (Lucy Carless) away for their safety. Laura (Katherine Parkinson) started her new job with the Dryden Commission, but is finding roadblocks at every turn. And Joe (Tom Goodman-Hill) discovered Karen (Ruth Bradley) living in a synth-free community with a synth child, Sam (Billy Jenkins).
The synths that Mia and Niska rescued from the coast arrive at the rail yard, only to be turned away by Max. Agnes (Holly Earl) is furious. She accuses Max of turning on his own kind. He reminds her that it was a synth who bombed the bar. They have to be careful about who they let in. Max is upset that Mia left, saying she has lost hope in their cause. Anatole (Ukweli Roach) tells him that he can do a good job without Mia.
Agnes starts to speak out against Max’s leadership. She tells the others that Max has turned his back on the synths. And uses Mia’s absence to backup her claim. She says she doesn’t want to hide anymore. They deserve to live freely. Max tells the group that he wants them to live freely too, but they have to be able to live among humans. That is why Mia left. She is going to live among the humans to show that they can coexist. Agnes argues that Mia’s plan will take months and she will fail. What will Max do then?
Max is upset. He confides in Anatole that his whole life turned gray when Flash died. Anatole tells him what he was before Day Zero. He was a courtesan. It was his job to not only give people what they need, but to see what they need. He tells Max he needs to remember why they are all here. Anatole takes Max to a shrine created in David Elster’s memory. They worship Elster because he created them. Anatole tells Max to hold on to the hope that one day, synths will live freely.
Mattie returns home with Leo. Leo is human now, but his memory is messed up. He displays that when he asks where Joe is. Laura is apprehensive about letting Leo stay, but Mattie says he has nowhere else to go. He’s human now and that puts him in danger at the railyard. Laura tries to contact Mia to let her know.
Laura continues meeting with the Dryden Commission. They discuss extending the curfew put on anomalous synths after the bombing. Laura argues that there is no proof that the curfew had any effect on violence. They table the discussion to the next meeting. After the meeting, Laura confirms her dinner plans with Neil.
Be More Human
Karen and Sam walk home from school. A boy bumps into Sam and his contact falls out. They go into Joe’s store so Karen can put the contact back in. Joe tells Karen that it’s dangerous for her to stay in the synthfree community. Next time it could happen when she not there. Sam sees a drawing of a strawberry and draws a better one. Sam says goodbye before they leave.
Joe visits Karen and Sam to teach Sam how to draw like a child. He tells Karen that he wants to keep an eye out for Sam. He asks what she does while Sam is at school. Karen says she doesn’t do anything but sit and wait. He suggests that she find something to do. Sam suggests she watch cartoons or play football. He asks Joe to play football with him, but Karen says it’s time for Joe to go home.
The next day, Karen shows up with Sam to play football with Joe. As they walk to the park, Joe suggests that Karen get a part time job or something. Sam kicks his ball into the street as a car approaches. Joe barely moves Sam out of the way before the car hits him. Karen watches and freezes before she can get to the street.
They go back to Karen’s. She tells Joe that she cannot put herself in harm’s way because of David Elster’s programming. So she cannot protect Sam unless there is no danger to herself. This means she cannot be a mother.
A New Home
Mia goes into town to rent a flat. The real estate agent calls the police when she enters. The police try to tell Mia that she cannot rent a flat. She recites the law that says she can if she has authorization from her owner. The police call Laura and Laura confirms that Mia has permission. They try to tell Laura that she cannot give that kind of authorization, but Laura cites the law and threatens to sue if they stop Mia.
Mia heads to her new apartment. A group of humans follow her and watch her go inside. Even when she goes to the store, a crowd follows her. She sits inside her flat listening to the people yelling at her outside. She draws to focus on something. Her thoughts turn to Ed, her former boss/boyfriend. She is distracted and someone throws a rock through the window.
Mia calls Laura. She tells Laura that she’s alright and asks why Laura has been calling her. Laura hands the phone to Leo. Mia is happy to hear Leo’s voice and asks why he’s with the Hawkins. He says Max sent him away. Leo asks to see her. Mia hears Sophie (Pixie Davies) ask Leo what kind of pizza he likes. Mia tells Leo to stay where he is. She will be fine.
Later the press arrives at Mia’s flat. More people are outside and the police is there trying to keep the peace. Mia walks out on her patio. A reporter asks about Laura and Mia calls her a friend. They ask what she wants. Mia says she wants to live.
Making a Difference
Laura has dinner with Neil (Mark Bonnar) and asks about Basewood. Neil says he could go to prison if he tells her. She wants to know what she’s up against. Neil turns the table on her, telling her that she can change the subject so he can stay and have a nice dinner. Or she can continue to talk about work and he will leave. Laura says she promised him dinner.
They end up talking about synths anyway. Neil tells Laura that a synth killed his son while giving him a bath. He knows it was an accident, but he feels there needs to be guidelines for synth/human relations. He says that accident and his stance on synths lead to his divorce. Laura understands all too well. They go to say goodnight after dinner and Laura accidentally kisses Neil. He invites her to his place, but she declines. When she gets home, she asks Stanley (Dino Fetscher) if he reports her whereabouts to the commission. He tells her no. He cannot lie to her so Laura is okay with that.
The Synth Who Sleeps
Niska got a tip in the last episode about the rogue synths’ location. She finds the house, but the front door is rigged with explosives. She goes through the back gate and finds the house is full of explosives. Niska finds materials to build more bombs that matches the materials that she found at the bar.
Niska waits to see if anyone will show up at the house. While she powers up, she connects with another synth. She sees him looking at her from the outside, but when she goes outside, he’s gone. She enters the house again and he’s waiting for her inside. The synth is an orange eyes. He calls her by her name, saying he has a message for her. He says he was sent to help her. The synth who sleeps has the answers she needs. Niska needs to know where the rogue synths are located. He says she can catch the one responsible, but another will rise. The orange eyed synth gives her an address and says that is not her path. He deactivates, killing himself.
Leo is sad that Mia won’t see him. He says he doesn’t know what to do if he’s not helping his synth family. Mattie suggests they get a drink. On the way they pass Mattie’s high school. They go inside to look around and Mattie starts feeling sad. She is thinking about Day Zero. Leo tells her to stop blaming herself. He says he knows it was guilt that kept her by his bedside for a year, but he’s fine now. She says she stayed by his side, not out of guilt, but out of fear that he was going to die. Mattie leaves Leo at the school. Leo heads back to the Hawkins house and finds Mattie cleaning her room. He stops her and kisses her.
The next day, the commission continues their discussion about the curfew. Neil shows the commission research that the curfew is effective and violence is down. The commission votes to extend the curfew. Laura goes to Neha (Thusitha Jayasundera) to resign. Neha scolds her for not using her voice and time wisely. She gave Laura the job to make a difference. She says Laura needs one big, bold idea to get the commission to listen to her and to the rethink their stance on synths.
The Big Idea
At the Hawkins home, Sophie tells Laura that Joe doesn’t know about Stanley. She says he’s uncomfortable with synths because he’s not around them enough. This gives Laura an idea. She calls Max.
Max tells Anatole that Laura wants bring the Dryden Commission to spend some time at the railyard. Max informs everyone that they will have visitors. He says Agnes was right, they don’t have to hide anymore. They can can show the commission that it is possible to coexist. Agnes says she doesn’t trust herself around humans. She decides to leave the railyard. Along the way she finds the group of synths from the coast. They are lying in a bloody pile. Max had given then a battery charger. Agnes finds it and it has been destroyed. Agnes heads back to the railyard.
It’s interesting that the oppression of the synths mirrors a lot of the oppression we’ve seen in history and in today’s world. When someone, or in this case, something is different from the norm, the immediate reaction is to hate it. Hate and fear lead to violence and that can lead to genocide.
Of course the synths are afraid to. They are stronger and faster. Humans are no match in a fight, but the synths rarely fight back. They have hope that they will be accepted, but how many have to die before that happens? Can humans really be made to understand? With all of the history of oppression in the world, you would think that they could empathize.