Humans Recap: Episode 2 — There’s a War Going On Outside No Synth Safe From

Mia and Niska grow closer as Max begins to lose everyone

Humans / Season 3, Episode 2 / AMC

We starting from the jump of episode 2 so catch up on the recap of the epic Season 3 premiere if you need to catch up from Day Zero to now. Guns is drawn, and Agnus don’t give a fuck; she walking towards the feds like her exo-skeleton got the bulletproof upgrade version 3.0. But British police is patient as all hell so it don’t matter anyway. Swear to god Agnus would be shot by NYPD and the officers exonerated in the time it’d take a British cop to pull a trigger:

Cop: If they make a move, you engage!
Agnus: [makes 10 moves]
Cop: I’m gonna count to three, you better quit playing!
Max: [makes 17 sudden movements]
Cop: I’ll take the safety off, I’m warning you, Dolly!

Max wants to cooperate but his download on non-violent civil disobedience stalled at 80%, so he logs his first sack of the game by knocking Agnus straight on her back before he kneels down himself with his aggressively cooperating ass. Meanwhile, Niska hiding around a corner in perpetual I-wish-a-bobby-would mode, tooled up with a Phillips head and a cold, dead heart, but she goes to help Maddie instead. Maddie – aka the greatest accidental murderer in the history of the world – is busy tryna resuscitate Cyborg bae before he goes into the sweet by-and-by without offering her closure that he totally would if he was a bit younger or she was a bit older. Niska ends up saving his life; 40% ‘cause she loves him and 60% ‘cause she just needs an outlet for her anger and stabbing a dude in the belly just does the trick sometimes. By the time the feds leave, Max’s heart done fallen 2 degrees colder, while his boy found Christ and thanks God for his many blessings.

Back at the Hawkins residence, Laura’s breakfast is interrupted by a knock at the door and it’s her polite new security detail tryna shake her hand and tell her about his security features. Hunk-bot is solidly manufactured and look like he grew up on a nice farm ’til football took him to college. Laura slams the door in his face and tries to report him as spam, but the Dryden Commission ain’t having it. Either she takes the orange-eyes for protection, or she’s off the squad. Laura’s dreading it because she’s gonna have to explain to her synth clients why she’s being followed around by a non-sentient slave who’s an insult to their entire being. But you gotta hurt ‘em to help ‘em, Laura. You gotta hurt ‘em to help ‘em. Meanwhile, Sophie just happy she’s got a new friend ‘cause she done beat the brakes off everybody at her school. She like, I don’t fuck with you normals anyway.

Laura’s driven to work where there’s anti-synth protesters outside who are angry enough to yell but not stupid enough for Hunk-bot Stanley to beat that ass. Laura goes upstairs to the Dryden Commission and hits the bathroom to get settled, and lo and behold she meets Obvious Future Love Interest coming out the toilet. Future Love Interest offers a hand and notices Laura’s hesitation. He’s like, “oh no don’t worry, I was just smoking in there,” so they share a laugh and shake hands and start talking shop about the Dryden Commission and how he’s a behavioral scientist. I know he took a dump though. Laura don’t know… but I know. I don’t trust nobody after coffee shop bae sold out Mia.

Mark Bonnar as Dr. Neil Sommer, Katherine Parkinson as Laura – Humans _ Season 3, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Colin Hutton/Kudos/CH4/AMC

Back at the Saddest Place on Earth, Mia finds out that Max almost killed Leo. Maddie is like, yeah, Niska saved him. Mia is like, why my brother need saving? Didn’t we have him set up? With the power and the equipment and everything? Fuck is this? Max lookin’ like the dog who peed on the rug. Like yo, you can put a little bass in your voice and push down Agnus, but you still just Little Brother to every real synth up in this place. Fortunately, Mia got soft circuits and was understanding when he starts talking about his leadership burden, ‘cause Niska would’a son-ed his ass and sent Max to the corner. Speaking of such an encounter, Max and Mia find out that Niska’s been using their police tracker against their rules.

Max [internally]: Should I check her?
Niska [internally]: I hope to fucking God Max tries to check me. Say it. Say some shit.
Max[internally]: Let me just talk to Mia. You know what, no! I’m the leader, Niska better respect my autho—

Suffice it to say, it doesn’t work out for Max. He’ll have to try again later. He lost Mia too; she and Niska about to go on a rescue mission to save some synths who are sending out SOS signals. Welp, you tried it, Max. You tried it.

Back at the Dryden Commission, there’s a long conference table of intellectuals with the bodyguard synths standing behind them like Sentinels. Can’t even lie, I fux with that. That’s some of the coldest shit I ever seen. This the new standard for being a badass! Being in a 20th-floor conference room with the skyline outside your window and your robot protection behind in orbit around your table. FWMYKIGI.

Mark Bonnar as Dr. Neil Sommer, Matthew Marsh as Lord Dryden – Humans _ Season 3, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Colin Hutton/Kudos/CH4/AMC

Then, back on the reservation, Leo watches his life flash in front of his eyes which means he’s about to wake up from his coma soon. He’s got better luck than the newly-religious synth, Anatole, who’s trying to witness to Niska and convert her to synth Christianity. Niska like, religion is a lie, and your stupidity is an insult to synth intelligence. Niska lowkey got owned though the way she only can with somebody nice. You can’t go hard at Niska, that’s a losing battle, you gotta try a little tenderness cut with wit. Her circuitry can’t handle the pure of heart. That’s twice now Niska, once in the bar and now this.

Over at the gated community, Papa Hawkins and son are running their organic grocery store. Joe is doing his own subtle proselytizing about the honor of a human-based life, but he preaching to the choir because Toby is truly his father’s son. They both tried to get it in with synths and got embarrassed so…shrug, I understand the overcompensation.

Rescue Rangers Niska and Mia are meanwhile stealing a whip outside, and Niska even got jokes, talking about how she likes to help others. Most deadpan shit I ever seen, and I love it. Niska calls bae in the hospital, promises revenge on her behalf, and gives the whole Man on Fire revenge speech before dropping the burner out the window and driving the A-Team van to glory. Then, she and Mia get to talking about love, and you gotta keep in mind that Mia felt that shit before and got burned so she’s still figuring it all out. Her faith in love been hella tested. Pretty sad when she tells the harsh reality to Niska how they haven’t been able to re-create the consciousness code and no new synths have been born since Day Zero. What’s that mean exactly? Oh, that the synths can’t procreate, and they can’t live forever either, so… that sorta spells extinction for their, erhm, species, for lack of a better word. They might wanna join that Church of Anatole after all. For now though, Mia just want to save these four synths who were putting out the SOS signal. At least, she can do that.

Gemma Chan as Mia – Humans _ Season 3, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Colin Hutton/Kudos/CH4/AMC

Back on the 20th story of Badass and Awesome Intellectuals, Mama Hawkins is still tryna ice skate uphill for synth equality. She been doing it alone for so long, but wait, here comes Future Love Interested with air support! Future Love Interest helps her out with a small battle within the intellectual war, and you know where that leads. Dude’s got good politics and got your back? The drawers were already halfway off before they got outside, and Future Love Interest shows her a magic trick where he gets his orange-eyes to light his cigarette. Laura pulls dem digits, and he writes it down on paper, which must be like the old-school charm move for people surrounded by sci-fi technology; like their version of smoking a pipe or reading a newspaper. With a little help from her QB1 synth, Laura knows dude is DTF so she makes her move with a calculated 85% certainty. Bet she’s glad to have a synth now.

Mia and Niska are at the rescue site, and they use their brains over brawn as Mia pretends to be a human and tricks the police into leaving. They find the four synths who were sending out the SOS signals, and Niska goes straight to interrogating them. Mia went there to help but Niska’s just looking for information on who blasted up the synth-human bar and ruined Pride. She gets an address and commits that shit to memory with one long blink.

Over at Sad Cedar Pointe, iKhaleesi and her blood riders roll up on Max and demand he bend the knee and give up his humans. They got demands and basically say it’s beef on sight next time they see Maddie and her living, breathing ass. Max and Daenerys-bot have their first private square off and intellectual sparring battle. Max goes almost full Kanye on some “if you can do it better than me, then you do it.” Agnus ain’t got any real answers so she just spews off some Charlottesville talk about pride and dignity and storms off before she gotta show receipts for her empty words. Suffice it to say though, Agnus wants war.

Holly Earl as Agnes – Humans _ Season 3, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Colin Hutton/Kudos/CH4/AMC

Meanwhile, Mama Hawkins is reluctantly remembering the usefulness of having a synth-slave around. Dude did the grocery shopping in the time it took her to ask for it. Dude even said she had ’til 5pm to edit the order if he got the wrong fish sticks. With all this new free time, Mama Hawkins is like, bet, let’s have a family picnic and just kick it in the park for a minute, maybe unwind and remember the better days. Ain’t no better days coming though, fam – humans still hate her ass like she a traitor against organic matter. QB1 had to boss up and defend her from an aggressive middle-aged white woman. You ain’t seen aggrievement or entitlement ’til you seen an angry middle-aged white woman with a bottle of wine.

Over at Growing Up Amish, Karen Voss and her My Buddy son are walking home from school and get spotted by Joe, and he’s the only one who knows what’s up, so he stalks and confronts them. It makes sense though – Voss and My Buddy gotta hide in a non-synth community to avoid being detected by other synths. If they can pull it off, bet, they’re good to live a normal life, but that’s a serious fucking gamble, yo. That’s like going incognegro in the 1950s South. They get caught out here, and they getting the printer treatment from Office Space.

Then, Niska and Mia get their sisterhood on after their latest quest, fueling up at the gas station. Mia tells Niska that she’s stumped, that she doesn’t know what the hell to even do anymore. Told Niska how she tried trusting a human once and dude turned snake, and Niska is like, that shit only defines you if you let it. I love these two together, man. The love, the respect. They really understand each other, too. Mia probably the only person who sees through Niska the way she does, and Niska knows it. These two, man. I fucking love them.

Gemma Chan as Mia, Emily Berrington as Niska – Humans _ Season 3, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Colin Hutton/Kudos/CH4/AMC

Max, though, he over here struggling with the heavy crown and understandably so. He’s in an impossible situation, so he goes back to his crash test dummy training from a former life and focuses on safety first. Max rolls up on Maddie and Leo like, I can’t protect you anymore, y’all gotta go. When the mutiny strikes, their asses would be the first to go, and he sees that pot ready to boil over any minute now. Leo offers a hand in brotherhood and Max is like, you wasn’t never one of us anyway, on some cold shit! That’s a hard note to end on, fam. But alas, that’s what we gotta do, till next time. Camera pans out, and Max walks back into the drama of the Saddest Place on Earth.

Watching Humans? You better be! So check out all our recaps of the series here.

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  • Jordan Calhoun is a writer in New York City. His forthcoming debut book "Piccolo Is Black" is a celebration of the common adaptations we made while non-diverse pop culture helped us form identities. He holds a B.A. in Sociology and Criminal Justice, B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Japanese, and an M.P.A. in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy. He might solve a mystery, or rewrite history. Find him on Instagram and Twitter @JordanMCalhoun

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