Synopsis: 1 year after the dawning of synth consciousness, Leo is still in a coma leaving Max, Mia, and Flash to broker an uneasy peace with the fearful human world. Laura’s fight for synth rights receives an unexpected boost.
Review: This was a very strong start to series 3. I loved the many real-world parallels throughout this episode with the newly conscious synths representing any shunned and stigmatized group. Ivanno Jeremiah delivers the standout performance of the episode with Max’s speech exhorting the synths to be non-violent. I love Max’s development from a likable supporting character to a strong and just leader.
Lucy Carless conveys Mattie’s reaction to Day Zero very well although I found her monologue to Leo somewhat lacking in emotion. Gemma Chan is given some fantastic lines in this outing which she delivers excellently. I loved her denouncement of the synth terrorists with the line: “This killing was not done in my name.” and her line: “Death. Call it death.” when one of Max’s charges passes away.
There are some beautiful sequences in this episode such as Mia walking to the outskirts of the synth settlement with a hopeful yet mournful version of the main theme. Also of note was the final scene in which armed police storm Max’s haven for synths. There were some great shots and some superb editing here.
There is also humour in this installment, with Ruth Bradley’s Karen attempting to teach Billy Jenkins’s Sam how to pass for human. Some potentially interesting storylines have been set up in this episode, with Sam attending the same school as Sophie and Niska attempting to find out who was behind the terror attack. I thought that Pixie Davies acted well in her scene with Katherine Parkinson, showing Sophie’s childlike sense of right and wrong and also her nascent maturity well.
There was a nice scene with Sophie’s head teacher that continued the theme of non-violence being the way forward. Greg Austin’s character Roland gave a great speech against synth ownership in his scene with Laura. I found the character of Agnes, played with great intensity and charisma by Holly Earl, to be a welcome addition to the show. I hope however that she will not become a Hester clone and that we will see some storylines and character development for her. I loved her part in the final scene where Agnes stood up and stared down an armed police officer. Tom Goodman-Hill really showed Joe’s emotion during his conversation with Laura and I loved the orchestral version of the main theme that played when Leo was revealed. Another potentially interesting storyline is the hitherto one-sided Mattie/Leo romance which I hope is explored further this series.
Overall, an excellent episode that set the bar high for this series.
- Incidental Music9.5