Synopsis: Laura leads a tense visit of the Dryden Commission to the Railyard, but Agnes threatens its success. Mia is forced to confront her path when she comes face to face with Ed, and an evening out for Karen, Sam and Joe turns to tragedy.
Review: This was an utterly phenomenal episode. It had romance, heartbreak, sacrifice, mystery, humanity and a coming of age story. Gemma Chan performs stupendously in every scene she is in. I loved the restrained menace with which she initially talks to Ed, which softens into forgiveness and then acceptance of the life she has chosen. Mia’s line to Ed “You made me feel alive” was absolutely beautiful.
Sam Palladio acts well also, showing Ed’s guilt and also his desire to make things right. The score when Ed leaves Mia’s flat for the last time was brilliant. The montage of Mia being mobbed was absolutely incredible as was the counterpart sequence of Ed pushing through the crowd to offer Mia his help.
The opening of this episode had some gorgeous cinematography and provided an interesting look into Agnes’s past. Holly Earl shows once again great intensity yet vulnerability in all of her interactions with Max. I like what they’re doing with Ivanno Jeremiah, whose actions are becoming more and more morally dubious. This could be taken as an Aesop about the trappings of leadership or possibly the price of securing peace between nations, as Agnes is prevented from murdering one of the Dryden Commission by Anatole and ultimately locked up by Max himself.
Holly Earl delivers some fantastic acting when Agnes is locked away. It was great to see Mattie’s developing maturity this time around as she begins to take responsibility for giving the synths consciousness. Colin Morgan performed excellently as the concerned boyfriend and his and Lucy Carless’s conversation in the car was well delivered.
Mark Bonnar performs something of a face heel turn in this episode by rejecting Laura after they have had sex. This provides a darker streak to his charismatic and likable portrayal of Neil. Niska’s storyline continues to deliver, with a spectacular scene of her moving through a building only to be surprised and rendered unconscious by a synth radical. Emily Berrington shows great presence when she murders the synth radical and again when she visits Astrid in hospital. Niska’s line “It’s a trick” was said with amazing emotion and intensity and the shot of her face only added to this. Bella Dayne conveys Astrid’s tenderness excellently.
The standout moment of the episode has to be when Karen outs herself as a synth to save Sam from being mobbed to death. Ruth Bradley acts stupendously in the moment when Karen tells Sam to run, and the tinkly soundtrack that accompanies Joe finding Karen’s body was very dissonant to the tragedy of the scene. The final shot of Joe standing over Karen’s body was brilliantly done. I would like to see Tom Goodman-Hill show more of Joe’s compassion and goodness over the next four episodes, and possibly even reunite with Laura to fight for the synths’ cause.
Overall, a stunning episode that is perhaps the best of the entire series.
- Incidental Music10