In Review: Humans: Series 3 – Episode 5

Progress is made for synth rights but a shocking revelation threatens doom for the Hawkins family

Synopsis: Sam reels from the events of Waltringham and Joe struggles to help him through it. Meanwhile truths are revealed and dangerous plans put into action at the Railyard.

Review: This was a deceptively peaceful episode with a shocking twist. The shots of Stanley’s face at the very start and the very end bookend it in chilling fashion. Billy Jenkins shows great presence in all of his scenes and delivers this fantastic line: “I don’t want my mum to be dead. I don’t like it.”

Tom Goodman-Hill pulls out some great acting when he shows Joe’s guilt over Karen’s death and his monologue to Sam about the way humans cope with loss was a highlight of this outing. This is the kind of tenderness, vulnerability and human-ness that I feel Joe’s character has been lacking since the show began, which makes it all the more welcome here. There is a nice humourous moment when Joe’s family are all shown as completely independent of him. Tom Goodman-Hill’s reaction to this makes him easier to relate to.

Katharine Parkinson and Mark Bonnar show great intensity in their conversation outside the Hawkins’ home, with some humour being found in Joe quizzing Stanley about what they are to each other. There are some beautiful shots of Mia walking with the synth activists and a fantastic shot of her standing outside the building where the Dryden Commission is held. Gemma Chan delivers a very on point line about the complacency of ordinary people that spurs her into marching to the Dryden Commission. The biggest shock of the episode was the revelation that Stanley is fully conscious and a sleeper agent for Anatole, who orders him to murder the entire Hawkins family.

Dino Fetscher has played the role of the subservient orange-eyed synth so convincingly that I was left to marvel at this development. The music used in this episode really connotated a deadly calm, especially at the beginning. A world of threats was implied by the theme employed when Joe and Laura search for Sam and I loved the version of the main score that played when Max opens the Railyard’s gates. This really suggested that things were changing for the synths. The music that was played when the Hawkins family discuss Sam was very sweet and innocent, in stark contrast to the situation, and I liked the tick tocky theme that played when Sam absconded from the Hawkins’ home.

An interesting character was introduced in Yasmine Akram’s Audrey, who struck the balance between friendliness and deviousness very well. I would like to see more scenes between Audrey and Lucy Carless’s Mattie because I enjoy how the actors play off each other. It will be really interesting to see the effect that Audrey’s snooping has on Mattie in the coming episodes. Colin Morgan shows great tenderness in his conversation with Sam when Leo recalls Karen. There was a lovely moment when Leo tells Sam that they are more alike than they think.

Overall, a good episode with a spectacular twist.

Humans: Series 3 - Episode 5
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI
  • Incidental Music

I'm a writer on the autistic spectrum who loves sci-fi, cosplay and poetry. I'm also an actor with Theatre of the Senses.
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