Humans season 3, episode 5 and 6 recap: ‘Episode 5’ and ‘Episode 6’


Humans hits a speed bump with some predictable and disappointing twists.

Before this season even started, I made a wild guess that both Stanley and Anatole would be up to no good. There character descriptions alone it seemed inevitable for the two to be working against the Hawkins. Based on reactions online, it seems like I’m not the only one completely unsurprised by their heel turn in these two episodes. However, “Episode 5” is a much stronger outing than “Episode 6” which isn’t a good sign heading into tonight’s finale. Humans is going to need to stick the landing for season three if it hopes to score a renewal from AMC.

There’s a lot to unpack in both episodes but the first one definitely gives fans some more character-based moments. The largest part being the introduction of Sam into the Hawkins family. Laura is understandably cautious to welcome in an illegal synth child, but she can’t say no to those big green eyes. Seriously, the actor who plays Sam is doing such a fantastic job with him this season and has quickly become a standout in the series.

Sam also offers a new wrinkle in the synth rights movement. Would the people advocating for the destruction of green-eyed synths be able to do the same to a child? While Sam is definitely more advanced than the average human child in many ways, he still maintains a naivety that belongs to kids. It’s especially seen in this episode of Humans when everyone tries to explain what death is. For him, he can replay his memories with Karen in his mind, therefore, she can’t really be gone. He doesn’t totally understand the need for a funeral or the fact that she’ll never come back.

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This highlights a big adjustment for Leo, who now finds himself with a younger brother of sorts. He too tries to help Sam cope, but his rebuffed because of his newfound humanity. It’s easy to tell Leo is a bit jealous Sam can look back at his memories of Karen, whereas Leo has already begun forgetting.

Eventually, Sophie is the one to actually get through to Sam. Their bonding moments are by far some of the best stuff of Humans because Sophie finally gets a friend. Their truth or dare scene feels very reminiscent of childhood years and it’s heartbreaking when Sam finally admits he doesn’t want his mom to be dead. Eventually, spurred on by Sophie’s words, he runs away to a church in an attempt to bring Karen back.

Things aren’t that easy, and unfortunately, it seems like Karen is gone for good. But Joe and Laura do track him down before he can find himself in any trouble. While Joe has spent most of the season on the backburner, “Episode 5” did allow him a few sweet moments. He gets to bond a bit with Laura after the two have spent a majority of this season separated. It’s very clear that he’s still in love with her, which makes those Neil scenes a little hard to watch. Nevertheless seeing Joe, someone who has always distrusted synths, tear up over Karen is a reminder of what a great character she was.

However, all the heartwarming scenes in “Episode 5” led to “Episode 6” possibly being one of the worst episodes of the series. Laura Hawkins has always been portrayed as a woman who doesn’t see the difference between synth rights and human rights. Even in the first season when she was skeptical of Anita, she still wanted her treated properly. Whether it was “eating” meals with the family, or forcing the kids to do their own chores rather than make Anita, there was a rare kindness to her character.

Yet, Humans throws that all away in “Episode 6” by having Laura pick a random dying man over Sam’s life. Looking at three seasons worth of character development, there’s absolutely no way she would have made that choice. If Anatole had threatened one of her actual kids, then yes, she would have saved them over Sam. But she’s demonstrated multiple times throughout the series that she would sacrifice nearly anything for synths in danger. “Episode 5” cemented the idea that Sam is still a child, which makes it that much worse the writers would have Laura willingly sacrifice him.

Mattie ending up pregnant from Leo also feels a bit forced, but undoubtedly the creators are playing the long game with the baby. So far, their arc this season feels a bit like filler when the show could be focusing on Niska’s storyline. Unfortunately, it seems like they’re just trying to set up next season’s overarching storyline.

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The other big development happening in the background is Mattie’s newfound friendship with the journalist. It seems inevitable for the journalist to break Mattie’s involvement in Day Zero, which will definitely put her on the run. However, the bigger question will be what happens when the world finds out she’s carrying a synth-human hybrid baby? No matter what it seems like she’s headed down a dark path.

Were you surprised by Anatole’s betrayal? Tell us in the comments below!