Biohackers Season 1, Episode 1 recap: Who is Professor Lorenz?

Biohackers - Courtesy of Marco Nagel / Netflix
Biohackers - Courtesy of Marco Nagel / Netflix /

Biohackers Episode 1 starts with a horrific opening scene.

The beginning sequence of Biohackers Episode 1 is pretty jarring in that it feels very apt to what we’re dealing with right now. In short, we see the beginnings of a deadly contagion take hold as a woman drops to the floor of a train.

A young woman believed to be Mia Akerlund (Luna Wedler) is traveling with her friend Niklas (Thomas Prenn) when they’re interrupted by frantic calls for a doctor. As a med student, Mia is the best they’ve got for the time being.

She attempts to start an emergency defibrillator on the woman, but Mia doesn’t get far before the other passengers, including the woman’s daughter, fall ill of the same mysterious sickness.

More from Netflix

We then skip ahead a little bit to see Mia getting all settled into her new apartment so she can attend the prestigious Freiburg University. There, she will study under the prolific Doctor Tanja Lorenz (Jessica Schwarz), a woman Mia appears to have some kind of connection to.

In the present, Mia unpacks several newspaper clippings that all pertain to Lorenz.

Through flashbacks,  we learn Mia once had a twin brother, but it’s not clear what happened to him. All we know is that he was rushed into an operating room and Lorenz was the one on call.

After establishing some potential questions for the future of the series, the bulk of the episode is devoted to Mia trying to get closer to Lorenz’s teaching assistant, Jasper (Adrian Julius Tillmann), who is so trusted by Lorenz she doesn’t even care that he slept through her opening lecture.

As the name of the series is Biohackers, we get a brief introduction to what the show intends to explore. Lorenz goes on a long spiel about how she essentially thinks humans should be able to turn from creatures into creators by using synthetic biology and altering human genes to erase everything from disease to genetic disorders before birth.

Jasper conducts experiments at a secret lab embedded in the woods that Lorenz knows all about, so long as he keeps his stuff off-campus,  she doesn’t care what he does out there. Mia first meets Jasper at the library where she discovers a glow-in-the-dark rat that Jasper rescued. The two seem to have an instant connection and they meet up again later at a party in the woods.

There, we get to see Mia interacting more with her roommates, Lotta (Caro Cult), Ole (Sebastian Jakob Doppelbauer), and Chen-Lu (Jing Xiang), — as an aside, I agree with Decider‘s comment that Chen-Lu is one of the more interesting characters in the show so far — Ole gives his roomies droplets of a protein strand supposedly composed of what deep-sea fish use to see in the dark. It makes all of them start to trip, especially coupled with alcohol.

Mia only sees Jasper briefly at the party, and it’s to throw up on his shoes. Still, when they do regroup later for a drink and a visit to his lab, Mia gets what she wants from Jasper — which is forms to apply to be one of Lorenz’s assistants. She then appears to creep by Lorenz’s home to spy on her. So there is definitely an obsession there.

Biohackers Episode 1: Who is Professor Lorenz?

Just who is the enigmatic Doctor Lorenz? We don’t get to learn too much about her in the first episode except that she is completely dedicated to her career and has no time for family life or romantic entanglements.

During one scene, she meets up with a reporter from Stanford Quarterly who she seems to have some history with. Lorenz is rather cutting and unpleasant to him as she throws out digs about him settling into the married life and working as a journalist, which she appears to believe is beneath him.

Beyond that, all we really know is that Lorenz is supposedly the mastermind behind biology at the university and is constantly eager to find new discoveries and be ahead of the pack.

Biohackers Episode 1:  Is Mia really Emma, vice versa, or someone else?

At the end of Biohackers Episode 1, we get an interesting little twist as the episode returns to the opening scene on the train. In the aftermath, a group of people in hazmat suits arrive and find Mia to be the only person awake and relatively unscathed. A woman notices her necklace, which says Mia, and asks if that is her name, but she says no — her name is Emma.

Next. Outlander to launch Facebook series. dark

The first season of Biohackers is now available to stream on Netflix.