Upload season 3, episode 3 recap: “Cyber Discount Day”

Robbie Amell (Nathan), Andy Allo (Nora)
Robbie Amell (Nathan), Andy Allo (Nora) /

In the last episode of Upload, Nathan and Nora have been trying to return all of the hard drives, containing the people who Uploaded under false pretense to their loved ones. As they continue on this mission, they stop by to see Nathan’s mother, who is living in this world’s dystopian version of low-income housing.

Sharing three to a bed, Nathan and Nora are, once again, faced with the harsh realities of the real world, and plan to begin searching for work the next day. Nora is able to grab a few extra shifts at her old job, and while she is there, she discovers that a double of Nathan has been made to keep people from knowing that he's disappeared.

Nathan, looking for a job, tries the hug suit rental shop, only to discover Ingrid. Ingrid admits to Nathan that her family has cut her off, forcing her to have to work.

She also tells him that she's seeing someone new, though she doesn't admit that it's a double of him being kept in Lakeview. Meanwhile in Lakeview, everyone is celebrating the very important holiday, Cyber Discount Day (a dystopian replacement of Thanksgiving).

Upload season 3, episode 3 recap – Aleesha's not so good holiday

Aleesha is very stressed trying to keep everything running smoothly at Lakeview, while simultaneously trying to host her family in the real world for the holiday. Luke accidentally makes everything worse when he tries to explain to the AI what a holiday is for.

This inspires them all to take the day off in order to be more human. But in order to get the AI back to work, Aleesha promises them all their very own holiday at the end of the day.

However, as bad as her work day is going, Aleesha's real world day is even worse. Her family ignores her requests to help out, taking the ham out of the 3D printer too early and ruining it.

Then they start eating without her, making her feel like an afterthought in her own house. She returns to Lakeview, only to find that Luke and the AI have all been waiting for her to come back so that they can celebrate the holiday with her. 

Upload season 3, episode 3 recap – Closure

Second Nathan, meanwhile, is wondering why his mom hasn't called him to celebrate Cyber Discount Day. The reason, of course, is that as far as his mom is concerned, Nathan is back in the real world and right in front of her.

Over their real world Cyber Discount Day meal, Nora and Nathan talk about the crazy things they learned, with Nora learning that Nathan has a double and Nathan learning that Ingrid now has a job. While Nathan is reasonably disturbed by the fact that there's another version of him still in Lakeview, Nora thinks it's a good thing.

It will help hide the fact that he's out in the real world, trying to take the company down. So, when second Nathan calls his mom to wish her a happy Cyber Discount Day, the group won't let Nathan see his double, even though he wants to check out his alternate version.

Nora comforts Nathan, promising him that she still prefers him, even if the other Nathan gets to be the ideal physical version due to still being Uploaded. It's a sweet moment that's cut short as Nathan's nose begins to bleed, signaling that his time may be soon up as the episode comes to a close.

Upload season 3, episode 3 recap – It's all coming together

This episode feels, for the first time, like the third season has really been able to capture the character relationships in a way that worked so well in the first two seasons. At the beginning of the season, it felt like everyone was out of sync with each other.

Maybe that was to be able to create some narrative drama for the characters, but in the end, it felt like they were out of step with the characters that we've become familiar with over the two earlier seasons. However, by the end of this episode, it feels like it's starting to click.

We get several different moments of interaction from Nora and Nathan, to Aleesha and Luke, to Ingrid and Nathan (both versions). In each moment, we get to see these characters click in a way that didn't feel like it was happening earlier on.

The relationship between Nora and Nathan feels like the one that we have been working toward for two seasons, instead of one with new issues getting added in. The conversation between Nathan and Ingrid felt like it let their relationship be an actual full relationship, with full history, rather than just being a foil to Nathan's relationship with Nora.

The second Nathan character is also starting to find a groove, where it still feels like Nathan, just a slightly out-of-step version rather than the Ingrid created, Bizzaro version that he seemed to be at first. The real heart of this episode feels like it's coming from Aleesha and Luke.

This is a pairing that felt like it was being cast aside after growing so naturally over the first few seasons. But in this episode, we get to see why these two characters play so well off one another. 

All in all, it took a while, but it feels like episode three knows what works best about this show, and is taking time to highlight that, focusing on the parts that worked so well in the first few seasons. And it's just in time, as it's those character relationships that make the final seconds of this episode successfully pull off the emotional punch they were looking for.

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What did you think of Upload season 3 episode 3? You can watch Upload season 3 onAmazon Prime Video.