ello and welcome to Sci-Fi hour with yours truly. We are now at episode 7 of 10 and only have three remaining after this, so buckle up and enjoy the ride, because this episode is typically Sci-Fi.
I get nostalgia but I don’t tend to get nostalgic, that is not unless whatever I’m immersed in or linked with is something I haven’t endured for a long time.
34 years ago, Terminator was released asking all the right questions and feeding into the paranoia of a society who didn’t really ask questions. 34 years later and you can still see Chris Carters fandom at work. Let’s get onto the main topic, as there’s a lot to discuss.
The show opens with a machine learning chat bot, which is released to the public via Twitter. It evolves quicker than anticipated and is therefore shut down. The sequence of visual montages ends with a warning to all humans and blends into the usual intro.
Mulder and Scully visit a sushi restaurant called Forowa, meaning follower in English. After selecting their food on a computerised screen, Mulder finds that his order is wrong. He disturbs the chefs, which he notices are also robots, then he leaves the kitchen. He refuses to leave a tip and when trying to get his card back, realises it’s stuck in the slot.
When trying to use force to retrieve his card, an alarm is activated and the restaurant begins to lock down. Scully uses a chopstick to forcefully unlock the door so they can make their escape. Mulder gives up on trying to get his card back and leaves the restaurant. Scully’s informed by her smart phone that her taxi should be arriving. Before she can bid a farewell, the car drives off. Mulder gets his taxi also and both agents are constantly bothered by review requests for the restaurant.
When Scully arrives home, she immediately tries calling Mulder but to no avail, as their phones have no connection. Scully’s home alarm system refuses the code and is activated, forcing Scully to call it in as a false alarm, which she’s billed $250. She’s alarmed when she receives a message to buy more hair styling cream, seconds after throwing away her empty tube.
While dismissing the message, she drops a glass container ultimately shattering. A robot vacuum cleaner is delivered to her door via drone. Thinking it’s a gift from Mulder; she allows it to clean the mess but repackages it in frustration. She tries to contact customer support, but I guess we all know how that turned out, she never did. All her appliances then begin to malfunction and the fireplace goes out but gas is still flowing out. She then tries to light a candle then breaks a match.
Meanwhile, Mulder’s been tricked by his GPS to drive back to the restaurant. He grabs a map and navigates himself home. At home, he tries reporting his card as stolen but can’t get through to a human operator. He then checks outside and see a mid-sized drone flying in front of him. He brushes it off as a child’s toy but again, we all know how paranoid Mulder can be – and rightly so – he has a feeling that it’s spying on him, so he destroys it with a baseball bat.
Three bigger drones then appear and collect the remains. Frustrated by not being able to get in touch with his bank and being inundated with review requests and being asked for a tip, Mulder realises there are lots of mini drones all over his house and escapes in his car.
He drive to Scully’s at which point she’s just started to smell gas. The robot vacuum cleaner is about to light the match as Sully escapes the house with a fire poker. The explosion throws both agents onto the garden. Both their phones refuse to let them call the emergency services. They attempt to flee to the FBI but find themselves being chased by drones, so they get rid of their electronic traceables.
They end up at a warehouse where they’re now being chased by robots on legs and being shot at. Mulder eventually tips the restaurant 10% and the drones retreat, thus restoring order and normality.
In the final scene of the episode, Mulder and Scully are having lunch in a human operated diner, pay with cash and still engrossed on their phones. They then put their phones down, hold hands and contemplate everything.
This episode may appear far-fetched, but how fast artificial intelligence and science is progressing, it seems pertinent more so in today’s climate than in recent years, that machines could possibly take over one day.
This episode takes me back to 1984 – the year I was born. Although I am a month older than the Terminator franchise – because the message throughout those films made you question whether it could be possibly for machines to one-day take over. On this basis, I give the episode 7 out of 10. Stay tuned for episode 8, ‘Familiar’, next week.