blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Upload (2020) s02e01 – Welcome Back, Mr. Brown

“Upload” starts its second season making some immediate changes from the previous season cliffhanger. One’s a reveal at the end of the episode and a good twist. The other’s Andy Allo’s not great real-life love interest Matt Ward getting axed in the first scene. They’re on the run in upstate New York, and Allo ditches him at a bed and breakfast to run off with dad Chris Williams to the off-griders.

With lead Robbie Amell still stuck in the reduced data area of the digital afterlife, Allo’s adventures with the “Luds” (as in Luddites) takes up the first half of the episode. Despite being a tech junkie in her regular life, Allo takes to the Lud colony, where she’s soon teaching the orientation classes and flirting with community leader Paulo Costanzo.

Besides growing their own vegetables and not having any wifi, the Luds also have a fundamentalist Christian terrorist thing going on under the leadership of pastor Peter Bryant. Allo and Costanzo bond over being charming, attractive, and not extreme like Bryant. And gardening.

Meanwhile, back at Allo’s job, her absence has coworker and bestie Zainab Johnson getting a lot more responsibility and a promotion. She and boss Andrea Rosen get to be better pals with Allo gone too; they’ve got to suffer a particularly obnoxious new upload (a dead person’s consciousness uploaded into a virtual afterlife paradise)—Amell’s fiancée Allegra Edwards.

Edwards waits a few weeks to wake Amell up from his data cap, wanting to make changes to his existing apartment. Amell’s immediately worried about Allo, who was almost killed in the previous season’s finale because she and Amell found out he’d been murdered (by Edwards’s dad), and runs off to check up on her.

Except she’s entirely off-line, so he can’t find any information or get in touch. All his calls go to voicemail, including the one where he finally tells her he loves her too.

There’s some bro buffoonery with Amell’s neighbor and dead bestie Kevin Bigley (who’s semi-dating, i.e., getting horizontal, with Edwards’s dead grandma, Vic Michaelis, which continues to be hilarious). And Mackenzie Cardwell joins the cast as the temp Johnson hires to cover for missing Allo.

There’s also cybercrimes detective Hiro Kanagawa, who seems like he’s going to have something to do with the season—the whole Amell hacking the real world to save Allo last season.

It’s an okay season starter; Allo’s extremely likable, Johnson’s excellent, and Bigley’s broadly funny. Edwards is very intense as the de facto villain. Amell’s kind of got nothing to do except cyberstalk, which is a bummer. Allo’s his only human connection on the show, and they’re not talking.

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