blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Upload (2020) s02e04 – Family Day

It’s Family Day in the virtual afterlife, which means Robbie Amell’s mom, Jessica Tuck, and adorable niece, Chloe Coleman, get to visit. Of course, since Amell’s now got Allegra Edwards in the afterlife with him, it means uncomfortable interactions as Edwards tries to ingratiate herself to poors Tuck and Coleman. To minimal success, leading to Edwards’s surprisingly affecting subplot where the AI guy (Owen Daniels) offers her emotional support.

But having people visiting the virtual ghosts in the afterlife also presents “Lud” revolutionary Paulo Costanzo an opportunity for mischief he can’t pass up. Now’s the time to unleash a virus in the system. The plan’s contingent on Andy Allo being in the virtual afterlife, but when she got the new job last episode, Costanzo was dismissive about it. The show never made it clear if she didn’t get that one job, she’d still need to go back to her old job and be a mole. Though I guess Josh Banday could’ve done it.

Doesn’t matter.

What matters is Amell and Allo reunite, finally. It’s halfway through “Upload: Season Two,” which has either got the Covid-19 lockdown reduced episode order, or the first season’s ratings weren’t quite there, but Amell and Allo are back. He spots her fixing something from across the way and runs over, thinking it’s still Mackenzie Cardwell using Allo’s avatar, but no, Cardwell’s got her own and Allo’s back.

They have a very awkward interaction where Amell acknowledges Edwards is with him in the afterlife, and then Allo mentions she’s dating Costanzo. There’s nothing about Amell’s phone messages to Allo, which he was leaving her all throughout the first episode of this season, so one assumes she never retrieved her phone, which seems weird.

Again, doesn’t matter… even somewhat frosty and awkward to one another, Amell and Allo still have their wondrous chemistry, and all of a sudden, “Upload” just feels right again.

Other significant developments in this episode include Allo, Costanzo, and Banday infiltrating a clone factory—there’s a phenomenal punchline if one’s familiar enough with their terrible white YouTubers—and then the virtual afterlife company introducing virtual babies. Edwards wants a baby, Amell doesn’t, mom Tuck gets in the middle of it. At least until the terror attack.

There’s also a subplot for Zainab Johnson and Kevin Bigley. Bigley has invited his army bud Klarc Jerome Wilson to visit him, and Johnson plays tennis with them. Well, their version of tennis. It’s an entirely comedic subplot until the end when Johnson’s forced to look at Bigley from a different perspective. Similarly, Allo’s starting to realize she’s more uncomfortable with Costanzo and his tactics than she thought.

Good acting from Allo, Edwards, and Johnson. Allo and Edwards get more material, but Johnson’s got to make Bigley’s juvenile humor funny longer than the initial bit.

Also, there’s some amusing stuff with Costanzo and Banday.

It’s either the best episode of the season so far or just feels like it because Allo and Amell have real scenes together. Possibly it’s both.

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