We all want to go somewhere when we die, and for many, that’s a religious question that they can’t hope to answer aside from simply having faith that there’s something after life. But with increasingly competent technology, the notion of a digital afterlife is one that’s becoming more and more realistic. As it begins its third season on Prime Video, Upload makes the case for the dark side underlying this appealing concept in its continually entertaining story of those fighting to preserve a better (digital) tomorrow.
Season two ended with a monumental event, as Nathan (Robbie Amell), convinced he was murdered, successfully downloaded back into the body his obsessive girlfriend Ingrid (Allegra Edwards) had made for him. His head hasn’t exploded yet, but every bloody nose is a reminder that the clock is ticking. Nathan and Nora (Andy Allo) are out to save as many people as possible as the true motives of the creators of Freeyond, a free version of Lakeview marketed to poor communities, become clear and they have to fight a PR war that’s blaming their nefarious actions on the activists trying hardest to stop them, the Ludds.
That game-changing moment at the close of season two has opened the door for a welcome new interaction between two living people, as Nathan and Nora get to explore what it means to both be alive and have bodies they can use. Most of their romance is more implied than seen, but it’s especially fun to see how it changes their dynamic, namely with Nathan realizing that he can’t just call out what he wants to appear in his hand and actually has to apply some effort into achieving things. Nora enjoys poking fun at him for his attitude, but this show also probes the more worrisome potential troubles of their relationship, were Nathan to survive long enough for them to have to go down that road.
It’s been a year and a half since this show’s last episode drop, and it’s nice to see Prime Video giving audiences more time to enjoy it, debuting two new installments at a time rather than the entire season at once. Whie viewers will certainly still choose their schedules as they wish, it’s an excellent opportunity to slow down and enjoy it in hourlong chunks. That this show did return after such a long time on hiatus is a welcome and positive development, and, while it could definitely make the case quality-wise for many more seasons, nothing is certain with the current state of the industry. What this show is putting out right now should be properly appreciated, presuming that, unlike what Lakeview offers, there may be nothing after this.
Nathan and Nora remain the center of this show’s universe, but its supporting cast is just as superb as Amell and Allo, whose chemistry alone makes the show worth watching. As Aleesha takes on a new role and Luke searches for a replacement to fill the void left by Nathan’s departure, Zainab Johnson and Kevin Bigley continue to deliver some of the show’s most enjoyable scenes. Edwards is also terrific as Ingrid opts to reinvent herself in the face of new information, and her scenes with Mackenzie Cardwell’s Tinsley, taking over for Nora as an Angel, are among the show’s best. Owen Daniels remains a standout as the many iterations of the AI Guy.
Upload is a show that envisions an intriguing future that may not be all that distant, and adds helpful and funny flourishes to cue audiences in to the ways in which people have adjusted to doing less for themselves. There’s plenty of political commentary loosely peppered in between the jokes, and an inherently comedic undertone that is still present despite some of the more dramatic plot points in this season. Upload is a fantastic show, one that is just as good in season three as it was three years ago when it first started.
Season three of Upload premieres Friday, October 20th on Prime Video, with two new episodes dropping weekly.