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Recap / Philip K Dicks Electric Dreams S 1 E 8 Autofac

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In a world dominated by an automated corporate manufactory, a small community resists the forced consumerism which sends them unneeded goods on schedule. They see the natural world around them fading away and believe this is due to pollution caused by the mega-factory. They plan to infiltrate the factory and shut it down.

  • After the End: Takes place after humanity has wiped themselves out with nuclear warfare.
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  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: An automated, intelligent factory keeps functioning and polluting the environment even after the consumerist society that built it has collapsed. The episode has another example of the trope when it's revealed that the androids created to replace human consumers have developed independent thought and genuine human feelings.
  • Artificial Human: Not only Alice the customer service representative. Everyone turns out to be this in the end.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Although Philip K. Dick wrote the original "Autofac" story in 1955, the criticism of rampant, ecologically unfriendly consumerism making humans dependent on convenience certainly brings a different "A-word" to mind nowadays. Janelle Monae's gynoid character "Alice" even sounds like a live-action version of Alexa. Many comments were made about the awkwardness when this show was picked up for US distribution by Amazon Prime.
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  • Disabled Love Interest: Emily's boyfriend, Avishai. He is also a Nice Guy and Non-Action Guy, a nerdy librarian with the mission to recover and preserve mankind's great books in this post-apocalyptic world. Unlike some examples, he isn't a temporary love interest, nor does his disability disappear by the end.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Emily is one. Justified, in that she is an android patterned after the woman who built the first Autofac before the war.
  • Green Aesop: The automated factory keeps churning out products and wrecking the environment even after humanity has been destroyed by an apocalyptic war.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: The final twist of the episode.
  • Love Triangle: Teased, but subverted, between Emily, Avishai and Conrad. Emily and Conrad have history, but have since broken up, while Emily is keeping her relationship with Avishai a secret. This makes Avishai uncomfortable as he knows of Emily and Conrad's history and worries how the other man will react. When Emily does reveal the relationship, however, Conrad's reaction is an unconcerned, "Oh, okay," and the matter isn't brought up again.
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  • Perception Filter: The androids are programmed with this, to better keep themselves convinced that they are real organic humans.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Highly realistic customer service androids being developed by the Autofac's AI before the war, that it has now finished and perfected. Eventually turns out the reason for the Autofac to pursue this seemingly pointless project was to give itself customers.
  • Shower of Love: Between Emily and Avishai, where Emily is "testing" Avishai's hot water heater as a pretense, and pulls him in fully clothed before they get it on.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: The protagonist discovers that all of humanity has been replaced by androids, including herself. Interestingly, it involves a Surprisingly Happy Ending in that a village of androids is revealed to be human in all the ways that count.
  • Unkempt Beauty: The protagonist Emily, as played by Juno Temple.

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