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The outside world isn’t nearly as fascinating as the shenanigans in Lakeview.
But there are some interesting dynamics to explore in the real world, particularly as Nathan and Nora’s relationship thrives to the delight of ‘shippers everywhere.
Of course, there’s a pressing matter regarding the ticking time bomb of Nathan’s health that still looms over everything.
But one of the most entertaining aspects of Upload Season 3 Episode 3 was spending a holiday with all these fun characters.
And what amounts to the future’s version of Thanksgiving, being a consumerist holiday that focuses on discounted prices, provided the glib humor that makes this series so much fun.
Many of the best and strongest moments from CyberDiscountDay and Upload Season 3 Episode 4 relate to all the new things they explored in Lakeview.
Every season, it feels like new layers are peeled back to this whimsical concept and place.
Ingrid and Copy Nathan’s adventures into another plane of Lakeview was the type of quirky fun one grows accustomed to with this series.
One of the original versions of Lakeview was genuinely bizarre. The AI wasn’t as endearing as we’d expected, and the guy with no eyelids sucking the life force out of Copy Nathan was truly out there.
It reminds you of how many secrets there are and how little is known about this virtual world we’ve immersed ourselves into. It’s precisely the point about our quest for ascending in technological advancements with little comprehension of what we’re unleashing in the process.
The same goes for the covert place Luke Crossley sneaked off to in search of opportunities to increase his funds.
Cheese is for closers.
The underground call center was a unique area that coincided with the constant awareness of class differences and how difficult it is for the working class to maintain a life in the afterlife.
The reality of new rules putting limitations and revoking aid to veterans was not only apt and far too realistic for its own good, but it put Luke in an interesting position.
He’s a hustler, so it’s not surprising that he sought out new avenues for supporting himself to keep up with the lifestyle he’s managed over time in Lakeview.
And working in a dark, dingy, exploitative call center suited him perfectly. He’s not afraid to close, even if the operation is misleading and potentially harming more unsuspecting folks who can’t free themselves of the grind from the proverbial boot on their neck.
The whole rat race nature of that arc with Luke, with someone facing economic challenges preying on those who are even worse off, was as real as it gets.
And we already know nothing good can come from him possibly plotting to lure the AI Guy to that scape for the cash.
Luke and the AI Guys have built up such a great rapport.
One of the things the season is evidently exploring is the concept of making AI more human, and there’s something freaky about that, especially when you consider the current concerns about how the influx of AI usage renders humans in whatever jobs obsolete.
Luke happily seems to assist Aleesha Morrison in her begrudging mission to teach the AI Guys how to be more human.
It’s led to some purely entertaining scenes, no doubt. It was quite heartwarming to see Aleesha sharing a meal with Luke and AI Guy rather than her family in the end because the former were the ones who actually appreciated her and what she was doing.
With Nora and Nathan away, the series can explore different things at Lakeview. That saga of the story relies heavily on fan-favorite characters like Aleesha and Luke to hold things down.
And they’re doing well enough with what they’re given.
Oh, I see you have a medical degree from the University of TikTok.
But it also led to the series taking a risk by continuing to give AI Guy more screen time, and whether or not it’s paying off could go either way, depending on how the season goes.
Owen Daniels is such a scene stealer, so he’s certainly a blast to watch, but there’s also the risk of it being too much of a good thing, especially when other characters may be worth exploring.
To pull some things together in Lakeview with Nathan and Nora’s absence, we get glimpses of the corporate side of things that Aleesha is partaking in, thanks to her promotion.
Sadly, the new gig isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, even though her ascent to a more comfortable lifestyle feels worth it. But things could be looking up for her after meeting Karina.
Roswell, New Mexico‘s Jeanine Mason is already an enticing addition to the series, and the chemistry between Karina and Aleesha was almost enough to make one forget that Aleesha and Luke are something special.
Their hot hookup at the mixer was a fun treat.
And it was reassuring that Karina was there to back up Aleesha when she spoke up about Lakeview and how limited their marketing was.
In many ways, it’s interesting that we have this future world not that far off from us, and they still struggle so much with the concept of inclusivity.
Karina: Would you want to go somewhere a little more quiet?
Aleesha: Yeah, sure.
It’s the same fights repeatedly, and society can’t seem to escape them. Aleesha raised some excellent points that always play in one’s mind but are only unpacked a little.
Lakeview is dated, and it’s directed at such a particular demographic of people, and that folds into the more significant issue of how working-class people and many minorities are set up for exploitation with this whole Freeyond debacle.
Thanks to her relationship with Copy Nathan, Ingrid is also doing some heavy lifting in Lakeview with the time she spends there.
She has seemingly found her place there, which is almost sad that she’s put so much of her life on hold because she is obsessed with Nathan.
But as frustrating as her chasing and trying to keep Nathan, even a replica of him, it’s also satisfying to see her evolve as a character.
Ingrid Kannerman working at the suit rental place is humbling. She needed something like that.
And while she still has a lot of growing to do, it’s a refreshing change of pace to see this side of her.
She’s a bit lost in the real world without the perks of being a Nepo baby, and in addition to understanding the value of having her version of a Nathan who seems to love her, she is getting the value of a dollar, too.
It sets her up nicely for being on the actual Nathan, Nora, and the other characters’ side of things as she processes the world around her differently, from the disadvantaged perspective of the masses rather than as an elite.
Seeing Ingrid slum it is great content, and it certainly led to a worthwhile reunion between her and the original Nathan, as they both were working “lowly” jobs just to make ends meet and meet their necessities.
For as much as Robbie Amell and Allo have that type of alluring chemistry that makes every scene they’re in together so gripping, Amell and Edwards are great, too.
We get many of them, as with Double the Nathans; we get the best of both worlds with two distinct relationships the series can explore.
Ingrid: I am so ashamed of this job.
Copy Nathan: Oh my God, Ingrid. Are you doing sex work?
Ingrid: No! Sex work isn’t shameful. I’m in retail.
It works well enough, but I won’t say it doesn’t come with frustrations. Ideally, it’s great when a woman like Ingrid can grow outside her relationship before getting pushed back into a new one.
Pushing her into this dicey relationship with Copy Nathan stalls her growth in some capacity, and no matter how much she’s evolving outside of it, it’s difficult when they’re leaning into her obsession with Nathan under the guise of love rather than embracing how troubling and unhealthy that obsession is.
She feeds Copy Nathan bits of the truth in her quest to be more honest and “do things right” this time, but it’s a sticky situation all around.
And it’s where the series reminds us that without some tie to Nathan, they don’t know how to incorporate Ingrid into the story.
We see a similar thing with Luke Crossley.
Nevertheless, you get the sense that things between Ingrid and Copy Nathan are meant to work, especially as Ingrid has as much self-reflection as she’s exhibiting this season.
But I still wish she had her single girl who knows her worth moment last longer than the amount of time it took to get a phone call from a version of the man she loves.
I wish we had this time to fully enjoy Nathan and Nora alone without undercutting that worthwhile union by occupying Ingrid with Copy Nathan as a creative cop-out to the love triangle.
Holden: You’re dead. I went to your funeral. Are you a ghost?
Nathan: No, I’m not a ghost. This might sound crazy, but I downloaded.
Holden: You downloaded? And then you came to see me? How fucking romantic!
But even this secondary romance involving another version of Nathan doesn’t change that Nora and Nathan are such a strong couple.
The downside is Nathan’s lengths to protect and not worry her put him at risk of his head exploding. They stripped him of his foolish attempts at hiding when his nose bled alarmingly by the end of CyberDiscountDay.
And the pair were back to finding a solution for him, tracking down Kapoor, the doctor who performed the original download, hoping to get his assistance.
The scenes were funny, but the solution felt relatively quick, and they could catapult Nora Antony and Nathan forward and into a less alarming and more grounded sticky situation of Nathan bringing them to his ex-girlfriend’s house to crash.
Holden’s introduction, while largely anti-climactic, does open another avenue with her position as a lawyer. And the tension that this move garnered put Nathan and Nora into one of those amusing couple fights.
But sometimes, the plots eat through some of the time to let them flesh out.
Nora and Nathan Brown learning about Copy Nathan was bizarrely underwhelming and anti-climactic. There wasn’t much time to play around with mixed feelings or reactions.
And as much that’s going on and the series juggling storylines in multiple planes, there’s a disappointing distance among some of the cast.
I love you.
Nora [to Nathan]
Luke, without Nathan, is lost and has little to bounce off of, while he and Aleesha’s scenes are relatively limited. And you can feel the strain between Aleesha and Nora, especially as Nora keeps Aleesha in the dark.
I genuinely miss that version of female friendship on display in a series that tends to lack those types of positive interactions otherwise.
But alas, this double feature was a stronger showing.
Over to you, Upload Fanatics.
Are you rooting for Ingrid and Copy Nathan? Are you happy there is a solution to Nathan’s head blowing up?
How do you think they’re doing juggling Lakeview and the outside world? Sound off below.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You’ll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on X.