Upload – Season 3 Episode 1 “Ticking Clock” Recap & Review

Ticking Clock

Episode 1 of Upload Season 3 titled “Ticking Clock” begins with Nora having a nightmare of Nathan’s head exploding. In the real world, Matteo is not too happy that Nathan has stolen Nora from him.

In Lakeview, Choak keeps looking for Nathan but Luke keeps him distracted with the excuse that he is pregnant. Nora tries to get Aleesha to help who calls her out for contacting only when she needs help and cuts the call.

Despite not making any progress, Nora and Nathan have a nice date until Detective Sato interrupts them in his tiny car. He keeps bothering them with questions but they realise that he actually wants to uncover the whole Freeyond conspiracy.

While a heartbroken Ingrid clears out her Lakeview apartment, Tinsley has other plans. She surreptitiously uploads the last backup of Nathan to Lakeview. Backup Nathan turns out to be of 1 month ago and has no clue how much has changed since then as he keeps thinking Family Day is yet to happen. Meanwhile, a sad Luke is looking through best friend applications to replace Nathan but none of them are up to mark.

Nathan and Nora disguise themselves as cleaners and enter the nearest Freeyond quarters but are almost caught. Nora hams it up how she is always the wallflower and rants till the employee lets them go. Nathan gets into the server and is excited that he is the first human in the Freeyond world till Nora tells him to speed it up. However, they hit a roadblock as they need to go to New Jersey to access the code.

As they are about to leave, they spot a meeting between Freeyond higher-ups which includes Choak planning on immediately uploading all the customers. Choak almost spots them when Nathan messes around with the bathroom sound effects. In the real world, there are mile-long queues of people waiting to join Freeyond including Nathan’s mother, Viv.

Ingrid returns to the real world and is about to cancel the cloning of a second Nathan body when Backup Nathan calls her. She is confused as he is still in love with her and she realises that he only has the old memories. She immediately tells the cloning company to get started on a new clone body.

Nathan records the meeting and sends it to Sato. As the meeting ends, he runs into an executive only for Nora to see that he has nicked the guy’s VIP pass to enter the New Jersey office.

Back home, the Ludds come up with a plan, Matteo and Nora will stop the people from joining Freeyond while Nathan and Ivan head to New Jersey. Nathan is not pleased with the arrangement as Ivan keeps playing at being a ninja with guns and swords.

Meanwhile, Nora and Matteo reach one of the Freeyond shops where the uploads have begun. They spot that the customers going in come out – beheaded. They try to stop the customers in the queue but no one listens as they think the two just want to cut the line.

Nathan gets into the New Jersey office and realises that there is only 1 server. He wonders how tons of data of all the customers could fit in 1 server. He then spots a promotional video meant to be released the next day. In the video, a woman talks about a tragedy in which the Ludds destroyed “all” the servers as an act of terrorism which has led to the death of millions of customers.

Nathan realises that Freeyond never needed for their technology to work. They never planned to upload the data to any server. With the death of their customers, the Ludds will be framed as the villains and Freeyond won’t have to worry about their votes. Nathan decides to release the video.

All the customers including Nora and Matteo are shocked upon seeing the video. In another Freeyond shop, Viv is already in the chair when she sees the video but the attendants don’t let her leave. She, however, runs as the two customers next to her are uploaded and killed.

Nora and Matteo head inside with the latter pulling out a gun to make the attendants leave. They are busy collecting all the uploaded data of the dead customers when Sato shows up. However, he betrays them as he wonders how much Freeyond will pay for the video that Nathan recorded. Nora secretly texts Nathan that Sato is bad and not to come. At that moment, Sato shoots Matteo who, turns out, only has a toy gun.

Nora tries to upload a dying Matteo but at the last moment turns the contraption towards Sato’s body and burns a hole in him. However, in killing Sato, she loses the chance to upload Matteo who dies. At the end of Upload Season 3 Episode 1, Nathan shows up anyway and picks up a tearful Nora and the uploaded data.

The Episode Review

The comedy is not really comedying. Upload Season 3 Episode 1 is constantly peppered with jokes but 99% of them don’t even land. The only time viewers may have a slight giggle is when Nathan makes grass angels in Freeyond while Nora looks unamused. Yep, that’s it in this almost an-hour premiere.

In fact, take out the comedy, the virtual reality premise is actually pretty engaging, especially with the season 3 espionage, and that is what blew up the show anyway, not the bad jokes.

By the way, the acting has worsened if that was even possible, especially Andy Allo who plays Nora. Did she take a page from the Peter Dinklage Transformers Acting Book of announcing “oh no” when she sees the murder of her comrade and other innocents? And can someone tell her what to do with her hands? There is only so much that poor Robbie Amell can do especially since season 3 has expanded on a much larger scale than focusing on Nathan’s story. 

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Read our season 3 review of Upload here!

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