Upload Season 3 loses some metaphorical bitrate, but the show remains plenty streamable—and its creatively designed world is still its strongest asset.
The Amazon Studios series exists in a world not far from ours, where technology has reached the point that people’s subconscious can be uploaded into a virtual space—serving as their digital afterlife. The concept is immensely intriguing and so close to reality itself that it’s hard to consider it purely science fiction.
Now, three seasons later, the idea’s evolution is being explored: what if those uploaded souls could download into a new physical body? Well, that’s exactly what happened to Robbie Amell’s Nathan at the end of Season 2, and its ramifications led to mixed results.
Season 3 gets off to a rocky start—the first episode, in particular, rushes to haphazardly tie up loose ends from the previous season, resulting in noticeable tonal issues. Some seriously dark stuff is happening on screen, but not many people seem to be reacting appropriately.
After Episode 1, the plot mostly meanders, not quite knowing what to do with itself. Thankfully, the story gets back on track, though it takes half the season to do so.
Upload Season 3 is at its best when it’s exploring the idea of somebody’s entire consciousness being duplicated. As revealed in the show’s trailer and previously teased at the end of Season 2, this is exactly what happens to Nathan not long after getting his new body.
There are a lot of philosophical questions to explore with such a narratively rich situation. Once the involved parties start crossing paths, Upload offers a meatier and more meaningful story. What makes it more haunting is just how easy something like that could happen in the real world if duplicating people was as simple as copying and pasting a file on the computer.
While the show doesn’t get as deep into the intricacies of the concept as it could, it does just enough to feel like a satisfying exploration of this tantalizing what-if scenario.
Thanks to there being a physical Nathan in the real world, audiences get to explore Upload’s beautifully crafted existence much more than normal. As it has been since the very first episode, the details put into the show’s production design are immaculate and are always a joy to discover.
While the outside world of Upload gets more attention for this outing, the virtual world is not neglected. More aspects of Lakeview Horizon, like a new AI classroom, are explored, as is the gray area outside of the virtual resort’s boundaries.
There’s more, obviously, but it’s best to keep the secrets safe.
After two seasons of 'will they won’t they,' Nathan and Nora’s relationship is finally explored. While there are some hiccups in that exploration, overall, seeing the two of them together will be satisfying for fans who have been rooting for them since the start. It almost feels like an entirely new dynamic between the duo—in a good way; it’s fresh and exciting to see them discover this new status quo.
One of the more frustrating aspects of Season 3 is Allegra Edward’s Ingrid Kannerman. Edward’s performance is, and always has been, fantastic—but here, it feels like Upload’s writers don’t know what to do with the character.
Ingrid flounders back and forth between progressing towards meaningful character development and being quickly pulled back to the starting line.
While there may have been a few misclicks in Upload Season 3, fans of the show will continue to enjoy their time in Lakeview Horizon and beyond. Even with its rough spots, the series will remain a comfortable world for fans to continue exploring.
But it’s worth noting that the show doesn’t have the same amount of steam going as it once did. If a Season 4 were to happen, the show is going to want to figure out some bigger changes in the narrative it’s exploring.
Upload Season 3 debuts on Prime Video on Friday, October 20.