The first obvious parallel between these two scenes is of course the fact that these two soldiers are doing what it takes to successfully accomplish the mission they were given: Newton made an accident happen then took his own life while Altivia seduced Peter. This makes me wonder just how far Newton was willing to go with other things he accomplished in the past, which we are going to become privy to as Season 3 unravels, and how far Altivia is going to go, perhaps even against her own judgement.
These scenes also provided for a striking contrast, with two very different manifestations of the same determination being shown. Both Altivia and Newton gave something very important away in the name of the mission: the former gave herself, promised to Frank, to Peter, and Newton gave his life, which, seeing as he is a machine and might not have a soul, quite literally would mean he ceased to exist. I wonder if it’s Newton’s sacrifice and subsequent taunting that gave Altivia the push she needed to do what it took and seduce Peter. And if so it would make of Newton a machine that used Altivia’s humanity as a weakness because of what makes it so great: emotions.
And he does have a point; emotions can easily become veils that keep us from doing the right thing. And this is where morality can help guide us, especially during trying times during which our emotions could make us do things we’d otherwise never even consider.
Emotions definitely got in the way of one shapeshifter’s mission, as Ray attempt to keep his current identity ended up costing him his life. Ray last saw Newton five years ago, which makes me wonder what mission he was on that made him ‘acquire’ the identity of a cop – yet another thing we’ll probably never know.
Ray and Senator Van Horne’s ability to feel emotions, to the point that they became a liability, each in their own way, to their mission, makes me wonder if these so-called machines also have the ability to somehow acquire a soul. By the same token, Newton’s puzzled reaction to Ray’s attachment to his adoptive family reminds me of Season 2’s episode “August” (Episode 8), when the Observers are trying to understand August’s actions with regards to Christine Hollis. It makes Ray’s comment to his young son all the more poignant: “Sometimes, monsters are not all that bad. Sometimes, when you get to spend some time with them, they can be very surprising. They can be incredibly sweet, pure and capable of great, great love.”