Class of ’09 Season 1 Episode 3 Summary


A slower episode explores how an all-seeing and all-knowing security system might be justified, and continues to hint at a grand conspiracy that remains unclear for now.

This recap of Class of ’09 Season 1 Episode 3, “Thank You For Not Driving” contains spoilers.

It’s not enough to build an omniscient crime-fighting supercomputer—you also have to justify it. That’s what “Thank You For Not Driving” is about, as we largely sink into the show’s present moment and understand the genesis of the Hour’s computer system, the very human compulsion to use it, and the inevitable distortion of its well-meaning fundamentals into something dystopian and frightening.

Class of ’09 Season 1 Episode 3 Summary

The past

This week there is only one scene in the past that has little narrative significance but has later thematic utility.

In all candor, Poet is being taught by the FBI to aggressively roll over. There are rumors about how the FBI grew up alongside the automobile. From the title of the episode, you know this will be relevant in some way, and it is, but not until we get closer to the future timeline and begin to understand how something as simple and fundamental as driving is completely redefined became.

The gift

What’s a better life?

As mentioned, most of this week vintage ’09 takes place in the present, on two parallel narrative threads. In the first case, Tayo continues the hunt for Mark Tupirik and hits a dangerous dead end, while in the second, Poet and Hour are essentially forced into a disagreement over his new comprehensive crime-fighting database.

The working title is “Better Life,” a deliberately optimistic moniker for a computer system that will eventually evolve into something that, for them, defines someone’s life.

The Hour designed Better Life simply as a database, a way to collect information and knowledge in a way that all FBI agents could access and benefit from in real time. Of course, there is resistance to the idea, stemming from ethical concerns and, perhaps more prominently, fears of obsolescence.

Poet is caught in the middle as she is spying on Hour, which Hour is aware of, and is at least partially responsible for shutting down the system. This essential conflict also determines their future relationship, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

Why does Tayo use the hour system?

From Tayo’s perspective, we see how Hour’s system could be justified. His investigations lead him to a frustrating impasse with an uncommunicative suspect and then an outright assassination attempt on his wife, Viv. Tayo is not only upset but also actively threatened, so he turns to Hour and her system to help him track down Tupirik.

And it works. Through the suspect’s idle scribbling, Better Life is able to connect to a construction company’s logo, and Tupirik is found hiding in the back of one of his trucks. But the use of the system is unauthorized and Poet is present to remind.

The future

In the future, after the death of Amos Garcia, Poet visits Hour, who leads a quiet and seemingly happy family life in the countryside.

However, Hour still feels betrayed; by the FBI and by Poet, and their apparent romantic connection endures in all of their interactions. Hour is reluctant to help, but knowing better than anyone the dangers of what “Better Life” has become, she agrees.

In a revealing scene that makes up for the cold prelude, Hour and Poet are stopped mid-drive — indeed Because they drive. The poet’s Tesla can drive itself. It is intended drive yourself. The poet’s manual driving provides a likely reason why the car was remotely taken over and driven into a security checkpoint, where a sign thanked the drivers for not driving.

Class of ’09 season 1 episode 3 ending explained

The episode ends with scenes in both the present and future.

In the present, Tayo goes in search of the now imprisoned Tupirik, who is apparently completely indifferent to his predicament. On the contrary, he thinks he has the best seat in the house since he can watch Tayo’s facial expression when he sees the news.

What news? We do not know yet. But obviously something big is coming.

And going forward, the data Amos gave Poet shows that the system acts independently without human intervention, making predictive arrests and deciding guilt or innocence. The recorded voice of Amos begs her to find out what Tayo really knows.

In the final scene, Poet goes to bed and Hour joins her and holds her while she sobs.

You can stream Class of ’09 Season 1 Episode 3 “Thank You For Not Driving” on Hulu.

Additional reading: Class of ’09 Season 1 Episode 3 Summary

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