Answering the question of who is Mia in Biohackers contains MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS for the first season of Biohackers on Netflix. You can read our spoiler-free season review by clicking these words.
The six-episode first season of Netflix’s Biohackers debuted today, and the German sci-fi thriller blends that genre mystery with elements of ethics, teen melodrama, and deeply-held family secrets. The question of who is Mia in Biohackers seems like an obvious one – she’s the protagonist. But who is she really? Read on to find out.
Mia is, indeed, the show’s protagonist, a pretty young medical student who deliberately ingratiates herself with world-renowned enigmatic geneticist Dr. Tanja Lorenz for initially unclear purposes. Those purposes are part of a relatively complex backstory that Biohackers unpacks across its entire season, with the truth of Mia’s identity becoming a late reveal.
Throughout Biohackers, we gradually learn that Dr. Lorenz is obsessed with the idea of synthetic biology, and through a series of flashbacks, we learn that Mia’s parents were killed in a tragic car accident and that Lorenz had something to do with that accident – among other things. It’s a season-long plot that is revealed patiently, but here’s what it amounts to.
Mia is really Emma Engels, who, along with her twin brother Ben, was part of a secretive and deeply unethical experiment conducted by Lorenz known as Project Homo Deus. In short, Lorenz was intentionally infecting human embryos with genetic diseases in the hopes of being seen to cure them after successful experimentation on animals. Ben died as a result of this, as did, we’re to assume, most of the other test subjects. But Mia, or Emma, survived; a medical miracle that Lorenz is keen to understand late in the season.
After Mia’s father found evidence of this, he planned to expose Lorenz, leading to a chase and his death – along with Mia’s mother – in that car accident. Lorenz spends most of Biohackers believing Emma Engels to be dead and has no idea that Mia is really her, leading to some tense moments, including the last-minute swap of a DNA profile that would have flagged Mia on Lorenz’s extensive subject database.
By the end of Biohackers, neither we nor Lorenz is any the wiser about how Mia was able to survive the experiments. But given that the first season ends on a pretty major cliffhanger, her unique genetics might be something that a second season hopes to sequence.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.