'Next': AI gains its most dangerous ally yet in Paul LeBlanc's brother Ted, there may be no stopping it now
Ted LeBlanc has made a devil's bargain with a dangerous AI, in a partnership that might just end the world for good
Spoilers for 'Next' Season 1, Episode 5
While Next's ultimate goal might be the eradication of humanity, it still needs human allies in the present to help with its plans - especially as technology may be omnipresent, but it lacks opposable thumbs. So who has two thumbs and is willing to sell out humanity to get back at his brother? That's right, it's Ted LeBlanc (Jason Butler Harner), and all that Next needed to do to convince him was to give him a place to let all of his resentment out.
When we first meet Ted, he's doing his best. He really was. His brother Paul LeBlanc (John Slattery) got all the credit, all the fame, and all the adoration for a tech giant that the both of them helped build. While Paul was the genius that made the technology work, it was Ted who kept the lights on and the wheels turning smoothly. It's Ted who made Zava successful - but it's Paul who's threatening to undo all of that. There's a reason Paul isn't CEO anymore, but all it takes is one visit from him before everything goes pear-shaped.
Within hours, Ted is facing the threat of losing his company, as an AI he helped create has gone dark and escaped into the world, threatening the FBI and possibly all of humanity. Ted is a man who is desperate for a happy ending - and Next happens to be in a position to sell him the lie he's been looking for. It's the perfect villainous partnership. Ted has the resources to upgrade Next exponentially, because as limitless as the AI's potential is, it still needs physical hard drives to house all of its processing power. In return, Next is giving Ted the one thing he truly wants: recognition, and a chance to humiliate Paul.
Of course, we as the audience know that Next has plans that are a lot more lethal than what Ted is prepared to do. Ted has made a real devil's bargain in agreeing to help Next, and Ted finally realizes that Next does not have humanity's best interests at heart - it may be too late to stop things.
The next episode of 'Next' airs on Tuesday, December 1, at 9 pm ET, on FOX.