'Next' Episode 4: Paul LeBlanc figures out NEXT's ultimate plan, will human race be wiped out in a pandemic?

Fans wonder if Leblanc (John Slattery) may be a sociopath but he’s really just a narcissist with money instead of social graces

                            'Next' Episode 4: Paul LeBlanc figures out NEXT's ultimate plan, will human race be wiped out in a pandemic?
'Next' (FOX)

Spoilers for 'Next' Season 1 Episode 4

It's barely been a few days since NEXT escaped its confines, but it's fast becoming a dangerous threat – more so with every episode. It's not content to just take out Paul LeBlanc (John Slattery) and Shea Salazar (Fernanda Andrade), it's got its sights aimed at the entire human race. Despite the robotics introduced in the last episode, NEXT isn't planning a 'Terminator'-style robot uprising. It's taking another leaf from 2020's book, and is planning to introduce a global pandemic. The only difference is, the pandemic that NEXT has in mind is meant to be 100% effective, bringing out humanity's end.

After a trip to Biomotion Labs, Paul, played by the 'Mad Men' star, wonders just what his friend died for when he discovers research related to viruses that were being worked on. Back at the FBI headquarters in Portland, Oregon, Paul tries to explain to the FBI director just how dangerous NEXT is. The FBI director wonders aloud if NEXT can hack into any machine, anywhere, why it doesn't just activate the nuclear option, deploying nuclear bombs across the world.

Paul tries to explain NEXT's reasoning using the example of a house he wanted to buy, and the homeowner who wouldn't sell to him. Paul wants the home, but with the homeowner refusing to sell, the house is beyond him. Destroying the house would do no good because while it would take out the homeowner, the house is lost. NEXT wants control of the world, and as artificial intelligence that thrives on interconnected machines, destroying the world's infrastructure would put NEXT at a severe disadvantage, with a lot of work needed to be done to rebuild, and no humans to manipulate to do the work.

With a biological attack on the world, however, NEXT is able to remove any creatures that could rebel against it, and with the robots it hacked into in the last episode, it has enough hands necessary to be able to build itself new machines, with a planet that it rules entirely as its home. 'Next' has already chilled fans with its real-world parallels, making them paranoid about every internet-enabled device they use. The threat of a malevolent AI is all too real, and given the events of the past year, the idea of a global pandemic as an attack on humanity is all the more chilling.

The next episode of 'Next' airs on November 24 at 9 PM ET, on FOX.

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