I noticed a few things during my first playthrough and believe I have a solid theory; when Androids start observing themselves in mirrors, it is a sign of self awareness, and a beginning symptom of underlying and imminent deviancy.
There are spoilers beyond this point.
I have three points to make to support this theory:
- Mirrors are interactable 9/10 times, even if nothing comes of the interaction and it is mundane. Yet the option to look in a mirror as all three playable characters exists in the most random of places. A few of these times, it is not pointless and attention is brought to it.
- During the interrogation scene that you play as Connor, you once more have the option to look at yourself in the one-way mirror. This prompts the cops on the other side, namely the Liutenant, to actually comment on this. Hank has always had a suspicion and feeling that androids are humans and can feel, and if you take the time to interact with the mirror during this scene as Connor, Hank says out loud something along the lines of "the fuck is he doing now?" To me this is to bring attention to the seeminlgy minor and pointless act of Connor looking at the mirror.
- During the final levels, if you've kept Alice and Kara together and are about to make your way through the Canadian border, you have the option to look in the mirror one final time as Kara, in the bathroom. This is when Kara lets all her feelings and emotions finally out, all the stress and things she's been through, she breaks down in tears while looking at her own reflection.
Why would the developers make almost every mirror interactable, even when nothing comes of it? One of the instances where it seems to be random, is when you're playing as Marcus and are on the rooftop, ruminating by yourself. Again, there is a broken mirror shard randomly laying on the ground, and you have the option to look at your own reflection.
It is calming to us Humans as well to look at our own reflections in times of stress, or to just remember that we are actually alive inside a body of flesh. To me, the fact that the option to make every android look at a mirror may seem like a pointless thing, but it is in fact a sign that the machine is becoming self aware and starting to see itself as a living thing.
If you play the game again, just notice how many times there will be a random mirror that your android will just stare at if you interact with it.
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