Almost Human: Episode 3

Are You Recieving?

John hops out of bed and puts on his fake leg, he rubs olive oil at the point of attachment, and it seems to be calibrating more easily than usual. 

Elsewhere: A man delivers a package to a woman in an office, he walks out and is stopped by a man with a gun who asks him only his name. James. After being shot dead: said dude with gun and posse break into a server room and put a device in the floor.

We cut back to John and Dorian who are bickering. John is late, he tries to trick Dorian into doing robot stuff to heat up his coffee. Dorian says he knows that the olive oil trick is helping him with his fake leg, John answers that he had a greek salad. At ten AM. Dorian doesn’t buy it.

They get a call. The head over to the building and watch the security footage. The men went up to the 25th floor, disabled the elevator and never left the building. John and Dorian take the stairs while the main bad guy threatens Jenna. Then they set off the device that blows a crater in the middle of the building. 

“I love that you wear your insubordination like it’s a virtue.” -Dorian. Captain Maldonado tells John and Dorian not to pursue the perps til they know what they are dealing with. Back up isn’t there yet. John’s thinking of a plan in the stairway.

Jenna’s sister, Paige, is making an emergency call, all outgoing transmissions are jammed, Dorian intercepts her call. (After replicating a females voice and speaking Portuguese for the previous caller, Dorian replicates John’s voice, says he’s an automated police officer with a difficult personality.) While on the line, the bad guys shoot a hostage. Then they chuck him off the roof with a note that says “No Cops, Stay Out.”

Then they send in a negotiating drone. Interesting.

Bad dudes want a “fission igniter” a trigger mechanism for large explosives.

Back at the station, they uncover that the men are part of a terrorist cell and have done this before. They aren’t afraid to take lives or lose them. 

Greeted by gunfire, John and Dorian pursue and take down one man. At first he seems to be a member of the aforementioned radical terrorist group. But on second look, he’s a common crook wearing a facemaker. Dorian reveals that he has been damaged and will not be able to walk in 5 minutes. John picks a QTip out of the garbage he also has fingernail clippers, he is supposed to be cutting the “magenta tendon” but goes for the one that’ lavender. 

Paige calls back to say that the men keep going to a corner window. And that Jenna is crying, one of the men keeps going over to her. Meanwhile, John is performing surgery on Dorian and patches him up with gum. One of the men that John and Dorian shot reports back and they send more men to cover the stairs. Paige decides that she needs to be with her sister and leaves the utility closet to blend with the crowd. She leaves her phone transmitting so John can still hear.

The igniter is ready for delivery. 

Paige plants the phone in a pile of confiscated phones after asking to use the bathroom. 

The “igniter” passes the initial scan, John and Dorian discover the group is using basically light graffiti to communicate outside. After calculating what’s in the area, the 2 detectives discover that it’s a palladium heist. The men activate another bomb and are set to kill all but 3 hostages.

John decides they are going straight up. Dorian tells John it won’t work. John says he doesn’t have a choice. But it is Dorian who actually doesn’t have a choice. He was created to protect humans. “Dorian. You’ve been shot. You’re head’s full of bubblegum. You can’t do this.” But he does. Climbs up elevator cables, through air ducts and busts in shooting. He takes down several of the men before the main guy gets the drop on him. John busts in with the face maker and tricks them and saves Dorian.

They secure the hostages and dismantle the bomb, unjam the transmissions and the day is saved.

“Come on, let’s go get some noodles.” -John

“You’re aware that I don’t eat.” -Dorian

“Perfect. I’m buying.” -John

And something about that whole exchange reminded me of Blade Runner and Deckard eating noodles at the White Dragon Noodle house.

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Episode 3 was really great, more bonding between the partners, John treating Dorian as human. The important questions… how human is human? Dorian is created with empathy, with goals, with interests. Designed to form bonds, comfort, care. He faces off with humans who lack empathy, who are motivated by money and drugs and violence. Dorian is more human. Dorian didn’t want to die, and importantly, John didn’t want him to die either. After the death of his last partner (which he blamed largely on the MX model automated officers) he thought of Dorian facing the same fate and didn’t discount him as a machine doing what he was designed for.

And Dorian talks about it later, says he didn’t want to die. (Something else that this show has in common with Blade Runner, other than the noodles), the DRN models would go berserk in the end, because they were created to be “more human than human” (or Almost Human, whatever) but then are also seen as “less than’ as disposable, as dangerous. And they just want to live, just like the rest of us.

And that last scene, with Dorian singing “Benny and the Jets”? HILARIOUS!

Can’t get enough? Check out this interview with Karl Urban where he talks about futurism, humanity and developing characters over 22 episodes vs. 2 hours. 

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