Almost Human- Episode 13

The episode begins with a woman at a homeless shelter being harassed by a man, a seemingly nice guy in a wheelchair comes to her defense and offers to help her out, he pricks her hand, drugging her.. then he pulls a Lucky Number Slevin and stands up out of the wheelchair and put the victim in it. Nothing looks amiss as they continue up the street. The next day they find her dead and stuffed with straw and stitched back up.

It’s identical to a case that Kennex’s father worked shortly before his death. And I was baffled because the plot was about how Kennex’s father was framed, threatened by dirty cops, thought he put the wrong man away for the Straw Man killings and we didn’t get back to Anna, Syndicate, his crush on Stahl or anything.

It goes on and Kennex gets to clear his father’s name, Michael Ealy sings Lionel Richie (actor says it was improv BTW) And successfully made it through his first review the conclusion being that this DRN is fit for duty.

Which lead FOX to tweet this:

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Which… what does that mean? Is the show renewed?! Quit messing with me!

Anyway, in a major plot twist, it is found that the dead bodies are not dead bodies and that they are 3D printed with bio-organic engineered skin and such. There was some interesting technological/futuristic implications -such as the homeless getting blood analyzed and receiving vitamins specific to their missing nutrients- but this one felt more like a traditional cop show than a lot of the episodes. They touched on the class struggle, homeless youth being the target of this person, a man who took the fall for the crime being easily convicted because of a history of mental illness. It was fairly well done, and I was glad to see the poor depicted less Fight Club/Mad Max destructive.

Quotes; Rudy trying to say something nice about Dorian for his review “If I had a child, I would want Dorian to raise it instead of me” or Kennex: “He flipped a van once. That was cool. I didn’t know he could do that” And later, messing with him, “I told them you have no concept of privacy. You scanned my balls, you exposed yourself..” And Dorians reply “I apologized for scanning your balls.” And then as a gift to his partner, Dorian buys John a gift. Kennex: “I wonder what it is.” Dorian: “It’s a leg!”

Baha, and it totally concluded at that place where Deckard ate noodles.

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FOX had better not let me down. For some reason it was acceptable for them to let X-Files run itself into the ground, but any other sci-fi show is beyond doomed. Don’t let this be the last case for Kennex and Dorian!

Almost Human -Episode 11

Since the episodes were rearranged, making last week’s super heavy drama and Kennex internal struggle and the Anna situation and this one… seemingly nothing about that. We got interesting background plot cookies about Dorian. Dorian received some implanted memories that he tries to make sense of. Rudy puts the kibosh on that, but there’s still the matter of who planted them and why. 

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But the central part begins with a family. Their very secure smart-house wrongly identified an innocent teen as a threat and murdered him. Thankfully we don’t spend too many precious seconds that I could by ogling Karl Urban listening to ramblings about the family’s “right to own a smart-house.” If you think this sound like a supertech adaptation of stand-your-ground-laws gone awry: you would be very very right. With Zimmerman never shutting the fuck up, and the recent Dunn trial it’s not hard to see how a terrifying and heartbreaking sci-fi plot could be birthed from these tragedies. But Almost Human made the *interesting decision* to make the teen white and the family black. I think TECHNICALLY the house was still the vigilante/cowboy/wannabe Batman/asshat/murderer. But I’m not on board with the racial switcheroo that happened here. They didn’t lean heavy on it, racism has never been addressed (classism has frequently) and I think we are to believe that 2048 is “post-racial” the episode focussed more largely on flaws in technology that we trust with our lives.  Which is good. People still don’t understand why the “race swap” is bad? Let me take a moment: Families of PoC children have to worry about their children getting shot at for walking down a street and then victims get blamed for what time it was/how they were dressed/crimes someone else committed/other people’s racism and frankly fucking no one has to worry about being murdered by a house, AND people who programmed the house and crunched the data probably would have been skewed to NOT address a white teen cutting through the lawn a threat. That’s why it’s bullshit.

On the positive -background characters are very diverse. A few tropes were apparent (hackers that dress like they are in the matrix, the aforementioned “ironic” race role reversal) but we have brown female CEOs, female hacktivists and EOE for villains all around, every episode. Gender equality for the bad guys.

Oh, and Stahl got out of the station! She went undercover as a hacker! She went with Kennex, “Aussie?” accent +eyeliner. Weirrrrd. But cool.

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More cliches survive. Kennex saves the babes and has got jokes. The jokes this time were at Detective Paul’s expense. He was out and Kennex spread increasingly embarrassing rumors about why he was absent.

Maldonado’s reaction was so rad. I love her as a character. 

The early scenes of the house turning against the family were flat out terrifying. 

This show NEEDS to be renewed. NEEDS TO BE. So far no new eps ordered. Makes me nervous. How can FOX cancel so much good Sci-Fi but still air American Dad. Get it together.

Live tweet with me next week!