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! 

Almost Human episode 9

This awesome episode begins with a repurposed service bot purse snatching. The bot is “destroyed” and put into the evidence locker. It reawakens and finds a head. Attaches the head onto it’s body and walks out of the evidence locker.

Cop: “How’d you get in there?”

Hot android: “Oh, I’ve been in there a long time.”

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Turns out the “brain” is that of the homicidal XRN model. Took out 26 cops, waves of MXs before being “destroyed.” All due to ONE XRN. Kennex freaks out, and Dorian was decommissioned before it happened. They rush to find the XRN before she can wreak too much havoc. She finds Dr. Vaughn’s “repair shop”  where she switched bodies, leaving that of the service bot in favor of a smoking hot sexbot. Dr. Vaughn turns out to be the mind behind both the DRN model and the XRN. Dr. Vaughn says that everyone looks at him as a monster, that he misses science. “Dannika” the XRN is steal processors, presumably to create more XRN models. Dr. Vaughn says he’ll help, set things right, restore his reputation. He makes something that -if stabbed directly into the base of her neck- will take her out.

While Dannika targets an event for Councilman Hart, people get killed mercilessly and Kennex arrives, goes all out action hero, stabs the juice into the back of her neck and …nothing. it’s bunk.

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Dr. Vaughn, back at the station is no where to be found.

Dorian fights Dannika, it’s personal for him since they have the same creator, she’s walking proof that he could go bonkers and kill everyone. A great fight scene ensues which ends with Dorian impaled by rebar. Kennex jumps back in, whacks her with a pipe, pulls the pin on her grenade and kicks her with his synthetic leg into an elevator shaft.

Dannika’s done, but Vaughn is still on the loose, the final scenes revealing that the attack on Councilman Hart was not random, he ordered that Vaughn’s license to practice robotics be revoked and that his bots be decommissioned and that Vaughn was the one who programed the service bot who freed Dannika.

Stahl shows her face 3/4 the way through the episode, and contributed by watching youtube. She is only around to drop cookies for the main characters, I kind of hate her.

But Kennex did that awesome thing where they save each other’s butts and then crack jokes, but still get a little sentimental while Dorian wonders if he’s a ticking time bomb… something the less than stable Kennex knows about. There was also some more world building and meta plot about “The Wall” on the other side it’s anarchy (think Peachtree in Dredd).

This episode featured John Laroquette as Dr. Vaughn and Fast and the Furious 6’s Gina Carano as fatal XRN.

Almost Human- Episode 6

Out of order. But it just got put up!

This episode begins in a hospital. A holograph is giving medical advice. It freezes up. The man, being told he’s likely having a neurological issue with 13 percent of …something, is understandably upset and grabs the first human hospital worker that he can find.

But he’s not the villain or the victim here. There’s another man. A man with a gun. He holds the woman hostage and insists that he needs a heart surgeon and life support. He yells in Cantonese that it’s almost 9:18. And at 9:18, he dies of a heart attack. Apologizing to the doctor and saying, “They killed me. They killed me.”

Kennex and Dorian respond. Along the way Dorian see a DRN model working in the hospital. They were designed to be Police Officers, but that one has been repurposed. Dorian is unsettled and insists on taking the other DRN on a ride along. ..He also gives him his case files back… and access to the police data base. It comes to light when the DRN tackles a man on the street (a criminal who had already served his time but shows as wanted on the DRNs outdated case files.) during this an MX gets crushed into an SUV by a police drone, a truck rolls over a hydrant and other unfortunate events. Maldonado flips.

Kennex is bothered. But Dorian explains that when he was decommissioned, the moment before, all he thought was, “I hope someone wakes me up.” And Kennex did.

The other DRN tags along for the rest of the episode. A memorable highlight is when Dorian is showing off his new mods, including a long range camera in his eye that he drops in Kennex’s coffee.

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Through Rudy they track the origins of the Chinese man’s black market heart. And they find a manufacturer. Part of it isn’t theirs. The woman representing the company says it “voids the warranty.”

But the heart wasn’t for this man. It was implanted in a woman who died. Kennex goes and sees the man at the crematorium where the synthetic heart should have been destroyed. That worker, Henry, easily confesses that inorganic parts have to be removed (“they mess up the machine”) but that he gives the hearts to someone who refurbishes them, he calls himself Oscar. They arrange for Oscar to make a pickup. The container has a tracking device and transmitter. They follow the heart to a warehouse where the Doctor has already began a transplant on a woman named Amelia. 

They save Amelia (Kennex always saves the ladies).She is not pleased. She needs they heart to live, but she doesn’t know they have been modified of course. But even is that were the case, she still would have paid. How can you put a price on your life? On time with your family?

Under interrogation: The courier knows nothing. The doctor didn’t know that the modifiers were timers. He thought they ran remote diagnostics. The organizer, Karen, calls Henry and tell him to shut everyone down. The patients call in, they try to make their payments. But no one answers. 2 others die.

the 4 victims were all denied transplants for lack of insurance and denied by the same person.

The same woman they spoke with earlier. The doctor says she wasn’t the one who approached him. Dorian notices that her assistant is missing, Jacinta. They show the doctor a photo of Jacinta… sure enough, it’s her.

Through a series of inferences. Kennex realizes that this has been going on for 3 years, but they hadn’t been finding any bodies. And who do they know who gets rid of bodies? Henry. (who has killed Jacinta) After that it’s just a matter of chasing him down and it’s over.

This was a good episode all around. Dorian adopting the other DRN. Dorian and Kennex’s buddy cop quibbling about who will drive.The uses of real and imagined technology. Technology that could be used for good but that is manipulated to keep people rich. The doctor who though he was really helping people while they were being extorted. Maldonado flipping her lid over the extra DRN was pretty rad, too.

Getting to be a bore, though? Stahl having no part in the action.. Although, she did make a connection between the patients. Once again putting together a crucial piece of the puzzle. And then being a smiley do-gooder over the fact that the makers of the synthetic hearts was going to give anyone who received hearts with the illegal mods free transplants. She smiles about how happy she is for Amelia and her family ..during the investigation another man and woman died when they couldn’t get through to make a payment. I would say that’s far from a fairytale ending.