An Almost Human Community
FOX (ended 2014)

Almost Human S01E03: "Are You Receiving?"


That was bound to happen. If all goes to plan, Almost Human is going to be mixing fascinating questions about technology and humanity with procedural stories for a very long time. Some episodes, like last Monday's, are going to give us a lot more of the former, and those are going to be the more interesting episodes. But some are going to be like "Are You Receiving?": almost entirely powered by the procedural stuff with only a few brief character moments to keep things afloat. This wasn't an especially poor episode, but it was pretty boilerplate episodic storytelling, complete with a very familiar hostage situation. 

The advantage Almost Human has in situations like this, where bad guys start shooting up a building, taking hostages, and the characters (and us) have to determine what the heck is going on, is the setting and the technology. "Are Your Receiving?" didn't bring as much to the table as "Skin" on that front, but there were still a few flourishes that gave the hostage plot a jolt: A face-changing device that allowed the baddies to disguise their identities and a cool long-distance communication technology that involved little chips and some kind of laser-like process. One of the things I appreciate about the technology in the show thus far is that episodes don't waste a lot of time delivering exposition to explain it. It's the future, the technology is advanced. Deal with it. That obviously allows the show to pull whatever the heck they want out of the blue on a given week, but in three episodes it hasn't been too harmful. 


Character-wise, "Are You Receiving?" certainly didn't offer the same kind of depth and intrigue that "Skin" or even the pilot did. Still, there were a handful of moments between John and Dorian that made this one worth watching. Obviously, their scenes in the car are always going to money and this episode was no different. The bickering still works for me three episodes in because the chemistry between the two actors is so developed already and it seems like John and Dorian aren't hateful in their banter, which is a key thing for me. The big sequence here was when Dorian decided to go all RoboCop on the hostage-takers and almost successfully took them all out before finding himself too injured to carry on. John eventually saved the day with the face-swapping tech (in a decent callback to earlier in the episode), but Dorian's actions showed us two important things. First, we know now that he can get damaged relatively easily. Even before that final shootout he took a bullet in the head and John had to fix him with a dirty Q-Tip, nail clippers, and gum. It's crucial for the show to start to outline Dorian's capabilities and knowing that he isn't invincible helps give the procedural stories a modicum of additional tension and stakes. Not much, but some. Second, as Dorian detailed later, he felt fear right in the moment before John saved him from getting shot in the face. Again, it's probably not a surprise that Dorian can feel fear considering all the talk about souls and such in the first two episodes, but that brief moment emphasizes yet again that Dorian is really close to human. I'm guessing that will play a larger role in some kind of ongoing narrative in the future. 

Other than that though? Not a lot worth mentioning. So much of the episode was dedicated to the hostages negotiating with Lili Taylor's Captain Maldonado and John talking to a hostage-in-hiding played by Emily Rios from The Bridge. That stuff was as predictable and standard as television gets. Heck, even Minka Kelly had less to do in this episode and she barely had anything going on in the first two episodes. Well, she has stuff going on, but, um, never mind. 


It's sort of weird how this all shook out for Almost Human. The two-night premiere gave us a good pilot and a really strong second episode, even when we expect second episodes to be lame and repetitive. Even if we point to "Skin" as some sort of aberration because it was really the fifth episode produced, the quality of "Are You Receiving?" makes even less sense because it was the sixth episode produced. There are a dozen reasons why producers and/or networks screw with the episode order but the basic assumption is that it's done to give us the best as early as possible. Though this one wasn't a total failure, let's hope that this is about as bad as it gets in the early run and that the procedural/character balance gets ironed out a little more in future weeks.



NOTES TO BE UPLOADED

– It seemed like the show was trying to use some kind of sped-up effect to display Dorian's strength and agility. It was weird.

–John put olive oil on his leg, which was a nice callback to the pilot. If this was really the sixth episode produced, it's odd that the show would wait so long to pay that off. 

– Kelly's Valerie is apparently so good at her job that she can just wear a white V-neck white T-shirt to the office. I'm certainly not complaining.

–John's middle name is Reginald because his dad was a big Elton John fan. I approve.

Ratings for last Monday's episode were... not good. I hope Fox gives Almost Humana chance to find its footing,  but since the network has already found a drama hit withSleepy Hollow, it might be a little less patient. Stay tuned on that front.


How'd you feel about "Are You Receiving?"?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 3/3/2014

Season 1 : Episode 13

104 Comments
Comments (104)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Even during episodes that flounder a little, I'm entertained enough by watching Urban and Ealy go back and forth. I don't know if it'll ever get tiresome...I doubt it, but we'll see.

I can say though that I don't think this show will ever be as smart as 'Fringe', but it could be just as entertaining in a popcorn sort of way.
1
Reply
Flag
Whoa. Did Dorian just pull a 'Robocop' move on those terrorist? Not perfect though. I blame it on the chewing gum.
1
Reply
Flag
A good scifi show on FOX? I predict cancellation in the next seven episodes, if not sooner. Not that I don't hope I'm wrong, but FOX doesn't have a good track record here.
1
Reply
Flag
I really like this show, and I will be very disappointed if it gets cancelled. The chemistry between Dorian and John is great; I am really enjoying both of those characters.

Cory, I really love your reviews, and this is not directed at you personally, but I really get frustrated by what sometimes seems to me like a kneejerk reaction against procedurals. I agree that they can get repetitive over time, but Fringe used a successful (for me) blend of procedural with ongoing storytelling, and being only 3 episodes in right now, I'm guessing they will eventually do the same here. Especially early on, Fringe was very procedural, and I have no problem with that. I actually enjoyed the first two seasons of Fringe more than Seasons 3 and 4, although I do know I'm in the minority there. (Season 5 was awesome tho).
3
Reply
Flag
Admittedly, the case of the week was a weak one and totally a mixture of "Die hard" and "Die hard with a vengeance", regarding the hostage-in-a-skyscraper-situation and the distraction-of-the-heist-stuff. And seriously?! How long can it possibly take to climb up lousy 25 floors??

But then again, I felt quite entertained, the visuals and the overall futuristic setting is nice to look at, not to forget: as well are both male leads! I like the good-natured bantering between them - so funny: Dorian imitating gorgeously Elton John's "Bennie and the Jets"! Besides, who agrees with me that the featured music suits the show very well?
1
Reply
Flag
Great Fringe callback with the ice fishing/frozen lake story. Im also noticing a lot of gadgets straight out of Fringe's final season.
I'm still not loving this show but I'm willing to give it a fair chance. Ealy's Dorian is definitely carrying the show right now.
I'm sorry but Minka Kelly is just a pretty prop. Her JLo voice is like nails on a chalkboard. I hope she gets even less dialogue in the future.
2
Reply
Flag
Yes that ice-fishing/frozen lake story ringed several bells for me too. One was the Fringe connection and another to me was the Titanic connection. Didn't John's dialogue sound exactly like Jack Dawson's (played by Leonardo diCaprio) lines? It did to me.
Reply
Flag
I didn't get any Titanic vibes but it's been AGES since I watched that movie. But yeah, Fringe connection for sure.
Reply
Flag
I'm sorta mad about that movie! :P
1
Reply
Flag
A reply to your comment below:
Oh right. Sorry....Duh me!
No I remember Titanic, I just don't remember the lines spoken in the movie. But yeah, I saw it about 5 times when I was 15. It was very romantic & epic, I remember that. :-)
1
Flag
Mad 'about' it as in I LOVE that movie! :) Can't force it on other people though. So it's alright if I'm the only one remembering such stuff pertaining to Titanic. :P
1
Flag
Lol! Mad at the movie or mad at me for not having watched it in a while? ;-)
Flag
This comment has been removed.
Reply
Flag
I didn't even think about that frozen lake story connection. Nice catch!
2
Reply
Flag
Liked it. Thankfully, looks like the ball-scanning is stopped :-)
1
Reply
Flag
I'm on the same page with you, Cory. I like the chemistry between the two leads already (which is a good thing after three episodes), but if this turns out to be ANOTHER cop procedural with buddy appeal and sci-fi gadgets, I'm out.
I hope they will develop a greater story arch that gets more into the darker side of this future vision and gives the show and its characters more depth.
I don't know if the writers and producers can pull off something that even gets close to what BATTLESTAR GALACTICA did in the beginning of its third season (which maybe would be a bit too bleak), but I'd be pleased if there was a show around that walks off the beaten tracks and doesn't only deliver what dozens of othes have done during the past years. - If you're doing something sci-fi, please don't insult your viewers' intelligence. Please! - I'll keep my fingers crossed for this one. :)
2
Reply
Flag
Yes, Yes Yes!!!! I really want to like this show, but it is so generic. What's the point of having a futuristic story with present day problems? .... boring!
But I do enjoy the relationship between the 2 leads.
2
Reply
Flag
Good episode, the previous ones were better of course! But I'm liking this series and I sure do hope FOX gives it a fair chance.
Was wondering with all the tech Dorian has in him, couldn't they have given him a thermal camera? Wouldn't that make finding the bad guys lurking in rooms and stairwells a little easier?
2
Reply
Flag
Weren't they just getting noodles at the end? Who needs flashing lights to go get noodles? That just seemed like overkill.
Reply
Flag
When you want noodles you really want noodles. There is no middle ground. I´m just glad he didn´t shoot at the other cars to get there quicker.
2
Reply
Flag
Karl Urban as a cop slowly working his way up a skyscraper with his partner to take down some bad guys?? For a moment there I thought I was watching Dredd again.
6
Reply
Flag
Considering the fact we have only seen three episodes, I think show has numerous strengths (others below have already touched on this) and lots of "potential" (potential story lines, plots, character development/arcs, tech to explore, ethical debates/dilemmas, etc..).

I'm really enjoying this show!
1
Reply
Flag
So this was Die Hard but less interesting. Also, John left his phone 6 stories downstairs for no reason. And android cops aren't particularly tough despite their job being to get shot at a lot. That is the takeaway I got on this episode.

Why exactly did John need to wear the falseface? He was wearing the guy's body armor and weapon, did the element of surprise for the 2 seconds it worked really give him any notable benefit? It sure didn't seem like it, he just strolled in and shot up the place.

I really hated the tech and the police work in this episode, neither felt like they were thought out at all, there was nothing futuristic except the clear light-up cellphones that are total nonsense. But dealing with a hostage situation was no smarter here than it was on tv 50 years ago, no stunners or gas or anything, no cops allowing for hostages to die because there are too many people already.

Yeah, Dorian's sped-up strength bit sucked eggs.

John's olive oil to the limb felt like this was the second episode written, it was such an odd callback.

If ratings were bad last week, they are going to be abysmal next week after a clunker like this.

I feel like this episode showed the series' true colors, it's not as clever as it pretends to be, and it's too much a procedural for its own good, and they are wasting effects budgets on stuff that doesn't matter while skimping on stuff that does.
More+
3
Reply
Flag
Regarding the falseface and its use. There were a bunch of bad guys guarding the stairs remember? I took it that John used the disguise to get past them or get close enough to take them out before they could take him out.
Reply
Flag
There were half a dozen guys, 2 were downed minimum beforehand, 3 or 4 were involved in that scene, it couldn't have been a bunch of bad guys, at most it had to have been 1 or 2. I guess I'd be more impressed with this great plan if John had checked his ammo level before going in and getting caught off-guard. If he was going to spray and pray either way, why bother with the falseface?
2
Reply
Flag
He fixed him up with a Q-tip, nail clippers and gum. Good to know they still show repeats of MacGyver in the future. I laughed a lot during this ep. Hope Fox sticks with it.

"Sad Stories Say So Much" "Someone Saved My Robot Life Tonight"
1
Reply
Flag
Love this show im gonna hate when its unfairly canceled. This show fills the gap Fringe left me with.
1
Reply
Flag
Another very solid episode. This series is off to a great start, much better than Agents of SHIELD. Some great dialogue, and some very good acting. The chemistry between Dorian anf John is just awesome. Can wait for next week :)
2
Reply
Flag
Loved the captain in the Conjuring...she was awesome in that movie.
Love the snappy comment that Dorian anf John.
That was creepy guy, asking everybodies names and saying things like, i don't kill people which i don't know the name off.
Poor James, he was cutie...
Dorian was so funny with all the voices he did...
I had to laugh really hard when John started to repair Dorian...and shut him down..
Very smart and brave of Paige for what she did....
Dorian can be so cool, how he fought of the criminals..
Reply
Flag
I actually enjoyed this episode more than the last one. It definitely wasn't up to the quality of the pilot, but I found the second episode to be off putting. It wasn't the subject matter, I can't really point to what bothered me about it, but I found this one to be much more enjoyable.
3
Reply
Flag
Quick note on Fox tampering with episode order: they're prone to it. Seems they can't help themselves, especially when early returns aren't great. Suits to the rescue. Problem is, its self defeating: showing an episodic procedural with a significant premise arc out of production order causes obvious viewer confusion, which results in worse ratings. Its killed other slow starters, including Firefox. The plumber's rule is that crap always runs downhill. With News Corp that seems especially true.
2
Reply
Flag
Firefly.
1
Reply
Flag
I love the chemistry between Urban (whom I will always remember as Xena's Julius Cesar) and Ealy ( BTW: those eyes are killing me!).

At times Ealy's character comes through as more "human" than Urban's "rough police officer" LOL

So far I have enjoyed all three episodes I hope the series finds a nice niche.
4
Reply
Flag
I couldn't get over the ability of the woman in the closet to hear the bad guys perfectly well and even use her phone to let John listen in while they couldn't hear her talking loudly and crying the whole time. I really dislike the cliche that people can't hide because the criminals hear them crying or breathing hard or something (just be quiet, shush and you'll be fine) but being selectively deaf is just as bad.
2
Reply
Flag
Don't forget her brightly-lit cellphone showing through the window. Yeah, this bugged me as well.
1
Reply
Flag
i love this show...thas all !
3
Reply
Flag
May have saved the show for me. I was bored out of my skull with the first two eps, but this one makes me think there might be hope for this show to move past the tropes already explored in Total Recall 2070 back in 1999. (I believe it's still on Hulu if you haven't seen it. Imagine this show's relationships - with the exception that there's a gorgeous wife involved - set in the world of Total Recall and Blade Runner, and you've got TR2070. However, that show had a built-in long story arc - sadly unfinished due to its cancellation - which this one, so far, lacks.)
1
Reply
Flag
I actually thought that 'Skin' was a poor episode. There were all kinds of plot holes and other elements that just didn't come together. Before I'm flamed I should say that I am a fan of 'Almost Human' and keep hoping for more. I found this ep to be better than 'Skin' in terms of plotting and plausibility but didn't deliver on what I've been missing from the series so far.

I like the characters and I like the world in which they live -- or at least am intrigued by it.

BUT --I'm really not interested in seeing 'cases of the week' and while I like the buddy banter don't think it's enough to sustain a show. The series is also very clean and sweet given the world in which it is supposedly set. Where is the edge?

Maybe I am hoping too much for something in an 8:00 pm timeslot. But I want a story arc (I'm assuming there will be something with the syndicate), difficult themes and relationships between characters as well as more exploration of the world around them (my interest was piqued by the idea that they are a walled city and that people sometimes come over the wall, at the mention of 'New Tokyo,' by the district where John visits his black market doctor,,,) and I'd like to find out more about the characters who are so far fairly cookie cutter and without depth.

I would like to see the kind of stuff happening in 'Almost Human' that we see in procedural dramas like 'Copper' and 'Ripper Street' -- even 'The Killing" and 'The Bridge' until then the characters will remain cardboard and the really promising setting, just a backdrop.

I'd like to know what Dorian does when he's off duty, where he lives, whether he has made other friends, etc. 'Skins' made me wonder whether his programming allows him to feel attraction or to fall in love. Re John, he has a very neat apartment for someone as broken as he was presented in the pilot and other than the few maverick flourishes seems to be fine again. I find the tech character pretty interesting and would love to learn more about him.

People keep bringing this show up in relation to 'Fringe'. I don't need to it to mirror Fringe in terms of storylines, but I would like to see it develop the strong storylines and characterizations that that series had.

This ep was like John and Dorian ride in car, have funny buddy banter, get called to a case, unravel somewhat clever case, attack and prevail over bad guys, cement their buddy relationship. I would have preferred to see something a whole lot less linear.

Last point, I really didn't understand the long lead-in at the beginning where we are introduced to the soon to be dispatched James. There was something like that in 'Skins' and it really didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I would have preferred for example, that they'd taken the time it took to run that sequence to show us what Dorian was doing with his morning (parallel to John).
More+
3
Reply
Flag
Third episode in...It has already met my expectations; hopefully it will exceed them in the long run. Nice episode overall
2
Reply
Flag
I really liked this episode. I have no problem with the more procedural aspects with some character development thrown in for good measure. It was all very "Die Hard" action-y. It did seem like they were actually climbing that stairwell in real time though.
2
Reply
Flag
I agree that this episode was a little more classic and, in many ways, similar to a lot of other cop shows on TV. But I did however enjoy it. I love sci-fi enough to let their mistakes slide for now, mostly for Urban's sake, but I'm hoping that the next episode will be better.
1
Reply
Flag
I thought Dorian mentioned the olive oil last week? Maybe that's why this episode was aired next. It was a fine filler episode. It's hard not to contrast the fast pace of Sleepy Hollow's 12 episode season with this having a 22 episode season. More filler, less thriller.
1
Reply
Flag
More shows should be lower episode seasons and more story drven. We have plenty of cop shows to make procedural filler episodes. Also sci fi is a good genre to do this in because of the large production costs compared to contemporary settings.
2
Reply
Flag
Wasn't the best episode yet but come on people not all episodes can be strong this show is supposed to be a procedural and they usually have it's ups and downs.
But I still loveee the car scenes, need more of those!
1
Reply
Flag
It was a good episode. It just seemed out of place. If this was the sixth episode produced then it is weird. It felt more like an episode two. I understand why they through last weeks episode in there. It was good. But this could very well turn out like Alcatraz. A very good idea, a decent cast, but the runners or Fox or something screw it up because of their incompetence or idiocy or something.

The chemistry between Dorian and John is great. But that might just be Ealy and Urban. The rest of the characters are kind of unknown at this point, they are just window dressing. But the show needs to get its crap together or the ratings are going to start to drop and the show will go bye bye.
2
Reply
Flag
This did seem more like an episode 2 that I figured it must have been the second episode produced, especially with that olive oil bit at the beginning.
1
Reply
Flag
This is the problem: they made the stakes very high, but they made them high for PEOPLE WE DON'T KNOW. That's why the plot didn't work.
Reply
Flag
Disappointed. As a mere procedural, seen it before, many times. As a scifi show, not nearly enough scifi elements. "Skin" was touching on some elemental robo-philosophical questions; even if it wasn't anything new, the show acknowledged them and there was an opportunity to explore these further. This episode? An opportunity wasted.
Also, nit-picks:
  • Dorian got shot up badly enough to collapse. I didn't see any damage later when he was patched up by the ambulance, plus he was upright all by himself.
  • apply oil on the outside of a robo-limb when the inside is squeaking? Really?
  • they have a drone to deliver stuff to the bad guys but can't add a teeny-weeny camera to get a look inside?
  • would have been nice to learn about the bad guys' escape plan - they did set a up a bomb, after all.
4
Reply
Flag
"apply oil on the outside of a robo-limb when the inside is squeaking?"

The outside is just a hologram.
2
Reply
Flag
I think we were to assume that John fixed Dorian's problem (at least stabilized him) with the chewing gum.

Agreed on the limb (though there is a band that runs along the place where the prosthetic clicks into what's left of John's real leg - maybe the oil can seep into that joint.

My problem with the drone was that there had been no discussion of how they were going to deliver the tech and the drone could just as easily have been on the attack.

To your list of issues with the show I'd add that there isn't enough edge/going on in terms of difficult themes. We are supposed to get the sense that John and Dorian live in a world where are one point violent crime was rampant (we know this more because we are told this than because there is evidence of it, so far the places the cameras have taken us are far from distopian) but yet everyone but the bad guys of the week are nice and well meaning (yes, Irby character is snippy but that's about it) and their cases are straightforward and carried out by career criminals versus being fueled by the pain of people's lives, drugs or desperation.

They also haven't done the best job of creating the technical world. In a world with androids there are still recognizable monitors and cellphones and a lot of stuff you'd assume could be remote triggered or automated is manual.
More +
1
Reply
Flag
Good point re the "technical world". When AI is available for robots, it should be available for phones and computers. And cars!
I was being unclear: I meant the last shoot-out between Dorian and the bad guys - that's when Dorian got shot badly enough to fall.
Reply
Flag
Yes, I was thinking about what you wrote and realised that you meant the final shoot-out. I guess that they want us to accept that whatever the tech was doing to him during the scene where Jenna's sister hugs John was enough to get him walking again. Still, Dorian seemed to be limping in the scene in the police office before he and John go off to get noodles.
Reply
Flag
This one reminded me of Die Hard in terms of plot. I think this is one of the best new network shows I've seen in a while, keep em' coming!
2
Reply
Flag
Very Die Hard. "John" Kennex was being John McClane ;)
1
Reply
Flag
Totally love the show. This was my favorite episode so far.
Reply
Flag
Two things I liked about this show - the chemistry between the 2 leads and the cool gadgets ! The cool gadgets and the ability of the 2 main leads will probably keep it fresh as the show is set in the future.

There is also good humor in the show especially from Dorian. I laugh out loud more than in many comedies when he made the comment about John story telling putting the girl to sleep. Dorian creators remembered to put it a humor chip in him too.

Though Dorian feel the fear of death but even if he was shot and died, he could be resurrected so if he rationalized it that way then there is no fear.

This episode was weakest but its still good enough for me. My fear is that if this is the 6th episode then perhaps they should totally skip 2-4. If 2-4 is worse than this, it would probably affect the ratings and the fan base if they do show them in the future.

i do hope Fox would keep this. I have stop watching sleepy hollow and I am sure some people would so this would be the only show for me until the following is back. I sure hope The following improve, I doubt I can take another bad season.
More+
4
Reply
Flag
I really like this show a lot and I hope Fox gives it a chance. I love John and Dorian's relationship already, and I really love the tech stuff and the way the show looks.
12
Reply
Flag
So far I'm liking this show in kinda the same vein as Sleepy Hollow. It's popcorn TV & doesn't seem to take itself seriously. My eye twitched a little bit in irritation at the Han Solo quote on the stairwell, but I got over it pretty quick. I consider this ep the worst of the three up to now, but I liked it enough on the whole not to hold it against the entire show.

I can see where it can be really good if it can survive its 1st season & develop past the procedural stuff
::crosses fingers::
4
Reply
Flag
I really liked the episode, it was interesting and had fun moments. I would have liked the tension to feel heavier, though. But I really like the new things we discover about Kennex and Dorian.
3
Reply
Flag
I thought it was great! I am so tired of people looking for something 'different' and 'character-driven'. I hope FOX has enough faith in J.H. Wyman to give this a legitimate chance. So what if it's a procedural?? It was a fun hour of television with good characters, cool gadgets and awesome action. Three great episodes! I don't need anything else. Also, Dewey Crowe!!!
12
Reply
Flag
The problem with procedural show was it gets repetitive and without strong character stories, viewers are not invested. As much as I liked The black list, it is getting repetitive.

I still liked this show and I hope I will not be bored because I liked the main leads and cool gadgets !
1
Reply
Flag
The Blacklist shook things up this week - eliminating some characters, putting others in dire peril, giving others much more to do physically than they've ever had to before. I'd like to see 'Almost Human' break out of the expected as well.
Reply
Flag
I just watch the blacklist and it was a 2 part episode ! Quite exciting! I now hoping the RED sidekick do not die ! I kind of liked him!
Reply
Flag
Anyone notice that Lucas was Dewey Crowe from Justified?
7
Reply
Flag
I swear he was also on one show where he plays a cleaner kind of hit man. I just cannot recall which one. It must be quite recent. Was it Dexter? or Ray Donavan?
Reply
Flag
I think it was Vegas. He played Mr. Jones. He will always be Dewey Crowe to me though. :)
Reply
Flag
Yes that is what it was ! You have a great memory ! He was good but I stopped watching Vegas about 9 episodes in.
Reply
Flag
Staff
THAT'S WHO THAT WAS. It was driving me batty.
4
Reply
Flag
Roy Batty?
1
Reply
Flag
Staff
Boooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
Reply
Flag
Boooooooooooooooooo-urns?

But you see, it's apropos because Roy Batty was also an android. I have now deconstructed the joke, you may laugh if you wish.
2
Flag
Loving this show. Most fun I´ve had with a series in a while (except for POI, that is). Hope it doesn´t get shut down anytime soon.
5
Reply
Flag
I liked it. I don't mind procedural episodes as long as they're not stupid or overly boring, and this didn't feel particularly stupid or boring to me. Yes, I've seen the hostage theme in movies and TV shows hundreds of times already, but as long as the characters are different and the pacing is good, I still enjoy it.

I feel like giving it the same compliment that I gave Sleepy Hollow, that these new shows don't necessarily feel like new shows. They have the pacing and polish of a show that's been on a few years (I'm ignoring the fact that some shows seem to feel less polished after two or three seasons).
9
Reply
Flag
That's a really good point. I feel like I've known Ichabod and Abbie for a long time and I'm getting that from John and Dorian too. There are few shows where the two leads have clicked as quickly as these two shows. Something very much lacking on Agents of Shield for example.
2
Reply
Flag
I had the opposite opinion of the episode - I thought there was some really good character development here for our protagonists. Maybe that's just because I'm partial to character development that seems to happen "naturally" within even the most procedural of stories. It's one thing to have a big, heavy story - that's like an invitation for character development: "Look at this big moral/ethical/societal problem and look how wonderfully/poorly our hero responds!"

But it can be difficult to work character development into a relatively basic hostage story, and I think they did well. Kennex's moment on the phone with Paige, telling her the story of when he was terrified but then felt safe because he wasn't alone - that humanized his otherwise distant character. He glowers a lot (and he does it well!) but this was a real, emotional moment for him. And Dorian's critique of the story followed by small smile as he realized what Kennex was trying to accomplish said, to me at least, "I knew he had this person somewhere inside him."

Dorian was fantastic this episode as well. He's an android, sure, but he feels, and it's because he feels that he's trying so hard. Trying to relate on an "almost human" level to Kennex. Trying to analyze faces and information when he's about to collapse. Trying to take down 6 armed hostage-takers when he's being held together by bubblegum because he doesn't want his human partner, who would likely die if shot like he was shot, going in (which was a wonderful way for him to save the day - not because he wanted to be the hero, but because he was the only one who had a chance at surviving). Trying to explain how he felt afraid to die, and how he knows it's not the same as it is for humans, but how he felt it anyway. I thought this episode had some pretty deep stuff disguised by the procedural hostage storyline.

I was a little confused by Maldonado's handling of the hostage situation. She seemed to be giving them what they wanted as much as she could, whereas with most other hostage storylines, the cops try to buy time so their heroes can sneak in and save the day. Was this negotiation and demand-meeting supposed to be part of how it's done in the "future"? Watching it, I couldn't pick out Maldonado's motivation for giving them what they wanted, so I couldn't help but see her as a little weak. Based on the first two episodes, I'm pretty sure that's not what they want her character to be, but her role in this episode seemed a little fluid. She wasn't the strong police chief but she also wasn't emotional enough about the hostage situation. To me, she seemed almost more annoyed than anything. I want her to be a good, strong, developed character, but so far I'm not really on board with her.

And don't even get me started on Valerie.
More+
10
Reply
Flag
To quote Jack Nicholson as the Joker, "Where do they get all those neat toys?"

I find this very similar to how Fringe started out. I was originally hooked by the originality and vision of the show. I was able to accept the procedural aspects initially in order to learn more about the characters. We were all rewarded when the show hit its stride. I hope that the network can be patient with Almost Human. It has a lot of potential.

Come on. You know you want to. "B-B-B-Bennie and the Jets!" Rock on!
13
Reply
Flag
From what I recall, Fringe alternated between procedural and non-procedural episodes, established story arc and played with structure to add interest even in those eps that were procedural, so for example, telling the story from a supporting character's viewpoint, starting the story at the end and moving forward, flashbacks, etc.
1
Reply
Flag
Fringe was very procedural at the beginning to the point where I stopped watching for a bit (much to my shame) in season 2. Hopefully this won't take that long to start on the bigger picture story arc.
1
Reply
Flag
Were you able to catch up?
Reply
Flag
Ya I did thankfully. It's in my top 10 shows. I just found the case of the week a bit tedious at the start of season 2, but started watching the second half of season 2 when it became more about the big story arc.
1
Reply
Flag
Man, I really like this show. Since it's very much a buddy cop show, that already makes it part-procedural, so I have no problem with episodes like this cause I know they'll have cases to solve like any other cop show. The science fiction part obviously fascinates me more (the drone, the alarm clock, the face-swapping technology! WOW!!), but I love their chemistry with each other. Dorian and John's banter is hilarious at times. The ending where Dorian was singing to an Elton John song had me rolling lol!!!! Good call on showing Dorian's "humanity" when he got shot and nearly died at the hands of the hostage takers. He's fun, but he's also got some vulnerabilities.

I also liked how John used Dorian's olive oil trick on his leg. Even he admitted that "Hey, it works!"

The attempted kidnapping-turned-heist itself was well disguised to me. Those little buttons as warning signals were awesome!!
4
Reply
Flag
Staff
Pretty much. Pretty pretty much. Nothing to add except...



1
Reply
Flag
Staff
You don't know how hard I tried to come up with a headline that featured an Elton John song.
3
Reply
Flag
Wow, I agreed with every word you said. I seriously help it doesn't get more procedural than this...
Reply
Flag
Anyone else notice the Star Wars reference right after he cut off his Captain toward the beginning? Also another apparently next week according to the first few seconds of the preview. Now we just need some McCoy quotes.

Oh, and best episode so far for me. I love Die Hard and can't get enough hostage-taking episodes and movies.
6
Reply
Flag
Cutting somebody off by pretending the comm is not working well and there's interference is the oldest trick in the book of cop shows. Hardly a Star Wars reference. I've seen that a million times. Another trick is pretending one is going through a tunnel and the cell doesn't work. I just think that some time in the future this trick will be impossible because communications technology will perfect. I'm surprised it isn't already in 2048.
2
Reply
Flag
Staff
He quipped that it was a boring conversation anyway.
6
Reply
Flag
OK.
Reply
Flag
Big Die Hard feel, kept waiting for Kennex or Dorian to say "Welcome to the party pal!"
1
Reply
Flag
Or "Yippeekiay motherf-cker"
1
Reply
Flag
I felt this was a very well executed episode. Everything felt on point and almost movie-like in its nature.
7
Reply
Flag
It was well-executed. It just didn't add the extra elements that many of us are looking for.
1
Reply
Flag
I like this episode a lot.
11
Reply
Flag
Load More Comments
Follow this Show
Members
6,532