An Almost Human Community
FOX (ended 2014)
If Vegas had a line on the plot predictions for Almost Human, you could literally take the opposite of everything I predicted the last 3 weeks - and won yourself a butt load of money. I love to be kept guessing, but where I thought we would have a run of arc heavy stories that would crystallize the mythology, we have really just had "case of the week" episodes - with some hints of the greater story dropped in as if out of a Pez dispenser. So, while I was disappointed the penultimate episode did nothing to further the mythology, we did get a very cool story and quite a few mentions of the Wall. And more fantastic tech. And if you stuck around for the preview of the finale, you saw that Kennex's dad might be the puzzle piece that gives us a much clearer picture. Bear with me, here. inSyndicate wants something in the Police evidence locker. Danica's head was in that locker and now we hear Kennex Sr. stole some robotic parts out of there before he was killed. Nigel needs robotics to finish his DRNs and he is on the other side of the Wall - which is mentioned several times in this episode. We see the loneliness of Kennex which magnifies the feelings of loss and betrayal by Anna. There are a lot of elements that may be coming together next week. And the thought crossed my mind that John's dad isn't dead, but friends with Nigel and the head of inSyndicate. I also get the feeling JH Wyman expected to have a back 9 ordered this season due to the pace of everything. We really have what amounts to a Valarie Stahl stand-alone episode here - which is really odd timing if your season was ending one episode later. But... speculation is fun. But when it is from me, it is probably worthless. So on to the show!

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Brian Barrow is unwinding in his condo, owning a piece of technology that should be a constitutional right in the 2040s. HoloGolf:



Even worse than someone talking in you backswing, Brian is brutally attacked and tazed.





The unknown attacker appears disfigured and sees quite pleased with what he extracts from his victim. The victim dies, of what we find out to be a heart attack.


******
Back at the Batcave, Kennex is avoiding a call from his previous night’s date.



Dorian is more than happy to pick it up and be, well, Dorian.



Reflecting an issue we have today, his date appeared too interested in socializing with the technology around her than with him. Dorian’s easy answer is that John is boring.Which may be true, but we are seeing John reach out for female companionship, trying to get over Anna. And having it all really go sideways on him.

And since there is no such thing as coincidence…



Stahl needs their help.A Chrome died last night (Mr. Barrow) of an apparent heart attack.Chromes are created to be genetically perfect.



John questions whether it could be possible there was an error that resulted in a congenital condition like heart disease.



Stahl won’t have it.“Every box is checked” when it comes to creating perfection. She is certain this is a homicide.

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The three of them proceed to the crime scene where Dorian spots a small puncture mark on the victim’s neck. A search for DNA from the wound does not reveal one killer… but SEVEN.



Not all Chromes, but all extremely attractive males. Too much coincidence.

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Eric, the name of the man who attacked Mr. Barrow, visits a shady, underground lab (lots of those on this show) and meets up with his doctor…of sorts.





Although Dr. McCants tries to extricate himself from helping Eric, Eric simply threatens to reveal that the good Doctor is practicing with a revoked medical license.



The procedure begins…

******
Valarie was able to ascertain Mr. Barrow was leaving a club shortly before his death.



As Kennex attempts to leave to go check it out, Valarie informs him she needs to go alone.It is a Chrome Club – and see is certain they will get nowhere unless a Chrome is the one asking the questions.





Stahl arrives at the club with MXs in toe.She is hit with resistance by the queen bitch in charge (QBIC?).

The owner of the club steps in and seems much more willing to cooperate with our genetically superior hottie cop.



And she gets the surveillance footage she wanted.



******
Back at Rudy’s Lab of Creepy © , a nice piece of tech brings the other heart attack victims (that matched the DNA IDs from earlier) in the form of a hologram that can be manipulated.





These folks weren’t killers, they were all victims that were apparently killed with the same device. The same needle.This is all very important information. But Rudy is pissed. He can’t understand why someone wouldn’t warn him there is someone out there killing beautiful people.



Kennex has a good chuckle…





Breaking the awkward moment, a call from Stahl brings their attention on the footage of the killer leaving the club and following Brian Barrow.



Facial recognition gets a hit. And then another.Every time the footage shows his face from another angle, facial recog gets a hit on another ID. And it just so happens – they are from the group of “heart attack” victims from the DNA matches.



Rudy knows exactly what is going on here. Nanobots have been created that can read and reconstruct facial tissue. The man has had Nanobot Plastic Surgery.

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Kennex and Dorian bolt off to visit Dr. Amir – a man who was at the forefront of research into the nano surgery.



What his trials were testing was the ability to use nanotechnology to do facelifts from the inside out. The nanobots were injected into the target area, collected the genetic blueprint, and then were extracted from the donor and injected in to the patient. Juuuust a couple drawbacks. The donor died from cardiac arrest and the patient was commonly disfigured. Otherwise, a perfectly safe and effective procedure! ;-p

Eric was one of the initial trial participants and the doctors involved all lost their license. Eric was horribly disfigured by the trial.

A way to possibly find the person who is still doing this procedure is to find who could possibly have the “Actuator”.



And to do that – Kennex needs to find an old “friend”.

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Ah.The car ride.We have been shamefully deprived of one of Almost Human’s best set-ups.Since the case of the moment has a theme of man’s attempt at perfection, Dorian does that Dorian kind of thing and begins to remind Kennex of all his faults.



Oh, how often have I wanted to do and say exactly this to a client…

“Sometimes when you’re doing this…



...I’m not really listening.”

Dorian continues on scene to scene reminding Kennex of his faults. I was especially amused by the mention of his borderline unibrow. A funny little exchange between the bros about Dorian talking to Kennex’s “Smart Bed” and Kennex wondering aloud if they were in a relationship. Urban and Ealy just have amazing chemistry and I am not sure I would still hold the enthusiasm I have with anyone else in these roles.

They arrive at a street party where Dorian is a bit appalled at the Rock em Sock em robot Fight Club.



Kennex sidles up to a spectator…





And then, out of the blue, busts her face, much to Dorian’s dismay.



As the figure collapses, an interesting thing happens – with shades of Total Recall:







Kennex’s informant, DiCarlo was hiding within the Exosuit. With his usual charm, Kennex gets DiCarlo’s cooperation – and the name of a doctor that would have interest in an item such as an Actuator.

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Arriving at Dr. Curtis McCants lab, the boys break in to find the good Doctor jacked up on adrenaline and putting up one helluva fight…until his heart explodes.Once in the lab, Dorian is able to piece together what Eric was trying to achieve. His avatar is the perfect composite of all the faces of the victims…minus one.



They now know who the next victim will be.

A call to Stahl and the next face on the list is taken into protective custody.





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Back at the Justice League, Kennex has a revelation. Looking at the map of the homes of each of the victims and realizing they all have the new 3D imaging on their driver’s license…



…Kennex sees that they all would access the same office of the DMV. He posits the murder could have been an employee of that DMV. They have a match.



Proceeding to his residence, they find Eric has been chatting frequently with a woman online. From the description Dorian gives John, he recognizes the woman in her window in the building across from Eric’s apartment.



Unfortunately, Eric is already there. He meets Judy for the first time.



He was hoping to have his face perfect by the time they met, but he knew that his time could be running short.



And as life is full of irony, he finds out that Judy is actually blind. The love they developed over the months by talking and sharing would have been enough. But Eric’s “Body Dysmorphic Disorder” pushed him in to a dangerous procedure. Now disfigured, he went to any lengths to try to repair his damaged face.

Kennex and company busts in…



…and Eric bolts. He is distraught. His obsession with perfection was rooted in his desire to be loved. The irony that he would have been regardless of his face was too much for him to bear,





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The case is closed and the day is wrapping up. Part of the loneliness inherent in Kennex after Anna’s betrayal was brought to the fore with the despair of Eric. Dorian senses it and asks him if he wants him to come along and “watch him drink”.





But then there is Valarie Stahl. Kennex gets out of himself and asks her if she has ever been to his favorite bar, Leo’s.



And as it turns out – she loves the place and was just on her way there…



…with her date from the Chrome Club. Kennex has been Chrome Blocked. (“Chrocked”?)

But there is hope. As Stahl turns to leave…



But tonight, Kennex just has himself. Alone.



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I realize how procedural this episode was and the disappointment I mentioned in the introduction I am certain is shared by all of you watching and reading. But IMHO, what an amazing case of the week! I was caught up in the story to the point I didn’t even think about the overall story arc that I wanted answers to. I would have expected this to be more in the mid-season area, not the penultimate episode for the season. After writing the recap, I am even more convinced this was written with the expectation they would get a back 9 order. I loved the fact we had essentially a Valarie-Centric episode, but again was confused it was put here. Unless my theory is correct. There are so many wonderful loose threads right now – it would be a real shame if it tried to tie all of them up in the finale. Since FOX didn’t allow a full season, I am hopeful they give them a second season to flesh out all the wonderful things we have been introduced to. I’ll post the ratings here at the bottom when they come out. If it stays above a 2.0, I think we are going to be ok. Keep in touch here on the Community and I will keep you updated!

It’s been FUN, folks! I hope next week is not our last!

- Edshrinker



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