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FOX (ended 2014)

Almost Human S01E05: "Blood Brothers"


Hey, that's more like it. At this point, I'm ready to move past Almost Human's screwy episode order issue, which I've talked about quite a bit. Not only is nothing going to change at this point (this week's episode was technically 108, next week we're back to 103), but "Blood Brothers" proved that the show's episode order doesn't necessarily matter when it turns in a solid, entertaining hour of television. Wonky scheduling or not, Fox has now aired four episodes in a row that were meant to be seen in a row; it just so happens that they were Episodes 5 through 8. And although "Blood Brothers" wasn't as strong as "Skin" (which remains the young series' best episode), it delivered on the show's central premise with some solid futuristic stuff, a couple of good set pieces, and a handful of minor-yet-effective character moments. 

Above all else, "Blood Brothers" did a fine job of getting into its primary story and efficiently moving through the story beats without getting bogged down by exposition or overly wrought, forced emotional moments. The last two episodes featured too much of both, with characters doing a lot of time reacting to and explaining events around them. That's basically all shows, but there's a balance to strike with procedural stories to keep my interest and this one did it for me. It jumped right into the case with the extended courtroom sequence and the first witness being murdered over hologram (a nice touch) and motored forward from there. Though John, Dorian, and the rest of the team were a step behind Ethan Avery and his group of clones at first, the hour made an effort to show them actually doing police work. Everyone's mileage may vary, but I generally prefer this structure to the exposition-heavy heist/hostage situation (unless it's done really well) and the undercover stuff we saw last week (despite Mackenzie Crook's best efforts). 


More importantly, this was much more of a group effort than what we've seen from the show in recent weeks. Rudy was partially marginalized here after his big episode last week, but Captain Maldonado and Valerie had more to work with this week and Lili Taylor and Minka Kelly made the best of it. Though the episode cut some corners in establishing Ethan Avery as a one-time villain, it made up for it by giving him and Maldonado a few tension-filled moments together. The first scene between the two of them, with Avery explaining (to really an excruciating detail) why the Captain is alone, too dedicated to her job, etc. was an effective piece of character-building, even if it probably told more than it showed. There's no substantive reason why Maldonado should care about this case that much, but the fact that she does and we don't really know why other than JUSTICE only further underscores that she's really dedicated to the job—so much so it hurts her personal life. The same kind of good-despite-itself vibe was on display with Valerie's involvement in this episode. Anytime the pretty female character is mostly used to be captured and saved by the burly man, I cringe, but hey, at least the episode allowed Valerie a couple of moments where she showed that she was at least moderately competent at her job. That's important. Although the screwy episode order probably hurts the budding relationship between Valerie and John the most, rushing it to a silly degree, Minka Kelly and Karl Urban  have decent enough chemistry at this early of a stage that I'm willing to go with it. I don't know as if we need psychics (or psychic mediums) telling us about their possibly fated romance, but any sort of movement on the character front is a good thing. And the pairing is bound to happen anyway, so let's try it early and see what happens.

Another big part of why "Blood Brothers" worked a bit better than the last two efforts was the strong performances of a couple of guest stars. Alex Miller was sufficiently creepy as Ethan Avery and although I wish the episode would have given us more time with Avery's clones, thus giving Miller more to work with, he did fine bringing small differences to life in voice, facial ticks, etc. Like I said, I feel like there was a scene missing establishing more of Avery's motive for wanting to clone himself, but the character at least had some presence to him that kept the story afloat throughout the episode. Megan Ferguson brought a different kind of energy to the show too as the psychic witness Maya who also speaks to dead people. The more characters that exist to throw John off his grumpy super-cop routine and give Dorian some slightly more substantive beats to play, the better. I liked how Maya kept trying to get her "Medium psychic, and on my good days, a petite psychic" joke over with different characters. That was a very small detail, but one that actually made Maya seem like a real person and not just an exposition machine. And as a result, the final two scenes between she and Dorian where they discussed her dead parents were that much better. Guest stars can really make or break episodic shows like this and they certainly made "Blood Brothers" better. 


And hey, the show remembered its premise a little more clearly this week! Not only did the primary story lean more toward sci-fi territory, but there were some fun flourishes along the way to supplement the case action. The aforementioned hologram came back nicely in the hostage trade-off scene, and I really liked the idea that people in this world can get some kind of experimental brain operation to improve how much of their brain they use, and perhaps even become psychic. Almost Human really needs to work on expanding and defining its world beyond Future + Robots + Cops, and the knowledge that things like the brain surgery and cloning are fringe (hey-o) or illegal but robot cops are not is at least a decent step toward accomplishing that goal. The MX's Ken doll-esque bottom halves help too, even if I'm still trying to wash that image out of my eyes. But seriously, more of that stuff. Be weirder, show. 

I've been down on the last couple of efforts, but I'm not looking for Almost Human to reinvent the wheel. The show is so clearly capable of turning in rock-solid episodes like this every week. It's not rocket—or cloning—science. 



NOTES TO BE UPLOADED

– The headline of this review is obviously a reference to the number of clones. There were four, right? The one who got killed, the two in the photo above, and the one that was in the sniper position in that same scene. Tell me if I'm wrong.

– John is a soccer fan. I wonder if soccer is a bigger deal in the U.S. in 2048. Talk about a dystopian future, am I right?

– Dorian chasing down the van full of clones and just punching it over, leading to an explosion, was pretty cool. But Valerie's right: Why doesn't he just do that all the time?

– You have to guess that J.H. Wyman would have preferred to use the cloning idea to give Dorian an opportunity to turn all introspective, but there was nothing here on that front. Same could be said for Maya's story about her childhood house burning down just 20 minutes after Dorian mentioned that he really wants his own place. Some missed opportunities there, amid what was otherwise a pretty solid episode.

– What's the city or county budget for MXs? Those thing get destroyed so often they might as well be wearing red shirts. There's gotta be a shortage coming soon.


What'd you think of "Blood Brothers"? Did this one feel like an improvement to you?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 3/3/2014

Season 1 : Episode 13

226 Comments
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It's good to know that you can create clones in your basement. Too bad all major advances aren't done this way. It would save tons of money on such things as specialized equipment, dedicated buildings for research, dozens of highly paid researchers, and the so on.

Was that a bar in front of the beds on which the clones supposedly used to sleep? Good place to mix chemicals, process dna samples, prop up your dna samplers and separators, and so on.

I kind of thought the episode was kind of pedestrian--derivative. It could be because I recently re-watched the old Witchblade series from the late 1990's, which portrayed during one episode clones used to commit murders. Also, clones seem to pop up everywhere in sci-fi. Wouldn't the ipads, or whatever the cops of the future might use, have a dedicated button that they'd push if you can't explain a case--perhaps witnesses said a perpetrator was at another location during a crime--that basically allows them to enter into their investigations notes something like "Note to self: there might be clones involved. Check it out"?
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Valerie and John's romance is sweet and feels real. That naked MX was scary and funny at the same time.
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J.H. Wyman please don't make the MX's the new Loyalists. They shouldn't be that useless.
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I like this show, but the writers need to watch an episode of Law and Order now and then if they want to include courtroom scenes.

I guess in the future it's perfectly ok to have 2 witnesses listen to each other's testimony, totally corrupting their credibility.

Then when the witness finally DOES testify, there's no cross exam, just "Thanks for the story, court adjourned!"

They don't need to show a cross exam, but at least acknowledge basic courtroom principles and procedures.
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I can't get the naked MX image out of my head! and Dorian whipping out his junk haha
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I enjoyed this.

I think they need to be careful about not to make John Kinnocks seem like a guy from our time who traveled to the future, rather than growing up in it. He should know a lot more about Dorian's model and abilities, including his strength.
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I see what you mean about John, but isn't he supposed to be kind of anti the robot cops. It seems like he has avoided knowing about them on purpose. He distrusts them as they will go with the logical or correct way, rather than the human way, as we saw in the first episode when the robot wouldn't help him save his friend.
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That's a great point. They really rely on John being SHOCKED by stuff. Like, the fact that he just could. not. believe. in psychics in a world with robots is kind of dumb.
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For me this was drilled home by that look of surprise when Dorian flipped the car. Surprised at Dorian doing it, perhaps, but surprised that he had the ability, he shouldn't be.
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I can believe in robots before I'd believe in psychics. Robots are machines built by people, they are tangible. How do you prove that the dead are hanging out with this lady. It was a fairly natural reaction of scepticism, I thought.
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So, 1x02, 03 and 04 are next in the rotation, huh? While I've had fun with this show so far...colour me concerned.

The whole ex-girlfriend/Syndicate story arc that's completely been dropped popping up again could seem awfully wrong. The growing chemistry that's been established between John and Dorian reverting back to the oringinal distrust of robots awkward phase. I thought the Valerie romance angle got pushed a little quickly a little early, but now that it has, how does one go backwards?

Yup, concerned indeed.
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If your android lives with you, it deflects that you are gay ( I don't know the word for man-droid relationship). Specially after showing your curiosity about your android's male stuff. Coz, I thought John would invite Dorian to live with him
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I wonder if soccer is a bigger deal in the U.S. in 2048. Talk about a dystopian future, am I right?

It's the same Dystopian future for us Europeans where American football could be big in Europe :-)
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I have no interest in sport but there's as much chance of American Football becoming popular in any other country (other than the USA) as Aussie Rules spreading beyond Australia or Hurling making it out of Ireland. Football is called football in the rest of the world because it involves kicking a ball with the feet. Children can play it almost as soon as they walk. Rugby is the one where the ball is carried but no armour is worn. Soccer is just an abbreviation of the "soc" in Football Association. American Football is incomprehensible outside the USA as it seems to involve a few seconds of extreme violence and a lot of nothing much happening. Only fans with an almost autistic interest in performance statistics can get any enjoyment out of it. Soccer and rugby are 90 minutes of almost non-stop action and anyone with a football can play it anywhere. No need for the kevlar armour.
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Thank you for speaking for everyone in the world "outside the USA" however I'm not American, I love rugby and really enjoy American football, and can't stand boring soccer. If you have no interest in sport, why are you so irate over a comment clearly meant in jest.
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You know, you're right. I must have had an unexpected "sense of humour" failure that day. I don't have an interest in sport at all so why did I comment? My apologies. Perhaps my irony chip shorted out?
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I think, perhaps, you are taking sport a bit too seriously when you feel the need to insult fans of a game you don't enjoy.
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I agree with you. The whole post is inexplicable. I've apologised above and am now considering contacting Mackenzie Crook for an urgent update in my cpu.
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@MirelaPilipo
Americans don't really have an aversion to soccer. There are thousands of leagues, that children play in. That's were the term "soccer mom" originated. My daughter, my niece, and one nephew played. Pro soccer on the other hand, isn't as popular as American football, baseball, or basketball, simply because it hasn't been as well or long established here.

When it comes to sports, i'm a Philadelphia Eagles (American football) fan first. But i prefer baseball. Doesn't matter who's playing, MLB, international, or little league; i can watch the pitcher vs. batter dual all day.
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Nice of you to apologise and insult aside, you're absolutely right about some of the stuff you mentioned like how Aussie Rules and American Football aren't really international sports. Not on the same scale as Soccer, at least. I know Americans will strongly disagree with me (I'm Aussie) but I really don't understand Americas aversion to soccer.
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Only fans with an almost autistic interest in performance statistics can get any enjoyment out of it.

Personally, I hate soccer, and I love American Football and I am in no way autistic.
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My comment was about dystopian futures. Also watch the smiley.
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I thought the soccer comment deserved a Hhiiiiyyyyooooaaaawwww!!! :-)
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In general I liked the episode, the interaction between Dorian and Kennex is funny now and then. Enough to keep watching this show.

I felt they could have done more with the cloning concept, during the episode I was a bit disappointed.

What I also didn't understand is why the judicial system hadn't already taken into account that cloning of people is possible, thus making reshaping of the complete judicial system necessary.
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You mean Football, is already the biggest sport in all world, its normal in a future globalized world it will be a bigger deal in the US to :)
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Of course I'm a fan of foot- er soccer and just figured the U.S. must have won the World Cup at some point.
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Lol! One can dream right. ;-)
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Hey this show is SCIENCE and FICTION. With that combo the U.S. could have won the last three World Cups!

Yes, one can dream. ;-)
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Lol! True. With that in mind the U.S. probably won 3 world cups in a row, got gold for every sport at all of the Olympics since 2012 and cured cancer. ;-)
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Episode highlights, Dorian flips a car! There was an opportunity for John to talk to his dead partner through Maya. I guess John was not a believer.
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The case has a big loophole.
All Avery had to do is establish reasonable doubt that the killer in the garage was actually one of the clones and he could walk free.
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Likewise, once his clones are suspected, he should become guilty of a different crime, so he's always going to be imprisoned at that point.

Of course it seems his endgame once the clones are found is to run away and become a fugitive, which seems... well, not clean enough for a criminal mastermind obsessed with immortality and recognition. Oh, well, procedurals...
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Yes, I thought of that as well. It actually wasn't clear whether it was Avery who killed the doctor or one of the clones. Either way Avery would need to be on trial to be punished but if one of the clones killed the doctor likely the trial featured in this ep would have to be a mistrial and he'd need to be retried for conspiracy to murder as well as his involvement in creating clones which are illegal in the world of the show.

Trial may be a mistrial anyway since everything about the case changed during the trial.

Also, there was no real explanation of whether a clone would have the same voice Avery does -- I would imagine that a clone would be like an identical twin, meaning that the DNA is the same but that things can happen in their development that ensure that they aren't exact carbon copies -- this wasn't explained in the show and was something I wondered about. We're meant to assume that their voices would be exactly the same. I have my doubts. I think similar (heck, often even fathers and sons or brothers have similar voices) but probably not so exactly the same that the sound waves would track the same on Rudy's machinery.
More +
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My recent studies in 2048 law has determined that mistrials no longer exist but the accused has the option of attempting to reach a laser shooting disco ball suspended in a zero gravity arena.
It is also completely acceptable to flip a van of clones till it explodes because it's not excessive force if the victims don't have belly buttons.
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They said the clones looked about ten years younger than the original. I didn't really look at any of them, so I don't know if it's accurate.
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I think they tried to make Avery's laugh lines a bit more pronounced - don't remember if they added grey to his hair as well. Not sure if a witness would notice the difference.
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I actually enjoyed this episode. The jokes, story, pace, sci fi elements, guest stars and action was all great.

Oddly enough, the biggest negative for me is that Minka's good looks kept distracting me. I think Minka should've been cast as John's criminal girlfriend and a less attractive person as the detective.
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I called Dorian giving Maya a box of what was left of her parents' house the moment she mentioned the fire, but I thought the prosecutor's awkward compliment to the Captain seemed kind of tacked on. There's no need to make everyone happy.
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The prosecutor's comment didn't make me happy. It just felt awkward in the context of the story. And if it were real life would probably have felt awkward, too. I don't know too many women Capt. Maldonado's age and station in life who are fishing for random compliments from male colleagues on their appearance. Would have been better if they were going to go there for him to compliment her on her performance during the case or to say something like they were going out for a celebratory drink would she like to come with. As is, the comment just tracked as awkward and kind of creepy. If I were her, I would know whom I'd be avoiding next time I saw him.
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I thought it would be pieces of the car or hovercar whatev they crashed (I think they died in a crash) but I guess Dorian went over to or computer brain seached the arson squad records to find a box of modems and a door handle saved from the fire.

Avery was a killer, philanthropist, genius and had a family of clones but he was right about the captains plaque in the office and her bluster showed how deep he cut so just because his escape failed and his clones got roadkilled shouldn't discount his assessment of the captains "invisibility". It's like the kid that suddenly speaks for the first time in years at the end of the Christmas movie, charming, but it has no place in my hard-boiled sci-fi cop buddy procedural show.
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This episode is bringing back me ! Last episode was quite disappointing.

I especially liked the beginning part, really funny !

This week the actress playing Maya was good and Minka Kelly finally had something to do !
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I actually liked last week's episode better than this one.
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Yeah what's the deal with the MX's? Not only the look like creppy Ken's they also get destroyed alot! Isn't it that like undercover robot-hate?
I really liked the whole you can become psychic in the future just with an operation they should explore more of that.
And I agree with Dorian he is designed to feel he can't be living in the valley of castrated dead eyed bots, that's just mean
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An MX has to get destroyed in every episode so they can piece together some part of it to get some evidence.
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THANK YOU. It's ridiculous, and I forgot to add that part.
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So, like a black box then?
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It is getting sort of ridiculous. MX can carry 2200 lbs but cant sustain a gunshot wound. Looks like government spending in 2048 still sucks.
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Well not headshots apparently and not the chest without a chestplate.
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Dorian is an older model yet was able to take a bullet to the temple.
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Ah yes, good point!
Did they fish the bullet out of his head or did it exit at some point? I only remember chewing gum and cue tip.

Where are the laser guns? It runs the risk of being like Stargate although they had access to advanced technologies they still prefer bullets against aliens no matter how ineffectual because firing a machine gun just looks so damn cool!
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I have to admit I am really enjoying this show. slow ? for me no it's moving along nice and easy in short finding it's feet before it runs. will I stay with this show ? oh hell yeah.
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Two questions:
1) Why the abs?
2) Don't they have androids modelled after women?

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you son of a bitch
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I think the bigger question is why does the android put on his helmet first before anything else? Thought process isn't even pants first, shoes second, it's helmet first them everything else. And is that a towel? Do they shower with their helmets on?

I feel so sorry for Dorian... freaks!!
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is the helmet a part of his head? I don't remember if I have seen one of these without the helmet...
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I thought about that too, but I figured he is insecure about the size of his package so he covers it up, or makes it appear bigger using the helmet. And if he showered with it, maybe it's for a similar reason; some people go swimming wearing a t-shirt.
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#2. see episode titled Skin
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True. I should have been more specific. With "they" I meant the police force.
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2. No, because [something sexist]. HAHAHAHAHA!
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This picture is so disturbing.
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I did find this opening plus the scene in the car really funny !
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me too :)
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this is a Ken doll - you guys have never played with a ken doll, or you would not be so disturbe LOL
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The Ken doll's actually have a mound where their genitals would be. These are completely flat. I was going to say more like a Barbie but I think Barbies actually have some contouring there, too. This is more like one of those cheaper plastic dolls - like the kind people used to make toilet paper cozies from.
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I have seen ken dolls that are flat - and I can confirm that barbies don't have anything there neither, this is pretty much Barbie indeed. And yes, I would go for the cheap dolls because this was funny, but did look a bit cheap :)
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You got me - I've never played with a Ken doll.
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Exactly. My husband was cringing throughout the scene and the one in the car, and I just laughed my head off.
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I know, right? I wonder how many actors had to audition before they found a guy who fit this role anatomically.
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I love the show and i hope the writers kick it up a notch in the following episodes.

Cuz right now, the most memorable thing of the series are the conversation between pinochio and bones!!!! I mean Don't evah scan my ballz?......Ken dolls....Jesus is that all for one person? What do you do with it? LOL
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I don't know, I still see Karl Urban as Kirill in The Bourne Supremacy. In this show, he comes across as, I don't know, wimpy? I can't buy the tough guy in this show, too many inconsistencies.
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Karl Urban pulls off being badass just fine. Have you seen the new Dredd movie? If you're having trouble buying it because of some other role he played then that's your problem.
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Amazing episode. It was interesting, fun and very cool visually. Dorian is such a great character. But I'm not a fan of the John/Valerie thing, especially with the messed up episode order. It really feels like John is obsessed with a girl he barely talked to. (Ps: Loved that Star Trek reference, Cory. Keep them coming.)
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I knew this episode reminded me of something

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this made me laugh my very shy god son loves calvin and hobbs and talking about it is one of the only ways to get him to come out of his shell so when I see it I smile
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Brilliance :)
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This has all the makings of a great show. I would have rather the killer escape with his clones and provide an interesting arc for the show and the police to follow. The serialized nature of what they are producing is going to give us great episodes like this and not so great episodes. The question is going to be are the great episodes going to outweigh the not so great.
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It seems Captain Maldonado has a thing for A.D.A. Ortega. But what she doesn't know is that Ortega is a robot too. More precisely, Eureka's Sheriff Andy.


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THANK YOU! I couldn't place him but I knew he'd played an robot is something. I had been scanning episode guides for hours just for a mention of him.
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No, it's Jed Garrity from The 4400.
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Nope it's Major Lorne from Stargate. ;)
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Hey, look, it's William from Haven.
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They have broken the concept of the show for me by introducing magic. I can't take it serious anymore. If magic was a thing from the start I might have been OK with it but now what, a Geppetto like wizard turns up and turns Dorian in a real boy? (This is what I actually think is gonna happen over the course of the series, but through science)
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magic?
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Maybe should have used the term supernatural, but I had the term "magic bean" stuck in my head.
the term "magic bean" is sometimes used in SF when the writer introduce tech without explanation/exposition of how it works (time travel, interstellar space travel). A well written SF story should not use to many "magic beans" preferably no more then one.
Still I consider talking to ghosts and precognition magic.
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for me it just added to the realness of the show ! they were saying that no matter what year it is future or past people will always want to believe that they can connect with their dead loved ones.Its part of human nature.... that will never go away
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What they left for the viewer to figure out was that it's not really a ghost, but remnants of the energy that people leave behind and her experimented on brain can pickup on them in the form of "voices"...
As far as Sci-Fi goes, that's pretty fringy but ok for me.

And also in a deterministic world, precognition is theoretically possible so still not magic.
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it's not like they are throwing balls of fire from their hands or something like that.
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Magic? I do not see it as magic but an evolution of science.
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precognition and ghosts are for me firmly in the magic corner.
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Or they can be evolutionary powers that mutants develop. Saying that any form of powers is magic is like saying X-Men is about magical creatures (it's not).
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Conversing with ghosts from the great beyond? Definitely not science. Edge1710 is right, this element is all wrong. And no, I don't want to hear from weirdos who'll tell me there actually are ghosts.
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I'm not going to say that ghosts exist but will say that if it is the case that consciousness continues after death then a way to communicate with those people whether through a human or machine interface would not be magic. There is no evidence one way or another about what happens to consciousness after death and there is a lot of clear-cut SF storytelling about the concept of transferring consciousness (to computers, robots, etc.).
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I agree that transferring consciousness is a clear-cut SF trope. But especially in novels that doesn't always mean that a "transferred" consciousness is the same as the original or that it is something that can exist outside of a host.
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I liked this episode, even though it wasn't really special, but the hour passed quickly and fun. I also liked Maya, even though I don't like when people claim to be psychics, but just want to show off. However, I'd like that issue to be more clarified, I mean, how reliable was her power? Could her operation have rendered her mentally disturbed instead of psychic? I just thought it was unrealistic that Maya would "read" Dorian as such a peaceful "person." I mean, if she could see John's aura, she would obviously see that Dorian has none.

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Though I guess one of the questions the show is playing with (I hesitate here because I don't think so far the writing has been all that deep) is about whether Dorian is a real person -- hence his discussions with John about what happens after death (really, what will happen to him when he dies). Maya's reading of him and not just of John was like a confirmation of him as a person -- it also could have just been her way of being nice to him -- rather than leaving him unread, as if he is a thing.
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Well, in Maya's defense I have to admit she didn't say Dorian had an aura, just that he was "peaceful."
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I don't deny Dorian could be a live machine or something, but it seems to me only organic things would have an aura. But then what do I know? I'm not a petite psychic.
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In 2048, Americans will love soccer and I bet will go metric too. Yay!
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No dice on the metric. The MX who was reciting the Knicks game said it could lift a metric ton, then converted to pounds. Wouldn't be necessary if they'd gone metric.
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Soccer is the fastest growing game in the US. More kids play that than baseball, basketball, and that, whatchamacallit, ah yes, "American football" taken together. Fact.
The only two countries globally that have not adopted the metric system are the US and Myanmar.
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The metric I can handle. But I lived for a while in the UK and am heading back there next year. I still freaking hate soccer. Maybe it will take that long for Americans to want to sit their and watch people run back and forth. And enjoy a nil-nil score. Americans like to see conclusions especially after all of that tedium.
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And I feel that in games like basketball, teams score so many time that it becomes something trivial, not special.
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We are a materialistic, now now now kind of culture. We require high scores, or scores in general. I am not really one to talk I will sit and watch Tennis for hours.
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Well, soccer is a lot like sex. Lots of foreplay, and it's the way you play it that matters. And then you can score once, twice, four times (whatever), but not 20 or 100... Anyway, speaking seriously, this is more about a cultural difference than anything else. We like what we get used to.
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dystopian future indeed, I live amidst a populus of Soccer lover and I couldn't hate it anymore. Really did enjoy this episode tho, much like I have every episode so far!
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I enjoyed this ep a lot. I had almost given up on the show and have to disagree with Cory in that I prefer this episode to "Skins." "Skins" had an interesting premise but was short on delivery. "Blood Brothers" didn't go all that deep but delivered what it promised. Loved the beginning with Kennex visiting the MX lair and his conversation with Dorian afterwards. Found the conversation between Ethan Avery and Maldonado stale -- would have liked her to say something like "I actually am a lesbian" since his whole speech was based on all kinds of assumptions about her age and sexual orientation and gender stereotypes. The clone premise was kind of interesting but in the time given they couldn't really go where it would have been really fascinating and we learned little about the clones except that they were fanatically loyal to Avery (strange since they seem to have grown up with Dr. Fuller). I thought that the episode might circle back to Dorian moving in with Kennex or being given an apartment instead we got the Maya with her dead parents' "payoff." I didn't really care about her or her storyline. I also find that I don't care much about the Kennex-Stahl romance either beyond thinking that dating co-workers isn't always the best move. Liked the use of holographic tech and the cute moments with Stahl's MX.
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"That's more like it"? This was dumb-as-a-stump tv, this wasn't even good modern-day procedural, much less good science fiction. This was clumsy and stupid, and thanks to this turd of an episode I'm leaving this series immediately. There is no thought at all anymore, the witnesses are easily tracked down and poorly guarded, the robot cop partners are wholly ineffectual, Dorian runs around town without his chest plate, the cops instantly assume it can't be clones for some reason.

And that's all before the utterly brainless science in the science fiction where light on the holograms matches outside, where Dorian can run really fast and flip a van in motion with ease, brain surgery to make people not just psychic but MEDIUMS (the science behind this being ghosts are just an ICU away and just hanging out everywhere at all times?) and the literal Ken-doll hips of the robot cop which felt like a dadaistic joke a la giant cartoon feet unexpectedly stomping things in Monty Python (how do the robot cops move naturally if they have no lateral movement of the hip?).

Then there's the so-called drama, is that "more like it" where there's no drama between the lead characters, and Captain Maldonado just takes heaps of abuse from the criminal for no reason? Nothing felt natural or insightful in any way, instead we got a lot of focus on the kooky surviving witness (apparently the clones are dumber than the original since they didn't even think to send a few of them around to the back windows) whose silly psychic routine is right out of a tv cliche playbook, only fo' realz yo! And we gotta save Minka Kelly's character, she's so good at being a cop that she brings a single robot cop partner to investigate, lets him do all the room-clearing, and gets captured relatively easily, all so our hero can muster some non-emotion over saving her.

Go away, show, you're drunk.
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Buh-bye.
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See ya.
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Watch your step.
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I enjoyed this episode a lot! I think Avery's storyline would have made for a terrific multi-episode arc, though... but maybe they're not ready for story arcs yet (or perhaps they think we're not, but we so are). I loved the weird stuff, too. I really want more of that.

It's good to know Dorian is anatomically correct, lol. I would be much more interested in Dorian having a love interest than I am in John's. Actually I wish they'd flesh out Dorian and John's relationship a bit more before adding romance to the mix.
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Yes, I agree I'm interested in Dorian having a love interest. What's the point being anatomically correct is it has no use (we already know he doesn't consume food, so he's not using his equipment to pee). Plus, Dorian is genuinely interested in people and emphathetic. I thought they might be going the love interest route with Maya since Dorian was so interested in and kind to her -- but nothing...
Don't care so much about Kennex's love life.
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"...might as well be wearing red shirts." Classic.
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What made this episode enjoyable for me was the character Maya. Every scene she was in was great. It was great casting on the part of the producers. I hope we see her again and it wasn't just a one off. The scene in her car at the end when she made contact with her deceased parents was very moving. It's something most of us wish we could do. The only disturbing thing was that Madonna's 80's Like a Virgin look is still in fashion in 2048.

Great tech stuff and good story. With these types of episodes, Almost Human is hitting its stride.
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Another solid episode!
The naked MX scene seriously cracked me up and Karl Urban has the best grumpy face on television :)
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I'm still watching - haven't dropped it yet. This was reassuring that the show can do better than it has. Not great, barely good, sorta marginal with potential
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This was the best episode yet, very riveting and kept me interested. Always eondered what was going to hapen next. HOpefully it just gets better from here.
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Excellent episode on most levels. My only problem is with the Captain. I don't buy her character, and the whole "You look good today" from the lawyer at the end was far too contrived. The scene should have just ended with her giving Avery his comeuppance and her walking out. I like the whole 'universe working things out' idea and I think besides the aforementioned the episode tied it in well without seeming to obvious, but I don't think the Captain can honestly cut it in the world described in the opening credits. She SHOULD be alone (since that was the thing discussed by Avery), and take no prisoners over it. I was hoping instead of, "You son of a bitch!" that she would have just said, "You done?".
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Yes, I'm not sure why they had Lili Taylor play it so that the Captain was affected by his speech which in my opinion is the kind of speech tough, female police officers can expect from a certain kind of suspect. Attacking her aloneness was the low-hanging fruit - something that shouldn't get to her at this point.
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I wonder if soccer is a bigger deal in the U.S. in 2048. Talk about a dystopian future, am I right?

*Angry fist shake in Barker's direction* BAAAAAAARRRRRRRKEEEEERRRR!
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Don't worry, it's just Barker can't accept the fact that American football is nothing more than rugby for pussies :)

By the way, the US soccer team is quite decent in recent years, I won't be surprised if they proceed to the last 16 in Brazil next summer, in a group with Germany, Ghana and Portugal ,.,
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Let's not start this again.
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is this an on-going conversation? Because I think the U.S. is doomed in that group.
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Well, as I said already, Americans will love soccer and go metric! As for the World Cup, I hope Americans are not horrified with our lack of organization in Brazil. So many things can go wrong... As for soccer itself, the American team always offers us a nice surprise, but never goes really very far because in soccer tradition in the sport plays a great role. I think this is why the women's team does so well, because there's no solid tradition among countries that usually win, so it was a relatively new thing for everybody. And no sport can develop without massive popular support.
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Oooh, broader concerns like that, not whether or not the U.S. is doomed to hell in a handbasket. That makes a significant amount more sense than what I thought.
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Yeah, earlier in the year there was a huge pro-soccer/anti-soccer arguefest in the comments that lasted for a really long time (in TV.com comment section time, like a week).
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What do you do with yours?
Same thing you do with yours, nothing.
Little stereotypical to give the black a big robot penis, no?
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feeble attempt at a bonding joke - totally pointless and waste of pixels.
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Why? I suppose it would have been racist to give him a little one? Some people have big ones, some small, most average. I don't see any fault here, and I do not in any way think it was because the man is black. Maybe the creator just wanted to give him that little extra ounce.
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I'm not finished watching yet, so haven't read the review in full, but I will say, and perhaps I will be sated later, that I have a problem with the 'no proof' of this guy murdering the fertility doctor and witness, etc. I mean, they literally have a clone (whom they shot down) who tried to assassinate the second witness at least twice. Is that not proof enough?

Loving the dialogue about the man-junk in the car.... funny stuff. Completely believable.
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Seriously?!? You hang out with guys who pull out their dicks to compare sizes?
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Nope, but guys who are confident enough with their sexuality and are not purely homophobic have no trouble talking shop if need be. We're all human. And keep in mind, in such a world like in Being Human, people would be curious about what an android's got down there. I don't strike up conversations about this kind of thing on a daily basis by any means, if at all, I'm just saying it was believable.
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I love Sci Fi so dig this show, but I can see that it needs to step up the character quality pronto. Fringe was a few steps ahead after the same number of episodes coz was Walter was pure genius. This show has Minka, but I *think* my reason for liking her isn't based on the quality of her acting...
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People slam her acting and I'm not sure why. Minka isn't required to do much on this show - I don't know her, but I would imagine that she can pretty much be herself playing Stahl. She just reads expository lines, smiles and seems likeable anyway. I don't think anything is wrong with her performance.
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I agree. I'm not slamming her acting at all, its just that the dialogue she's been given so far is a bit bland. Compare her to someone like Olivia from Fringe and Minka has been given a raw deal so far.
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Oh okay. I agree then -- though Olivia was a main character. Minka's character is a supporting character so far. Basically just a foil, as Kennex's love interest and also there to provide exposition/insight into psychological and medical issues and to work the police databases.
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I agree that the showrunners could give Minka Kelly (and also Lili Taylor) much better dialogue than what they're working with so far. But I think her acting might be part of the problem. She doesn't quite have the acting chops (yet) to carry the character beyond the love interest trope but I hope she gets better.

I wouldn't compare Minka's Valerie Stahl to Anna Torv's Olivia Dunham, which was a leading role (though I do recall Anna had her detractors in season 1), but even putting Minka side by side with a supporting actor like Jasika Nicole - well, Astrid comes out miles ahead. But its still early days.

(Damn, I miss Fringe.)
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Yeah sure, with you. Fringe had great everything straight away - concept, characters, effects etc but still had to fight its way to 5 seasons, so I start to get paranoid for Almost Human every time something feels a bit weak or off...

(I pine for more Fringe also!)
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I agree that we aren't seeing much from Minka's character but I'm not sure from where you get that she doesn't have the acting chops to go much further. I say this not having seen any of this actress' other work. Minka hasn't been called upon to do anything hard or even challenging in the show - just look cute and cheerful and deliver exposition. I'm not an actress but I feel pretty certain that I could do what she's been asked to do so far.

Jasika early on didn't have much to work with either with Astrid though and this is a HUGE point she was paired with John Noble's Walter, who is formidable and with whom she had chemistry so there was something to play off of even if she didn't have much to say and she could always play humour, curiosity, frustration and fear. Valerie Stahl's role and lines haven't called for playing much of that at least not yet.

The writers also didn't let the Astrid character just remain Walter's foil and Olivia's sidekick but gave her storylines and angles of her own. Not so with Valerie Stahl up til now. So far, it's pretty much just been as Dorian says "John, I love your fake leg."
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re: "Not only did the primary story lean more toward sci-fi territory,"

Unfortunately the secondary psychic story line didn't. There are more than enough potential actual science fiction plotlines in a show like this that is actually set in the future that there was no reason for them to resort to making this into some sort of fantasy world for no reason other than writers lacking imagination. There are more than enough fantasy shows on TV that aren't based in the real world but in some parallel world where magic works, there was no reason to turn this into yet another one rather than sticking with real science fiction. With TV science fiction obviously you usually need to suspect disbelief with science glitches they make far too often, but this was ignoring science altogether.

The psychic medium stuff has no basis in real science, which brings to mind the concern that perhaps the writers are so scientifically illiterate they don't grasp this. If so that doesn't bode well for a show that might have been real science fiction instead of fantasy. (I won't waste time replying to any scientific illiterates that recite fantasies about there being some basis for it, there isn't).
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Yes, it was just really out of place.
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there is a difference between magic and paranormal - I have actually seen things in this world that looked like magic, but were in fact extraordinary abilities of trained human minds.
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re: "but were in fact extraordinary abilities"

If you are talking about paranormal abilities, odds are miniscule that you did, it is vastly more likely you were mislead (intentionally or due to someone's self delusion). I'd suggest they go and win the $1 million James Randi Foundation reward for demonstrating some sort of paranormal abilities, and you publish and win awards for demonstrating the existence of something no one else has been able to., and make lots of money from the resulting books. Except of course the odds are you won't.
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Have a photo of a red squirrel levitating a nut with his supreme mental powers pic.twitter.com/G1YgsOAy0G
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self-aggrandizing twit aren't you? I said I saw - not I did. I saw holy men in the Himalayas fade from sight and levitate and draw-in birds from the sky. The trained human mind is very capable of over-ruling/negating the laws of physics. especially when supported by positive energy from others.
You really should expand your field of experience before you call everyone else in the world gullible. Science is the answer, but does not have all the answers.
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you just don't get it RealityEngineer - the Randi prize of $1,000,000 is for "eligible applicants who can demonstrate evidence of any paranormal, supernatural or occult power or event under test conditions agreed to by both parties"
The Buddhist monks I saw have no interest in proving anything to an 85 year old retired Canadian magician like Randi. They are meditating to cleanse themselves and the world, and sometimes lose touch with the earth and just rise off the ground - it's about spiritualism, not materialism.
And I repeat, since you seem to have a problem understanding the written word, Gullible does not apply to what I have actually witnessed.
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Yes, you are gullible. I'd suggest you go get the $1million James Randi prize for proving paranormal phenomenon exist. Except of course you all the posers who claim such things exist rarely try since they don't wish to face reality.
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No, there really isn't a difference. There is no attempt here to make psychic medium powers anything more than magic, beyond "she got the surgery" line. "Paranormal" in this case means magic.
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I just knew that some purist, would complain about the psychic sub-plot. You do realize, that her gift was gained through brain enhancements? We have no idea what the human brain would be capable of, if we used a larger percentage. Science fiction, is speculative fiction.

FTL drives don't have any basis in science at the moment, but they have been a mainstay in science fiction for a long time. And yes there are theories, about how to break the speed of light barrier, but no one has done it, or even attempted it.

I'd bet that your problem, has more to do with an afterlife, then psychic ability. I try not to let my personal beliefs or biases, interject into the programs i watch. If i did, i would have screaming to high heaven, over the twisting of bibical verses in The Walking Dead. Instead, i just enjoyed the show, for what it is, fiction.

If her psychic ability was telepathy, would you still have a problem? Remember her gift, was do to brain enhancement. A subject that has been explored many times by science fiction. Maybe she couldn't really speak to the dead? Maybe she just had a heightened awareness, do to the effects of her procedure? She did make some futuristic predictions, that seemed to have come true.
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re: "the human brain would be capable of, if we used a larger percentage"

Contrary to silly urban myths, we do use most of our brains, even if some people apparently choose not to.

re: "heightened awareness"

There is no credible science supporting the existence of any phenomenon she might have an awareness of.

re: "FTL drives don't have any basis in science"

Actually there are theories about potential FTL approaches, we don't know enough to rule them out. That is dealing with areas of science that are still in the early stages of being researched where loopholes may be found. In contrast the worldview that would support the claimed medium stuff would run counter to a large chunk of our understanding of the physical world. It is in the realm of fantasy, not science fiction.

re: "try not to let my personal beliefs or biases, interject into the programs i watch."

The issue is this is supposedly science fiction, and there is nothing remotely credible about the medium
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"Actually there are theories about potential FTL approaches, we don't know enough to rule them out."

First of all, i said at the moment. Don't use creative editing, to make it look like i said something i didn't. And i also did state in my reply, that there were theories towards achieving FTL travel. Very interesting theories i might add. Some from people at NASA that are way smarter than you or i.

And i stand corrected. People only using a percentage of their brain, is a common misconception.

"http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=people-only-use-10-percent-of-brain"

The link to this article, explains it in detail. But the mistake is understandable, i'm no neurologist. That myth has been repeated over and over again. It has been a basis for many of a sci-fi program. Even Einstein, used to repeat it all the time. He would to claim, that he used a higher percentage than normal, as a explanation for his intellect.

But the procedure in the episode was an enhancement. The way i see it, all of our thoughts, memories, and body functions are just electrical impulses. It is possible, that some of those impulses survived the death of the person. And that due to her enhancement, she was able to pick up on it.

It's not as far fetched as it may sound to you. As i previously stated, there are several studies, that are working to tap into the human mind. Some have had some interesting progress. One study in particular that interest me, is one where they have mechanical legs, that the mind can control. This could help people in wheelchairs, walk again some day. The day may come soon, when science can tap into the human mind, as easily as we click onto a web page.

I also stated, that the inclusion of sub-plot, was borderline paranormal. But i accepted their explanation, and gave it a pass.
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That would make sense if we actually had any hard, scientific, provable evidence that the dead aren't, you know, DEAD.
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I think you're probably right about JT_Kirk's objections, though I imagine s/he will have more to say. I don't know if people would be as annoyed if the ability detailed was telekinesis. But I think beyond any objections to religious views the psychic thing does add a level of complexity above that of the ability to move something with your mind.
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My reply was to RealityEngineer. I was the first to reply, so i have no idea, why it appears in the order it does. And no i doubt s/he will respond. S/he has made it clear, that anyone who defends this as possible sci-fi, is an illiterate moron.

It is a little out of place. But given the fact that they said, it was due to a brain enhancement procedure, i gave them a pass. I also don't look at it, as speaking with the dead. I choose to think of it as a heightened perception. Human thoughts are electrical impulses after all. It could be that she was able to pick up the residual effects from

I've seen scientific programs for years, that have been speculating about implanting computer chips, in human brains to enhance them. Obviously, not about contacting the dead, but other abilities. The "psychic's" abilities, were borderline paranormal. As long as they keep it borderline, i don't mind it once in a while.

There were a lot of solid sci-fi pluses, in this episode. Cloning, holographic projection, and a very strong android, to name a few. I gave this episode a 9, and IMO it is the second best episode (only behind skin), of the series to date.
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I think the language Maya used to describe her abilities is at issue. She spoke about herself as psychic and a medium and the kind of language she uses has always been relegated to the realm of the paranormal -- magic -- the occult.

The SF angle here would be around consciousness (which is a pretty solid SF theme) and one that the show's writers have as a theme, since one of the show's major questions is whether Dorian can be seen as a real consciousness, a real person.

Re Maya - if the question were what happens to our consciousnesses after death why would this take away from the SF cred of the show? There are tons of SF works that deal with transferring consciousness from one body to another or uploading them to a computer or to a computer network.

"The Matrix" which I'd put in the SF category is based on the idea that consciousness can move about and that reality is relative, etc. Neuromancer by Gibson also SF has people jacking their consciousnesses into a computer network. I could go on...

In this ep the idea (regardless of the language that Maya uses to describe it) is that people's consciousnesses or mirrors of them continue on after their deaths and that it is possible to communicate with these consciousnesses.

The idea being that most people cannot perceive or communicate with these consciousnesses but that brain enhancements (or you could extrapolate to say a machine) may allow them to do so.

This idea may chafe if you believe that after someone dies their consciousness ceases to exist -- remember that this is a question that Dorian asked in the "Skins" episode. There is absolutely no conclusive scientific proof on either side.
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"I said "scientifically illiterate" which is vastly different from "illiterate", and also vastly different from "moron" since many intelligent people know nothing about science."

Well then i took it the wrong way. Apologies. I love science. I have a basic understanding of physics, cosmology, genetics, and nature. Some college level courses, nothing advanced. But i do spend several hours a week watching the Science Channel. I have been a science fiction fan my entire life. I'm 49 in 11 hours, so i've seen a lot of it.

Somethings do fall into the science-fantasy category. I guess that's where this "medium" falls. But it was a fun episode all around. And if the stretch science fiction once in a while, that's ok with me. Remember, there is no scientific basis, for the existence of aliens either. Just probabilities. Either life is very common throughout the universe, or it is very rare. But the subject makes for some great sci-fi stories.
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re: "has made it clear, that anyone who defends this as possible sci-fi, is an illiterate moron."

I said "scientifically illiterate" which is vastly different from "illiterate", and also vastly different from "moron" since many intelligent people know nothing about science. The problem is the ones that know little about science but think they do. I don't object to things like enhancing the brain, that is real science fiction and not counter to the current scientific understanding of the world. There is no credible scientific evidence or theory that would support what was shown as ever being something that would be possible to do in the real world. It is pure fantasy.
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Opps, it seems i'm missing something in that post. We could really use an edit button:

It could be that she was able to, pick up the residual effects from past thoughts. Currently now, some scientists are working on ways, to read the human mind. They are ready have been able, to do it kind of in reverse. Where thoughts can control a computer's cursor.
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So so.
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That was just alright. Nothing too groundbreaking, but nothing to make me change the channel either. But the scenes between Ethan Avery and Cpt. Maldonado could have been so much better if they had just, for the love of god, used something else other the predictable trope of egging her about being a lonely, single woman in a position of power. And the last scene with the prosecutor commenting that she looked nice. For god's sakes, its 2048!! Move on already.

Dorian's really my favorite at this point. I like his interactions with the Cotw victims/witnesses, and this week's with the psychic Maya is no different. Michael Ealy has chemistry with everything.

I wish they'd stop clubbing us over the head about the Stahl/Kennex romance. You could see from a mile away that Maya's reading of Kennex was going to involve Stahl.
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"Michael Ealy has chemistry with everything."

lol

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Meh, again.

I suppose the show has improved slightly in recent weeks but that's not exactly saying much given its surprisingly lackluster performance up to now. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting from it, only that it's largely been a disappointment to me.

Other than some flashy computer screens and a few small gizmos here and there (and yes, of course, the androids), they haven't painted a particularly amazing portrait of America in the grip of runaway technology 35 years in the future. The cases have seemed very run-of-the-mill, too. And the cops are all largely boring or cartoonishly gruff, sometimes at the same time. Something's wrong with character development when the android comes across as the person who's the most alive.

I don't hate this but I certainly don't love it, either. The premise definitely has great potential but it's not doing a very good job of living up to it so far. I'll continue to watch it but won't give it a second thought if it gets cancelled.

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I missed the premiere because well I can't stand football and the delay premiere. I caught up online and haven't missed an episode. I'm still unsure why they are out of order but maybe they are trying something new about rearranging episodes so when there repeats it doesn't mess with an on going story. Or prehaps the budding relationship between Stahl/Kennex is why they aren't in order gives you small moments of something that could be. This isn't my favorite episode but its still good. Looking forward to next one. Keep it going.
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Really enjoyed this episode the guest actress was very strong and added a lot to the plot and made you actually care about her in the end scene pay off. Hopefully things keep improving from here on out
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