An Almost Human Community
FOX (ended 2014)
Well – here we go. The final 3 episodes. And while I was certain this would be an inSyndicate arc heavy last 3 eps, being wrong about which major, season long plot point it would focus on was no disappointment. All throughout the series launch interviews, Michael Ealy spoke about why the DRN was decommissioned and alluded to the fact that sooner or later, Dorian was going to go through the same AI mental breakdown as the rest. To what degree, is unclear. But “Disrupt” brought the issues of Dorian’s programming to the forefront. The DRNs are blessed (or cursed) with “Synthetic Soul”™ and that doesn’t mean they can groove (although I would bet Dorian can). It means that the DRNs feel. And the reason for their shutdown was the fact they felt too much. Finally, in this episode, we are introduced to a hint of an idea. That there may be real human memories in the DRNs – probably as a way to develop human emotion. And Dorian’s are flashing to the surface – a nice bit of synchronicity to the memory flashbacks Kennex is chemically inducing. I can’t say I wasn’t a little disappointed this was a “Case of the Week” and not mythology rich with a big set up for the last two episodes. But it was enough. And unexpected. I am only guessing, but I have to believe the final episodes bring together Dorian’s Synthetic Soul™ issues, Nigel on the other side of the Wall with his fleet of DRNs, inSyndicate, and the return of Anna – Kennex’s traitorous Ex-girlfriend. Let’s hope we are not disappointed.

On to “Disrupt”:


The episode begins with Rudy doing some melon probing as Dorian sleeps.

Remember, Dorian was really freaked out having to recharge overnight with the MXs – so after a failed attempt to talk Kennex into letting him bunk at his apartment, Rudy offered his lab as a place he could grab his android ZZZs.

Unfortunately, Dorian left FOX on his brain based DVR last Monday and he accidentally recorded the show following his…

Rudy quickly remedied the matter.

In addition to that, Dorian had some images of a young boy playing with a toy truck…and it appeared to be his POV. Rudy looks very concerned as Dorian “wakes” while he is still probing his memories. Rudy throws some technobabble that is amazingly unconvincing but John happens to walk in, regaling them all with the stories of Dick.


The show moves to a couple in an incredibly beautiful (see: expensive) home. It appears they are going through the anniversary of an unfortunate event that has touched the couple in a significant way. The Bennetts have been subjected to thousands of threats due to the aggressiveness of their home security system. Last year at exactly that moment, lethal force was used on a trespassing boy and although acquitted of any responsibility – they feel the weight of the tragedy. Michael Bennett grabs a drink while his wife Linda goes for a swim. The Smart Home’s AI, SAM, seems to be functioning fine at that moment – but tragedy strikes quickly.

The heated pool has a retractable cover that closes while Linda is swimming. Michael watches in horror as SAM locks the house down and is unable to reverse either function.

Michael breaks out a window to save her life, but the same security measure cranks up to irony factor 10…

…and guns him down.


Kennex and Dorian arrive at the scene as Maldonado finishes her press conference. Having this double murder occur exactly one year to the hour of Aaron Kasden’s death is way too much coincidence. Dorian pulls a Spock and/or a C-3PO (DON’T tell me the odds!) and informs them exactly how impossible these events occurring like this are.

Detective Richard Paul would normally have this case. But he has requested some “personal time”, and Kennex has some idea of what he is really up to.

First the penis piercing, now...

The group enters the home to talk to the creepy holographic AI that has exactly ZERO answers as to what happened. Apparently the house’s system was hacked and all security footage and information was deleted. Once again we see some of my favorite bits of tech on this show:

Every window can apparently be used as a computer monitor, as the data on all the threats the Bennetts received are brought up for them to see. As Maldonado correctly states, “That’s a lot of suspects”.

Kennex and Dorian arrive at the Synturion (synthetic centurion. Cool!) headquarters where they are greeted by something much more than a hologram. It is their new line of personal security products – a SAM android that may have just a wee bit too much salesman programmed in.

Kay and Peter are obviously very protective of their company. Kay Stenson assures the boys she stared this business out of a childhood trauma and that she has the best intentions of protecting people. Kay is adamant that their systems are secure, using military grade encryption. It would have to be one hell of a hacker to be able to break in.

Meanwhile, Dorian is still having the memory flashes that Rudy was analyzing at the start of the episode. Look carefully…

Dorian is upset Rudy violated his privacy and Kennex shoots him an “I told you so”, reiterating why he lives alone.


Back at headquarters, Stahl is interviewing Mrs. Kasden, Aaron’s mom.

It is clear – that while upset nothing came of her suit against Synturion fizzled, she does not have the skills to perform that kind of hack.


Dorian is troubled. The flashes he is having…

…feel way too much like memories he should never have had. As they drive on, the city slides into a complete blackout. A hack by the cyber terrorist group “Disrupt”.


Because they take credit for the blackout and have stood behind the protests of Synturion’s role of Aaron Kasden’s death, they move to the front of the list of suspects. Dorian is able to produce a name: Crispin X.

With Rudy’s help…

…the hope is to be able to crash a post-hack party these types of folks like to throw when they pull off something huge. Rudy was a legendary hacker back in the day and allows Stahl to use his handle to get access to the bash. He also insists she and Kennex have “cop” written all over them, so he suggests a bit of a disguise.

Rudy left out the fact the party was really only in the hackers’ heads…

…a bunch of folks wired in to a virtual reality bash.

Kennex and a purple hair-ed Stahl find their man – Crispin X.


Back at Rudy’s lab, Dorian is getting a half assed explanation as to what is going wrong (or right) with his memories.

Rudy went against lab protocol and woke Dorian up to be company - chats, chess, objectionably dressed women, and the “Mail Order Bride Debacle” ™ which I really want to hear more about.

Rudy describes Dorian’s flashes as nothing more than remnants of those memories that he failed to wipe before he was put on active duty. I don’t know about Dorian’s programming and how effective his bullshit detector is – but it may need some updates.


We move to Crispin X, whose name is actually Niko (not a big improvement). Stahl plays a little tough cop, accusing Niko of the double murder of the Bennetts.

He is having none of it, declaring Disrupt as a future Occupy movement – peaceful demonstration and civil disobedience. Not violence. To his benefit, another murder at a Smart House takes place, pretty much eliminating him as a suspect.


Dorian and Kennex arrive to see Peter being removed from his home. The Fire Suppression System was activated – a neat little trick that kills a fire by sealing the home and pulling out all the oxygen. Peter was asphyxiated. Someone with fantastic hacking skills is making Synturion and all involved in Aaron’s death pay in the most severe way. In a spare moment, Kennex has another possibility to share regarding the absence of Dick. Seems he hooked up with this sexbot and caught a nasty infection…

The looks between these two are priceless!

Again with the window displays! So cool.

Dorian finds a tag in Aaron’s picture (which is included in every death threat) that links it to a picture posted on a social network. (We still have those in 30 years? I would think all interpersonal contact could have been eliminated by then).
The gang has a deal for Niko.

He is one of the best in the hacking community. They can promise him immunity from the actions of Disrupt if he can help them find the person doing the murderizing. He is quickly able to track down the source of the social network picture…

…and Dorian is able to put an identity with the face. And indeed – she is a troubled but brilliant hacker that appears to have had a close relationship with Aaron.


The threats begin rolling in to Kay and our new suspect, Emily, has all the codes for her Smart House security as well as the new generation of SAM androids there protecting her.

A few taps on her tablet and the SAMs turn on Kay, silently hunting her. Dorian goes off to try to find her while Kennex tries to dispatch the SAMs providing the major threat to Kay’s life. Or are they? Niko informs them the Fire Suppression System has been activated and they only have a matter of minutes before the oxygen is removed and John suffocates.

A nice little trickeration as Niko uses the holograph generators to confuse the android SAMs…

…as 4 or 5 Kenni is better than one. (4 or 5 Kennexs? Kenni? See what I did there?)

Dorian has a throw down with a SAM…

…while Emily continues her tablet tapping while hiding.

The countdown to suffocating continues, but despite Emily warning Dorian to get John and Kay out of there and forget her – Dorian talks her down invoking the memory of Aaron to get her to stop the carnage.

She complies…

…as Niko hacketty hacks the system.

The girl lives. The CEO survives. Our heroes win again!


As we move to the close of the episode, the kind hearted cop gives Maldonado the money he raised for Dick’s donut pillow. Those nasty outside hemorrhoids!

Detective Paul is taking his mom to Mexico for her birthday (wut? I’d prefer the hemorrhoids!) Maldonado has absolutely no clue.

Stahl brings in Mrs. Kasden to inform her of the resolution of the case. While they were picking apart the social network picture Emily was using in her threats, they found hundreds of embedded pictures of loners, like Emily, that he helped.

Aaron touched a lot of people. In fact, when the accidental shooting occurred, he was on the way to help Emily. He was a good kid who died tragically and much too soon.

There is one more matter.

Dorian is not just having a run of the mill glitch. Rudy was doing his stealth work on Dorian because what he finds deep in his memory core is not programming. They are real memories – the same kind you and I would have.

If Kennex tells Dorian, things will escalate and he could very well be shut down again like the other DRNs. This is nothing like Rudy has ever seen before. One thing he does know...

…they have to keep an eye on him.


Almost Human wasn’t at all what I predicted this week, but nonetheless a good solid episode. There was just enough foreshadowing in each of the last 4 episodes that lead me to believe we are in for a helluva ride to finish season 1. Let’s hope it is enough of a payoff for FOX that we will see JH Wyman’s vision for a season 2.

So - your thoughts? What do you think is behind the memories of being a Caucasian boy, treated for some type of medical condition? Is "Synthetic Soul" not quite as Synthetic as the name indicates? Are the memories really Dorian's or are they someone else's, embedded in his psyche? Will we see the truck again? And will a totem like that truck trigger even more memories?

Take Care Gang!!! See you next week.



Tackling on some ratings news mews here Tuesday morning ... Almost Human was below the "needed" number to assure renewal. But that number is weighed against the ratings slobberknocker that is the Olympics. At 8pm (US EST), the 'limpics scored a 5.6 - which is just a life-sucking proposition. And networks are cognizant of this. AH scored a 1.6 in the main demo - beaten only by the shite, but ratings powerhouse, that is The Bachelor. Weighed against the 'limpics - it is not a terrible number. I didn't want a layoff again, but I almost wished they have waited for early March to show these last 3 episodes. It is hard not to think that FOX is just tossing these up put there because they have no plans for renewal. Hope I am proven wrong.

**** Ratings were adjusted up to 1.7 - matching the top viewed program Monday night at any time slot (sans Olympics). I feel that is a VERY strong statement.
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