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Almost Human S01E02: "Skin"


Wow, this show is just going right for it, huh? Episode 2 and Almost Human is already throwing sexbots and big questions about life and death at us, most of the time in the same scene. Despite the case-based story engine, that's pretty impressive for a second hour, especially because "Skin" didn't really waste time repeating the pilot's big points. There are still some kinks to work out, but Almost Human is an early 2-for-2. 

For better or for worse, one of the things that's always on the cutting edge of technology is the pleasure industry. It's no surprise that in a world where robots exist to help the police force, they also exist to provide services—sex, companionship, what have you. And I was a little surprised that Almost Human tackled the topic so soon, but I guess if it's an obvious story to explore, the show might as well get it out of the way, right? Thus, tonight's case saw John and Dorian, already chummy (more on that in a minute), investigating a mysterious death involving sexbots and, ultimately, human skin. You see, harvesting human skin for the sexbots makes the experience more realistic and more pleasurable for the humans who "interact" with them. Makes sense. 

The procedural elements of the case were pretty standard and forgettable: Dorian used his technical advancements to analyze information, John didn't feel the need to get a warrant because he's a TV cop and TV cops don't care about warrants, Minka Kelly's Valerie interrupted conversations with PRESSING INFORMATION. Almost Human is going to give us those kinds of moments every week, because it wants to appeal to the largest possible audience. If they're not your bag, hopefully you can grin and bear it while you wait for the show to get to the good stuff. 


Thankfully "Skin" offered up quite a bit of good stuff, and good stuff that was shockingly complicated and moving for the second episode of a futuristic cop drama. The episode pretty quickly started asking important questions about the existence and purpose of sexbots in this kind of society; it turned out that sexbots are developed with some of the same kind of empathy that Dorian possesses, which means that their desire to provide their services and connect with people isn't just a 1-to-1 program; it's something they learn to do, want to do, have questions about, etc. Meanwhile, John's comforting of a kidnapping victim's young son pushed Dorian to ask why humans assure each other that everything is going to be okay, and that the deceased are going to a better place. And at episode's end, when a sexbot with human skin was shut down, Dorian asked to watch, only to have to deliver the same kind of speech about everything being okay and going to a better place. It was a weirdly powerful moment, one that I think the episode earned despite the procedural mechanics getting in the way, and one that Michael Ealy sold with aplomb. It's just been two episodes, but that guy is just killin' it. Really strong work. This is the kind of stuff I expected Almost Human to tackle someday, especially with J.H. Wyman running the show. But in Episode 2?* That was kind of ballsy, and it was even more impressive that it worked so well.

*The production code for this episode was 105 (and the next two are 106 and 108), but I haven't seen any information about 102-104, so it's hard to tell really what's going on. Fox might have seen this one, thought it was strong, and pushed it to the front. So in like five weeks, if John is still moping over his ex-lady and limping around, you'll know why.

While those final moments with Dorian packed a nice emotional punch, "Skin" also managed to add a lot of levity through the main characters' interactions in the car. The episode probably pushed a little too hard on Dorian's attempts to analyze John's chilly vibes—with children (he swears he loves them!), with cats (he's allergic!)—and trying to hook him up with ladies through an outline dating profile, but it's not as if the energy in those scenes was off by any means. Almost Human smartly let John and Dorian move past any sense of real antagonism and get straight to the more playful buddy-cop shenanigans; since Ealy and Karl Urban already have great chemistry, it totally works. Urban in particular seemed more comfortable, likely because John wasn't as emotionally wrenched by his traumatic experiences as he was in the pilot. There's a bit of danger in rushing past all that emotion and mystery to get to the police work of it all, basically shoving the ex-girlfriend and Syndicate into a box marked DO NOT OPEN UNTIL SEASON FINALE, but the goofier moments were successful enough that I didn't fret about it too much. 


I will say, however, that the character stuff was layered on a bit thick. John had to share the moment with the child to show that he wasn't such a pill, and that set up the last scene where he visited his partner's son, and then the episode also managed to introduce the possibility (really, the probability) that John and Valerie could and/or should get together. Dorian's "You know you just described Valerie, right?" after John explained his dream woman was kind of awful. I mean, clearly I get it. It's Minka Kelly. But pump the brakes, ya know? None of those moments were bad on their own, there was simply a lot going on to establish John as a kind of friendly curmudgeon—as opposed to a traumatized, out-of-touch asshole. It was during those brief moments that I did actually think about the jump from the pilot to this episode. The show just needs to be somewhat careful on that front.

But we can worry about that later. "Skin" was a really solid episode, particularly for a second episode. Second episodes are rarely any better than mediocre. And even if this one seemed good because the episode order is a little screwy, at least we know that Almost Human is capable of this kind of storytelling that mixes the basic procedural stuff with goofball humor and more high-impact questions and discussions. I'll take it!



NOTES TO BE UPLOADED

– I'm enjoying how weird the show's universe is as already. I didn't catch the fake technical terms for them, but I liked the tech that made the culprits' faces appear as bright lights on security cameras, as well as the DNA spray that screwed up the crime scene. Those are fun touches that don't take away from the robot of it all. 

– Apparently Dorian's abilities include voice replication (meh) and sperm count analysis. That's nice. 

– The scene where Mackenzie Crook's Rudy took apart one of the sexbot's brains was both visually stimulating (the colors!) and uncomfortable with Dorian standing right there. 


What did you think of Almost Human's second episode? Better or worse than the pilot?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 3/3/2014

Season 1 : Episode 13

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*The production code for this episode was 105 (and the next two are 106 and 108), but I haven't seen any information about 102-104, so it's hard to tell really what's going on. Fox might have seen this one, thought it was strong, and pushed it to the front. So in like five weeks, if John is still moping over his ex-lady and limping around, you'll know why.

This makes a lot of sense now that I've seen the first 5 episodes since the whole ex-girlfriend/syndicate thing that drove John to a near fatal medical procedure in the pilot haven't really been touched on since.

I'm not sure how concerned I should be that

1. These episodes are so self contained that they can air them out of order with no consequence
2. The last time Fox pulled this move with a sci-fi show was Firefly...and...well...you know
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I love that the writers didn't try to put all their arc stories in every episodes. If they stick with the procedural format, some arc story here and then, it'll eventually grow on you to love it.
I hope you have good sponsors and ratings because every episodes must cost a lot.
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I liked the SF concepts that are thrown in, but the episodes don't click for me as a whole. I plan to check out a few more episodes hoping (but I keep seeing those three letters: F O X)
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Blown away. Ealy is fantastic. I really didn't know what to expect here - I loved Fringe but the promos for AH just weren't at all appealing. I was wrong! Minka Kelly still worries me. She seems like kind of a lightweight, and Lili Taylor is hiding in the background so much.

The idea that this was intended to be episode 5 would explain a lot. Great decision to move it up, because it was excellent but some of the character interaction felt forced. Better payoff from the Valerie description if we'd watched John fumble about nervously in front of her for 4 episodes instead of just one.

As the mommy of a little boy, this episode had me by the throat for the entire time - it's a new show, would they do something so awful as to kill her? I could hardly breathe when they raided the wrong building. It made the payoff reunion absolutely amazing. There was some crying.

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I am secretly hoping they'll forget about Kelly and make the awkward romance happen between Urban and Taylor. But I guess we'll never see that happen because the female love interest just can't be over 30.
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"Your testicles are at full capacity."

Nuff said.
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I thought both episodes were great!
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The funny thing is, this felt like a total lightweight of an episode even as it's asking interesting questions and making challenging choices, and mainly that ability to keep it somewhat light let it breathe enough to get away with some pretty foolish choices (questionable villains, questionable legal issues, rather traditional cop show behavior).

I disagree that using human skin makes sexbots more pleasurable, that's one of those things that a sci-fi fan and a futurist would scoff at. The idea that they need donor skin is just not well thought out, we're already growing skin in the lab, why the hell would we need to harvest it from people who have used-up skin and blemishes and melanomas and require a very specific kind of internal organ system to support it which the sexbots don't have. This kinda lingered for me, but it didn't end up an anchor on the show because the producers have made sure the show isn't too smart, it's basically trying to aim low and be a bit stupid. Cat allergies won't likely be a thing in the future either, assuming the human race doesn't instead become allergic to EVERYTHING, but it's an all-or-nothing on that in the next 35 years, from what science is showing us.

Valerie reminds me of Lt. Tawny Madison, the character on Galaxy Quest whose only job was to repeat everything the computer says. She's just useless eye candy so far.

The tech to make culprits' faces as lights is a tech that exists today, and the thing that bothered me about that is that CAMERA technology will be light years beyond where it is today so that kind of tech really won't work that way, it's a bit clunky but that one I freely admit is a nitpick from a huge nerd. The DNA ball was fun, but it's a hotel room, it's already showered in DNA - hiyo!

Ultimately, it was watchable and that's more than I can say for most of the season.
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If it's true FOX is jumbling the episodes, It's sad.

I liked this episode more than the pilot, most because the bots of it all.
Them being pleasure models did help...

In the coming episodes I will watch this show as a new show without any ties to previous shows or films. That way it might turn out really good. Now, I look for similarities to other shows or films, which make me feel underwhelmed.
To me, Almost Human is
  • Too slick and bright
  • Has a rushed cityscape - looks not worked on that much
  • The music is not on par with the future criminal - cops theme. What worked was Depeche Mode, the rest was meh.
I totally loved the android manufacturer being named J. Sebastian. Anyone thought of J.F. Sebastian? (Ridley Scott)
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Batty: Gosh, you've... really got some nice toys here.

(Yep, expecting more I hope, this is even more reason the reviewer must watch Blade Runner, no commentary on sci-fi is complete without having seen it as a basis for comparison) Harrison Ford's expressions and ability to look hurt when taking a film beating are at their peak around that time as well.
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I really like this series. Love that Dorian is not like the rest of the robots...
I was keep thinking, poot chinese guy who plays the standard version. He keeps dying constantly....
But for now..i really liking it..
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it's a bit like "Ghost in the Shell" to me. Especially the series...
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I have to admit, I was nearly on the floor laughing when Dorian mentioned John being "backed up", and John being all flustered and saying "don't scan my testicles". There were some tears laughing so hard.

Also, I have to wonder if Wyman is a Scrubs fan, given that his two main characters are named John and Dorian (John Dorian being the lead character of Scrubs), or if its just a strange coincidence.
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I can't believe FOX! After screwing around with the premiere dates and delaying the pilot now it's also airing episodes out of order? Why on earth? The potential romance between John and Valerie was crammed down our throats and felt so rushed and unnecessary but I guess now I know why. I've already expressed concern for this show after FOX massacred Fringe with bad scheduling and now that they've started doing it to this show so early on, I can't help but be even more worried and pissed off.
What the hell is wrong with this network!?
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Something to keep in mind, those labels indicate the "production code", meaning the order in which the episodes were shot, but that doesn't necessarily mean they were meant to be aired in the same order. Sometimes they may need to shoot episodes out of order to deal with certain aspects of production, like availability of locations, guest stars, or maybe to allow extra time for certain post-production work, that sort of thing. If I had to guess, I'd say the network wanted a more standalone episode 2 so people who missed the premiere outside its usual timeslot wouldn't feel lost. And I think that was probably the right move. This storyline appears to be completely self-contained. The only possible continuity issues would be with the development of character relationships. It's possible if this episode was moved up in the order that we skipped some of the initial flirting going on between Kennex and Stahl, and some of the growth in the friendship between Kennex and Dorian. Hopefully when we do finally see those "in-between" episodes, the character beats won't seem too out of whack.
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Airing episodes out of order is how FOX killed Firefly, as they skipped all the character development episodes to show more exciting ones. Even though this is more procedural, you build a solid recurring fan-base by getting people invested in the characters early.
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Yes, that was my first thought too, but with Firefly they SKIPPED THE PILOT. That was madness. Here, really, they just spend up the cast bonding, and it's actually a positive that the only place it was really noticeable was with John and Valerie. The other relationships seemed to make sense already. I think the characters were so well established in the pilot that we could handle the time jump OK.
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Yes, you want to get the audience invested in the characters, but you also don't want them to feel like they're already having to play catch-up with the storytelling. I don't think they should save the ongoing storylines for the season finale or even February sweeps, but I think making episode 2 a standalone was the right move. It lets viewers who missed the off-schedule premiere jump right in, and gives them a solid story and a clear idea of the world the show is inhabiting. You'll note, this episode established very quickly that Dorian's an android, that Kennex is human with a synthetic leg, and that Dorian's programming is different from the other robo-cops, making him more empathetic and human-like. But those elements were included as part of the overall story, so they didn't feel like rehashed exposition. Smartly done.
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As long as they don't keep doing it. The audience who watches shows like this is smart enough to notice when stuff is just out of whack.
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For all who loved this and are coming back: Ditto for me!

I agree with all the kudos, and since they have summed up my enthusiasm about this I won't spend time repeating similar sentiments. But one thing in reading all the comments; how did you people find out that this was supposed to be episode 5? I agree wholeheartedly that to do that is a HUGE mistake. Also it demonstrates great disrespect for those who produce and write.

Can't wait to see what Black Data and New Bones do next.

Fryerider
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Finaly an interesting scifi series, even if it echoes occasionaly Blade Runner (which is a hard thing to do well). Will hopefully continue to enjoy the series.
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It is SO blade runner, but Wyman also tried to work BR into Fringe when possible. Now I guess he is free to be more overt? (See, e.g. "Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep" episode).
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I was occasionally suspicious that John would eventually be revealed as an Android, having died in the attack. ("BLADERUNNER")
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Couple of things:
1. TGF Karl Urban- that man is awesome at everything!!!
2. Dorian is fun for synthetic... here's that word again, but seriously he is truly great.
3. The dynamic is very interesting, thank god is took only an episode to establish it, not drag it forever.
4. Rudy, Rudy,Rudy- come and check my statistics *wink, wink*
5. Basically: YOU HAD ME AT HELLO! YOU HAD ME AT HELLO!
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Really impressed with this show so far, it could turn out to be almost up there with Person of Interest for me (you know, the spot held by Homeland before the second season).

I love the science and universe, and I'm really impressed with the CGI. I keep comparing it to Once Upon A Time, and you clearly see the difference between production levels.

The jump in episodes mentioned above does scare me quite a bit, and bring back bad memories of Fox doing the same thing to Firefly in an effort to "catch" the audience thus never establishing the characters and the unvierse in a natural way. We all know that lead to the worst decision on cancellation of one of the greatest shows ever
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So far so good. The episode started a little slow and somewhat predictable; I started getting CSI flashbacks, but the second half got extremely good and interesting.
Best line of the night: "You scanned my balls?"
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Yep im hooked!
But why show the episodes out of order, what purpose does it serve? Shouldnt the audience get to experience the progression of the show and its characters in the order it was intended...its just strange.
Maybe later we'll see some Fringe stars pop up as guest stars, that would be amazing!
Havent been this excited about a TV show in a long while. :)
Those flash masks were pretty cool too.
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"You scanned my balls?" hey I wouldn't mind Dorian scanning my testes if it was malfunctioning or something other than that hell no haha
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If Dorian was malfunctioning or your testes were malfunctioning?
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I guess both lol
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Looks like I'm a little late to the discussion.. haven't really been on the site lately because most of the shows I watch are either over or don't have reviews up on here.. Anyway.. I felt like this episode was a nice change of pace though now that I know it was supposed to be later in the season it does anger me a little bit.. I really hate when networks don't allow a series to run in the order it's meant to as continuity issues really piss me off but regardless of that I thought the chemistry of Dorian and the main cop was much improved from episode 1 and I personally thought the whole sexual performance jokes and voice mimicking with Dorian was really funny and well done, pushed the envelope in a nice way and is something that will give fans the ability to want to root for the characters. I'm curious now to see what (if any) continuity issues will occur with the episode order change but overall I'm pleasantly pleased with this second effort.
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Questions! Questions! Questions!

What is consciousness? Is Dorian intuition and pattern recogniton regarded as consciousness?
Would i be remembered when i die?
Is the phase "gone to a better place" really appropriate or just an euphemism of the tragedy called death?
Will humans in the future have personal prostitutes commercial sex workers to attend to their needs?
Are commercial sex workers great listeners and more readily empathetic to my pains when i want to share them?
Loved the episode. I would love to stick want to continue watching this!
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I am loving it from the first go. Honestly I was hoping for something good but was not expecting anything THIS good so thank you Fringe-makers.

The future world is very swallow-able, the cars are of mix designs, there are "transformations" from going from ^our^ present world into their more future-like world. I actually like that they made Smart Phones(?) pretty small compare to what we have today, not bad.

In the first episode I actually laughed when John yelled for "Cheque" in the restaurant. I am also glad they didn't make John a complete tech-hater type guy, he had an accident because of metal-heads and he is very over it, not hating all other technology bits over one mishap.

I think now few coming episodes will be not as strong as this one, setting up backgrounds, memory recalling missions to establish the back-stories may slow it down every once in a while, unless show managed to fast-paced it like they did in last episode. I can't wait to the next one now.
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It was a long time, since we had a decent sci-fi. Lately there are j poorly written excuses like Defiance. This one has imagination in it and budget for a decent effects, so badly needed in this genre. Also its interesting for now, only 2 episodes and I am sold.
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I liked this episode 2 a lot better than the pilot. After the pilot I wasn't very sure if this would be for me. But all the fun stuff from the second episode, just gave me the push I needed to consider this show. Loved the little details like the flash masks and the dna bomb, or the animated giraffe. Some conversations were really funny (that one about the sperm count, gee!). Very powerful conversation between the two androids at the end. Good stuff! But now I am a little worried that, as Cory suggested, this episode was moved forward to attract viewers in this 2 episode premiere, and then it is not going to be so good in the coming ones. We shall see.
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originally this wasn't supposed to be part of a two night premiere so how could it of been written like one?
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mmm not sure what you mean with your question... I do know it wasn't supposed to be part of a two night and obviously it wasn't written as one - Not a problem for me.
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I like a lot about this show. But - and I'm asking those of you who have seen or read a lot of robot-SciFi before - is there anything new here? OK, it's only ep 2, but I fear that there won't be any new ground broken. When do robots become indistinguishable from humans? (Turing test, anyone?) Is it ethical to use human lookalikes for dangerous / unpleasant work? Are humanoids expendable things, or do they have rights? All of these questions have been treated in SciFi lit ever since the Golden Age (and I think I must have read most it...), and not only since Blade Runner.
However, if the show simply entertains, even without delving into those philosophical questions in depth, I'll be happy.
Oh, another thing: y'all noticed the Blade Runner feel in ep 1 at the noodle stand, in the rain. But then the town looked all clean and spiffy again, and not only in the cop shop. I found that jarring - or did they just throw a sop to Ridley Scott fans? (The little giraffe reminded me of the toymaker's toys in Blade Runner, too.)
Also: the intro makes it sound as though the criminals were out of control, giving the thing a dystopian feel. But during the show everything looks pretty civilized again. Seems to me they need to establish this universe a bit better.
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This show isn't sci-fi, it's sci-fi-lite, and it's not daring enough to break new ground based on what we've seen so far. It'll be as if the writers (or more likely the futurist/science consultant) read Popular Science every few weeks and steal ideas from there, but only clumsily and shallowly. Robots will become indistinguishable when they stop putting pointless LED lights in their faces basically, the tech advances are all over the map.

The city is poorly conceived in both the pilot and this episode, it feels like a generic Canadian cityscape with future junk CGI'd in, rain only matters in the shot it's in apparently, that stuff isn't well put together yet. Expect TV levels of quality and then hope for slightly better, and maybe the show will surprise you.
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(To echo your second paragraph...) Personally, I don't need to see "new ground broken". I love Asimov. I love Blade Runner. I love BSG. Heck, I like Red Dwarf. If Almost Human takes the same issues and reworks and remixes them, there's still a lot of great story to be told.
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In regards to the ethics of robotic servitude, you might think about posting a topic asking that question in the general sci-fi community. It would give people the opportunity to talk in depth about it without distracting from the episode chatter. (I'd be one of those that would be interested...just sayin')

As far as the Blade Runnery noodle stand thingie, That's just simply a older, low-rent area of town. When John was in his car in ep one, he told the robo bike cop something like "they have good noodles in this neighborhood" it's not that the show is being inconsistent, it's just that all cities have & will always have newer areas & older areas. also akin to your last point, older areas tend to have more crime than the newer because the general stereotype of "civilized" is proportional to the overall economics of the area. Just because the more affluent areas seem more "civilized" at a glance doesn't mean the entire society isn't dystopic on the whole.
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Loved it.
Was happy with the pilot, and so, so worried that the first "real" episode would let me down - boy, was I wrong! :D
Some really great moments with Dorian and the sexbots there - both the "dissection", the interrogation and the "execution".
I loved it when he winced every time Kennex said something insensitive or just plain "wrong", leaving the sexboth confused and Dorian uncomfortable and sad - "Where were you born?".
Lovely, lovely work, and the captured sexbot was very well done as well - just "fake" enough that she didn't seem human, but human enough that you felt for her.

The buddy-buddy vibe was hilarious, I kept laughing out loud, and there was some pure, comedy gold in there:
"Don't ever scan my balls again. Ever."

Oh, and I want a giraffe like that.
Or even better - a kitten. :D
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It seemed like I was waiting for this show to start forever. It was worth the wait. I'm in looooove!

Thanks for the info on the out of order eps! I was WTF-ing over the sudden Minka Kelly/Kennex anvils. I, mean, it wasn't sudden, because the Pilot had her eying Kennex meaningfully and I could practically hear the Tedious Soundtrack of Interoffice Romantic Relationships tinkling in the background, but dude was still confused and pinning over his femme fatale ex last time we saw him (the night before), so the jump was weird.

Dorian and John being so chummy was weird too, but appreciated. I just chalked it up to John having lived in a world with androids his entire life and just adjusting rapidly, especially since Dorian is human-ish and purdy. The only thing I didn't like was the Bromance/Buddy Cop soundtrack they had blaring in their initial banter scene. Cease and Desist, please. I'm already charmed, I don't need musical cues.

I was so sad when they 'killed' Vanessa and Dorian lied to her to give her comfort. He just woke up from a 4-year oblivion, so it really moved me. He knows there is no Robot Heaven and he's seen what happens to their remains when they are no longer of any use to mankind.

With all the concern about Kennex's women issues and backed up balls (Ha!) in this ep, I was more interested in what the future held for Dorian. Will he experience romantic love or something close to it with a human, cyborg or another android? Could androids fall in love? Would that be allowed? Or would they be decommissioned? Lol, I hate romance storylines, but I'm seriously interested in the android mechanics (not like that pervs)!

Or maybe Dorian can get a pet cat (aww, Data and Spot) and irritate Kennex's allergies.
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Haha, getting him a pet cat is a GOOD idea. Maybe he will prove that cats are allergic to John and not the other way around.
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I'm still pretty sure it is "Insyndicate" Cory, not the "Syndicate". When I look it up on Google everything says "Syndicate," but when I'm actually watching the show what I hear and what the subtitles tell me is they're saying "Insyndicate." So strange...
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It is Insyndicate - keeping my opinion on how the reviewer messed this up to myself
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It's not just Cory. He heard Insyndicate too, but the majority of what's out there had it wrong. osdawaya16 mentioned it in the pilot comments, and Cory thanked him/her.
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who is "He"? If the reviewer knew it was "Insyndicate" they why did he just type "Syndicate" in the review above?
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I loved it! That's exactly what I expected from Wyman... this whole episode, as commented below by Bicelis, is such a Fringe case, the future world, the tech, the sexbots, the lab geek, and surely the questions it raised! Hope that it keeps the level, I'm definitely watching this!
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Loved this episode! and Dorian's and John's interaction, especially the whole "don't scan my balls" part.
Damn Michael Ealy is great! I really felt for him when he was watching the sex-bots dissection and when Dorian gave the speech to Vanessa.
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This is turning out to be a really good show. Definitely much better than SHIELDS. Even better than one of my favorite new series TTP. Screwing up with the episode order is BAD. I just hope it does not spoil the show too much.

The gadgets will probably keep me from being bored with the same procedural pattern every week - I hope !
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A sci-fi show with a strong start from a writer who did it well the last time. Fox. Messing with the episode order. Wait... I think I saw this before... Nah, must be paranoid.

This was a surprisingly good episode. And the whole human skin on sex bots is such a Fringe case, loved it! Even though this was supposed to be episode number 5, it shows that Wyman will be sticking to his excellent formula. If he can achieve the probably unmatched greatness of Fringe "mythalones", this can be a gem of a show.
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Good start, good 2nd episode! Nice move to put the first two episodes so close. Already looking forward to next week...

I really liked the philosophical touch, the issues about android emotions and how to handle them; the chemistry and discussions between Dorian and Kennex are great, and I hope it'll continue that well.
And the lab geek is already my favourite :-D
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Over all I liked it, but the episode-switching has me worried FOX will make a mess of it again.
It was sort of irritating that the ep didn't reference any moments from the pilot. But I am definitly sticking with it.
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Anyone else bothered by the fact that this show's writers blatantly choose to ignore the Three Laws of Robotics, introduced by Isaac Asimov?
I mean, the human cops are working together with their synthetic partners, who don't seem to be conflicted about killing perps, while defending their human partners. So in absence of those fundamental laws, what's stopping the synthetics from killing humans indiscriminately?
Since the synthetics are vulnerable to EMP pulse (as seen in the pilot), they could also be influenced by viruses or in the worst case scenario, turn into Skynet (remains to be seen if these synthetics receive orders/are online with another super computer or they are artificial intelligence machine themselves)...

... And remember, just because 29/08/1997 is history, that doesn't mean Judgement Day is not imminent or possible :D
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I feel that Asimov's Laws are like the Ten Commandments, surely there are other "religions" right? Where the precepts are different? LOL
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Any good coder knows there's more than one way to write a program. There's no reason that Asimov's Three Laws need to exist at all in this show. Far from being bothered, I'm glad the writers don't feel tied to Asimov. (And I love R. Daneel Olivaw, don't get me wrong.)
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I'm not bothered. In fact, I'm happy they didn't. Asimov's laws are cool and undeniably influential over the decades, but there's no legitimate reason why anything in sci-fi that has robots in it should feel the need to conform to them by default.
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Using Asimov's Three Laws would have probably come off as derivative or lazy.
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Even if I liked the pilot better, "Skin" was a strong episode. I already adore the relationship between John and Dorian, and the fact that Dorian is way better at social interactions than John. I could go without the "relationship in the office" part, though. The tech was really great and everything was gorgeous to the eye. Kudos to the woman playing the main sexbot, too.
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Waited until yesterday to watch both episodes back-to-back. I'm loving the show so far. Loving the Chemistry between Dorian and John. Loving Rudy. Looking forward to next Monday.
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I did the same!
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How about you guys take a poll about who's the worst hot chick actress on tv right now? For me, it's a tie between Minka Kelly and the woman who plays the computer hacker on S.H.I.E.L.D. , with the blond who replaced Munch on SUV a close third.
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Can I add Beauty and the Beast's Kristin Kreuk to that list? (See, Cory, I remembered the name.) Oh, and all the chicks on Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.
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Minka Kelly is really bad but come on, I take offence at directly comparing her to that horrendous SHIELD girl who can't act to save her life
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Staff
HEY MAN hot chicks have names
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I'm really liking this show. Finally saw the premiere on my DVR yesterday and found myself wanting more. What a surprise. You never can tell which shows will appeal to you I guess. I gave up watching Agents of Shield, a show I thought I would love but has just turned out to be boring.
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Enjoyed the episode very much. I like the way it balanced the elements of technology, humanity and procedural. Rudy is fast becoming one of my favourite characters. His little TMI rant about needing companionship at the end of a long day was great.

The visual aspect of Almost Human is amazing. Like Cory referenced in his review, the colors in this how just pop.

Did you catch the ode to 80's music pioneer Gary Numan (one of my heroes)? The Albanian club was called "Are Friends Electric". Great tune!

"Don't scan my testicles, ever again."
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I thought the second episode was better than the pilot... but I thought the pilot was pretty good too. I love the tech stuff, and the way the show looks.
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I agree. This show is visually striking.
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That being said, Fox did let Wyman and Co. finish Fringe despite poor ratings (why people, WHY?!?!?). They showed the patience they never even hinted at for Firefly. Then there is SCC and the loose ends. So... I should cut them some slack. Maybe they realize how much FREAKING money Firefly could have made had they been patient (Feature film, Comics...the fan base is still there). So, I just hope that this extra attention Almost Human has gotten doesn't include micro management and they let Wyman "Fringe" this sucker and we have our SciFi masterpiece. I am glad Fox thinks so highly of it, but don't be a Daniel Snyder/Jerry Jones and mess with the people who know what they are doing.

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The rumor being since Anna Torv, the star of Fringe, is Ruper Murdoch's niece, the show received, ahem, special consideration. Not that I'm complaining.
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And more, aged, Bolivia in a spin-off series as well. Good Lord. She looked amazing. She was most certainly in MILF category. Sorry ladies, my inner pig comes out when I think about Bolivia.
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No Shit! God I thought I was a Fringe-phile and I didn't know about that! Or I dismissed it as BS. How interesting. I bet Murdoch has lots of family wanting to act. I see a recurring role in AH's future... ;)
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John stabbing his leg to show the kids what "amazing" thing he can do had me in bits.
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Same here. I literally laughed out loud and made my roommate in the other room jump.
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Brilliant once again. Embarrassment of riches on Monday night. For the first time since waiting for a new LOST to air or the first 5 seasons of Supernatural to continue their awesome story arc...I am watching the clock on Monday waiting for my Human/Sleepy night. That would sound better if they were aired in reverse. Sleepy/Human ;)

I am EXTREMELY concerned they are airing this out of order. It is entirely possible Wyman designed the order of filming this way due to budget, but I doubt it. It will make little sense to see eps 2 and 3 later and on and see Kennex and Dorian still working out the kinks in their relationship when they seem so at ease and friendly already now. Oh Fox. Why do you have to sabotage that which we love?!?!?!?
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Technical terms: DNA Bomb and Flash Mask (I'm nearly positive on the second one...not entirely, but nearly).

I really liked this episode. I didn't think the character bits were too forced, actually. And I laughed out loud when Kennex said he was human and then stabbed his leg and the children freaked. Dorian's reaction was fantastic and Urban's delivery of that was beautiful. Maybe it didn't seem odd to me because that's something I do. Not the leg stabbing, of course, but the whole "I DO like kids...Just have no idea how to interact with them. It's not that I don't like cats - cats just don't like me!" I could totally relate (though I've noticed cats are starting to be less "hiss claw evil" to me, so that's nice...that's a tangent, though).

I can't get over the way the show is making Dorian seem so human. I know, the show is called "Almost Human", but they're doing a fantastic job of creating his character without beating us over the head with it. He feels for the sexbots because he's like them, but created for a different purpose. I can't even put it into words but I love the way they're writing these moments and the way that Ealy is acting them is just phenomenal.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to more of this show. The fact that they seem to be airing out of order scares me a little, though. That's what happened with Firefly, right? Fox decided it liked the episodes better in a different order and screwed it all up. Hopefully Fox will keep them mostly in order so we don't lose a lot of continuity. That would actually explain why they didn't wait too long before pulling out the "You just described Valerie!" storyline. If this was originally intended to be episode 5, they would have waited a good 4 episodes before introducing this idea. That's a 4 episode buffer of character building before introducing the potential love interest which isn't much, but it's better than throwing it in in the second episode...Hm.
More+
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You would think an episode about sexbots would be a lot less introspective and a lot more mindless and gratuitous.
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Yeah, I know, I was disappointed too. ;-)
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Um, can I have a tiny animated giraffe? Please?? Oh, the episode was OK, for a procedural.
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I want one too! That thing was so cute.
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Its OK I guess. But they need to lose the music track, it sounds like someone in the 80s idea of what music would be like in the future, never works. I love Bladerunner, but that Vangelis synth bollocks, bleuurgh .
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Yeah, the first song that came on during the opening scene with the kids, that was really jarring. The volume alone is an issue. If they turned it down, it probably wouldn't bother me as much.
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I thought I read it's the same gang that did the Bones music. Which I like. But yeah, the beep beep boop stuff is annoying and makes me think we are about to see Abby in her lab shouting GIBBS!
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This is the best series created recently amid all the other series which can be summarized as vampire / superhero genres. I thoroughly loved the sci-fi universe created, with characters which are believable, and the VFX elements which are integrated and not feel forced.

The little robotic giraffe scene reminded me of Continuum where Kiera plays the robotic toy soldiers with her son. Continuum is another sci-fi show which I love and it is nice that there is something to watch while the Canadian TV series is taking its break.

Super psyched — and kudos to whoever who decide to serve the second episode so quickly!
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As soon as I saw the giraffe move I thought of Continuum too! And I agree about the VFX elements...sometimes less is more (Syfy take note!).
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I gotta say I'm loving this show so far, and I'll definitely be tuning in next monday.
It reminds me a lot of Bladerunner, and to a lesser extent of "Real Humans" - with a healthy injection of S.W.A.T.
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