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Almost Human S01E04: "The Bends"


It might not seem like a big deal, mostly because Almost Human has been so heavily episodic in its first three weeks, but the decision to jumble up the show's episode order is pretty important—and the reason I'm bringing that up again is that the production code for "The Bends" was 107, not 104. Generally, networks and/or producers chose to pull the ol' switcheroo with a young TV show in order to push the best episodes toward the front of the season, and thus to postpone the lesser stuff until a later date. But sometimes they do it to make sure the audience is eased into a show's universe and premise. After the second night of Almost Human's two-night premiere, I assumed that we were dealing with the latter rationale. But after the last two episodes, I'm guessing that it's more the former, because if "The Bends" represents the best that Almost Human has to offer, the show is in a little bit of trouble. 

Look, just like last week, it's not as if this was a bad or completely boring episode of procedural television. It simply didn't have many overly compelling moments, and relied almost exclusively on Mackenzie Crook's admittedly tremendous charm to carry an otherwise rote case involving drug production and corrupt cops. Crook did a really nice job of playing Rudy's nervousness during both the preparation stages and the actual mission. Those were easy moments to play—and ugh at the show for relying on fart humor in just the fourth (to air) episode—but Crook found a few ways to make them worthwhile. Rudy's desire to dress all posh, hat included, was fun and probably fitting for a character who seems to spend most of his time talking to disembodied synthetic heads, or worse. 


The case itself was less successful, as the episode treated the mystery identity of the mastermind behind a drug operation as a much bigger deal than it actually was. That's a basic approach to take when you're trying to drum up the drama and tension for an ultimately lightweight case, and The Shield's Benito Martinez did what he could to make his Captain Barros character appear as villainous as possible. There just wasn't much on the page for it to matter. And the same could be said for the case's introductory catalyst, with the murdered, seemingly crooked cop having a personal connection to Kennex. The show keeps trying to give Kennex this emotional tether to the weekly stories, and while they're fine enough and give Karl Urban something to do other than growl, they don't really add much to Kennex as a character. The fact that he shot Barros at the end of the siege helped remind us that Kennex isn't afraid to color outside the lines or throw out the rulebook or whatever, but the follow-up scenes didn't do much with that notion. By the end of the episode, Kennex was back to being a grump, back to getting his balls busted by Dorian, and back to rolling his eyes at Rudy. Now, it's early and the show isn't required to deliver character-altering moments with any consistency, but if the show wants us to think this stuff is important, or that it RAISES THE STAKES, shouldn't there be a reason behind it? Does it really matter that we now know that Kennex's training buddy wasn't crooked and thus died honorably? 

This episode also didn't do much with its namesake. Future drugs could be so cool and weird! And though the exposition about The Bends suggested that they were just that (and thanks for the info, Valerie), this hour didn't show much of that. The Bends is green, it leaves a really nasty effect on your face, and other stuff. Maybe there's a concern about pushing the  show's premise too hard when Fox really wants (or perhaps wanted, since the ratings aren't so good) it to be a hit, but Almost Human's been a bit matter-of-fact about everything in the last two episodes.

I know, I know, it's just the third week. I should relax. The issue I have with Almost Human is that when Fox and the producers said that this was going to be a clear police procedural that happened to take place in the future and involve synthetic robots, I guess I still expected that it wouldn't literally be that. Just about everything that happened in this episode could have taken place in any number of a dozen contemporary procedural shows. Using the "nothing is original" complaint isn't something I like to do, but in this case, it's fitting because this is a world with really limitless potential and a creative team (or at least a showrunner) with a proven ability to do some wild stuff with story worlds that are just different enough from our own. The second-to-air episode, "Skin," was more successful in that sense; throwing in a cool robot fight during the big siege sequence like "The Bends" did doesn't really count.


And this is where the episode order thing comes in. It'd be easy to let this stuff go if "The Bends" was the fourth episode produced and it was clear that J.H. Wyman and Fox were sort of slowly dipping their toes into this universe. You expect that sort of thing to happen, just as you expect later episodes to involve more complicated and interesting premises. But this was the seventh episode produced ("Skin" was the fifth, and last week's "Are You Receiving?" was the sixth). Does that mean that Wyman eschewed toe-dipping and went full-bore weirdo with the premise in the scripts for Episodes 2 through 4, and Fox subsequently asked him to dial it back/chose to air these episodes first? It's possible, but I really have no idea and I haven't seen a whole lot of discussion about it elsewhere. But no matter what's going on, I hope it gets figured out and/or the logic reveals itself soon. There's so much promise here. Everybody involved could help make a really great show. Almost Human just isn't there yet.



NOTES TO BE UPLOADED

– Considering the show debuted so late, it didn't really fit within our official 4-Episode Test schedule. Pretend this review is an expanded version of what I would have written if Almost Human premiered in like September. You shouldn't give up on the show quite yet, but it's definitely on notice. If there's something else you'd rather watch on Mondays at 8pm, shift this one to the second or third spot in line on the DVR queue, and hope it improves. 

–I felt like there was a weird Breaking Badundercurrent moving through this episode: The brightly colored drugs, the use of the phrase "the cook," and Rudy putting on a hat to become a criminal character. I think that was on purpose.

–This week in future tech: liquid that turns your whole body into a walking GPS tracking signal. That could totally be real sooner rather than later.

– This wasn't a particularly big episode for Dorian, but Michael Ealy made the best of it. And the brief fight between he and the other robot was pretty solid. MORE ROBOT BATTLES.

–It's not a good sign for your dramatic arc when I'd prefer to watch Rudy, John, and Dorian head to the bar to pick up badge bunnies. Seriously, why couldn't that have been the episode?


What'd you folks think of "The Bends"? Will you be sticking withAlmost Human?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 3/3/2014

Season 1 : Episode 13

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This show has potential, yes, but so far it is just mediocre overall.

The buddy cop/procedural idea has been done to death, but can still be enjoyable if done well, regardless of the setting. If you are interested in the show because you like watching the developing friendships of the characters, then, this whole shifting the episodes out of order kind of ruins that, now doesn't it? So, if the chronology is screwed up, the things that you might like in a buddy cop show are diluted. I actually had been thinking that their relationship development seemed uneven, now I know why.

But, maybe it is a well-done procedural, and that is what draws you in? Nope, this is one of the weaker procedurals I've come across in a while, and I LIKE procedurals for the most part. The stories are fairly cliched, and could be put into any setting. The show barely makes any use of its future setting, and wouldn't be very interesting or well-done in any setting.

So, what is the draw to this show then? It is weak as a procedural and keeps getting in the way of its possible strengths as a buddy cop show. So, maybe the future setting is interesting enough on its own? Once again, no. There are so many missed opportunities here, it is almost painful to watch. We get a little voiceover at the beginning credits telling us about why the world needs robot cops, but wouldn't it be more interesting if they added some more depth to the world they live in? Real depth, not cheesy, pseudo-depth. Tell us more about the politics of the place, the cultural shifts that brought about the current state of affairs, give us an overarching issue, some bigger stakes, or something to make it more interesting than a weak procedural.. Give us some meat and something to chew on.

Frankly, it is disappointing to see Fox use the future setting as a thin gimmick to get people to watch a mediocre procedural. It doesn't have to stay a gimmick, Fox. The future setting could be the show's best asset, if you would just develop it more. Still hoping they'll make some changes and allow this show to reach it's full potential.

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With the difference with production order and broadcast order, I want to know how is the 3rd episode "Are you receiving" meant to be episode 6 when that is the episode John tries the "olive oil trick" ? So he waits 6 episodes (whatever that equates to in actual days) to finally try using olive oil to sooth his sore leg?

Who would wait that long? That reasoning alone suggests to me that "Are you receiving?" was meant to be the 2nd episode anyway, not the sixth.

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I´ll give this a check-up next week to see what bunnies the trio picks up.
Sad to see such a weak episode, this early.

With the stellar Blacklist and POI episodes from earlier weeks, I guess I´m picky. But this wasn´t the brilliance I was hoping for. (Even with the few Blade Runnerisms.)

I was missing a story arc from the previous episodes. This was very self contained. I´ll still be watching, though.

Peace!
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A little late to the party, but I'm instantly hooked (just caught up with all 4 episodes). I don't find myself being critical of anything yet. I think it's been great so far! One of the most important questions that any show that wants to be great has to answer is: Do I care about these characters? And so far, I really do. So far I'm curious about their backgrounds and curious about where they're headed. And I have to admit, with a Fringe producer at the helm, I really can't wait to see what the bigger picture and larger arcs will be.

If what Cory says is true about the reasons for scrambling the episode order, I could very well see it being moreso to get the viewer acquainted with the world and the characters before delving headlong into overarching plots. I don't know what J.H. Wyman's contributions were to Fringe, but I hope he carries that torch. I miss Walter and Peter and Olivia and Astrid and Broyles. This futuristic vision and it's technology feels really reminiscent of that for me. Wyman's already got my vote of confidence!

To end what's already turned out to be a long post, I remember when I watched Fringe's first season from week-to-week, I didn't feel very connected or compelled by the characters at first. But the quirkiness of it hooked me, and the relationships really solidified over the years. I'm still really glad Fox gave Fringe the chance to tell it's wonderful story. I hope people haven't started pulling away from Almost Human, because this is one show that I really believe has a lot of potential. I really hope they get a chance to tell their story.
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Rudy was pretty hilarious! wonder what the other side effects were
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Yes, I'm also really disappointed. The show has so much promise but every opportunity the writers have had to make it compelling has been missed, so far. I say "so far" but the way they've set things up and the fact that the season's episodes have already been shot makes it unlikely that things will pick up.

I feel like although "Almost Human" is set in the future that as a show it is dated. This kind of straight-forward cop procedural may have been okay in the 1980s but we've moved on.

-Chances have been missed to explore the (possibly exciting) world in which the characters live.

-There is a nod to "Blade Runner" and cyberpunk in the umbrellas and clear raincoats people in the streets wear and the Asian district where Kennex grabs his meals and sees his blackmarket doctor, but none of the edge that would have made things interesting.

- Lost opportunities -- no larger story around the Syndicate mentioned in the pilot. John isn't hunting them and (as would be more compelling) they aren't hunting him. His duplicitous ex hasn't reappeared either to ensnare him, because she feels remorse or because he bumps into her on a case or by chance. Maldonado mentions that John is the only one in the department she trusts but there has been no indication that there is reason for her to distrust anyone. Where are the other models like Dorian? What's the story behind their decommissioning? There are little hints of a world perhaps more fractured than our own (the city is walled and people find ways over the wall - what's beyond the wall? The terrorist army in the hostage ep were religious terrorists of some kind).

- Several episodes in we still know very little about any of the characters beyond their roles and a sort of cardboard cut-out representation of who they are.

I like

- Backstory
- More than one storyline

- Some sort of story arc - hate stand-alone cases of the week when nothing else is happening plot-wise. Arrow has cases of the week but then there are always several other twisty/mysterious storylines going on at the same time to keep the audiences interest. Even a pretty unremarkable franchise like the Law and Orders always introduces twists (and not "the captain is really the criminal mastermind, discovered by a simple search of arrest records") and complex characters.

- No Big Bads.

- Non-linear story-telling: I guess there was a little bit of an attempt with this by having the first scene take place at the end of the story -- but I don't think it really counts.

The "Almost Human" writing team just haven't, for some reason, been willing to take any chances. The dialogue between Kennex and Dorian is well-written and there they do allow themselves to play but that's about it. It's a shame because the acting team is pretty decent.
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4 episodes in seems a little bit hasty to be pronouncing opportunities 'missed'. You may be right, but I think establishing a solid foundation is more important than taking huge plot risks right away and pigeonholing yourself in from very early on in your story. I sense they're softballing it these first few episodes, allowing us to get more familiar with their world and characters, not missing opportunities. It's clearly a wide world and future within which they have many possible directions to go. I don't fault them for not hastily rushing down one narrow alley.
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Cory, you nailed it. Almost Human was Almost Interesting, but the compelling stuff from the first few episodes has been flushed down the drain entirely in the last 2 episodes. There isn't even a focus on the ethics of the future, so it's not even a police procedural that is doing something different, and it's certainly not compelling to watch these same stale stories get told in a new setting.

I might give it a few more watches, but it's definitely not a priority show anymore, they wasted too much goodwill from the little thought found in the pilot and that's a shame. I don't even care if this is Fox's fault for tampering with the order, if these are the types of filler episodes then what they're saying is the foundation they're built upon is too flawed to be compelling.
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Why does everyone have to be modern day critics? If you like the show, watch it, if you are growing bored or dont think you like it much, find something else to watch.
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I enjoyed this episode. Mackenzie Crook was fantastic! I also liked seeing Benito Martinez as I was a fan of The Shield. What I thought was bad was that they could've built up to this episode and used Benito in previous episodes. I felt like the reveal that he was in charge of the drug operation was too rushed and they killed off a good character too soon. But I'm still interested and still look forward to watching this on Mondays.
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It's a great show, better and more different to a standard procedural than I think Cory gives it credit for.

But what it needs to do is explore the defining elements much more. I think this should be a continuous examination of what makes a human tick using smart androids as a comparison, and building a story that makes all that interesting. At the moment I would say it is the other way round.

The stories have only been good cop stories, with the tech and android moments thrown in when there's a chance, rather than the story being built around all that.

Oddly, the example I would want to give is Fringe. That did a great job of building stories around the science. But it's the same guys........
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I completely agree, with the exception that it's still too early to say that it's only been good cop stories rather than building stories around the character dynamics. I feel like the arbitrary 4-episode test doesn't always apply.

I'm not sure if it's what you had in mind, but the Data/Geordie relationship from Star Trek TNG came to mind. Sometimes that dynamic was played up too much and didn't feel it had the right degree of subtlety. So far, I like Michael Ealy's Dorian: he's not your typical Data/Pinocchio android... at least they haven't made him to be that... yet. He has a great sense of humour and empathy, which makes him seem almost human, but still an android. To me he's like Data, minus the outright Pinocchio complex. He has emotions to some extent, and to me that is the most unique thing about this interpretation of an android. I do look forward to seeing how they develop stories around that dynamic, but I hope it's done in subtle ways- not in outright "I wish I were a real boy" tropes.
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The dreaded 'P' word hangs over this show. So much POTENTIAL..IF the writers and Fox big wigs are willing to go beyond the lines..(Like when Kennex terminated the Captain all Jack Bauer-like) Will Fox let the show BREATHE..They let Fringe stay so maybe there is hope..
Side notes....(1) The two leads have been casted..chemistry off the charts. (2) what city are they in? Have they mentioned it ? (3) what do the androids do when they are off duty? Or are they always on?
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So, a drug that takes like 2 minutes to be 95% pure, and half a dozen steps needs a ultra specialized cook? The robots could record the steps and that's it, no more need for human cooks. C'mon, that bothered me for the entire episode.
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flawed but entertaining
still has a lot of potential to be a great show
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I actually found this episode an improvement over the previous one. At least it didn't try to force me into emotional involvement with a character I just met and would not meet again (the hostage lady) and the person at stake was a regular. That's my main problem with procedurals, always having to get invested into someone that is only a guest appearance. And no, it didn't bore me at all.
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This episode wasn't bad, but a show can only get by on "not bad" for so long before the benefit of the doubt wears off.
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I love sci-fi and I love Karl Urban (like a lot) but I don't know how long I can keep convincing myself that this show is worth watching. It has been getting more and more boring and I actually ended up switching channels a couple of times. I really hope it improves.
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Bleh. It feels like the writers used a stale old procedural script someone found lying around (in a box with Michael Ealy's Common Law memorabilia?). Then they tried to sci-fi it up by putting the word "future" in front of all the nouns. It's not a wire, it's a FUTURE wire. It's not a GPS tracker, it's a FUTURE GPS tracker. Oooh, and FUTURE drugs, and a FUTURE thug, and blah, blah, blah.
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I kept wondering why they couldn't get their android to cook the drugs. It required a knowledge of chemistry, a recipe and some notion of how to use the equipment but all of those things can be acquired. Just seemed a weird - trumped up conceit.
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Future thugs with future drugs oh my! I guess it's the future thing that brings me back. If this was set in the present I might watch an episode or two and be done but I'll tune in to see an android in bad guy clothes and jacket.
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first review of yours i've caught and not sure that I'd argue against any of it. I felt like the first two episodes were strong (perhaps I was distracted by the 'bots during the second) and then starting with last week's I became disappointed. the third episode managed to make damon herriman (dewey crowe) appear virtually worthless as an actor and I lost a bit of respect for emily rios (the winning season, the bridge) as well. this week's episode was riddled with boring moments for me.

I don't know how anyone here feels but I'm one of a few who feel strongly that minka kelly was miscast, though if the episodes continue the way they are then there's no real risk of her bring the show down. I just hope they aren't making the show crappy to accommodate her acting abilities.
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I'm conflicted.. This isn't as original and ground breaking as Fringe. But the characters have grown on me and the uniqueness of the Fringe world sort of sneaks in here thanks to the creator being the same. I don't generally like procedural shows but this one does feel a bit different or edger maybe if not for being far more creative than the typical CSI troupe. I have no loss of interest in the show nor do I find it boring... Could it be a lot better and creative? Yes but I have faith... The out of episode order is very disappointing but hopefully Fox has learned their lesson from the past and made sure the episodes being out of order wouldn't hinder the shows continuity. Hopefully the later episodes deal with a bit more plot and less one episode crime offs but it's a promising and unique drama with some likeable characters.
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I'm not happy with the way this show is going. OK, the cosmetic elements are fine (flash masks, liquid GPS, androids), but remove that and you have an ordinary procedural.

If a show a procedural, the procedural elements have to be great, smart, inventive. If it's partly serialized it should have some reference to a bigger picture, and more about the characters to make me care. Almost Human is lacking in both fronts.

The story was an ordinary "undercover with an unprepared agent" one. About the characters, well, I like the chemistry between Kennex and Dorian, but I feel that in four episodes they seem to have shown us everything there is to know about them, so no more surprises are to be expected. So, Kennex is a dedicated no-nonsense old-fashioned cop, and Dorian has a heart. OK< besides that?

At first we hear Dorian is one of the "crazy ones". I want to know more about that, and see a potential for change or failure even if it's not realized right now, but they have to indicate that possibility. The way things are, Dorian is clearly a more advanced model than the ones that weere adopted as the official, standard police android, so it makes no sense when they made it seem that Kennex was scraping the bottom of the barrel and getting stuck with what was supposed to be a second-rate and problematic piece of equipment. Dorian is clearly an excellent android and an excellent cop. Too good in fact.

And what about Kennex's shady girlfriend and his memory flashes? Nothing more on that front? I believe the show will address that again, but I'd like some indication the writers haven't forgotten that completely.

Well, I know it's too soon to expect the show to give us the bigger picture, but is there even a bigger picture to be given? I'm starting to expect that. Besides, the four-episode test is a reality new shows have to go through, as many viewers tend to drop early and choose better shows. Personally I intend to keep watching, but Almost Human is not going to be a priority for me anymore and I'll watch the weekly episode after I've watched others that interest me more.

I think the Americans who made this show could learn a thing or two with the Canadians who make Continuum, which combines a procedural and a serialized story very well.
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I actually like this show it makes me smile
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I found every second before the tech guy, Rudy, came into the picture immensely boring, in fact I was repeating "boring, boooorinnnng!" over and over during the first half of the episode. I should also confess that I am not a big fan of procedural shows, because of their similarities. Despite all that, I will keep watching to see how it goes, since it has so much potential.
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I think we should watch the series for what the series is. It is a buddy police series with a futuristic setting, that´s all. I really liked this episode as I´ve liked all the others so far. I would have skipped the fart joke myself but... to each its own. I am really fond of these characters, and Rudy has a special place in my heart. I praise the show for giving him the spot this week, hope he comes back for more soon. I loved how Dorian called Kennex "my friend" to what he replied "so we´re friends now, that´s great" (or something like this) with irony. I guess as much as Kennex appreciates Dorian they are still a way apart from becoming more than just partners. I think the writers should build more conflict between them. I was thinking about my favorite shows and my favorite episodes of those shows were unrelated to any "mythology" the series had. That is the case with Fringe, Lost, The X-Files, Star Trek: TNG, DS9 and Voyager. I hope Almost Human does well, because it has great potential for storytelling and TV has been lacking a good Sci-Fi for a long time now.
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According to the press released listings, next week's episode will be episode 8, with the episode after that being episode 3.

So the episode order announced so far:
Episode 1 - Pilot
Episode 5 - Skin
Episode 6 - Are You Receiving?
Episode 7 - The Bends
Episode 8 - Blood Brothers
Episode 3 - Arrhythmia

And they did actually first announce ep 8 to come before ep 7, but changed their minds later on.
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If the writers had done a serialized story the network wouldn't have been able to play hopscotch with the episode order.
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Yeah, I hesitated to put this info in the review because they've been so eager to switch things around. I'm pretty sure they switched from Blood Brothers to the Bends like right before last week's episode. That's a good sign.
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Thanks for this! Its so annoying that the episodes are aired so out of order... and what happened to the actual epi 2? I wouldn't have minded seeing the tentativeness of Kennex and Dorian's friendship which presumably would have been a thing in epi 2. 'Skin' was great (as a lot of people said, the best of the four-episode run so far) but it was strange to see that banter and familiarity so soon.
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thanks for the info
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This just makes me angry! If they can take a premise like Sleepy Hollow and turn it in to something wonderful then imagine what they could have done with this. No excuses! :(
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Yes, well Sleep Hollow's writing team is more daring. They just write whatever they want -- doesn't have to make broader sense and they throw in every kind of supernatural creature and legend that they can get their hands on. It's all totally ridiculous and over the top but it works for viewers who can suspend all disbelief because the suspense, high stakes, twists, secrets, reversals etc are there. Plus, they have several different storylines going: the case of the week + the looming apocalypse the protagonists are trying to prevent+what happened in the past (which sometimes is used primarily to help us learn something more about one of the main characters), etc.
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I liked the episode, but God does it annoys me to learn it was suppose to be ep. 7 - is FOX the only network that keep doing this? Back when Wheadon was on their roster, they kept doing it over and over and over again, which pissed off all the fans to no end. It legitimately stupid and rarely helps any series at all.

Back away from your series, FOX execs. Just let the people you pay to create contents do so without your unwanted assistance.
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It happens quite a bit in first seasons. I think this is the big one that it's happened to this year though.
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not just fox..

another tv channel changed the order for the 'transporter the series from the original german airing in the us...

different audiences may have different tastes..
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You know, I still like the characters, the humour and the setting so for now I shall continue to watch. It hasn't been anywhere near as much as a slog as SHIELD is.
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Agree 100%. I actually gave up on S.H.I.E.L.D after the first episode. I just didn't like any of the characters, nor find them believable nor compelling. So far, I like all the characters, even the detective who keeps giving Kennex crap, and the police captain who I don't fully trust (not sure why... I think it's because of the captain in Continuum).
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Yeah speaking of futuristic type shows who would choose that Agents of Shield mess over this? Hard for television to get sci-fi and make it interesting, it all just turns into drama with ray guns and actors in spacey looking jumpsuits with a V stripe.
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When I think about, I don't remember that I would have had any expectations for this show before it began. But I still feel like saying that it hasn't met my expectations.

Is it a decent show that keeps me entertained? Yes. Is it better than many other shows on TV? Sure. But there are still many things in which the show falls short on. Here are three reasons:

- Firstly, I was just thinking today that my favourite genre in film and TV is sci-fi. The reason is that sci-fi can deal with big questions about humanity; what makes us human, what separates us from other sentient beings or possible human-like future robots, what is the future for humanity at best or worst, what could present day have alternatively been with different decisions in the past, etc. And sci-fi can discuss this by using ideas which are theoretically plausible, and therefore not complete fiction, but still today beyond our grasp, like high tech bioimplants (new limbs grown from your own stem cells, etc). The possibilities for sci-fi to delve deep into hypothetical scenarios are so many, and I feel that AH has not used them enough. We saw a glimpse of this when Dorian started wondering what'll happen to him when some day he is shut down. But besides that, AH has chosen to do more comedy and less meaningful conversations. Even Fringe had a sense of depth in most episodes, even though it didn't really deal with many philosophical questions either.

- Secondly, lack of long term story arch. The show introduced a few mysteries in the first episode: a file has disappeared from the police database, what went wrong in the raid that caused Kennex to lose his leg and who was his girlfriend? But now four episodes later they haven't even touched those questions! It would make the show better if they dealt with them more, and it's also something I would expect from the creators of Fringe.

- And finally, the show isn't sci-fi enough. The good thing about Fringe was that each episode heavily relied on dealing with new technologies. (And there's that Fringe comparison again. I just loved that show, that's why.) I guess I'm hoping for more of that in this show too. I of course understand that the reason they had to poke around in mysterious technological devices in Fringe was that they didn't understand them. In AH the tech that they use is part of their daily lives, so they have no reason to marvel it. But I would still hope that there were more gadgets and new solutions for problems in 2048. You know, for example blimps. (Where did that idea come from?)

Here's the good thing: Minka Kelly's character has been reduced to a very small role. Of course I like looking at her as much as the next person, but every time she opens her mouth I remember why I rank her among the five worst semi-famous actresses. She's just that bad.
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That's my understanding of sci-fi as well, I do wonder if it can ask the big questions and still be episode by episode. Dorian says your going to a better place to the pleasure bot... hmm!.. contemplation... but next week a drug deal gone wrong and android fights.
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This goes back to the idea that the premise of the show is promising but delivery, not so much. We aren't getting many of things Taccado likes because of the format.
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I did not know Mackenzie Crook from before but after this episode, I will noticed him from now on. Good Job !

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you never seen Pirates of the Caribbean or watched Game of Thrones???
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I really NEVER watch POTC. I tried once in the cinema and felt asleep. I cannot remember him on GOT either. Maybe too much costumes and too many characters.
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This was the worst of the 4 episode. The show now its like "Almost Good" ! I really liked the concept of this show and I really hope it will be a hit. Keeping my fingers crossed. I have decided though it is definitely better than Defiance which I am not sure if I will watched season 2.
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I like it. Okay so they are jumping back and forth in the partnership and Kennex liking Dorian and it's a little annoying but hopefully it will get more consistant.
So I'm sticking with the show for now hoping that it will blow us away later in the season.
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No Side Effects , Show is excellent love it
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if it doesn't get better quickly, I'm out.
Karl Urban deserves better writing than this dreck.
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My standards in this genre have been set at Fringe/Judge Dredd 2012/Fringe/Continuum...

I agree completely, the writing is just...vacuous. So far it seems that they're brushing the surface of potential stories, but they just don't flesh out the contents of the Investgation --> Action --> Solution formula of procedural Cop-shows. I love Continuum...
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I have heard that an arc may begin after episode 8. That's sort of what happened with Fringe. It was basically a procedural for the first half of the first season before it got into the juicy stuff. I'm hoping it begins to turn awesome mid-season. Fingers crossed!
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This episode had Kennex threaten to put someone in the "cubes" similar concept to Dredd comics. I like the idea of prison cubes :-)
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totally unaware of Continuum's existence - thanks for the recommend; will look for the DVD.
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Continuum is on Netflix now, if that helps.
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I have to praise Continuum whenever I can, it is the best Scifi-show since Fringe for me... Keep in mind it is much lower budget than Almost Human, but in the first 4 episodes already it is much deeper.
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Network TV sci-fi is one of the toughest things in the universe to get a go. I'm certainly not sure why this is so, but it is. Shows with the best chance are on the CW, only because they don't need the numbers that the four major networks do. And it almost doesn't matter how good it is--look at Fringe. Last year the cancellations were quick and deadly with this year being a bit more lenient. I think nowadays people are reluctant to invest in shows that probably won't make it, and therein lies the rub. Person of Interest took it's time in becoming sci-fi and built up a fanbase before taking that leap. Almost Human probably won't make the cut and that's a shame. And let's face it people, it's not even close to being as good as Fringe.
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Person of Interest became sci-fi?!!? I gave up after about 4 episodes of season 1. I guess I better give it another go!

As for Almost Human, based on the grumblings I'm hearing from people, I fear you may be right about it not making the cut. I really hope you're wrong though! I'm really loving the show. And honestly- did you love LOVE Fringe from the start? I watched it from day one, but I didn't really start to warm up to it until Little Hill. Was that middle of season one or end of season one?
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Yeah, you better give it another go...
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Keeping. Mainly because my Monday tv lineup only contains HIMYM, and we all know how disappointing that show has been in its last season. Plus I love future tech. I'm giving the show a bit of a pass for the first 5 eps (loved "Are You Receiving"!) because these network shows are 22+ eps long, so there is a lot of time left to fill in the world they are trying to create.
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I was not the best episode but it was far from bad. I think it mostly lacked heart and humour. Kennex's "We're friends, now...?" at the beginning made me think they aired the second or third episode instead of the seventh. It is really bizarre how their relationship seems to shift in every episode. And I wasn't really sure if, at the end, Kennex's friend got cleared or not.
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mmm...boring? u guess you got a point there...amazing how no one can make a good syfy these days...
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I missed the third ep and hadn't gotten around to watching it prior to this one airing, but I don't feel like I missed anything pertinent plot or character wise. It is the genius or the utter banality of a predictable procedural.

Dorian seemed kinda mean this ep. "If I lived in a cabin I'd kill myself." "You should buy a cabin, John." Is his personality adjusting to match John's gruff persona or something. I still like Dorian better than John though, heh. He looked so sad when John sassed his verbal friendship bracelet, aww, my poor robot baby.

Rudy is great, even with the stupid hat. I have no use for the short and over the top hostile detective (It's the future. There should be a pill for a-holes) or Minka Kelly's compassionate confused deer face personality-free acting. I would be fine with them shuffling some more eps out of order and giving us their shocking deaths early on.

Since the last episode I watched was the "second", it felt like John had just comforted a widow of one of his friends/co-workers in the previous ep and I couldn't manage to GAF about widow 2.0 or the fallen classmate of Kennex.

The police chief (?) being Bishop was so damn tragic. And by tragic, I mean boring. He was caught like a villain from Scooby Doo, too. Dude has a ultra secret lab and decoy lackeys who utilize tech neutralizing agents for tech that hasn't even been released yet, but he carries his work phone on premises with an active GPS. Terrible. Just terrible. Then Kennex kills him out of revenge, when the dude is probably the key to unraveling all kinds of corruption. Ugh.
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I fell asleep...mainly because I was exhausted, but I won't do a rewatch of the episode. I detest long and boring fights with endless punching, it doesn't matter if it was two robots hitting each other, its still a waste of my time.
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Meh, it wasn't my favorite of the four. But because they are out of order I will give it a pass. We simply aren't seeing it as it was supposed to be seen. For me it is the chemistry of the two lead characters and it is pretty decent thus far. The overall plot and where they have the show they can make it more interesting. They haven't really gotten back to the big bad yet so I am waiting for that to occur to make a final judgement.
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I'm not reading, I just sort of skimmed for the four episode test because I haven't watched this show yet. I had every intention of watching it when the fall previews of shows were shown. This was like number one on my fall new shows (The 100 is still my number one for the year) and I remember scoffing at Sleepy Hollow. I am in love with Sleepy Hollow. This weekend, I had very little interest in any football game after the one o'clock games and three weekends ago when this happened, I caught up with Reign. I was feeling similarly about both that and this. But I couldn't bring myself to watch it. As all my other Monday night at eight shows are going away for the holidays, I might give this a a shot, but everything I have heard, I am not feeling very positive.
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It's surely too early for Fox to be messing with episode order - when isn't it - and I fear they never learn from previous muck ups. I can't recall them ever changing running order in a show and saying, wow that made sense. Rather, I can remember going, you bloody twats you just ruined the feel and flow of 'X'!
That being said, this episode seemed a bit clunky in its somewhat misfired jokes and setting up of the sting. I considered, for example, making a hot drink in the space Ealy spent playing out the joke outside the bar. I was like, er, dude, your human partner's likely getting his ass kicked again and you're busy grinning like the Chessire Cat considering cleaning your balls?
Martinez' (Ass-evader, as I liked to call him in The Shield) Cap't Barros all plumped up (!) was ok but far from drawn out enough. To get a real super villain feel they need considerably more air time and to at least do something narly for viewers to go, Oh man that's not good!
This was another instance where we had a deep and meaningful with a victim in the station, so I'm guessing this will be the format - cue guest spot from a member of SVU.
Mackenzie Crook is certainly (over?) trying to make his impact in the show but managed to pull off a scald cat very well. But the setup/joke lines he's fed are still a bit too cringe worthy.
Could do better people.
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Fringe started off very much like a procedural (the pattern was mentioned and the observers seen) and didn't really delve into a 'mythos' until season 2. That show took some time to build up the characters and I thought that paid off for them. This show seems to be doing the same. I haven't really noticed the airing episodes out of order thing that people keep rabbiting on about but I wouldn't care anyway. This show has some good themes it can explore and I for one am sticking with it to see where it goes.
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Finally! Someone who remembers it the way I do. People keep comparing it to Fringe, which is fine. I loved Fringe, but people tend to forget Fringe started out pretty procedurally/case-of-the-week for A LOT of season 1. To call this show 'boring' after 4 episodes is just... spoiled and bratty almost. I don't mean to judge anyone or call anyone names, but it's only been 4 episodes and people feel entitled to know the whole direction of the show already.
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that's pretty bold to compare this snooze-fest to Fringe. I cared about the characters in Fringe and the stories were very inventive - this ain't got that. Karl Urban deserves better.
I'm renaming it - Almost worth watching
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I've heard that some sort of arc is supposed to begin around mid-season. Hoping that's right. That's sort of what Fringe did as well.
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Fringe's arc didn't truly begin until Olivia returned from the other universe at the beginning of season 2. Given that Fringe season 1 was only 12 episodes then mid-season sounds about right for this if it has a full order.
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We've only had four episodes of this so far. All I'm saying is that if you go back and watch the first four episodes of Fringe, not an awful lot happens there either. Fringe is a far superior show I agree, but I'm just saying that I trust J.H. Wyman will bring it around.
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I hope you are right - but at this point I have my doubts if the show is salvageable; unless they throw a grenade in the writer's room, and go out a and get new staff.
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Even though this episode was more pocedural heavy compared to the first episodses, I am really enjoying this one.

I am sticking around for a long time to come...
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Also, it's really starting to be noticable that it's being shown out of order, it annoyed me a little this week, DAMMIT FOX!
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This show is very similar to Blade Runner in several ways and I love it! I believe Almost Human shouldn't push new tech every episode. If all you came for was to see what kind of tech they could produce, then you'll be disappointed. This is a show about a humans, androids, and their interactions. Yes, we'll see a lot of futuristic stuff, but that's not the main point nor should it be, in my opinion. Blade Runner was the same: it focused on how humans were adapting to the dark world of androids that they had created. There's still so much of the android side of this show to explore (besides the futuristic tech) and I feel it definitely deserves continued watching.

As for the episode order, yeah, I don't really understand why that's such a big deal. If the episodes make sense, continuity-wise, then I say leave them alone. If they end up being screwed up, then, yeah, I'll probably complain, too.
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It may be because I'm jaded by all the kick-ass episodes of TV that aired last week, but this was very disappointing. It's like J. H. Wyman said to the writer, "Want to write an episode of my new show called Almost Human?" And then afterward said, "Oh my God, you suck! You're fired! But that's okay, we can air it out of sequence and maybe nobody will notice."

I agree wholeheartedly with the review. Captain Barros was about as evil as a rabid chihuahua. The pumped up DRN was evil!

This episode reminded me of all those really bad action movies I used to rent on VHS back in the 80's. Yes, I said VHS. The video stores were full of them. I actually found this week's show to be kinda unintentionally funny.

Anyway, I will keep watching, but many more episodes like this and I'm out. And did anybody else find it offensive that Public Enemy was the music playing in the background in the "bad" part of town?
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I noticed Public Enemy playing, but I wasn't offended. I was confused as to why it would be playing at all in 2048. I think the choice of song explains why it was playing in the background in the "bad" part of town. Welcome to the Terror dome!!!
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I guess it would be considered an "oldie" on 2048.
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Just to mention it, the name of the bar McQuaid is probably a nod to Quaid, the main character in Total Recall.
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I still have some faith in the show, but it's starting to get a little boring, that much is true. I truly wish that instead of episodic content, we'd have a proper ongoing storyline.
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This episode was cool. Probably my least favorite of the four so far, though. I don't mind that it's proceduraly... it's not my favorite genre, and I love serialized shows quite a bit more, but I think about my two favorite shows currently: POI and Justified, and both have plenty of procedural-based episodes too. It's fine as long as some serial stuff is mixed in, which I'm hoping to see soon (kinda like Fringe, it took a while for the big stories to form). The characters could have used a bit more depth by now, but I'm not so sure what influence, if any, the mixed order has had on that. Maybe the show title isn't about Dorian and the other robots but rather about Urban's Kennex being a robotic human, heh.
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I was distracted during the episode because I was babysitting, but I did get enough out of it to see that it was a standard cop procedural type of episode, so I don't think I'll bother trying to watch it again online... all the things that I do love about the show are there - the world, the technology, the way it all looks on the screen, but I do wish they'd give us something more. I think I'd be happy if they explored what it's like to be Dorian a bit more. He is almost human!
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