Almost Human Review 1×08 “You Are Here”

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Almost-Human-Cast

Bullets, Bromance, and KPop in this weeks Almost Human

Just when you think Almost Human can get a bit too routine, they throw you in for a loop with some eye-candy gadgets and surprising reveals. This week’s episode “You Are Here” really emphasizes the technology this week as the latest threat deals with enhanced bullets which never misses its mark. We also get progress on some long overdue plot points, and watch Kennex work on his flirt skills.

Friends ‘Til the End

When a man is shot dead in public by an unknown assailant, Kennex (Karl Urban) and Dorian (Michael Ealy) are on the case. Joining them at the crime scene is Detective Richard Paul (Michael Irby) and his MX android.  I always enjoy watching the parallels between the DRN and MX models because it drives home the point of Dorian’s “feelings” of loneliness.  Whereas the MX just spews out facts and protocol with complete indifference, you see how Dorian is more expressive and mindful with his social skills.

Almost Human03But things don’t stay too friendly when there’s a bit of debate to how the victim, Anton (Nick Hunnings), may have been murdered. Dorian is confident the bullet didn’t ricochet and kill Anton. Instead he believes the bullet was designed to track down Anton as a target. Although the idea seems farfetched to us now, it’s not really impossible when you consider the fact that in 2048 people can get bio mechanical hearts.

MX: “Detective Kennex, I understand your partner is trying to assist you, however, I must remind you that your DRN is inferior…”

Making matters worse, when Richard’s MX interferes with Kennex’s observation of the scene, and starts insulting Dorian, Kennex shoots the MX in the face. Needless to say Captain Maldonado (Lili Taylor) isn’t too pleased at the news especially since he made a spectacle, but you can’t feel too bad for her. Although she knew what she signed up for bringing Kennex back to the force, there was no guarantee officers like Richard were going to go easy on him. In fact, when Richard threatens to shoot Dorian, the two men throwdown like kids in the playground. Later, Dorian confronts Kennex about why he shot Richard’s MX. It’s huge turning point in their relationship. From the start, and even now to a degree, Kennex has a huge distrust with Androids. The fact he is bonding with Dorian, and willing to defend him so strongly shows how far Kennex has come from the start; despite all his protests.

Dorian: “You like me.”

Kennex: “Sorry?”

Dorian: “You shot the MX because it insulted me.”
Kennex: “No, I shot the MX because it wouldn’t shut up.”

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All You Need Is Love…Sort Of

As Kennex and Dorian learn more about Anton, we are introduced to Kira (Annie Monroe) who was romantically linked with him. The subject of love and trust weighs heavily with Kira’s story about Anton. The information she has about him is enough to put her in grave danger. As we learn more about Kira, we also see Detective Valerie Stahl (Minka Kelly) interact with Kennex.

The way Kira talks about Anton gives Kennex enough food for thought about relationships. He goes so far as to make a romantic gesture based off of Kira’s story which is really a sweet moment in the end.

It’s undeniable that Kennex and Valerie have a cute spark, but it’s still odd considering he’s only been back to work for a short time. The guy has a lot of trust issues especially considering his recent knowledge of his ex’s betrayal. But the heart wants what it wants so hopefully this ends better than his last girlfriend.

A Little Less Blurred Lines

Oh thank God for some continuity! Amid the chaos of getting a hold of the information Anton had to create the tracking bullet, we meet Reinhardt (Tim Kelleher) again; you know, the guy who was using DNA custom designed killer gas in the pilot episode, and later tried to take down the police precinct. Yes, he’s one of minions for Insyndicate, and it seems he would know about the people behind the use and sale of the tracking bullet.

AlmostHuman01Maldonado plays a little bit of quid pro quo with Reinhardt. In exchange for information, she’ll make a deal with him. Except Reinhardt isn’t impressed and wants a full pardon—which, c’mon, is aiming too high despite the current situation. Kennex sees Maldonado talking to Reinhardt and interrupts them. Reinhardt tempts him with information about Anna, his ex-girlfriend, who still is working with Insyndicate.

It’s been several episodes into the season of Almost Human that I wouldn’t be surprised if some new viewers don’t know who Anna is at this point. With Kennex’s relationship with Valerie heating up, Anna is kind of an afterthought which is sad. Anna’s involvement with how Kennex nearly died is huge. Sure, it’s great that we’ve seen Kennex and Dorian bond, but if they had created a subplot like this week’s “You Are Here” where we get some references it might made the season a lot stronger. That being said,

It’s a relief to see Kennex’s storyline shed a little light on some key players. Now that we know Reinhardt can find Anna’s location, it opens the doors for some more possibilities of an Anna vs Kennex showdown.

Final Thoughts

“You Are Here” takes a few steps forward and one step back. The humor was at its best, especially when Dorian starts speaking Korean—a malfunction caused by an injury. When Dorian breaks out singing a Korean pop song, and starts irritating Kennex, you can’t help but laugh! Then there’s all the short man jokes towards Richard, who let’s be honest, is a total jerk. Almost Human knows how to hit its mark in moments, and continues to be a visual delight. I mean watching how people can surgically modify their palms to act as cellphones is crazy looking because chances are we’re probably headed in that direction. However, the remaining issue is the show’s treatment of its major plot point for Kennex’s character. Sure we have had many strides towards fulfilling a lot of questions about Kennex and Dorian’s relationship, but it feels like the topic of Anna and Insyndicate dropped off the face of the earth for a long while. The good news is that we got a bit of focus this week, the bad thing is it wasn’t enough. It would have been great to have more of a follow up on Reinhardt towards the end or have some moments of Kennex reflecting on Anna again; especially when we find out that Kira went so far as to attempt to scrub out her memories. You would think this could trigger Kennex seeing as he was illegally trying to regain memories from the day of his accident.

Overall, the episode wasn’t as much of an emotional rollercoaster like last week’s episode of “Simon Says,” but it did a lot to push some of its story forward. For that alone, I have to give credit where credit is due. The acting and visuals were great; But Michael Ealy’s speaking in Korean were scene stealers!  Almost Human is finding its feet in its debut season, and holds a lot of promise. As long as it follows along the path it set out for itself from the very beginning with Insyndicate, there shouldn’t be a problem.