In the final episode of Almost Human of the year, Dorian (Michael Ealy) meets himself and we learn that heart transplants still suck in the future.
Let’s bitch it out…
Folks, I’ve been putting off writing this review for a while (washing the dishes, doing some laundry, watching the hubby play Civilization V – don’t ask) because I honestly have nothing to say. ‘Arrhythmia’ is a stock standard tale about the dangers of illegal transplants and black market medicine and despite the 2048 setting, Almost Human has nothing new to say about any of this. The inclusion of timer tech that allows the greedy mortician and his partner to charge people and kill those who don’t is – as usual – interesting, but ultimately it doesn’t really alter the story. We’re still looking at a plot wherein bad people extort desperate people who needs organs and kick ’em to the curb if/when they can’t pay. It’s a tale as old as time.
Far more interesting is the introduction of a second DRN that Dorian and Kennex (Karl Urban) pick up along the way. This one is a bit less developed, and he’s more impulsive than our Dorian, but aside from that there isn’t a great deal done to distinguish between the two. At the end of the hour, when Dorian wipes his look-a-like’s case files, it’s not clear what we’re meant to think: is our Dorian unique to his counterparts? Would ours be the same as this one if not for Kennex? Are we meant to once again take note of the “human”-like nature of the DRN model? All or none of the above? Almost Human clearly wants us to think about what it means to be human, and how much we take our “human-ness” for granted, but it wants to do so without having to cut into its generic case of the week format.
And that’s why I can’t review this show anymore. Not only is FOX’s out of order scheduling affecting the development of the overall narrative, there’s an unwillingness to go beyond the “interesting tech” / case of the week format. Fringe had its cake and ate it, too, for the majority of its five season run – the characters developed and their relationships grew and expanded as they investigated random creatures and science ran amok. There’s no suggestion that this is going to happen here, which means we’ll likely continue getting more of these bland “fit them in anywhere” episodes. And if Almost Human doesn’t want to go beyond that, then who am I to keep reviewing and judging it on what the series could be? I see a lot of potential in the series, but after six weeks, there’s been no forward momentum, no development and, frankly, diminishing results and Dorian and Kennex hit the same dramatic and comedic beats each week. So I’m going to bow out before these reviews start to get too repetitive (and grumpy). If you’ve been enjoying the show, all the best and may the future be with you. Me – I’ll be over here waiting for Sleepy Hollow to come back.
- Another disappointing element of the series = the portrayal of female characters. Tonight’s episode finds Minka Kelly’s Stahl sitting at a desk interviewing people and Lili Taylor’s Maldonado in her office for the entire hour. These women can do more, but the show has no interest in letting them leave the precinct unless it is to get insulted or get taken hostage.
- The lack of interest in characters actually extends beyond just women to secondary characters, as well. This is very much the Ealy & Urban show.
- Interesting tech of the week: instant translator machine. Question – why isn’t the machine translating Stahl’s comments back?
- The technology to cremate folks provides a solid visual, which is nice since everything else in this episode fails to evoke anything remotely futuristic.
- Dorian (describing Kennex to the other Dorian): “He’s grumpy on the outside, moody and morose on the inside”
Almost Human has finished airing its 2013 episodes. The series returns Monday, January 6 at 8pm EST on FOX. I may check in on the series from time to time if anything significant occurs, but this marks an end of our regular coverage for the show. Thanks for reading