It’s season finale time for FOX’s Almost Human as the show ends season one in a low-key, understated fashion.
Let’s bitch it out…
It’d be easy to say that ‘Straw Man’ is an underwhelming season finale. I kept waiting for the serial killer who makes copies of his victims to be somehow connected to Nigel Vaughn (an unseen John Larroquette), or for Dorian’s (Michael Ealy) assessment to tie into the false memories implanted into his synthetic soul. Ultimately none of this came to pass as the case was merely another stand alone – another wounded or damaged criminal using technology to commit crimes or cover their tracks in the future.
And that’s fine. As we’ve discussed several times over this uneven, out of order first season, Almost Human actually has a lot going for it (even when the cases lose their way and focus on all of the wrong elements, they’re still entertaining). Throw in some banter (inappropriate ball talk!) between Dorian and Kennex (Karl Urban) and the show is fun, if not entirely compulsory, Monday night viewing.
As far as season finales go: for a show that is expensive and currently sitting on the bubble, this is a little disappointing. Knowing that we may never get any resolution to the many dangling plot threads that peppered this first season is frustrating. I imagine I wasn’t alone when I hoped that the episode was actually taking place on the other side of The Wall when it opened at a shelter filled with poor, impoverished people. Alas, no…any explorations of what exactly The Wall does and doesn’t do and why it is required may never happen.
Now as far as season finales go: for a show that struggled to find its voice, this is actually a pretty solid “business as usual” episode to end things on. Maldanado (Lili Taylor) and Stahl (Minka Kelly) have their traditional 1-2 lines, but are mostly relegated to the control room; Detective Paul (Michael Irby) shows up after an extended sabbatical to dress like a homeless person and befriend a hipster with night vision glasses. And Rudy (Mackenzie Crook) cracks wise about Dorian being perfectly fit to raise Rudy’s unborn children because he’s a perennially 39 years old social idiot.
Let’s be honest, though. At its heart, Almost Human is not about any of those characters. It’s about Dorian and Kennex and, in that capacity, ‘Straw Man’ works. There’s some decent character development and closure in the bits involving John’s father’s murder, there’s confirmation that Dorian is doing well in his role, and there’s even a nice beat or two between man and machine as they connect over noodles and an artificial leg. If it’s not everything I’d like it to be mythology-wise in a potential final ever episode, I can at least imagine an unseen future of these two characters off bickering and solving cases together. Hopefully one we’ll actually get to see one on FOX in fall 2014.
- Rudy (to Dorian’s evaluation board): “If I did have a child, I would want Dorian to raise it.”
- Dorian (nearly crying, when Kennex compliments him): “I was made to feel, John.”
Your turn: what did you think of the finale? Representative of the show or disappointing that the mythology pieces didn’t turn up? Do you hope that Kennex and Dorian will live to see further adventures? And if the show does return for S2, what should stay the same and what should be different? Sound off below
Almost Human has now finished airing all of its S1 episodes. A second season has yet to be greenlit.