Wednesday, November 27, 2013

'Almost Human': Do you ship Kennex and Dorian? [POLL]

First things first. You can Tumble all these photos here.

It has come to my attention that many Almost Human fans are shippers. If you have no idea what I mean by that, it's OK. I didn't know either until I began creating the tweet-caps for Yahoo! TV. When I went through tweets for Person of Interest, I would see statements such as, "Carter and Reese. I ship them so hard." My initial reaction was that the person must hate the idea of those two together, because that was how I felt. I thought it must mean something like "ship that idea away, via overnight FedEx." Boy was I wrong!

It actually means that you would like to see a relationship between the two characters. For Almost Human, being a shipper almost certainly means that you would like to see Kennex and Dorian together.

Let me be clear about this. I have never in my life been a shipper for any two characters on any show. Until now. In fact, I don't even like to see kissy-huggy stuff on TV or in movies. I'd rather see action. If I want real life, I just live. Relationship crap on TV is usually so over-dramatized, and nothing like real life anyway.

But Kennex and Dorian are sci-fi characters. Nothing about the show even remotely resembles real life, which is exactly why I like it. So why am I now a shipper all of a sudden? Well, mainly because Dorian is an android. That got me thinking about how nice it would be to have a humanlike android partner. I mean, you could open up and be yourself without having to worry about them leaving you. You wouldn't even have to worry about killing them with an improperly cooked Thanksgiving turkey!

Michael Smith came up with #Dornex...
and Natalia Ruiz told me how Ernex for a sore throat
sounds like Dornex
I'm joking, of course. Well, sort of. But I do have to admit that I've become a shipper for Dorian and Kennex. Does that make me a weird person? I guess not, because I'm already weird. Plus, I'm not alone

Anyway, any proper ship requires the perfect ship name. They are currently known as Jorian, but there are some people out there calling them by other names. So, this is a poll for those less likely ship names. Technically, the best of them so far is Dornex, because it follows the rules of using the beginning of one name with the end of the other. Dornex was thought up by Michael Smith. There are many others that don't follow the rules, and are great for various reasons. Everyone has their favorite. What's yours?

So, I created a poll just out of curiosity. I've included the only ship names I have heard so far. If you'd like me to add one, please put it in the comments.

Two of these names stemmed from a conversation I had with my mother in which she immediately popped off two names before I even had a chance to think about it: Dorken and Nexdor. I thought it would be clever to use each one in a sentence, so I put a hashtag before each name so it would stand out on the poll. Here we go!

What's your favorite less common Almost Human robromance ship name?

In case you missed it, you can find the latest animated-gif/tweet recap here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

'Almost Human' GifTweetCap: The Robromance #NexDor

Almost Human heats up the robromance over the course of the episode "Are you Receiving?" The message is loud and clear: Kennex feels a strong friendship love toward Dorian in a way that must always go unspoken, and Dorian loves Kennex in the way that androids "love" a great algorithm. Stay tuned for a second less common robromance combined name on one of the following gifs! You can vote for your favorite less common ship name for Jorian (and learn what that means) here.

Kennex begins his day legless, with an annoying but fantastic alarm clock beep. His synthetic leg is ready to go, once he applies a little de-squeaking olive oil as Dorian had recommended in the first episode. It's all part of his normal 2048 morning routine.
On the way to work, Kennex tricks Dorian into holding a couple of wires to warm his coffee to a perfect hotbot coffee temp, but Dorian gets him back by sticking his finger in it. Kennex doesn't seem to happy about getting "the finger," and judging from Dorian's offer to stick his finger "somewhere else," he may be correct in doubting its cleanliness.
Meanwhile, some criminals are busy breaking into a corporate building, and Dorian and Kennex are called out to help. The bad guys blow a hole in the floor, sending a few people flying. Maldonado orders Kennex and Dorian to get out of there, but Kennex fakes a little phone static as he and Dorian ascend the gazillion stairs toward the 25th floor where the villains are holding a group of hostages. Nice to know we will always be able to rely on the basics when tech stops working in the future. 
The cops jam all signals so the criminals can't communicate with anyone outside the building (which also shuts down elevators), but that causes all of the emergency calls to bounce to Dorian. Kennex can see something is going on when he sees Dorian's face literally light up. Kennex asks him to answer a few calls so they can find out what's going on.
Dorian begins by imitating a Portuguese woman, knowing that will sooth the panicky Portuguese woman at the other end. Kennex looks unnerved, so Dorian decides to play the android version of a prank by answering the next call with Kennex's voice, joking that he's an automated cop. The woman on the other side gives a slight chuckle-cry, then Dorian uses his light-up finger to transfer the call to Kennex.
The woman's name is Paige, and she's worried about her sister and the fact that the bad guys just shot up her coworker and threw him out a window to send a bloody message to the cops. It's a good thing the body bounces, so that those who watched in the early 8 p.m. time slot knew it was just a fake dummy.
The asshats will kill all the hostages if they don't get what they want. Their demands include the removal of all snipers, and something called a fission igniter, used to ignite megaton explosions. Rudy lends a hand by building a fake one that will pass a scan in order to buy them some time. 
In the process of ascending those 50 million stairs, some of the criminals begin shooting at our boys on the 15th floor, and Dorian gets popped in the head by a ricochet!
Kennex kills one of the scumbags, and he's wearing something called a "Face Maker." Since it was a white guy in a black face, does that qualify as blackface? The face was stolen from a real guy, too, which is even worse! It turns out that all the criminals are impersonating people from a radical group known as the Holy Reclamation Army.
Meanwhile, Dorian isn't doing too well. His injury causes him to collapse, and Keenex is forced to fix him using a dirty cotton swab and some toenail clippers. Dorian tries to help out, but Kennex doesn't know his colors. As he argues with Dorian about the 50 purple shades of brain in his forehead, he snips the wrong color, causing Dorian to break.
Kennex shares a secret with Paige as he attempts to fix Dorian: his middle name is Reginald, after some "old time singer" known as Elton John, whose real name "was" Reginald. His dad was a fan. A used up piece of gum does the trick to fix Dorian, and he's back in action! If that's not a full blown case of ro-bro love, nothin' is!
Paige is worried about her basket-case sister, and decides to sneak out and sit with her. She then asks to go to the bathroom, and places her phone closer to the d-bags so Kennex and Dorian can listen in. 
The head scumbag tells his buddy to call in another crew, confusing our guys. But then Kennex and Dorian piece it together. The pair had found a tiny "Start" disk on the guy Kennex killed, and Dorian realizes that it's a method of communication with an adjacent building. The only building worth stealing from has an abundant supply of palladium. The communication jamming has prevented the alarms in the other building from going off!
The criminals don't even want the fission igniter. It's all a diversion that will end with the explosion of a "light bomb" (nod to Fringe?), which will kill all the hostages! Dorian decides to go on a suicide mission, Die Hard style, climbing through vents and taking down criminals with the kind of efficiency only an android can obtain.
Dorian takes too many bullets, but Kennex is there to save his dear ro-bro by sneaking in with the Face Maker. What a clever hu-bro! Communication is also restored, trapping the rest of the criminals in the nearby building when the alarms go off.
Later, after a round of applause for the heroes, and an argument with Rudy over Dorian's gum-head, Kennex takes Dorian out for some celebratory noodles, his treat (Dorian doesn't eat). Dorian gets serious in the car, upset over the thought of almost dying. He knows it's not the same as a person dying, but Kennex gets it: "Dead is dead," no matter who you are.
To lighten up the mood, Dorian begins playing some Elton John: "Benny and the Jets," to be exact. Kennex is surprised when he realizes that Dorian heard him share his middle name, and annoyed when he begins breaking out in song. But he finally cracks a smile when Dorian calls him "Reginald."

Monday, November 25, 2013

'Person of Interest' Gif-tweet-cap: Did That Just Happen?

Quick note: I was told my recaps would begin being published on Yahoo! TV again, but my last one was not reviewed at all. I guess they are still having issues. It's an exclusive, so I went ahead and deleted that one and used the text of it here (with a few modifications).

Warning: major series-arc spoilers ahead!

Fresh off the nerve-wracking ending of the first part of a three-part series of episodes, Person of Interest sends fans' falling off the edge of their chairs in suspense with the second part of the series, "The Crossing." Granted, the show may lose half its fans, but it won't be for lack of taking some enormous risks.
Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Carter (Taraji P. Henson) have finally snatched Quinn (Clarke Peters), the head of HR. Now they just have to make it to the FBI... with a city full of HR cops on the way. They begin by taking the subway.

Meanwhile, Simmons (Robert John Burke) is busy killing the judge (Paul O'Brien) who helped him trap Carter, and nearly kill her. He's got a great photo of Reese, and he plans on using it to send a deadly message to all the criminals and HR cops in the city: kill this guy, and we'll pay you lot's of money.

Finch (Michael Emerson) is the first to get the message, when the Machine gives him Reese's number. Reese has very little warning when Finch calls as a group of criminals is walking toward him. He wipes them out handily, but Quinn steals his phone during the chaos and destroys it. He's now cut off from his lifeline, and Carter already destroyed her own phone in the previous episode.

Shaw (Sarah Shahi) shows up at Fusco's (Kevin Chapman) place as he's tucking in his son, and let's him know that they've got work to do. Shaw tries to remind Finch that help would be much easier if Root (Amy Acker) were involved, since she talks directly to the Machine, but he'll have none of that. We also learn, via Root, that Reese is not Finch's first "helper monkey": he has cycled through possibly many others.

Reese and company move on to an ambulance to get through an HR checkpoint, but Simmons sees blood on the outside of the vehicle as they are driving through. Reese takes the wheel from the driver to speed through the barricade as Fusco shoots a few HR cops from the sidelines.

Unfortunately, Simmons gets a hold of Fusco during the ordeal, and orders his goons to beat the snot out of him. Carter has entrusted Fusco with the key to a safe deposit box that holds all the evidence against Quinn, and she made a great choice: Fusco merely cracks a few jokes as his blood is being spattered across the floor, and his fingers are being broken.
Meanwhile, Shaw is out trying to squeeze Fusco's location from an HR beat cop (Devin Ratray), and not having much luck. She even leaves the poor sap handcuffed by one hand to his steering wheel with a grenade in the other, and the pin to that grenade in the backseat of the car!

Fusco finally gives up a location when Simmons threatens to kill his child, but it's a lie: even with his child in danger, he knows what he may have to sacrifice for the well being of an entire city of people. Simmons orders both Fusco and his son (Sean McCarthy) to be killed.

Simmons's goon allows Fusco to say goodbye to his son while the shot rings out through the phone: but Shaw picks up on the other end! Fusco's kid is safe! Shaw made the correct decision by far, knowing that Fusco would want his son's life saved over his own.

Then a magical thing happens: Fusco breaks free from the handcuffs (it was easy to break his thumb, since his other fingers were broken anyway), and finally strangles the goon until the asshat takes his last breath, all while making an impressive stank-face. Fusco is safe!

Reese, not so much. Reese and Carter are holed up in a morgue. Reese finally shares his feelings, and kisses Carter on the lips! The "Careesers" (fans wanting a relationship between Carter and Reese) go nuts, but truth be told, it really seems more like a "you're my best friend in the whole world, and I just love you" sort of kiss rather than an "I'm in love with you" sort of kiss. Still, there are some extra tweets for the extraordinary freak-out from fans after the gif.

HR shows up, and there's no way out. Reese decides to draw their fire while Carter escapes with Quinn. With Finch's help, the plan works, and Quinn is arrested at the FBI headquarters! Reese is arrested by some "honest cops" that Finch found, but of course that is only temporary, since the honest guys have no idea who "the man in the suit" really is.
Some time passes, Carter gets her job back as detective, and all seems right with the world. Until those last couple of heart-wrenching minutes. Carter and Reese are sharing a moment with Finch nearby. Finch hears a pay phone ringing, and begins limping toward it as Reese and Carter are both shot in the chest by Simmons!

Reese's wound is not as serious, and he holds Carter in his arms as she cries out to talk to her son before she goes. He holds her tight as the life passes from her eyes. Finch stops in his tracks, having second thoughts about not involving Root. Well, it's too late now, buddy!

The show may have just stepped off a cliff right there. Carter was a fan favorite. Not as favored as Reese, but definitely high on the list, and certainly favored by far over Root and Shaw. The only consolation is that Taraji P. Henson, in an interview on the Late Show with David Letterman, said that she accepted the role knowing it was only temporary. She prefers movies over TV. Perhaps that's what all of our loveable characters signed on for.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

'Almost Human' in Ani-gifs and Tweets: A Deep Episode about Sex-bots?

Note: The gif-cap for the "Pilot" episode can be found here.

Strangely, "Skin," an Almost Human episode about sex-bots, was both deeper and funnier at the same time in comparison to the "Pilot." It had a surprising amount to say for a subject that could normally degenerate into a silly mess. And the best part is that the most hilarious scenes had nothing to do with sex-bots. These laughs weren't cheap.
The episode opens with a red-headed sex-bot named Charlene (Darla Taylor), and her human client, Sebastian Jones (Robert Moloney), ready to get it on in a hotel. First, he's got to check for bugs, as in cootie and disease bugs. Gives a whole new meaning to buggy software! Is this how sex will be in the future?

Someone is watching Sebastian on surveillance, and sends in someone to kill him, grab Charlene, and throw in a sparkly "DNA bomb" to contaminate evidence. The culprits are wearing "flash masks" to hide their faces from the security cameras (that's a real thing now, by the way, but it's done with infrared lights). Clearly, things are not what they seem. 
Later, Dorian (Michael Ealy) and Kennex (Karl Urban) spot some kids outside the station who want to see some cool android tricks. Dorian impresses them with his face lights, but Kennex makes them scream in terror when he shows off the imperviousness of his synthetic leg.

When they get inside, they learn that Sebastian was the creator of a line of high-end "bang-bots," but he had gone bankrupt before his murder. Oh, and Charlene, the bot he was with at the hotel, left behind the fingerprints of a 25-year old human abductee.
Another woman is later abducted from a parking garage, while her son Victor (Raphael Alejandro) is sitting in the car. Kennex proves that he's not so bad with kids after all when he bribes Victor with the most amazing toy ever created in order to get some information about what he saw. Seriously, watching the entire episode is worth it just for the giraffe scene alone. The following gif is only a teaser, and does not do justice to the scene.

For those of you who would like to share this image all over Tumblr, half the work is done:
Just reblog this Tumblr post.
Meanwhile, Sebastion's seized belongings indicate that Lorenzo Shaw (Jos Viramontes), his former partner, was suing him. When they meet with him in a sex-bot store, Shaw informs them that their biggest client, an Albanian group, had just dropped them because they were "cutting out the middle man," in order to make their own bots. While there, Keenex asks Dorian to hack into their records to find the Albanians, since Shaw is tight-lipped about them. When they visit the Albanians at a sex-bot night club, however, all they get is the run-around.
The car Victor had seen driving off with his mother inside had been using a "tag scrambler" to make the license plate change. They track its last location to a warehouse containing a disgusting blob that used to be Charlene. They had peeled off Charlene's skin because it was real human skin. Rudy (Mackenzie Crook) tries to get some information from the android, but it's too damaged. However, ripping open Charlene's android skull is enough disturb Dorian.

The cops finally track down the current location of the tag-scrambled car, and it's filled with Albanians and another sex-bot named Vanessa (Ella Thomas), who has amazing hair. She is carrying the human DNA of a missing woman just as Charlene was. Kennex attempts to question her, but his questions are entirely inappropriate as far as DNR-type androids with feelings goes. Dorian is highly disappointed.

One question she fully understands, however, is who asked her to go with the Albanian men. That would be Yuri (Rowland Pidlubny)! The boys go back to the club, and break down a few doors till they reach the seedy backside of the place, but it's empty.
Shaw had mentioned that sex bots are based on some of the same DRN technology with which Dorian was built, and they include GPS trackers. Rudy elevates his nerdiness to a new level of "adorkable" as he attempts to "plug in" to Vanessa's GPS while trying to be professional and without sounding sexual. Her first saved GPS location is the place she was "born."
As soon as Kennex and Dorian get the location, they raid the warehouse, and find many woman in various stages of skin-removal. Thankfully, Victor's mom is among them, and she holds out her hand for Kennex, hoping for some good news. He tells her that Victor will be happy to see her, leading to a sigh of relief and a smile. 
Meanwhile, Dorian has set up a dating profile for Kennex under the name Dr. Richards. The most hilarious part of this is the reason he did it: because he scanned Kennex's testicles and found that he was "backed up!"
Kennex is initially upset, but gives in slightly at the thought of actually finding a hot date. But when Dorian asks him to describe the type of woman he wants to meet, he describes Det. Stahl (Minka Kelly)! With perfect timing, she calls at that moment, causing Kennex to revert to a crushing high-school kid. The whole thing is cringe-worthy, even to Kennex himself. Dorian rubs it in by imitating his nervous discourse, and Kennex begs him to shut the hell up.

The moments of hilarity are broken up by moments of honesty, when Dorian wonders what one should say to a child when their parent dies. "A better place" is the reply Kennex uses for both children and adults, to give them hope. Dorian asks whether Kennex ever told his now dead partner's son that his father went to a better place, but it was just too difficult for him to go there.
Dorian has learned that the best proof of one's existence is that they are remembered after they're gone, and wonders who will remember him. Kennex tells him that, as a cop, the people he helps will remember him. Later, we have a moment of tenderness when Vanessa must be destroyed because of her human DNA. Dorian uses what he learned to tell her that she is going to a better place, and that he will remember her.
We have another humorous moment when Dorian sets up Kennex on a date, and loudly informs him of the date in front of Stahl! Kennex calls him "Benedict Android" for the silly prank, but Dorian's also got horrible timing: he already has plans. Instead of going on a date, he decides to spend some quality time with his previous partner's son, and tell him about his father. Amazing, the humanity you can learn from an android by simply being honest with yourself!

The episode is available for a limited time on the FOX Almost Human page.

"Almost Human" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on FOX.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

'Almost Human' in Ani-gifs and Tweets: Pilot Introduces a Beautiful 'Ro-bromance'

ALMOST HUMAN 'Pilot' on FOX, Sunday, Nov. 17
©2013 Fox Broadcasting Co. (photo used with permission)
Photo credit: Liane Hentscher/FOX
Quick note: If you are used to seeing my recaps on Yahoo! TV, there is an explanation of what happened with their tech glitches here. This recap for the second part of the premiere, "Skin," can be found here.

Almost Human takes place 35 years in the future, where crime has skyrocketed, and the future is bleak. The "Pilot" episode begins with a cop, Det. John Kennex (Karl Urban), taking part in a raid with his human partner. Various cop androids are helping, but when Kennex's partner is injured, the bots refuse to help Kennex pull him to safety because he is too far gone. Kennex goes it alone, but his leg is blown off, followed by some sort of explosion caused by a device known as a parabolic pulse charge.

But that is all a memory. Kennex is actually hooked up to a dangerous regression therapy machine, after 17 months in a coma. He is attempting to remember what took place during the police raid, and how the criminal organization known as the Syndicate knew about it so they could ambush the cops. There's got to be a mole. He also wants to figure out what happened to Anna, his ex-girlfriend, who has been missing ever since he woke from his coma.
Kennex's superior officer, Capt. Maldonado (Lili Taylor), convinces him to come back to work early because the Syndicate may be at it again, and Kennex is the only cop she trusts with the case. Kennex has a shiny new synthetic leg that acts up constantly, and now he's got to have a synthetic by his side as well. In fact, all cops are now required to partner with the same types of droids (known as MX-43 androids) that refused to help Kennex's partner during the ambush months earlier. When his new humorless partner threatens to report him for using dangerous drugs and regression therapy, Kennex tosses him out of the moving car.

Kennex goes to get a new android from Rudy (Mackenzie Crook), the nerdy tech guy of the series. Rudy introduces him to a DRN model named Dorian (Michael Ealy). The DRN models were designed to act more like humans, with the ability to convey emotions and bond with people. The one drawback of this older model is that it has an emotional breaking point, just as humans have. Rudy gives Kennex the honor of waking his new partner with the ritualistic touch on the ear with a metal rod, and thus begins a beautiful "robromance."
Dorian turns out to be quite a character, playing with his lips, feeling intimidated by the MX androids, and expressing data conversationally, such as representing the decimal number 81.439 simply as 80. Oh, and don't ever call him a "synthetic"! That may as well be a racial slur to the hot bot.
They look into a supposed robbery in which Maldonado believes the Syndicate may be involved. During their newest crime spree, the Syndicate kidnaps a cop known as Det. Vogel by popping a giant wad of bubble gum on his face with some sort of special bubble-gun. It looks like it would be fun if it didn't seem to hinder his ability to talk... and breath. Oh, and they also destroy his android.

They bring in a suspect from the robbery, and Kennex beats the snot out of him for information. Taking a more peaceful route, Dorian realizes that the suspect shot himself so the cops would bring him in. He pretends to have done it out of fear of the Syndicate, and tells them the location of where they can find Vogel.
Later, the suspect pukes out a device that he then leaves on a pipe in the bathroom as they escort him out to take him to a new location.
Of course, the whole thing is a setup, and the Syndicate watches as Kennex and Dorian enter the room where Vogel is being held in a small, bullet-proof box. Dorian and Kennex watch in horror as the Syndicate activates a tripwire, and Vogel meets an ugly demise. Poor Vogel sure had some bad luck with face-splats and goo!

Dorian is able to pull a neat trick where he takes some of Vogel's blood and sticks it in his neck for analysis. He's a walking med lab!

Vogel had been sprayed with programmable DNA. The poison basically causes humans to die of a multitude of diseases all at once... and they're targeting cops!
Kennex feels that his only option is to go back for even more strenuous regression therapy in order to jog his memory of who the mole may be and why they are targeting cops. During the regression, he sees that his ex-girlfriend was part of the ambush! Dorian saves his life and pulls him out of regression before he has a literal brain explosion from the revelation. 

Dorian connects with Vogel's android to see if he can find out anything more, and Princess Leia pops up saying, "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi; you're my only hope!" Actually, it's video of what happened when Vogel was kidnapped, and reveals that the cops have something that the Syndicate wants.
Kennex calls in a lockdown of the station, but he's too late. The Syndicate breaks into the station, shuts down all the androids using the device planted in the bathroom, and begins spraying people with what looks like a silver fire extinguisher filled with their die-from-everything, face-popping poison. Luckily, Dorian is not affected by the MX-android shutdown, and helps stop them before they find what they're looking for. 
The item is revealed to the audience as a female robot head, but the cops are unable to find it as the records involving the item have been destroyed.

At the end of the episode, Kennex has warmed up to his human-like android partner, asking Dorian to call him "John" from now on. Yep; it's the second step in the beginning of a beautiful robromance.