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. 


  1. This is kind of weird. No ,actually, hugely weird. But if it helps sell cars, or vacuum cleaner, or whatever, I suppose it's good.

    Bear is not impressed.

    But blessings and Bear hugs, anyhow!

  2. Good show, indeed. Enjoyed both episodes. I think the audience will engage for a large number of reasons since it covers lots of topics and, well, action-packed/robots/ interesting characters/hot guys (sorry, had to say it, kudos to whoever did casting for this show)/do I need to go on? We'll see great things from this show. There will be lots of connections and feelings and "EW!" moments, dor sure. Joel's signature. I'm IN!

  3. I liked the first episode and plan on watching more.

  4. Trying to figure out if I missed something or if that first comment is spam, Kristen! LOL Another show I haven't seen, but great images!