Saturday, February 22, 2014

'Almost Human' GifTweetCap: Is Dorian the 'Victim' of Transhumanism?

Most of the gifs from this recap can be found on this Tumblr post. "Disrupt" introduces a major new story arc for Almost Human. There are also some other fun things going on in this episode, so I sort of separated them so they would stand out.

The episode opens with Rudy violating Dorian... violating his AI computer brain, anyway. He roots around as Dorian "sleeps," leaving Dorian a bit freaked out.


PAUL LIE #1:

Throughout the episode, Kennex tells humorous lies (or jokes, depending on how you look at it) about the reason for Det. Paul's absence during the case. His first lie (to Rudy) is that Paul is out with an infected piercing, "down there."

After Kennex takes Dorian to work, we see that Rudy is working on the contents of Dorian's brain, which contains a sick child with a toy train, and a fatal error. Ohhh... can't wait to see where this is going!
Meanwhile, a couple is killed by their own computerized security system, and SAM (Matthew Kevin Anderson), their holo-butler. The wife (Karen Holness) is trapped by the pool cover, then the husband (Dalias Blake) is shot while trying to save her.
The couple had been receiving thousands of threatening emails just before their deaths, because a young kid named Aaron had been killed by the couple's security system at almost the exact same time a year ago. Dorian finds that SAM was hacked, but the hacker left no traces of who they are.

PAUL LIE #2:

Kennex's second lie (to a fellow cop, played by Daniel Mallinson) is that Paul is out with internal and external hemorrhoids, and that the department should chip in for a donut pillow.

Dorian and Kennex meet with Kay Stenson (Suleka Mathew), the CEO, and Peter Newsom (David Stuart), the lawyer for Synturion, the security company that made the killer system. Stenson seems to have entirely noble reasons for creating the system, as she had been assaulted by several men in her own home before such security systems existed. Kennex gets it, but clearly disagrees with how far she took the system... a kid jumping over a fence used to be met with a yell rather than "laser-guided gunfire."
"Disrupt" is one of the many groups who most vocally agree with Kennex's sentiment. They are an "anonymous" group of hackers (Get it? They make that connection to Anonymous themselves... I didn't add that in). There are also many parallels with the Zimmerman case, which many tweeps noted while live-tweeting.
Kennex has his Paul-lies dotting the episode, but Dorian scatters the episode with visions of his... er... childhood? Actually, Dorian sees the same visions that Rudy had been snooping in on at the beginning of the episode -- the same ones that seemed to be causing a "fatal error." Dorian finally tells Kennex what's going on.
The important thing here is that we finally get a car-ride discussion! No banter, but we do have plenty of banter elsewhere throughout the episode, so fans can still be satisfied after two episodes devoid of the much-loved Dorian-Kennex-car-ride hilarity. That seems to have become the show's trademark.
As they discuss Dorian's growing meltdown, a blackout hits the city. The only lights to come back on are large banners that declare, "Justice for Aaron."
The blackout is tracked to a hacker known as Crispin X. The gang originally believes that he's part of Disrupt, but Rudy sets them straight: he's a hacker for hire. Rudy knows how to get an invite to a party attended by the hacker, so Stahl asks what she needs to know in order to have hacker street cred: her hacker handle (Rudy's, back when he was a hacker) is Aphid, and she'll have to take Rudy's hacker tablet, which he has trouble parting with.
Rudy also warns Stahl that the hackers are very dangerous, and that she'll have to look the part by wearing lots of makeup and a wig. Kennex goes in as her backup, also looking the part. When they go in, Kennex realizes that there's no danger: it's just a bunch of "VR geeks," experiencing fake danger in a virtual reality party. The first guy they come across  (Zack Lavoie) tells them to check the back for Crispin X.
... and he tells them that after Kennex offers up Rudy's beloved tablet.
By the way, this is not the first time Karl Urban has worn guyliner. Except in Chronicles of Riddick, he was also dead:
Still searching for Crispin X, the next guy they find (Tyree Alleyne) enjoys the ridiculous sight of cops in makeup.
When they finally locate Crispin X, he is immediately drawn to Stahl's fake Aphid handle -- I'm sure it has nothing to do with her hotness. As he extends a hand to shake hers, his wrist is met with cuffs.
Crispin X's real name is Nico (Reece Thompson). As they question him, another body turns up dead. Newsom has been killed by the fire suppression module of his security system. The module sucks all the oxygen out of the room. Gah!

FUN TECH:

Nothing to do with the story, but awesome tech: neon fish!


PAUL LIE #3:

Kennex's third lie is the best one if all. He tells a female cop that Paul got an infection from a sex bot. Her reaction -- and his reaction to her reaction -- is priceless. I was laughing so hard, I scared my kitties.
Nico agrees to help the gang find the real killer in order to receive immunity. Nico helps them find the rest of the photo of Aaron being sent to victims, and it shows a girl named Emily Wilson (Laine MacNeil). She's a disturbed 18-year-old whom Aaron had been helping when he was killed. She has been lashing out at all those she sees as responsible, on the one-year anniversary of his death. Gee, I'd bet he'd be so proud.
Emily's next target is Stenson, and Nico quickly finds that Emily is in Synturion's headquarters, preparing to enact fire suppression, while also siccing the company's new android version of SAM on her -- a real android, rather than a hologram. Kennex gets some help from Nico by getting him to hack the building's system to create holographic copies of himself that can confuse SAM.
Dorian makes short work of a SAM that is protecting Emily.
John "kills" an android SAM that is strangling Stenson, with the help of two holo-friends.
Dorian is able to talk down Emily, and she finally gives up. With a couple of seconds remaining, Nico is able to disable the fire suppression system.

PAUL TRUTH:

When the cop whom Kennex told about fake hemorrhoids presents Maldonado with Bitcoins for Paul's brand new donut pillow, she gets rather snippy. She seems more upset that everyone believed Kennex's lies than about the lying itself. Then she tells the cop what really happened. Paul took his mom to Mexico for his birthday! --I think I like the sex-bot-infection story better.
Aaron's mom had always thought that her son was a loner, but he had helped hundreds of people online, all over the globe. In reality, he had many friends. Emily just happened to be the most disturbed among them, and he died when she was still vulnerable.
Later, Rudy has a private conversation with Kennex in which he tells him something rather ominous: Dorian's fake childhood memories were covertly implanted in his bot-brain. Rudy erased the images and closed the insertion point, but they will have to watch him closely to make he doesn't "flip out," the way the other DRNs did.
They also can't tell anyone, or risk Dorian being decommissioned immediately. DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN!!! Could this be an attempt at "transhumanism," as in, a real person living forever in the body of a robot? That's my theory, but I can't wait to find out!

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