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Almost-human

Almost Human Review: Hostages

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Almost Human is like a good slice of pizza. There are better foods out there, but there are also worse foods out there.

Pizza is fun. Sometimes it's a little cheesy. Kind of like the latest sci-fi show to hit the airwaves.

Almost Human is catchy and enjoyable. Something you can digest once a week and not feel guilty because it's become part of your routine. 

Tonight marked the crime drama's first foray into hostage negotiations and Almost Human Season 1 Episode 3 handled the crisis in heroic fashion.

Pushed To The LImit

J.J. Abrams went on record this week saying that Almost Human is NOT Fringe. Okay, that's fair. It isn't. (Yet.)

As a counter to that, it feels worth it to point out that Fringe did start with a heavy procedural element. And one amazing series-long arc about the relationships between its central characters.

The procedural aspect is strong right now with Almost Human. Each episode so far has seen an original case with fancy and elaborate tech and a solution by the end. The bad guys go to jail and the good guys go get noodles. 

Tonight's case was perhaps the least futuristic of the three we've seen so far in many ways, which also made it the most realistic. 

John and Dorian responded to a call at an office building to find that a group of armed men had taken hostages on the 25th floor. Believing this to be a typical hostage situation, John asked Maldonado to jam communication frequencies which is exactly what the men expected would happen. That allowed them to move forward with their heist at a building across the street. 

The entire crisis was a misdirect, which John and Dorian eventually realized, but none of them could have known that. The misdirect--and the slowest ascension of multiple flights of stairs ever--gave us a deeper glimpse into the partnership between the lead characters. And that's where this comes back to Fringe. Sort of.

When Dorian was injured, John was almost as concerned as he was when his human partner was injured in the flashback from Almost Human Season 1 Episode 1. He patched the android up with care--and chewing gum--and seemed geniunely relieved to see that his makeshift band-aid had worked. Dorian went on to be all that he could be.

While people might be tuning in for the procedural aspect of the show, what's driving the series right now, for me at least, is the relationship between John and Dorian. They're the heart of this right now.

Dorian holds John's feet to the fire. He challenges his human partner in a way the man seems to need. He calls John on his crap. John is sarcastic and witty and very, very human, but he respects Dorian even while chiding the machine and referring to him as the coffee warmer. 

There are some changes that need to be made to prevent this from becoming just a sci-fi procedural with a great leading pair. Some of the casting really doesn't work, particularly the role of Maldonado. I can see a change coming there if the series continues past the first season. Something about her just doesn't work.

We'll also need John to recover his lost memories and try to find his girlfriend, which will happen right around the time he and Detective Stahl get closer. That'll create a nice bit of romantic tension. Who doesn't love a good love triangle, right? (Totally kidding about loving a love triangle story, but you have to admit they make for good drama.)

I would tune in each week just to watch John and Dorian's banter and allusions to 50 Shades of Grey, but that's just me. At the very least, this show is fun to watch. At best, some tweaks are made and it keeps getting better and better. 

What did you think of Almost Human Season 1 Episode 3? Are John and Dorian the best part of the show so far? Do you agree or disagree with the comparisons to Fringe?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (80 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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I really like this show, and I agree it is getting better and better. Karl Urban is a really fine actor, and I don't think I've liked an android this much since Data! Trying to think where I'd seen Michael Ealy before -- it was on The Good Wife (one of my favorite shows) and Flash Forward (which I was very upset to see canceled). I also like how the futuristic stuff is just casually and naturally worked into the show, without making a big deal of it. (Small example -- I got a kick out of the holographic police crime scene tape in episode 4.) Never got into Fringe, so comparisons don't mean much to me, but I am a huge fan of Person of Interest, and I loved Lost and Felicity.

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@ Aerin

Common Law...one season on USA but showed the same buddy cop chemistry.

Marissa

Good episode. I'm glad that the case was actually normal kind like all the other cop shows. Kennedy patching up Dorian with gum was gross and pretty cool also him cutting and wire and Dorian just shutting down was funny. Can't wait till the next episode.

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Boring conversation anyway

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I really want to love this show, but the quality of the stories drops about 10% from the pilot to the 2nd episode to this one, which is just a not very good rewrite of the first 'Die Hard' film.

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I have added "Almost Human" to the list of shows I record on the DVR so I don't miss them, along with Revolution, Blacklist, Arrow, Tomorrow People, Agents of Shield (and, when they return, Dr. Who, Continuum).

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Not to belittle the author of the article, but for me, what better food is there than Pizza. Pizza is my favorite of all foods. I've eaten Pizza in more than 7,000 locations around the globe since early 50's That being said Italian, Japanese, Chinese, BBQ and other foods follow as close seconds and thirds. I like this show, it's a real treat.

Miranda-wicker
@ wizarddrummer

LOL. Fair enough! Pizza is definitely a favorite of mine, too.

Fortyseven

Fairly boring.

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@ fortyseven

As compared to what? America's next top model? The real Housewives of..., Survivor?, Big Brother?, Law and Order SVU? Hostages? The Following?, Major Crimes (a dud since the departure of Kyra Sedgwick in my opinion), and others I can think of. At least this show some grit and humor along with some cool tech.

Fortyseven
@ wizarddrummer

It's fairly boring without comparing it to anything.

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Anybody else think the showrunner is a Scrubs Fan? "John and Dorian" "JD"

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Cheesy show.. But my husband loves it.

Almost Human Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

Dorian: Did you just hang up on Captain Maldonado?
John: Yeah. Boring conversation anyway.
Dorian: I just love that you wear your insubordination like it's a virtue.

Dorian: You know what I love best about you? Your punctuality.
John: What's that supposed to mean?
Dorian: You're late. And the car smells like olive oil

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