Almost Human Review: Recollection

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Fans of J.J. Abrams, rejoice! Almost Human is here to fill the void left after Fringe's end - and it promises to deliver. 

Almost Human Season 1 Episode 1 introduced viewers to Detective John Kennex (Karl Urban), an officer with the LAPD who recently woke from a coma. Upon returning to the force, he is assigned a new partner, an android. In this crime-riddled, dystopian society, synthetic partners are a requirement. And Kennex isn't pleased. 

That is, until he meets Dorian.

Almost Human Premiere Scene

Set in the year 2048, Almost Human feels like it could be a part of the Fringe-verse. This world could be an off-shoot of one of the many parallel universes in that amazing series.

In fact, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that sets and props and verbiage are shared between the two shows. There's biotech talk and futuristic crime. There are flying cars and self-aware machines. All of the technological trappings of a modern science-fiction show. 

But then there's a J.J. Abrams' hallmark--the damaged man who needs people despite his best efforts to convince himself otherwise. Not unlike Peter Bishop was once upon a Season 1 con.

17 months prior to the pilot, John Kennex led a team into an ambush by a crime group known as Insyndicate. He lost his partner and his leg, and he blames that loss on an MX-83, an android officer assigned as back-up.

Had the machine listened to him, he believes he would have been able to save his partner's life, but because the machine works in data and statistics, no one survived. And the worst part is that Kennex can't remember what happened.

Kennex is a man struggling to piece together memories of another time. To do so, he visits a Recollectionist who eventually, and dangerously, helps him remember that his ex-girlfriend, who mysteriously disappeared while he was in the coma, was involved somehow in the ambush that cost him everything. Was she really there? Or are his memories messed up? He can't be sure.

As a result of surveying all he's lost, he's distrusting of the machines and believes he works best on his own. The reality is that he's scared of losing, and that much seems clear. If he doesn't let anyone in, he doesn't have to get hurt. If he trusts no one, he has no one to blame but himself when things go wrong.

Upon returning to work, he's assigned an MX-83 partner, and when the machine questions him, he tosses it out of a moving vehicle. Then he's partnered with Dorian (Michael Ealy), who he also distrusts.

But Dorian is different, and Kennex learns this lesson quickly. Where the MX-83 machines are designed to calculate and react according to best possible outcomes, Dorian reasons. He feels. 

[to John] I'm not like them. MX units are logic-based and rule-oriented. They have no free will and they are designed to feel nothing. I can't say that I was born, I can't say I grew in a womb or had a child, but I was made to feel. And I do. As much as you.


Dorian is self-aware.

Where the other machines hold back when attempting to rescue a kidnapped officer because their math tells them that advancing is unsafe, Dorian charges forward, taking a calculated risk.

But there are risks to trusting Dorian. His entire line was decommissioned because, like humans, they have emotional breaking points. 

Together Kennex and Dorian devise a plan to determine what it is Insyndicate is after, which is a piece of evidence attached to Casefile 6663. We know that it's another DRN like Dorian, and what we'll see over the next several weeks is their attempts to figure out the same.

Kennex might be the human component, but Dorian is the heart of the show. While his interactions with other people, especially Minka Kelly's Valerie Stahl, will no doubt prove beneficial to Kennex, his partnership with Dorian will be what ultimately saves him. 

I, for one, am ready for the adventure.

What did you think of Almost Human Season 1 Episode 1? Are you excited for a new sci-fi show? Grade the Almost Human pilot and let's talk about this new series in the comments!


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (77 Votes)

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


Tuned in due to the fact, the series starred Karl Urban (love that dude). Stayed for the huge Blade Runner vibe, that was all over the first two episodes. Gonna stick with this series as long as it'll air.


Watched the first two episodes, and I'm hooked -- I love it! The two leads are outstanding. I do hope to see more of Michael Irby, who was excellent in "The Unit" and in many guest appearances since then.


Gr8 pilot got me intrigued. 🌟🌟🌟🌟


Really good first episode. I didn't know the show started Sunday and I didn't even know If I would like it so Monday I watched it online and loved it. I can't wait to see more episodes and hope the show stays on for awhile it seems like a really good show.


Waiting for second hour, but it seems to be the tv version of Irobot. It was the plot of the movie that the robot just follow the rules and did not save a person because of probabilty and human being part bionic. Was Keith urban Judge dredd too. I am enjoying the 2 leads.


I gave it a B. It is too early in the shows run to give it an higher of a grade, especially when the pilot HAS to be good to garner the attention of the audience. Only time (and a few more episodes) will tell if the series is worthy of a higher grade.


Alternate Bones/Dredd partnered with black Data in a Fringe/I,Robot world...


I just love Karl Urban. Would watch this just 'cos he's in it.


Loved it. They did a heck of whole lot right for the first episode. Looking forward to the show getting better.


I like good scifi and therefore I like Karl Urban. LOR, Riddick, Trek, etc.
He does a damn good job. I gave a B rating because of the rain/umbrella/street diner scene - a little too Blade Runnerish. An homage is one thing, and immitation is the the sincerest form of ... etc but that was a bit much. Too obvious whom they're copying. BUT, the show's premise shows promise. I liked it.

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Almost Human Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Maldonado: 'Kennex should return to duty never.'
John: Never? Well that's a long time.

Richard, I know this won't be easy for you, but don't be a prick.