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Almost-human

Almost Human Review: Checkmate

by at .  Updated at . Comments

I can't have been the only person to let out a tiny squeal when Almost Human Season 1 Episode 4 featured a villain known as The Bishop, can I?

No, I don't think I was alone in my joy at what could have been an homage to Fringe what with The Bishop needing a scientist and Walter having been a scientist. And let's go ahead and tie in a little Breaking Bad while we're at it with Walters Bishop and White and cooking drugs.

It's like six degrees of TV drama up in here!

Calling on Rudy

Almost Human is off to a weird start. Season 1 Episode 1 indicated that the show would be a bit serial in nature. There was an interesting history for Kennex and his missing memories. There was the opportunity to see him develop a relationship with both Dorian and Stahl.

What we've seen so far has definitely been a straight procedural, and while it's been interesting, I keep hoping to pick up the storylines brought up in the pilot.  

J.H. Wyman took to Twitter and explained that the first 7 or 8 episodes are airing out of their original order and suddenly things make a little more sense, at least as much as airing episodes out of order can make sense, that is. Because on the whole, making that decision doesn't make sense in this case.

Airing the first 7 or 8 episodes out of order breaks up the character development and it certainly explains just how John and Dorian developed such a good working relationship so quickly. While the fact that their partnership would progress so rapidly is believable after the pilot's closing scene, what we'll have to see now is their awkward beginnings after seeing the relationship which has already been established.

That's clear as mud, right? Right. Kind of like what happens when episodes are aired out of order.

Anyway. Enough ranting about that. 

Overall, tonight was another solid performance for this fledgling buddy cop drama. It gave Rudy, who is two parts mad scientist, one part heart, and one part loner, a chance to shine as a member of the team by going undercover as a drug cook for a dealer known as The Bishop.

The Bishop turned out to be a captain on the police force, the leader of the narcotics division. Cooper, Kennex' friend who was murdered, was attempting to infiltrate The Bishop's network when he was killed for being a cop. When others were quick to label Cooper dirty, Kennex came to his late friend's honor determined to clear the man's good name.

To do that, he needed a drug cook. Enter Rudy, who was eager to help. Though I'm not sure exactly how The Bishop didn't know Rudy was undercover since Rudy works for the police and so did The Bishop, but I'm probably not supposed to be thinking that hard about it.

Paul's advice that Rudy keep his lies close to the truth worked in Rudy's favor and he was able to pass himself off as a legitimate criminal with a simple yet impassioned speech about doing what he loves.

It's about passion. Passion in your work. It's science, yes, but it's also an art. Ingredients are ingredients, but if you go quiet and you just listen, they start to talk back to you and they tell you what they need and the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts...if you approach your work with reverence and pour your very soul into it, it starts to get a life of its own, and dare I say, you can grow very fond of that creation.

Rudy

And that line is what makes Rudy a character we can root for. It was vulnerable and honest and beautiful. It was clear that he was talking about the machines and not drugs and it's his relationship to the machines and being the one who can see them for more than just walking, talking hunks of wiring and microchips that makes him interesting, particularly as it comes to Dorian's desire to be a real boy.

To Rudy, the machines, particularly those which he has created, are more than just machines, and because of that Dorian feels a special kinship to the scientist. 

For a minute I thought he might not make it out of the warehouse and I was rather sad and I found myself rooting for Dorian in his fight against the other android.

I care about these characters. That's how I know this show has me hooked even if the storytelling is a bit clunky and some of the acting is a bit stilted right now. I'm hopeful that once episodes go back to airing in their original order, things will look up for Almost Human and it will be able to soar a little bit higher.

What did you think of Almost Human Season 1 Episode 4? Are you irritated or relieved to learn that the episodes are airing out of their original order? Which character do you care about the most so far and why?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
  • 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (58 Votes)

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

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So if JJ says that FOX is airing the episodes out of order, what is the correct order? We've got all four on the DVR, but will wait to watch until we know the correct order...

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I really, REALLY like this show and am concerned that FOX is screwing up a perfectly fine show (AGAIN!). PLEASE FOX --- DON"T CANCEL ALMOST HUMAN!!! Give it time and support rather than an axe in the back of the cranium! There are so many questions to be answered, such as "Why is there an enormous wall dividing the city? Why is the area on the other side without electricity and why people are climbing the wall to get into Kennex's and Dorian's side of LA? What happened to the vigilante DRN mentioned in the closed case files? Why hasn't anyone else mentioned how Dorian went through his own version of Kennex's trauma -- all of his fellow DRNs being rejected and shut down, getting put into an android's version of coma for 4 yrs 8 months, and being the only one of his kind running around?" Kennex's OCD and PTSD has been ignored online too. He wears the same style clothing and eats the same foods over and over. Was he always like that? Some folks complain about his volatility, esp executing The Bishop, without taking into consideration how someone who'd gone through Kennex's trauma would view a dirty cop who had one of Kennex's few surviving friends killed. He'd have no qualms putting a bullet in the guy's head to make certain no other good cops and citizens were killed because of this criminal trash. Fallout might come later if the show survives, but for now Kennex simply could care less about the repercussions to himself. There's a lot of great material to work with, but FOX has to let the show breathe first. And stop showing things out of order, for pity's sake!!

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Great Review, Miranda. I too remember your reviews for Fringe and American Idol? or the Voice? I've read your reviews for many other shows of course. The out of order epidsode...I believe could be related to the the fact that Fox is attempting to get the best possible ratings as soon as possible, that is the only reason I can think of. I love the show...the chemistry between the two main characters is growing on me...I love their sense of humor relating to one another. Great show, again great review.

Miranda-wicker
@ Russ

Thanks, Russ! Carissa covered Fringe and did an excellent job. Yes, I'm our American Idol reviewer. Perhaps Fox IS attempting to get the best ratings as quickly as possible but with an already shortened season, it still seems an odd choice as it interrupts the flow of the narrative. You know, the one we're still waiting to hear. ;)

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I'm very curious why they air episodes out of order? There must be some valid reason but I just can't see what it would be. Technical, artistic, narrative, human error...?

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@ Anoonymous

Human error.. I see what you did there

Snakethecritic

🌟🌟 " What we've seen so far has definitely been a straight procedural, and while it's been interesting, I keep hoping to pick up the storylines brought up in the pilot." Agree x100.

Modwild
@ SnakeTheCritic

Snake! I miss hearing from you on Fringe. :-) The good ole days! Almost Human will come through. I had horrible things to say about Fringe during its first season. Then? Love. Why in the hell Anyone thinks airing episodes out if order is a good idea is beyond me. Especially so early when every episode counts. I love the leads so much, I'd hate to see Ealy and Urban pay for stupid programming mistakes!

Miranda-wicker
@ Carissa Pavlica

I'm hopeful that this will come together. I think it will. I hope. I worry that Fox's cable approach of only giving it 13 episodes a season might hurt the storytelling though if they don't pull it together soon. And yeah, I don't get the airing out of order either. Never have. It's so bizarre to me. I understand when an episode gets flipped around because the material coincides with a real-world event and the network worries it will be too much too soon, but barring that circumstance, I don't get it.

Jimg
@ Miranda Wicker

The sad thing is that FOX did this very same thing to Firefly before moving it to different nights and ultimately cancelling the show. A move they later went on record as saying they regretted after Serenity was a huge hit and Firefly got such a following on DVD. I _really_ hope that FOX remembers that soon. Almost Human has a great mix of human heart, cool tech, and just enough humor to make it do well if it... (crossing fingers)