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Almost-human

Almost Human Review: Where the Heart Is

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Tonight's episode of Almost Human goes down as one of the better of the fledgling series so far, and it's all because of Dorian. (Really, it's always because of Dorian, isn't it?)

Almost Human Season 1 Episode 6 took us into the mind - and heart - of the DRNs.

Black Market Transplants

We're nearing the end of the out-of-order episodes with "Arrhythmia" being the last in this set. Originally, tonight's installment would have aired as the third of the season, and, once again, it was better suited to its original spot on the schedule than this one. 

Why?

Because it explained the DRNs and why they were decommissioned, at least in part. A test was administered to all of the DRNs, the Luger Test, and some of them failed. Instead of relying on the test results and only decommissioning those DRNs who failed the exam, scientists decided to take all of them out of the work force and replace them with the cold and calculated MX machines. 

While Dorian was relaying this information to a fellow DRN, he was also sharing his history with John, who didn't seem to know. That exchange made Dorian's later explanation as to why he brought the DRN on the ride-along more poignant.

Dorian: When I was decommissioned, the second before it happened I just kept thinking 'I really hope there's someone there to wake me up again.' I just want to be a cop, man. I just want to be here. And then you woke me up. It was you. You were that person for me, John.
John: Well, we all make mistakes.
Dorian: I want to be that person for him.

When setting up a series, information such as this is critical in billing the characters as people - or in this case machines - viewers pull for. Three weeks ago, we were given the hostage situation wherein Dorian was damaged and it wasn't clear how he would fare.

Knowing that the problem with the DRNs was that some of them had a tendency toward being overly emotional and were considered crazy would have made the fact that he was damaged more dramatic. What if the trauma to his machine-brain had caused him to go off the rails? 

Am I making sense here? I hate to belabor the point about the episode ordering, but at least for now, it's having an impact on my viewing in that I can't help but think about how out of sync the storytelling is and how it could be better.

Not that tonight was bad, by any means. Any episode where we get to learn more about Dorian and watch Kennex react to him is great, so in that regard, tonight was pretty great. 

I loved watching Dorian see the DRN fixing the hologram doctor and marvel at how odd it was to see himself, or a machine like himself, in a role for which it wasn't created. DRNs were created to be cops, but they were also created to have souls. They were designed to feel. That makes them unpredictable and is part of what makes this show interesting. 

These machines are almost human. Almost, but not quite. 

If we look at the first six episodes as a whole, what we see is how John views Dorian less and less like a machine with each passing day. Dorian views himself less and less like a machine as well. The lines between those who can create and those who are created are getting blurred.

The other line getting blurred on Almost Human is the one between the fantasy and reality of the show.

One of the things I love about science-fiction is when the fiction is just real enough for the science to seem possible.

Tonight's case dealt with the black market selling of bio-mechanical human organs. The group responsible for selling the organs gave all recipients an expiration date. To extend the life of their organs, all recipients had to do was continue to pay larger and larger sums of money.

From an ethical and current-day standpoint, it was interesting. One day we may well be in the position to create bio-mechanical organs, so how do we go about determining who'll get them? Those who can afford to pay? Those who cannot at all? Those whose need is greatest independent of whether or not they can pay?

It was interesting and it made me think. That's a pretty high compliment to pay to a TV show, you know?

No matter what, please don't mistake my continued frustration with the ordering for disdain for the series at large. We should get back around to the storyline laid out in the pilot soon, hopefully, and will (again, hopefully) watch Almost Human finish out it's first season on a high note.

I'm still cautiously endorsing this series, and while the majority of the reason for my endorsement comes from the Kennex-Dorian partnership, part of it also comes from the technology we get to see each week.

What did you think of Almost Human Season 1 Episode 6? Do you enjoy the episodes where we get to see more of Dorian? Is there another character about which you'd like to know more? What hopes do you have for the series when it returns in three weeks?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.75 / 5.0
  • 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (55 Votes)

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

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Fortyseven

This is the 3rd produced episode.

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I like the show and it's ethical issues, as long as it doesn't become too heavy handed. The one drawback that keeps popping up every show, and probably can't be fixed is that it is not believable that 35 years from now cars will resemble what they are driving around.my guess is budget constraints.

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"I liked the ending how the hospital was giving all those people with the hearts new hearts even if it was to cover their own ass like Stahl said the outcomes still good." It was not the hospital but the company who made the hearts. I think that while they were doing it to cove that ass they probably were getting at least some of the cost covered by Malpractice Insurance as well as a Errors and Omissions Insurance (the latter is what covers the actions of a company's Executives).

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I've been enjoying this show from the beginning but this episode was a winner. The ethical dilemma about not getting a needed heart replacement because of no insurance makes me glad that I live in Canada where health care is everyone's right and ability to pay does not enter into the decision.

Gigi2776

Like you Miranda, I also began to think about some things. While watching this episode, I began to wonder about the higher-ups that Dorian mentioned - the people charged with regulating the new technology found in Almost Human's future setting. Surely, an episode will be done to introduce the audience to those who must decide which tech is beneficial to society and which must be outlawed. Perhaps they are something like the FDA, where tech must be rigorously tested before approval. Is there Department of New Technologies with a Tech Secretary as a part of the President's cabinet? Would they take issue with Dorian's re-commission? I am definitely a fan of this show, and I'm glad I won't have to wait long for it to return.

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I really like this show and wish more people would check it out. I don't think it has found its footing yet, but it does have a lot of potential. Some of the stories have been outstanding, like last nights. Very thought provoking and interesting on many levels. I hope that ratings rise and that Fox gives a go ahead for season 2. This is the only prime time series I have watched on Fox in years..

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I did not notice it being out of order. Putting it here shows how much dorian means to kennex for his friendship because he let the other robot ride with them. Almost like a buddy movie they have been through many things and taking him out also the advise about the leg. and joking around with each other. It would not have worked if they just met
The heart story was interesting. It is scaryto think about but the same thing can happen with pacemaker. They are able to be served remotely like the doctor thought they were suppose to be. VP Channey had to have that feature turned offf because of that reason,

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The Rube Goldberg aftermath of the DRN takedown was classic! And Maldonado yelling at Kennex, "Do you know how much those cost?!". No doubt complaining about the downed MX. Or maybe the drone. Or the fire hydrant/rocket that took out the drone. Or maybe the combination of all those along with the vehicles. I'd really hate to be near the Captain during budget time. Heck, I'd hate to be Kennex when the Captain faces budget time! How long before the poor lady's counting grey hairs after another week of the escapades of the Mechanical Misfits?

Miranda-wicker
@ Drin

That WAS a funny exchange. Definitely a highlight.

Marissa

Good episode. I also don't like the episodes being out of order because it messes up te story but when the episodes get back on track then so will the story and it will all make much more since. The case was very interesting and when that dude was stairing at the timers for the hearts counting down I was like come on restart them don't let hundreds of people die jus because you don't want to get caught but he didn't and even though not everyone died a few people did which wasn't cool. I liked the ending how the hospital was giving all those people with the hearts new hearts even if it was to cover their own ass like Stahl said the outcomes still good. Can't wait till the show returns thank god it's not to long.

Almost Human Season 1 Episode 6 Quotes

[to John] Keep banging on it, Caveman. That'll make it work.

Dorian

Dorian: When I was decommissioned, the second before it happened I just kept thinking 'I really hope there's someone there to wake me up again.' I just want to be a cop, man. I just want to be here. And then you woke me up. It was you. You were that person for me, John.
John: Well, we all make mistakes.
Dorian: I want to be that person for him.

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