Almost Human Review: Where The Soul Is

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After a three-week break, Almost Human made a strong return tonight to finish out its first season.

As only the second episode so far to air where it was originally intended, the sense of urgency felt throughout this installment was immediate and continued through its final moments. 

In what may have been the show's best episode yet, Dorian met his creator and we began to see more of this futuristic society in which John Kennex and company live. Almost Human Season 1 Episode 9 featured an XRN, a machine Dr. Nigel Vaughn created after the DRNs were decommissioned and his robotics license was revoked. 

This synthetic is unlike any other, and the fact that Dr. Vaughn wants to create an army of them makes for an interesting setup for the remaining four episodes.

Without the logical thought of the MXs and seemingly without Dorian's synthetic soul, the XRN is a vicious and deadly machine whose purpose is destruction. After her creation, she killed 26 police officers in three days before she was finally flanked and her body was destroyed. But not her head. That went into an evidence locker.

The same evidence locker Insyndicate wanted to break into in the pilot episode. 

Ah, Insyndicate! It's been a few episodes since we've heard that name! But we may not hear it again since it wasn't determined tonight if Insyndicate was somehow behind the XRN's escape from the evidence locker and theft of the microprocessors needed to create an XRN army. 

Is Dr. Nigel Vaughn working with Insyndicate? Is he working by himself while Insyndicate continues plotting whatever nefarious schemes they may plot? Will our heroes face a two-front war in the first season's final episodes?

Yeah, I don't know. It could be any of those things or none of them. With the way this show is progressing, I'm certainly not able to guess very much about how the next few weeks will go down.

What I do know, or rather what I saw coming, was Dr. Vaughn's double dealing with the police. That was clear from a mile away in heavy fog and a blizzard.

If a mad scientist offers to help you "destroy" one of his own creations, there's almost no way you should trust that that's what he actually plans to do. 

In this case, Dr. Vaughn did plan to destroy his creation, but neglected to mention that he was the one who sent her on her path of destruction in the first place. Or that her death was sacrificial and not because he legitimately thought she was bad for the rest of the world.

The reasons why or how she became so destructive also remained unclear. 

Was Danica simply programmed to be a mercenary? Did Dr. Vaughn's motivations when creating her synthetic soul really affect her outlook? Or was Dr. Vaughn lying to Dorian about the fact that they share the same synthetic soul?

There I go again with the questions I can't answer.

Part of me thinks that the XRN and Dorian do share a soul, because that contributes to the show's overarching idea of what it means to be human. 

DNA can be isolated under a microscope, you know, hair color, eye color, height, weight, ethnicity. The fundamental basic data can be traced to individual chromosomes. But the soul, that is who we are. It is our passion, our pain. Why we laugh, why we cry. Why we strive to be better. DNA, it's the data, but the soul? It's the story. It is the essence of life.

Nigel Vaughn

The soul, Dorian's specifically, is what makes him so unique. Dorian's synthetic soul, like its non-synthetic counterparts, has the capacity for both good and evil. The humans in that world understand the duality of man, but for an android like Dorian, who has been programmed in a certain way and given a soul, that understanding is less clear.

Because Danica and Dorian share a creator and are in so many ways exactly alike, she serves as a warning for Dorian regarding what he could become.

The thought that he is capable of that sort of chaos and destruction scares him. It scared the DRNs before him who took their own lives rather than risk malfunctioning and taking the lives of innocent people.

It's such this abstract world which J.H. Wyman has created and pondering it is both fascinating and futile.

Regarding this world of Wyman's, there is a wall around the city, much like Divergent or The Hunger Games. While they fight their own wars against crime inside the city, there are supposedly far worse crimes occurring outside the city's walls.

And now Dr. Vaughn is among the ranks of the criminals who live outside the city. Did he join Insyndicate there to build his army? 

Time will tell. But Maldonado and John won't be happy they didn't listen to Dorian. (At some point they'll learn to listen to him, right?)

What did you think about Almost Human Season 1 Episode 9? Are Dorian and the XRN the same? How did you like John Larroquette as Dr. Nigel Vaughn? 


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (29 Votes)

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


Finish out its first season? Its coming back on next week... and 3 more times lol Anyway... i dont understand that fight, the bots were throwing each around with enough force to break those columns into pieces.. yet when she was hitting kenix he didnt get so much as a broken bone


Liked this episode, however the tell for me with the good doctor was that Danica let him live. She killed most people that she encountered, but yet Dr. Vaughn was left alive?!
The fight scene between Dorian and Danica was awesome.
I know the upcoming episode and the wall is going to be intriguing indeed.


Good episode. It was cool learning that there is a wall around the city and that it's extremely dangerous on the other side and I hope we learn more about it and what kinds of dangers are on the other side. It's funny comparing it to Divergent and The Hunger Games because I was just talking about both of them the other day. Learning that Dorian and Danica have the same soul but she's evil is interesting and makes you wonder if that could happen to Dorian. I loved that when Danica was about to kill him Kennex laughed because he had the grenade pin then he kicked her and she blew up it was so awesome. Dorian and Kennex got their asses kicked by Danica and the only reason they survived was because they blew her up which was cool.

Fernando sioson

"To finish out its first season"? This is the 9th episode and its first season is slated for at least a 13 episode run through March.


The grenade pin and Kennex booting her out the door were absolutely classic moments! That cynical, dark chuckle he gave makes me grin just thinking about it! And Rudy with his case of hero worship! Wasn't he just so wonderfully awkward during that whole intro to Nigel Vaughn scene? Thinking of Dorian with rebar sticking through his gut makes me hurt all over. Full body twitches! But what glorious fight sequences!


Danica's demo at the police HQ: Nigel Vaughn specifically stated that he wasn't responsible for letting her get out. So what precisely was going on during her demo and who let her get out? Was she really malfunctioning or was she actually following the parameters of what she was supposed to be demonstrating but not within the confines of her predetermined demo space? Did that cretin of a politician let her out and that was why Vaughn sicced Danica after him for revenge?


After months of me talking about The Wall, they finally use it as a real plot point! Now everyone online is asking, "What wall? They just brought this whole wall stuff up out of nowhere!" Doesn't anyone pay attention to what they're watching at all?! I was asking about the huge fricking wall across from the noodle shop during the pilot, yet after repeated mentions by characters plus shots during the shows they still haven't figured out that there's an enormous wall cutting the city in two? EESH!


Loved this episode. It was great to get a deeper insight in the show's mythology. But was that Wall ever mentioned before? Maybe I just didn't catch it.


Loved this episode. My favorite so far. I am very interested in the Wall and what that is all about. I really like this show. I hope it does not get canceled.


I'm glad they really got into the wider mythology this episode, finally. (Also, maybe you should edit your first sentence - it's giving the impression that this *was* the season finale, and people might just read that and think it's over and not expect a new ep next week!)

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Almost Human Season 1 Episode 9 Quotes

DNA can be isolated under a microscope, you know, hair color, eye color, height, weight, ethnicity. The fundamental basic data can be traced to individual chromosomes. But the soul, that is who we are. It is our passion, our pain. Why we laugh, why we cry. Why we strive to be better. DNA, it's the data, but the soul? It's the story. It is the essence of life.

Nigel Vaughn

It's not our past that defines us. It's what we do now.