ALMOST HUMAN Brings Sexy Back

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AlmostHuman
Episode 102 “Skin”

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that any technology developed by mankind will, sooner rather than later, be used for adult entertainment. It’s been true for the Internet (complete with an Avenue Q musical number), it’s been true for Google Glass; and as this episode of Almost Human proves: it’s also true for the androids (and if you didn’t see it coming, pun very much intended, I am revoking your Internet privileges).

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The episode starts with a murder of an android designer who specialized in, you guessed it, androids designed for sex. Or, as the characters kept referring to them: sexbots. And if there is ever a drinking game for Almost Human, one of the points will definitely be: drink every time someone says “sexbot”. “Skin” will get rid of any lightweight players in a matter of minutes. But I digress.

It’s quickly established that the sexbot the victim was with left human DNA that belonged to a missing woman. Apparently Albanian criminals (can they be called sex traffickers if they deal in androids?) have been using real skin from women they kidnapped to make the sexbot experience even better. And I will have the image of a skinned body burned into my mind; thanks for that Almost HumanAH.105.3

Plot wise, the episode isn’t really that complicated. Halfway through we already know who killed the first victim and what is going on. From there, it’s only a matter of finding the “skin lab”, arresting (or shooting, Dorian doesn’t seem to care which) the bad guys and rescuing the kidnapped women before they are skinned alive. Spoiler alert: not all of them make it out of that alive, but the mother of a kid John bonds with does get a happy ending.AH.105.6

The show doesn’t make an effort to even pretend the mystery of the week is anything but a vehicle for Dorian’s character development.

After the Albanians kidnap their latest victim, leaving her son abandoned in a car, Dorian and John discuss what do you tell a small child when their parent is dead. It’s a very somber conversation and it’s clear that through the episode, Dorian is pondering his own existence, his “mortality”, so to speak.

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I really have to hand it to Michael Ealy here, because while Dorian is an android and his face, by default, remains expressionless, you can really see the subtle emotions playing underneath, when he is faced with the way humans treat other androids and how he might be treated if he’s ever “decommissioned”.

While I was really impressed with the way the show handled that philosophical subplot, the episode as a whole felt really disjointed. On one hand you had the somber storyline of women being kidnapped for their skin and Dorian having an existential crisis of who will remember him after he’s gone; and on the other hand you had jokes and banter about scanning John’s testicles (yeah, that really happened). I’m not saying that the comedic moments and the mocking dynamic John and Dorian display is wrong, but it did give me an emotional whiplash.AH.105.7

Additional notes:

– I decided to start referring to Minka Kelly and Lili Taylor’s characters as the Exposition Angels (name that amuses me for reasons only people familiar with Minka’s filmography will understand), because that appears to be their sole purpose so far.

– I am really impressed with Dorian’s commitment to establishing relationship with John. When he said jokingly to John “I”m not the one with an online dating profile” I really thought it was just that, a joke. But when he followed through and actually created a profile and went as far as to set John up on a date. Respect, man.

– Shiny tech continues to be shiny. This episode’s Shiny Award goes to a DNA bomb that explores glitter all over crime scene corrupting any evidence Police might find there. Loving it (even though John hates it).

– I’m not entirely sure what world John Kennex is living in, but apparently it’s a world where stabbing yourself in the leg in front of a group of kids is a valid lifestyle choice.

What did you think of this episode? Were you rolling your eyes at the sexbots or were you just glad the writers got that tech out of the way quickly (because we all knew they would go there at some point)? What do you think of the dynamic developing between our intrepid heroes? Leave your comments below and/or join the conversation on Twitter.

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[Official Show Site at Fox]     [Almost Human 1×01 recap]

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