ALMOST HUMAN Dies Hard

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AlmostHuman
Episode 103 “Are You Receiving?”

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Episode three of Almost Human opens with Pantsless Karl Urban and Tumblr rejoices, because everybody knows we are in for a great episode. Sure, some people might claim it’s another attempt at showing Kennex with his prosthetic leg, but that is such a lie. It’s simply the producers’ way of apologizing for all the half naked sexbots in the previous episode.

It’s okay show, you are now officially forgiven. Especially after (in a great call back to the show’s premiere) John uses olive oil on his synthetic knee to stop the annoying squeaking. Pantsless Karl is a gift that keeps on giving, it seems.

Later, as John and Dorian banter in the car, they get called to a crime scene. A security guard was shot in a big glass skyscraper and the perps are still in the building (on the 25th floor, to be precise). As the building is being evacuated, the bad guys set off a bomb that creates a big hole through the center of the building. That’s certainly one way of getting police attention. And so begins the futuristic version of Die Hard, minus Bruce Willis.

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Police initiate their protocols of jamming external communications (which, as it turns out, is a bad move), setting up snipers on roof tops (two snipers right next to each other – makes no sense, but looks pretty) and starting negotiations with the terrorists. Exposition Angels, Captain Maldonado (Lili Taylor) in particular, get to play negotiators while doing what they were cast to do – imparting information to the viewers.

Using shiny tech, the main bad guy is identified as a member of a radical organization (Holy Reclamation Arm – I really hope we get to see those bad boys in later episodes), who is trying to use the hostage situation to score some really dangerous explosive thingy. Only in a true Die Hard fashion, he’s not who he claims to be (PLOT TWIST!), and he also totally doesn’t care about the explosive thingy he’s negotiating for.

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He and his buddies are using Face Makers (which is also this episode’s recipient of Shiny Award for the shiniest of shiny tech) to mask their true identities. They aren’t terrorists and they don’t want to use the explosive thingy they demanded of Exposition Angels. They are using the hostage situation and the jamming protocols police initiated to break into a neighboring building to steal a huge amount of palladium without the alarm system going off. Thomas Gabriel would be so proud.

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The bad guys get really close to actually pulling it off, but Dorian and Kennex ride in at the last possible moment with guns blazing, saving the hostages, killing the bad guys and stopping the second bomb from going off. All that gets them a standing ovation once they return to the station and once again, all is fine with the world.

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Additional notes:

– John patching up Dorian’s head wound with tweezers and bubblegum is priceless, especially when he mentions “50 shades of purple”. It’s hilarious to know that in 2048 mentioning Elton John gets a confused response, but puns on 50 Shades of Grey enter the casual vocabulary. That’s the cultural legacy we are leaving, people, be proud.

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– I know more about Paige, a guest character who was there to tell Kennex what he’s up against and will probably never show up again, than I know about Detective Stahl. And Minka Kelly is part of the regular cast and been on my screen for three episodes now. Come to think of it, Vanessa the sexbot in the previous episode was more developed character wise than Detective Stahl. The writers might want to work on that.

– Dorian came close to being “killed” in this episode and admitted to John in their Final Bonding Moment(™), that he didn’t want to die. This was a nice throwback to the previous episode and the whole existential dilemma Dorian is facing of what is going to happen to him when he’s deactivated. It will no doubt be a recurring subject on the show, and while I’m happy to see where they go with this, I can’t help but have Battlestar Galactica flashbacks. That Synthetic Soul program Dorian’s part of is too close to Cylons for me not to compare him to Six and Eight (both Boomer & Athena).

What do you think? Did you enjoy this Die Hard extravaganza? Do you like how John and Dorian relationship is developing? What’s your take on the other police officers we’ve seen so far? Where do you want Dorian’s soul storyline to go?

Leave a comment below and/or join the conversation on Twitter.

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[Official Show Site at Fox]     [Almost Human 1×02 recap]

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