Aside from the initial comparison to I,Robot, (you know, a cop who has a cybernetic part and doesn’t trust robots) Almost human is a fun romp into a world changed forever by their technological advances. It is a world that requires every cop to have an MX (android partner).
John Kennex lost his leg and was left in a coma for 17 months after a mission went south. His android partner analyzed Kennex’s human partner as wounded beyond help and left him rather than aiding Kennex and the dying man. Karl Urban plays John Kennex wonderfully. His nonchalance and agitation with the units creates a perfect balance. Then again, if I was being stared down by those glassy I’d toss an annoying MX into traffic too.
Kennex’s brash actions brought us to Rudy and Dorian. Rudy took great offense to Kennex calling Dorian a basketcase because of Dorian’s human like programming. Dorian immediately stands his own ground aside Kennex. He isn’t going to be bossed around. But what Dorian brings to the table is more interesting than anything else. He is intelligent and capable of making his own decisions rather than strictly following code. He has a heart and doesn’t always approve with Kennex’s methods. In a way, he is more human than Kennex and actually empathsizes with the people he deals with. The only problem is he is not a human.
As a pairing, Karl Urban and Michael Ealy work well. The tension between the two creates a sense of respect between the two. After some fighting and bickering, and Dorian proving himself, Kennex finally accepts Dorian as being different than the others. We see a lot of Dorian helping Kennex, which is to be expected, but I hope over time we get to see Kennex giving Dorian the same assistance when he needs it. I’m looking forward to see where their relationship progresses.
The tension in the show is immediately clear. Kennex doesn’t like anything robotic. On Kennex’s first day back on the force, there are clearly people who don’t want Kennex around, blaming him for the ambush that killed his entire team, but himself. Luckily, he does seem to have some fans, particularly in Valerie Stahl and Maldonado, who see Kennex’s return as a benefit to the force.
I must take a moment and mention how wonderful the graphics on the show are. From the hologram, person scanning yellow tape to paper that didn’t display the writing until someone held it. All the effect are top notch and completely stunning. Even the visual effect of the man dying from the disease gas was wonderful. It makes me wonder if half the budget was spent on the pilot and episode two or if it was relatively evenly distributed. It would be a shame to lose quality because of spent budget.
I admit that I have high hopes for this show because of the Fringe tie in with J.J. Abrams and the rest of the Fringe crew. The show exhibits the same nature of Fringe. I expect to see a lot of week by week episodes and a growing mythology.
What did you think of the episode? Do you think Almost Human will last?