Synthetics don’t celebrate holidays, but Fox still felt the need to put Almost Human on leave for the last few weeks, and it’s back tonight for two more weeks of blasting criminals and disrupting nefarious plots. But maybe you haven’t had a chance to catch up with all six episodes that have already aired. I’m here to tell you all you need to know about Almost Human before watching tonight’s episode. Luckily, it isn’t much, which leads us right into the first thing.
It’s Easy to Jump Right in
I guess that’s a bit misleading, but this is a show that arrives as a procedural and exits as a procedural. Unlike J.H. Wyman’s previous TV work on the cult hit Fringe, there doesn’t appear to be any deeper mythology underlying the events of Almost Human, although the world-building achieved from episode to episode certainly welcomes larger and more complex story arcs in the future.
The set-up: It’s 2048, and androids assist in all walks of life, and partnered with each human cop. Karl Urban plays John Kennex, a detective whose instincts almost get him killed, though he is saved and given a biomechanical leg to make up for the one that got blown off. He is paired with the android Dorian (Michael Ealy), a “retired” model who was programmed to experience emotion and considered dangerous. Dorian can do just about anything. John is the kind of guy who wrote his own rulebook full of rules, because he doesn’t follow anyone else’s. Also, he wrote the rules in other people’s blood, because he, like the 1980s action-hero vibe he exudes, has absolutely no problem with killing all the bad guys. Which is okay, since a lot of the bad guys are robots and clones.
Minka Kelly plays the tough detective Valerie Stahl, Mackenzie Crook plays the nerdy and somehow oafish tech Rudy Lorn, and they all work under Captain Sandra, played by Lily Taylor. It’s a good cast that keeps the quality intact when the scripts are a tad too gee-golly.