What makes Almost Human such a compelling show are the interactions between the very human John Kennex and his android partner Dorian, the riveting action, and the humor, sadly, this episode had none of those things. Instead, this week’s episode focused on a double drug overdose and a condemnation of prescription drug culture and tiger moms.
When two gifted teenage students overdose on a drug designed to strengthen perception, Kennex and Dorian are called into action to solve the murders. The word action is used in the loosest sense as Dorian and Kennex kind of just stand around and listen to parents dramatically confess their shortcomings. Other than his blinky head, the show didn’t even give much of an indication that Dorian was an android. It really was a watered down Murder She Wrote, with some attempts at detective work and a seemingly endless loop of interrogations. Remember the awesome fire fight with Gina Carano last week? Yeah, not so much this week.
The drug culture motif extended to Kennex, as it is revealed he is also taking a legal drug to enhance his memories so he can finally solve the mystery of what happened the day his girlfriend betrayed him and cost him his leg. The overarching plot is intriguing and helps connect this episode to the show’s mythology but it was drowned out by the feeble who done it.
The episode did add to the character of Detective Valerie Stahl who was revealed to be a Chrone, a being who was genetically altered at birth to be perfect. The only drawback to Stahl’s character was that she was portrayed as TOO perfect, she is super model pretty, tough, brilliant, without a quirk to speak of. This new status quo for Stahl adds a welcome aspect to her character other than her heart aching beauty and brilliance. She is now a part of the world of Almost Human as someone who is More Than Human and the added depth is welcome.
The preachiness of the episode goes against the freewheeling fun of the series, as the writers decide to wag a finger at overbearing parents and prescription drug culture rather than world build and develop the characters like they have done so well in previous episodes.
It seems by episode’s end, the overreaching plot thickens, as Kennex discovers there was a listening device planted in his apartment in the form of a matryoshka doll he once gave to his lover. Hopefully this revelation kicks the show back on the same track it has been on since the premiere and that this episode was just a mundane hiccup.
Seriously, Under no circumstances should an android as cool as Dorian be standing around doing nothing at any point, and any episode of the series light on Mackenzie Crook’s Rudy Lom is not welcome. With all due respect to Peter Capaldi, my God, is Crook born to play the Doctor or what?