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Almost Human 1×11 “Disrupt”

This week on the Almost Human‘s almost helpful intro, the narrator lady touts the man-made machines as the new line of defense, though I couldn’t help but wonder if “the wall” was truly (or literally) the new line of defense. Of course, there has been no mention of this wall since it materialized two episodes ago, and with each passing day, I’m more and more open to the fact that I dreamed that entire episode, or really, this entire weird-bad series.

Back in “Simon Says,” Dorian moved in with Rudy, a situation rife with comedic potential. Naturally, four episodes later, we get the first reference to the fact that this living situation is even happening. It’s the Almost Human way. Introduce something out of nowhere, get people kinda intrigued (but mostly confused), and then bring it back up when you’ve forgotten about it, or believe they’ve decided to go in a different direction. We open on Rudy fiddling with Dorian’s brain and diagnostics, as he sleeps/charges. Dorian wakes up in the middle of it, and isn’t too happy to have his roommate playing around in his head. Cue Kennex’s entrance/joke time, who compares what Rudy is doing to him waking up with a clean shave from someone else, and that’d be cool. “Would you be happy if someone shaved you while unconscious?”, Dorian asks. Moments like these are when I wonder if Almost Human could’ve been a huge hit if they had just made it a sitcom. Instead, it’s likely that the next two episodes after this one will be the last.

Normally, I’d be all up in FOX’s grill for cancelling a sci-fi show (we don’t need to go there, do we?), and they clearly haven’t helped matters by swapping around episodes, but even so, I have seen hardly anything to justify keeping this show around. If anything, I think FOX might be merciful for letting this show end after 13 frustrating episodes.

But to “Disrupt” my inner monologue, let’s get back to the damn episode. Clearly something is up with Dorian’s functions, and Rudy isn’t telling the whole truth. Those aren’t the only lies in this episode. Detective Paul, one of the absentee cast members on this show, doesn’t even bother to show up for filming these days, and has taken a “personal day” from work. If he had gone to work, he might’ve actually had a role in the proceedings for once, as the case that balloons out of control was Paul’s case. But, who cares about Detective Paul? Kennex and Dorian are the only ones who do police work in 2048. We know this, and now, it seems even their co-workers know this. I’d be taking personal days too. Throughout the episode, Kennex makes up embarrassing excuses for his absence (from dick piercings to sex-bot infections), and I love them, as it’s another instance where Almost Human is making fun of itself (or that’s how I choose to take it), for having such a flat, boring, useless supporting cast. Of course, leave it to AH to even screw this running joke up, as they string it along for too long, including an almost useless (a synonym for the show itself) scene at the end with Captain Maldonado. Oh wait, that’s every scene with Captain Maldonado.

The case of the week revolves around a “smart house,” which is like what would happen if Siri ran your house…if Siri was a silver-haired holographic dude named S.A.M. that took personality lessons from Hal from 2001.  Apparently, a year previous, a kid had been murdered for trespassing in someone else’s house, the smart house taking what some might say were excessive precautions to protect the homeowners. On the 1 year anniversary of the events…the couple who live in the house are just trying to get through the day, inundated with hate mail and death threats for what happened to Jake Kasdan at their home. Instead, at the exact time when Jake was killed the year before, Sam gets hacked, and murders the couple in decently cool/brutal fashion.

The Captain’s press conference on the scene isn’t as ridiculous as I’d hoped (the drinking game fails us, here), while Kennex and Dorian interview “Sam,” the manifestation of the smart house. All memory of the events have been wiped, including all security footage. Someone has hacked Sam, and it’s someone good. Oh, brother.

Dorian gives Kennex a hard time for lying about Detective Paul’s “personal” day, believing that his reasons for staying home should be just that: personal. Kennex knows he’s just fronting about his own invasion of privacy earlier with Rudy. Then Karl Urban literally turns into Bones, when he pats Dorian gruffly on the shoulder and bemoans how hard it is to live with someone: “Human connection man.”

Onto Synturion (I thought it was Centurion and a reference to BSG for way too long), the company that created the devices. It seems like we’ve seen this episode before, every week. New technology backfires, someone is killed, Kennex and Dorian go to the company who created the tech, and it’s either someone at the company, someone jilted by the company, or someone connected to a previous case involving murder, who is responsible. That’s also practically every procedural show ever, but Almost Human seems to have any less creativity and options. When Valerie interviews Dead Kid’s mother (Diana Pavlovska), I wonder out loud if they would have the balls to repeat the killer from LAST WEEK (the mother of the killed kid turned out to be the perpetrator). Thankfully, they don’t.

All signs instead point to Disrupt, a group of hackers that have been the most vocal about Synturion and Kasdan’s death. Their name is Disrupt? Seriously? They figure out the hacker responsible is Crispin X, who is played by Reece Thompson, and not this man, unfortunately. Because OF COURSE Rudy used to be a hacker, they use his former hacker cred and alias (Aphid), to go to a hacker rave and track down Crispin X. Rudy makes a huge deal about Kennex and Valerie needing to go undercover and dress up in wacky ways to avoid suspicion, leading us to a moment that could be awesome or the worst…which means Kennex goes as Urban’s character in The Chronicles of Riddick (just a lot of eyeliner), and Valerie puts on a blue wig, like a combination of Scott Pilgrim vs. The WorldGhost World and Olivia Wilde in Tron. It’s a huge letdown:

almost human

The rave turns out to be a virtual reality party, and they quickly snag Crispin, or Nico, who claims someone else is responsible for the murder. The disguises don’t work at all, but it doesn’t matter. Kennex even uses some awful accent to sell his outfit to no avail, because cops don’t have accents (maybe all people with accents are beyond the wall?!).

When Dorian and Kennex were at Synturion, the other good part of this episode manifests: Dorian begins to have dreams, or memories. He sees a kid playing with a toy train. According to the DRN, they feel like his memories, but he knows they aren’t…because he obviously was never a kid (OR WAS HE?!). We learn that Rudy used to turn Dorian on periodically before he was reinstated, just because he needed a pal, and wanted someone to talk to, which is adorable – but not so adorably, he deleted all the memories because he feared he’d get in trouble when Dorian was brought back online. Rudy claims he must not have erased everything, which might explain the dreams. We know there’s something else up, and for once, it’s a cool subplot: these “shadow files” are organic, and have been injected into Dorian for a reason. Rudy closed the insertion point though (gross), so it’ll probably never be mentioned again.

Crispin/Nico agrees to help them track down the hacker, because I guess Rudy or Valerie can’t do it (isn’t Valerie a genetically engineered human far smarter than all “naturals”?). He does so because he’s threatened to go to the Cubes, which is obviously what prisons are called in the future. Does this mean there’s hope for a Blacklist crossover? Or are the Cubes even more nefarious…like this? We’ll likely never know. Crispin tracks down the killer/hacker, and it’s….EMILY (Laine MacNeil), one of Jake’s best friends (cyber lover?) and fellow hacker. Big twist, I know. She’s soon stopped, and it was so exciting I kind of dozed through it. IMdB users have rated this episode an 8.7, which seems entirely too high, or maybe I’m not high enough when watching this.

GRADE: B-