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REVIEW: Almost Human 1×03 “Are We Receiving”

Written by Scott Swartz

Well that was fun, in an inventive and unique way to stage the whole heist scenario. Yes, Almost Human decided to use their third episode as their Die Hard montage, and you know what, it was pretty fun to watch. In fact after three episodes I can safely say that none of them were bad, and this is all due to the amazing chemistry between the leads. Yes, “Are We Receiving” was not a revolutionary or life changing episode, hell it did not manage to expand the larger mythology of the series, but what it did do it did rather well. Sure this has truly become the John and Dorian show it was meant to be, but when the mains are done so well I find myself not caring about the other characters at all. Which is good because they are about as bland as wet toast. So let’s dive ing shall we.

Like any cop drama, this series is going to live and die on how well our main unit interacts with each other. In the case of John and Dorian they are quickly rising up the ranks of my favorite duos to watch, rivaling even Sam and Dean of Supernatural or the Doctor and HIs Companion on Doctor Who. This is in no way saying that Almost Human is in the league of those shows in terms of quality after only three episodes, but they truly have a solid base to build off of. The interplay between the leads is still the high point of the entire series as Ealy and Urban bring the gravitas and humor once again. The entire journey through the building really helped to build up their brotherly relationship as Kennex, who only a few episodes ago hated robots with a passion, now refuses to leave his partner behind. That is a pretty substantial change given where he started out. I really want to see how this relationship continues to progress because for the time being it is the only one the show has.

The thing that irked me about this episode, and the show so far, is that I as a viewer really have no reason to care about our side characters in the slightest. The only one who has been even sightly fleshed out is Rudy, and that is only because he has been a good amount of screen time. There so far is no reason for me to care about the captain or any of the other cops and that is disappointing given how well the leads are portrayed. I just expect some sort of unique quality to these characters, but so far their pick and plop nature has really no helped to benefit Kennex and Dorian. Hopefully, their backstories and overall disposition will be flushed out enough so that I won’t dread the scenes that don’t include Urban and Ealy as much.

As for the overall plot, I found it to be an enjoyable riff on the cops “helping” the bad guys unintentionally, but what really helped the heist plot excel was the inventive use of tech. Both the light bomb and the face swapper were unique sci-fi elements, and the visual of the light bomb raining lighting down on the lobby was really awe-inspiring. I mean how cool was it to see the static discharge from the rubble of the bomb, and the way the thieves passed messages was really cool. I could see that method being used in a modern day heist and it would still be a fascinating take. I don’t know if the show will be able to keep up the pace and inventiveness of the tech, but these new toys are one of the reason I enjoy tuning in so far.

Overall this was a good episode, but not the improvement we were looking for.

 

Final Grade B-

 

+Kennex and Dorian a great team

+Fun take on the heist plot

+Cool visuals with the tech

-Why should we care about the other characters

-Bad guys were uninspired

 

Extra Thoughts

-Ealy singing “Benny and The Jets” to end the episode was pure joy.

-Rudy yelling at the Amex was a nice touch and nod to the idea he enjoys Dorian to the Amex’s possibly.

-Dorian’s “Get down I’m a cop” moment was kind of undercut by him gunning down the entire room.That bother anyone else?

About the author

Scott Swartz