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REVIEW: Almost Human 1×06 “Arrhythmia”

Written by Scott Swartz

Ok this episode was fun and exciting, but I am just wondering, does anyone else kind of wish we were informed of the big plan for the season? Maybe there isn’t one and I am just suffering from too many shows that have their entire seasons structured around a single big bad, but since the “Pilot” there has been no whisper of a bigger plot or a grand scheme. “Almost Human” has really been the show I tune into if only because I know each case is going to be interesting and creative. Take, “Arrhythmia” for example, it was a fun futuristic take on not only organ farming but also putting a clock on a lot of innocent people. At the end of the day there was decent tension, and a solid amount of intrigue about how many bodies would drop by the end of the hour. It’s about constructing a narrative that is both enjoyable while at the same time manages to create a larger threat for our heroes to face. Oh well, let’s dive in.

I have to say. I was originally very skeptical about the dueling Dorian’s when we were first introduced to the concept. I thought as a one off joke that not all of the DRN’s were decommissioned it worked well, but once he became a ride along partner my fear began to mount. Luckily, many of the easier tropes were knocked out of the way within the first few minutes and managed to move on to the more entertaining material. Ealy has always managed to play both versions of Dorian exceptionally well, with there being clear differences in how each robot acted. I could not tell if other Dorian’s fear was a result of the yellow programming lines that appeared on his face or were truly a result of something deeper, but either way it proved to be really exciting. Watching other Dorian’s stark refusal to take the gun was a great bit of acting, and it managed to show just how much range Ealy truly has.

As for the overall plot of the episode, “Arrhythmia” managed to once again take a rather mundane procedural plot and turn it on it’s head. The idea of the organ transplant victims needing a reset every month or so was really well played and I honestly did not see the turn with the surgeon coming. It was terrifying to see our bad guy of the week stare at the countdown clocks once he was told to let them all die, there was a brief moment where I believed he could be redeemed but that was quickly erased. I have to say that I did find it a bit odd that it is ok to clone organs but not entire people in this future, but either way it created a compelling drama for the debate between the organic replacement organs and the inorganic. I wish this had been discussed a little bit more as it was a good chance to delve into Kennex’s relationship with having synthetic part. It just felt like another wasted opportunity to explore a vital topic that was thrown to the side in favor of the main story. Once again Dorian got all of the good components of the side plot while John was given breadcrumbs, not a good idea to give only one of the mains all the side stories.

If I had to pick out a major detractor for not only this episode, but also the entire series so far, it just feels like the show is a little bit too much of a procedural and not enough of a serialized drama. I mean I don’t feel a larger threat looking, or like any of these villains would provide a realistic threat for multiple episodes. All of our villains up to this point have felt like one offs who were only meant to push the storyline of that specific episode forward. This obviously can be easily remedied if our heroes are provided with a viable threat, but I don’t know how much longer I can let the case of the week stuff just slide by. Most of the time this can be offset by outside focus like romantic or dramatic tension, but neither has really shown themselves as of yet so we are left to wonder what is really out there hiding in the shadows. Hopefully the writers will get around to this very important topic, but until then we will just have to hope the week to week plots remain interesting.

Over all it was a solid episode.

 

Final Grade B-

 

+The two Dorian’s were well done

+Fun organ harvesting plot

 

-Another one off villain

-No real character development for Kennex

-Getting tired of the case of the week plots

 

Extra Thoughts

-So this is the third episode in a row where Dorian has excessive force. For being so zen he really needs to learn self control.

-Douche cop was less douchey than normal, it’s a step in the right direction.

About the author

Scott Swartz