Finally, we have a real honest to goodness threat, and you know what it’s not an evil robot. Sure it is evil robot adjacent, but thats just semantics at this point for Almost Human. One of my major complaints with this series is the lack of a true threat or some type of big bad but with this week’s “Unbound” we are finally seeing some sort of progress on the big bad front. Not only do we have a big bad, but it is Dorian’s creator Dr. Nigel Vaughn, a man wronged by the hire ups because of a mistake in the synthetic soul project. This was progress, this was actually good to watch, and the turn was satisfying to say the least. Sure there are still some problems with how long it took us to get here, but now we have a real starting point and it seems to be a strong one. So let’s dive in shall we.
So let’s start with the biggest strength of the episode Dr. Vaughn played by the fantastic John Larroquette. Larroquette did a great job of playing up the eccentricities of Vaughn and making him a truly sympathetic character. I mean for a man who has seemingly lost everything he was dealing with the disgrace pretty well and through his talk with Rudy we were able to get a much better grasp of why he is so melancholy and driven. He believes he deserves a second chance and that one mistake should not be indicative of his entire career. Of course the problem is that mistake is named Danica and she kinda murdered twenty six people over the course of three days, so he was not going to get that much leniency. I could not tell if he being honest about his remorse, but when it was all revealed to be part of a larger plan I was so glad. I thought Vaughn was going to run and save the day, turns out it was all for the sake of the getaway. I really hope Larroquette show back up this season as he was a true bright spot throughout the run time.
The other bright spot was the RXN Danica, who was proved to be every bit as psychotic and dangerous as Kennex’s story portrayed. Gina Carano managed to do just enough with the role of Danica so that she was not entirely a one trick pony, but I can’t really say she was a suitable foil for Dorian and Kennex. I mean there were some brief flashes of humanity in that she did not kill the mother and her little girl, but for the large part of the episode she was just racking up a body count. I did appreciate that all of the cops managed to recognize the severity of the situation the moment they saw her face but it did raise the question as to why her head was even still around. I mean they chose to destroy her body on the spot, but some how it was a smart idea to keep her head lying around. Who was the idiot who gave that order and do they still have a job? Either way, the fight scenes and overall staging of the episode were suitably epic and easily made up for the lack of character to Danica.
As for the characters who benefited most from the introduction of Vaughn, it was easy to see that Dorian and Rudy had the most to gain. It seems with each passing week Kennex becomes less and less of the star and instead the secondary to the more interesting Dorian. Yes, Watching as Dorian opined the idea that he could become Danica in the future was fun, but he really managed to shine in his interactions with Vaughn. The father son vibe managed to play exceptionally well as well as the mentor/mentee vibe between Rudy and Vaughn. I wish Kennex had indeed gotten more with Vaughn as I think the chemistry between them would have been really satisfying, like a father meeting his son’s best friend. Larroquette definitely brought out the talent of the cast so he should get some more time moving forward.
Overall this was clearly the best episode of the season, I just hope the series does not regress moving forward.
Final Grade A-
+John Larroquette always a satisfying guest
+Gina Carano kicking all sorts of ass
+Great work from the main cast
+We finally have a real big bad
-I will not stop gushing about John Larroquette as he is amazing in any show he pops up in. Go watch Kitchen Confidential or Chuck for further proof.
-Danica managed to get power kicked by Kennex after taking a thorough beating from him and not budging an inch. WTH
-This may have been the best action we have seen all season, please let it continue.