Seriously I just don’t get Almost Human as a show some times. I mean there are weeks where they have a perfectly good story that offers so many opportunities, but yet they choose to not go down the the interesting routes. Rather, they choose to focus on one issue, one very easy issue and don’t pay it forward on the character development front. That is not to say that “Perception” was a bad episode as all of the visuals and characters were very unique, but they pitched us the idea very early on that we would be learning about the side character of Stahl and yet we were given nothing. The entire A and B plot were really unique and fun tales full of twists and turns but there was a severe lack of a payoff on some fronts that it just irked me the wrong way. So let’s dive in and explore.
So lets start with the A plot of a true designer drug that is coated to the users DNA, we saw the bends earlier in the series, but this drug truly felt unique and futuristic. All of the visuals, which were sorely underused, were fantastic to watch and the entire opening by itself should win a VFX Emmy on it’s own. The plot managed to play up an interesting question of how this drug would effect the non-chromes and the idea of achieving your full potential in a world full of over achievers. I just felt like the writers did not dig their claws in enough to this story as there were so many unique possibilities for the story to take. Especially in the exploration of Stahl and the fact she is a chrome, all of the side characters this season have not been truly fleshed so it was even more aggravating to see them whiff on taking a chance to explore that world. At this point I would rather just watch the buddy comedy of Kennex and Dorian then watching all of the side characters flail around in the wind.
This is especially true when we look at the B plot and how we explored Kennex’s paranoia and desire to find out the truth about Anna. I knew he had been investigating her, but all of this exploration seemed a little bit sudden in comparison to the other plots that we have had going on. The syndicate has basically fallen to the wayside after last week, but now the writers want us to care more about them than what Vaughn is doing on the other side of the wall. It was just baffling that no one even mentioned that the precinct should be looking for the guy who can create an army of killer robots, it is just smart police work. There were some nice parallels drawn between Kennex and the mother that really helped to demonstrate just how far his search has taken him and what it cost. I just wish that we had been able to see more of Kennex’s search rather than having it info dumped on us in one block.
As for what did not work for me, there was a lot of material involving the chromes that just came across as poorly executed. I mean if you are not even going to attempt to explore the real in which your mystery is based why focus it on this one topic. They could have easily had Stahl info dump some fun facts about the chromes, but instead choose to introduce a topic and then subsequently say that it was not very important to the overall mystery. That is just backtracking at it’s worst and I as a viewer really did not appreciate it. You should never be afraid to explore your own universe that is half the fun of world building in TV.
Overall it was an okay episode that could have been so much more.
Final Grade C+
+A really interesting A plot
+Stupendous opening visuals
+Fun stuff with Kennex
-Failed to explore any of the concepts introduced
-Did not explore Stahl, the character this plot would most effect
-Eveyone has seemingly forgotten about Vaughn
-I liked the dealer knowing how the entire conversation would end, I just wish they would have visually displayed it.
-Digital post-it’s: they are the future
-Of course the nesting doll is a bug