That was surprisingly good, I mean I really did not expect much but “Beholder” was a surprisingly strong episode and not for the normal reasons. Yes, instead of giving us an interesting view of Kennex, Dorian, or one of the other members of the precinct, the villain took center stage and flourished in the spotlight. Michael Eklund and Tony Cox turned in fantastic performances for the little roles they had, to the point where they over shadowed the actual main cast members. Even with these great guest stars we got a cool side plot with Stahl as well as a truly solid case of the week for our heroes to explore. For the entire season Almost Human has rarely had the guest stars required to back up their unique plots, but this time the guest stars definitely came to play. It is almost a crime that all of the episodes were not nearly as good as this one, almost. So let’s dive in.
Let’s start with the brightest moment of the entire episode, the storyline actually working on both a scientific and emotional level. At first Eric seemed like a generic Frankenstein-esque villain whose primary motivation was vanity. However, as more and more details about hime were revealed I began to sympathize with his character and motivation. All he truly wanted was to be loved and wanted by another human being and although he took his actions to the most drastic route possible, I ended up feeling bad for him when he committed suicide. It is a matter of the world placing a higher value on chromes and beauty rather than heat and kindness. This is a problem millions of people deal with every day and Almost Human managed to tackle it in a very satisfying manner. I would have loved to see Eric have a chance at redemption, but unfortunately he was too far gone by the time Kennex got to him. All the accolades go to Michael Eklund as his performances was brilliant throughout the episode.
As for the rest of the episode it seemed as if there were a few interesting turns including the introduction of Tony Cox’s black market dealer. However the show refused to tackle the issue of truly fleshing out the side character of Stahl. Yes, she had a fun interaction at the chrome club and the focus of how she was being treated by her own kind was once again alluded to, but they refused to make the chrome storyline be an integral part of the story. Rather they chose for it to be a one off scene to the point where the captain patted Stahl on the back and said that would be all. Luckily Eric picked up so much of the slack that we were able to recover from this hiccup, but I still hope that there will be a true commitment to a single plot line.
Speaking of a single plot line the show has once again refused to nail down a single overall narrative for the season. It like there are multiple spinning plates and the writers can’t choose which one to focus on spinning. All of our “bigger plots” are so wobbly and unfounded that I am worried that with the season finale next week, we will not get any real answers to our questions. It will hopefully amount to something tangible but it is bizarre that we have not had a single mention of Vaughn since his initial appearance. You would think at least Dorian would be interested to find the guy.
Overall an incredibly solid episode.
Final Grade B+
+Excellent main storyline
+Tony Cox enjoyable side character
+Minor character building for Stahl
-Stahl subplot was basically useless
-No mention of the bigger plots
-Tony Cox in a fat robot suit was great.
-Rudy thinks he is a beautiful person, good to know he is keeping that ego in check.
-Eric definitely had some Hush vibes going on early on. It was suitably creepy.