‘Almost Human’ 1×04 Photo Recap: “The Bends”

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Cockroach cameras, algae narcotics, and chess jokes were pivotal points of this week’s episode, which finally gave one of the secondary characters a chance to shine. Don’t get me wrong—I’m perfectly happy to have every scene revolve around John and Dorian, but it was nice to see Rudy as more than just the comic relief lab geek. Maybe now I can finally stop thinking of him as “the guy with the wooden eye from Pirates of the Caribbean.” I have to wonder if we would have gotten more development of the supporting cast by this point if Fox had aired the episodes in the correct order. (This was supposed to be the seventh episode, not the fourth.) Good call, Fox. It’s not like airing episodes out of order has ever ended badly for your or anything. That does explain how John and Dorian’s dynamic went from chilly-at-best to “get a room, you two” between the first and second episodes. Also, should I just assume that Agent Stahl’s (Minka Kelly) personality got lost somewhere in one of those early unaired episodes? Anyway, enough of me rolling my eyes at Fox. Let’s get back to Rudy—or should I say Callum Waits: wearer of fedoras and expert narcotics chef?

Using the old “24 HOURS EARLIER” trick, the episode opened with Rudy looking squirrelly in a sterile lab with lots of guys with big guns. Next thing you know, Rudy was bursting pipes and making a break for it.

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CLIMACTIC ACTION WITHOUT ANY ACTUAL PLOT TO BUILD UP TO IT! Brilliant! (Sounds a lot like airing episodes out of order to avoid early establishment of tone and character background…) Someone should make a network that only airs the climaxes of movies and TV shows. Like, you could watch just the dramatic fight scenes from The Matrix, or the big surf competition scene in Blue Crush. Not to mention the last eight minutes of every episode of NCIS ever. Imagine if you didn’t have to sit through all that pesky exposition, while still enjoying the action-packed crescendo of your favorite TV shows? This could be huge! Someone write this down.

Of course, you all know the boring character development and exposition is my favorite part. Witness my favorite scene: John eating noodles. (“Inhaling” might be a more accurate description.)

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Getting impatient, Dorian decided to mess with him a little bit by getting Chef Nuri to serve him a live slug. This did not end well for John or the slug.

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There are so many sexual innuendos I want to make right now, but they’re all way too crude to actually print, so let’s just all agree to wiggle our eyebrows at each other in acknowledgement of Dorian forcing John to swallow a live slug. Also, John would do really well on Survivor with all those really gross food challenges where they have to eat live grubs and stuff. Just saying.

In other news, this week’s casualty of the first seven minutes was some guy who had clearly fallen in with the wrong crowd. He went into a dark creepy abandoned building to meet with a drug lord, and SURPRISE! He got ruhl dead ruhl quick. And that’s why you don’t hang out with drug dealers in dark creepy warehouses. (I thought that was pretty self-explanatory, but apparently not.)

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Turns out the dude was rocking a subcutaneous wire. (Throw that one down on Words With Friends, why don’t you.) What a neat trick for undercover cops…unless the wire gets ripped out of your body in a most indelicate way. And just for good measure…

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Sorry, bro. Hope you didn’t have any kids or family, or a dainty widow that John will have to comfort and vow to solve your murder for. Oh hey!

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Pretty much everyone was sure Cooper was a dirty cop, considering there was a hefty amount of “the Bends” (some fancy new futuristic drug made from algae) on him when he was killed. But John knew Cooper was a good guy because he knew Cooper pre-coma, so he latched onto the case like a rabid dog. I should also probably mention that Maldonado met with Captain Barros to talk about their investigation into Cooper, who worked in his department. But whatever, it’s not like that’s going to be important later or anything.

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Cooper’s widow told them that her late husband had been up at their cabin doing some renovations, so the obvious next step was for John and Dorian to head up to the cabin and snuggle by the fireplace look for clues. Also, this goes without saying, but the whole cabin-on-a-lake thing totally reminded me of Fringe.

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Romantic road trip through the mountains!

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I’m guessing Cooper didn’t get very far in the whole refurbishing process, because the cabin kind of looked like a dump.

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They did manage to find a recording of Cooper’s last meeting with the Bishop (and Cooper’s subsequent death), which they took back to the precinct so that Minka Kelly would have something to do.

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Also people were dying of Bends overdoses and it was bad news.

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Don’t do drugs, kids.

John was getting increasingly riled up about the whole thing, and he tried to convince Maldonado to let him go undercover to bust the Bishop. She poked several holes in this plan, including the fact that he can’t cook Ramen, let alone narcotics.

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It was decided that perhaps Rudy would be a better choice to pose as a cook, since he actually knew how to brew up a batch of the Bends. Plus it would be an opportunity for him to get out of the lab, where he was having a conversation with a particularly sassy dismembered robot head.

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And so Rudy embarked on his first big field trip outside the lab. But first John had to get in touch with the sleazier end of his phone book to try to get a meet-and-greet set up between Rudy and the Bishop. This involved visiting this fine establishment: KOLN. (Catchy name.) As John explained to Dorian, they weren’t too keen on androids there, so he waited outside.  This totally reminded me of Star Wars when R2 and 3P0 weren’t allowed in the Cantina.

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They found the old football coach from Glee and made a deal with him to get a meeting with the Bishop. After, you know, punching him a lot. Now for the dramatic reveal of Rudy’s makeover…

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Now that his outfit and backstory were complete, Rudy tried his hand at making the drugs. Stahl and The Bald One looked on as Rudy went all Breaking Bad, swirling beakers and measuring powders and other sciencey things. He was clearly in his element…until he forgot an element and his pressure cooker exploded. Rookie mistake, buddy.

For his final trick, Rudy took a shot of some nasty juice that turned his body into an undetectable GPS tracker (and also gave him some serious digestive issues). On the list of things you don’t want to have to worry about when going under cover to take down a drug lord, flatulence is probably pretty high on the list. But Rudy’s a trooper; he can handle it.

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Rule number one of being undercover: don’t say your real name. It’s really sketchy. The team didn’t want to scrap the whole operation, so they sent Dorian in to smooth things over with his dazzling smile and calming voice. I swear Michael Ealy could stop a bomb from going off just by asking it nicely.

Dorian’s distraction worked long enough for Rudy to get his bearings, and then he was in the lab whipping up a batch of the Bends.

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When he was done, the drug dealer android tasted a sample to test its purity.

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PLOT TWIST! OK, so maybe it wasn’t a huge twist. Probably everyone else saw this coming but me. Mainly due to the fact that—as I’ve mentioned before—I rarely pay close attention whenever John or Dorian isn’t on screen. Still…Barros is the Bishop! DUN DUN DUN!

And with that, we were back to where we started at the beginning of the episode: with Rudy on the run from bad guys. The rest of the team finally showed up to help out, leading to a robot fight between Dorian and the big hulking drug dealer bot. Also lots of shooting.

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It seemed like the bigger bot had the upper hand on Dorian, but then Dorian used his cleverness to do this:

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It came down to just John and Barros. And let me tell you, you do not want to be between John and a personal vendetta, because that guy cannot let anything go.

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Well that’s one way to avoid a trial. I can’t say it’s the most ethically sound method of revenge, but hey, we all know John’s got issues. And Barros was kind of a dick, so…

Rudy got a hero’s welcome upon his return to the precinct.

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I feel like these cops clap a lot… Like, isn’t this kind of just another day of people doing their jobs? Not that Rudy doesn’t deserve as much applause as John and Dorian got when they saved those hostages in last week’s episode. But seriously, aren’t there other criminals you guys should be catching instead of staging dramatic receptions for officers returning from duty?

The real party was afterwards when John begrudgingly agreed to take Dorian and Rudy to the local cop bar.

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Look at these three amigos! Going out together after work, all team-building and stuff. It’s downright adorable. John is like the gruff, unaffectionate father, and Dorian is the compassionate but good-humored mother. Rudy is their awkward nerdy son whom they work together to protect. And Stahl is their sad aunt who they only see on holidays. I’m not sure where Maldonado fits in…the wise grandmother I guess? I’ll get back to you.

What did you think of this episode? Do you want to see more of Rudy? Are you concerned by the episodes airing out of order? Do you think Michael Ealy’s smile could cure cancer? Leave a comment below!

As always, thanks to TV.com’s brilliant Price Peterson, whose hilarious Vampire Diaries photo recaps were the inspiration for mine. And thank you for reading!

-L

*All images are property of FOX Broadcasting

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Posted on December 5, 2013, in Almost Human Photo Recaps, Photo Recaps, Television and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Your recaps speak to me on a deep level, man. And if they could figure out how to bottle it, Michael Ealy’s smile could definitely cure cancer.

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