‘Almost Human’ 1×05 Photo Recap: “Blood Brothers”
This week’s episode was all about the ladies. After weeks of sitting on the sidelines, Detective Stahl (Minka Kelly) finally got her fair share of screen time in this week’s clone-themed episode. We can now add “likes soccer” and “good at getting kidnapped” to the short list of personality traits for Valerie Stahl. Also taking a turn in the spotlight this week was Captain Maldonado, who got all “this time it’s personal” on some wannabe Charles Manson psycho killer guy. All in all, it was a pretty good episode. I didn’t even mind the last scene where they kind of hit us over the head with the inevitable John/Valerie romance. (I’m not complaining, I just think it’s sad that John and Dorian have much better on-screen chemistry than John and Valerie, but I’m guessing we won’t see a same-sex human/android romance on network TV for at least ten more years.) Is it crazy of me to suggest that Maya the medium/psychic (petite psychic on a good day—ba dum tch!) become a recurring character who occasionally helps them solve cases? It could be fun to inject a little Long Island Medium into this show…especially if she keeps trying to talk to John about his aura. That was almost as good as John trying to talk to Dorian about his, uh, equipment. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First things first.
John was waiting on Dorian, who was getting in his morning sauna session or something in the robot compound, which you’ll be surprised to know is not exactly the cheeriest place to live.
John kept checking his phone because they were running late. It occurred to me that one of the downsides of having a show that takes place 35 years in the future is that you can’t use as much product placement, seeing as you never know what brands will still be around in 2048. When he looked down to check the time, I expected to see a blaring “SPRINT” logo, or watch him blatantly use “BING” to search for “how to make friends” or something. I’d gotten so used to the product placement on Fringe that Nissan and Sprint became like characters on the show—never speaking, but always helping the Bishop-Dunham family get where they needed to go.
When John went to go see what was taking Dorian so long, he came face to face with his worst nightmare:
OK, I’m not even going to get into the ridiculousness of that scene (I mean, why does the android need a towel? Was he actually showering? Do they sweat? What about rust?) because what happened after it was the greatest thing ever.
Sometimes it really does seem like the writers sit around asking themselves, “How gay can we make them without them actually being gay?” Keep up the good work, guys! These scenes are far and away the greatest part of this show. John and Dorian’s dynamic is hilarious and adorable and interesting.
In important plot-related news, Maldonado was getting her Law & Order on while she tried to get some creeper convicted for killing people and calling her old. (JK, that happened later.)
You tell ‘em, Maldonado! She was not cool and collected the way they always are on The Good Wife when they testify in court. You could tell she really wanted to nail this guy. Next we met two of the witnesses testifying against him.
I loved Maya from the start because she looked and sounded like Cyndi Lauper—who you may remember played a psychic on Bones. (She also played a psychic in the 1988 film Vibes co-starring Jeff Goldblum. True story.)
Then there was this other lady with bangs. They were both going to testify via hologram so they could be kept safe from the killer and his cronies.
There was a pretty big flaw in this logic though, seeing as she got way murdered just before she was about to testify. So much for that “safe house.” At least Psychic Cyndi Lauper escaped through the window before they could kill her too.
As they were investigating the crime scene, John found an eyeball from one of the fallen MX droids. Naturally he did what any fourth-grade boy would do and gave it to the girl he liked.
Stahl must really like him because she actually laughed at that horrible line. (It was a great exchange though. And John is at his most endearing when he’s being socially awkward.) Then they proceeded to have an entire conversation like normal human beings…with smiles and complete sentences and everything. It was a miracle! I was surprised how much I actually liked Stahl once she started being a real person. Her MX ‘bot did ruin the mood a little, though.
John also discovered that Stahl is a sports fan. Her android kept giving them score updates, which John was trying to ignore since he was recording the game. (It was a little disappointing to imagine that 35 years in the future we still haven’t perfected a way to avoid spoilers about our favorite shows and sporting events.)
Maldonado was having a staring contest with as-yet unconvicted killer Ethan Avery. He was getting his kicks by slowly picking apart all of Maldonado’s insecurities.
Who does this guy think he is? Why don’t you psychoanalyze yourself, Dr. Narcissist?
John and Dorian questioned Maya the psychic, although John was initially skeptic of her ability. (Go figure.)
Maya also gave them a tip from the murdered witness. She said that it was Ethan Avery who killed her…which of course no one believed because he was sitting in the courtroom when she was shot to death. I thought it was really funny that everyone seemed to dismiss that possibility. Because it’s not like you guys have robots that are made to look exactly like human beings and can imitate speech patterns of anyone they come in contact with or anything…OH WAIT. That’s the premise of the show. Eventually they did manage to come up with some outside-the-box ideas, for instance: clones.
Maya was dazzling the other officers with her ability to connect with the Other Side by touching objects owned by dead people when she suddenly got an important message and made a break for it, forcing Dorian and John to go track her down. She paid them back by giving John a free aura reading in the car.
Yeah, you’re not angry at all, John… While his unleashing of fury and bullets didn’t stop the majority of the bad guys from getting away, he did shoot one, and when John removed his mask, it was…
Attack of the clones! Turns out this guy was for realz cloning himself. (That’s like every bad guy’s dream…then you don’t have to rely on dumb lackeys.) All his little clone buddies were working together to keep him out of prison. Maya did get shot in the attack, but it was just a collarbone or some other nonessential body part that’s just there for filler.
Dorian had a heart-to-heart with Maya while she was in the hospital. She’d gotten the “cerebellux” procedure a few years ago so she could talk to her parents, who died when she was 19. Only there was a fire in her childhood home, so all her parents’ things were burned, meaning she has no objects through which to connect with them. So she’s stuck talking to a cocktail party full of dead randos, but not her parents.
And in a totally shocking turn of events, Stahl went off on her own to get sh*t done. She was really starting to make great strides towards becoming a bona fide character. And then this happened:
Seriously?! Stahl finally gets some character development, and then she GETS KIDNAPPED? Ughhh. Let’s send in the big strong man to rescue the damsel from the big mean bad guys. OK, that’s not totally fair since Stahl is pretty far from a damsel, and she was missing her backup after her droid got taken out. Still, it was a little demeaning that she was so easily lured into their trap and then had to call John to come save her. At least she got a few good kicks in during the final skirmish. BUT REALLY. I’m a little disappointed. Things were going really well with her in this episode until this unfortunate turn of events.
John was appropriately concerned and motivated by Stahl being held captive.
Maldonado had a brilliant plan that used the biggest weapon at their disposal: TEAMWORK! Her plan required help from Rudy, who set up the hologram technology, while John and Dorian orchestrated everything in the field. Maldonado put on a great performance to get Avery to talk/act normal as they walked down a hallway together.
Then there was like twenty minutes of people walking towards each other.
And then, when there was nowhere left for them to walk…
They got Stahl back, but most of the clones got away in the van. Not to be defeated, Dorian chased after them and FLIPPED THAT THING WITH HIS BARE HANDS.
Holy crap, that was awesome. Dorian’s been holding out on us. John said exactly what I was thinking: “Why hasn’t he done that before?” Great job, everyone! Now let’s all go get started on the sh*t-ton of paperwork that I’m sure is involved in blowing up a van full of clones.
With Maya’s testimony, they were finally able to put Avery behind bars for a long, long time.
After she finished rubbing her victory in Avery’s creepy face, Maldonado got an unexpected bonus prize from Handsome Lawyer Guy, who seemed to actually notice that she was a woman for once.
Who’s gonna die alone now, Hannibal Lecter?
Being the thoughtful, compassionate person that he is, Dorian looked into the arson investigation into Maya’s childhood home. He found some evidence that he gave to Maya in the hopes that she might be able to use it to get in touch with her parents.
Dorian is such a big softie. But it was nice to see a happy ending for all parties involved. (Except the Averys, of course.) Even Grumpy Gus got a little taste of happiness with some quality afterhours time with Stahl—and she brought bourbon! (Just like Maya predicted.)
Bom chicka wow wow. Cyndi Lauper totally called this one. The red…the people running…the bourbon. It was pretty much the perfect date in John’s eyes. Not that it was a date, but at least I feel like the sexual tension between them is earned now, instead of just feeling forced as it did in previous episodes. I still maintain that John and Dorian are the real soul mates, but there’s plenty of time for that later. After all, they shared a little more than a drink during their little show-and-tell in the car.
After “The Bends,” I was hoping we’d get to see more development of the supporting cast, and this episode certainly delivered on that front. We got to know Stahl and Maldonado a little better, as well as building the relationship between John and Valerie. Plus, Maya was a fun addition to the gang for this episode. Aside from Stahl getting kidnapped by clones (a necessary plot device, but still disheartening), this was a great episode.
What did you think? Have you warmed up to Stahl yet? How badass was Dorian flipping that van? Does Dorian have the best comebacks of any character on TV—human or robot? (“Probably the same thing you do with yours: nothing.” Zing!) How long before John finally gets up the nerve to ask Stahl on a real date? Anyone else feel like there’s going to be some kind of Cyrano de Bergerac twist with Dorian falling for Stahl while helping John woo her? Who else is super curious about Cyndi Lauper’s film Vibes? Because it sounds just awful enough to be awesome. Let me know if you’ve seen it! And 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!
*All images are property of FOX Broadcasting