‘Almost Human’ 1×07 Photo Recap: “Simon Says”

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I am starting a campaign to keep Dorian on 50% battery power or lower AT ALL TIMES because he is far too entertaining when he’s not fully charged. Punching things, calling Detective Paul “little man,” commenting on the softness of victims’ hair…he’s like a Magic 8 Ball of hilarity, oscillating between rage and joy. The one thing that disappointed me about this episode was that it didn’t end with John and Dorian becoming roommates, which I was so hoping would be their solution to Dorian’s accommodations problem. Other than that, it was a solid episode, if a little dark. It harkened on some very relevant issues, including a critique of our blood-and-gore-obsessed entertainment culture. Why do we keep paying money to see Saw sequels? Still, that’s not quite as bad as 8,000 people watching a live video of someone about to have their head blown off. Did I mention it was a disturbing episode? That being said, I like that this show makes you think sometimes, and even though this one was on the more serious end of the Almost Human spectrum, it still had plenty of laughs—most of which were due to the fact that Dorian was PMS-ing like crazy.

Due to power outages caused by a solar flare, the precinct was running on auxiliary power, meaning not all the androids were able to fully charge. And because life isn’t fair, the MXes got charging priority, so Dorian was operating at less-than-full capacity. This turned him into an unpredictable hothead who might go off on you at the drop of a hat, while still feeling extremely vulnerable emotionally. So basically he turned into John Kennex.

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Of course, the best part of this exchange was when John told Detective Paul that he’d take a partially charged DRN over a fully charged MX any day…the subtext of which was, “I am in a monogamous relationship with Dorian, and no other android can satisfy me emotionally or physically.” At least that was my interpretation.

Dorian was already distressed because he didn’t get a full charge, but on top of that he was still unhappy about having to share living quarters with the MX droids, who are terrible roommates—always leaving their wet towels on the floor and putting the milk back in the fridge with just a few drops left in the carton. So rude. Dorian came up with a delightful solution.

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While John was trying to put off their inevitable cohabitation, Rando of the Week #1 was getting himself into some trouble. That creepy guy from The Dark Knight (David Dastmalchian) gave him a windshield wipedown—with a free death collar to boot!

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Didn’t you hear? Chunky neckpieces are so out this season. Also, you’re totally gonna die. But not before John and Dorian valiantly attempt to rescue you!

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In a dark turn into the seriously-messed-up, hundreds of people tuned in to some creepy channel of “the Dark Net” (somewhere in the bowels of the Internet that isn’t regulated) to watch this whole show…and they liked it. This makes me feel just a little bit better about over two million people watching the Kardashian Christmas special.

Since Dorian kept punching things (by the way, what kind of crazy world are we living in when John has to ask Dorian to please stop punching things?) they paid a visit to Rudy, who had a way around the charging restrictions, at least for a minor power surge.

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Once Dorian had gotten a little “espresso shot” courtesy of Rudy’s electric chair, the boys followed the trail of clues to a creepy jukebox screen that relayed a War Games style message goading them on.

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“The Show” turned out to be this lady:

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Poor girl… She was just some hopeless romantic looking for love in all the wrong places (i.e. the Internet). She should be a supporting character in a Kate Hudson movie somewhere, but instead she was stuck in the back of her own flower delivery van with a bomb strapped around her neck.

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She caught on quick though, realizing that the guy behind these “games” was the creepy guy she had bailed on a date with. He sought his revenge by making her dance alone in a gazebo…before blowing her up.

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And help they did. Together they managed to disarm the bomb from Jeanie’s neck. Even after Dorian tried to get John to set the shield bubble and leave him in there with her to keep working on it, John refused and stuck around to lend a hand(s).

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This was an adorable group bonding moment. And giddy Dorian refused to let John “gloss over” their triumph of togetherness. Good teamwork everyone! With the new evidence provided by Jeanie, they made some good headway on tracking down Captain Creeper.

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Out in the field, John found himself lured into a secluded area where he was ambushed by none other than Lynch himself, armed with his usual knock-out spray.

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This is why John and Dorian should never be separated! Two minutes without supervision and John gets kidnapped and strapped with a bomb necklace. Honestly, I wish they’d just handcuff themselves together and save us all the trouble of pretending to ever want to be away from each other. But then we wouldn’t get to see Dorian climb a building to save John’s life.

John woke up on a park bench holding a bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag.

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Let’s talk about the most important part of this scene: IS THIS GUY CARRYING A LIGHT SABER?!

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I like to think that by 2048 it will be totally common to see someone walking around with a light saber. I have big dreams for the future.

Anyway, so Lynch gave John a set of tools to try to disarm his bomb, all the while taunting him about their shared “black marks” and John’s last mission when he lost his leg and everything. John was doing pretty well with the bomb until he accidentally flung the pliers out of reach of the bench he was chained to. What a klutzy Karl. Luckily, in her one contribution to the episode, Valerie had found the streaming video of the whole thing so they sent everyone with a uniform to the scene. Lynch was not-so-subtly hiding at the top of the clock tower with his dead man’s switch, making it inconvenient for them to just shoot him on sight. That’s why you always bring Dorian.

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Meanwhile, John was stretching out all his limbs to try to reach a token on the ground so he could use it in lieu of the pliers to disarm the bomb.

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Yeah, good luck with that plan John. Dorian will just be busy being Spider-Man to your Mary Jane.

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It was definitely an episode of dramatic hand reaching: John going for the token, Dorian pulling himself up to the clock tower. Visual parallels! Love it!

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Way to go, Dorian! I’d like to see an MX pull off that level of badassery. Meanwhile, John was still MacGyver-ing his explosive collar off, which ended up working out pretty well. Unfortunately, he and Dorian couldn’t share a passionate embrace because Dorian had shut down after using the last of his power to scale the tower and immobilize Lynch. Not to worry though—we still got a final Jorian scene, featuring a side of Rudy.

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OK, so this was probably the next-best thing to John and Dorian living together. At least we’ll get to see more of Rudy with this arrangement. And he and Dorian do make a good pair. Listening to Rudy talk about how lonely he was in the lab made me think he could really use another friend. I mean, we did see him having a conversation with a dismembered robot head a couple weeks ago. So I guess a robot head attached to a robot body—and with a digital “soul” to boot—is a step in the right direction. I guess John still isn’t ready to let go of his trophy room, which represents his former life, back when he was physically (and emotionally) whole. Listening to him talk about his days as a track star, it was like he was another person. Hopefully his relationship with Dorian can help him embrace androids—including his own synthetic leg. John has definitely put up a barrier around himself, much like the bomb shield he used to contain that first victim who exploded. And if anyone can break through that barrier, it’s Dorian, with his piercing eyes and sharp wit.

What did you guys think of this week’s episode? Are you excited about the new living arrangements? Did you notice at all that Valerie was in this episode? Do you think David Dastmalchian will ever get to play a character that’s not a homicidal psychopath? Hit the comments section with your thoughts/feelings/emoticons!

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 January 9, 2014, in Almost Human Photo Recaps, Photo Recaps, Television and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. “I guess John still isn’t ready to let go of his trophy room, which represents his former life, back when he was physically (and emotionally) whole. Listening to him talk about his days as a track star, it was like he was another person. ”
    I disagree with this statement. He was talking about high schooll, which is not the sameas his entire life before the ambush, though I can see where you are coming from.
    Just because he lost a leg, it doesn’t mean he has to let go of his trophy room, before the ambush he was already a man in is late thirties that probably hadn’t been that fast since he was 18. So what? People keep memorabilia from all stages of life, and losing one leg doesn’t mean erasing your whole past. Being disabled doesn’t mean you have to throw away everything that makes who you are or that all should go to trash. I haven’t put my ballet shoes in over a decade, but I keep a couple of pictures on the wall and one small trophy on my bookshelf.
    The episode was really good. I’m glad Dorian is going to live with Rudy. I can’t buy Kennex inviting Dorian to live with him.

  2. I am so enjoying these Recaps Louise! I look forward to them almost as much as the show itself! 😀

  3. Great job as always! I, too, look forward to these recaps!

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