‘Almost Human’ Photo Recap 1×10: “Perception”

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This week’s Almost Human was all about the drugs—and not the fun LSD kind like they were always doing on Fringe. This was the super-fancy kind that futuristic teenagers take until things go really badly and three of them end up dead. Also under the influence was Kennex, who was popping memory pills to try to remember all the details leading up to the ambush that served as the worst break-up ever. Nothing says “it’s not you, it’s me,” like blowing your ex’s leg off. “Perception” also delved into the concept of “chromes,” which refers to humans who have been genetically altered to produce smarter, healthier, better-looking people. If there’s one thing that can make a group of snotty prep school kids even more intolerable, it’s making them all genetically enhanced. It was like an entire school of CW cast members but without the obligatory homely nerd. In fact, they were all too smart for their own good, if you ask me. I mean, what teenager designs a drug that lets you see math equations?

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These two girls seemed like they were having a really good time seeing music and playing with bees and whatnot…until they both dropped dead because DRUGS ARE BAD.

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John woke up from a really intense dream about Dorian flashback to the Insyndicate ambush and his ex-girlfriend “Anna.” He seemed even more emotionally unstable than usual, if that’s possible.

Dorian dream Almost Human 1x10

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When Kennex finally arrived on the scene, he had just enough time to exchange some clever barbs with Dorian, who had tattled on him to Maldonado about not having left for work yet. Solid Benedict Arnold pun from Kennex, by the way. And “questionable haircut” might be my new favorite pet name Dorian has for John. Of course this meant that by the time John called Stahl to talk about their overlapping cases, he was all out of witty repartee and left with just grunts and police jargon. Yeah…the chemistry was not there for them in this episode. Even though Stahl herself is a chrome, we still didn’t get anything even remotely resembling character development for her in this episode. It could have been a really good opportunity for that, but you know, whatever, she can just keep being a pretty set piece that occasionally helps out on cases. That’s cool.

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Poor Valerie. I really do wish they’d give her something more to do than question witnesses and make intelligent comments about cases. Let the woman show an emotion for once! I guess John is kind of like an emotional vacuum that sucks up all the feelings in a room and spews them back at people…and I mean that in a good way. Except for when he starts having random flashbacks because of the memory drug he’s taking.

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Nice little pill Pez dispenser, John. He clearly forgot about the security cameras, which Maldonado was conveniently watching attentively. She didn’t even need nosy Dorian to snitch on John to know that he was up to some pharmaceutical shenanigans. Nothing gets past Lili Taylor. Or Dorian, for that matter. I mean, we all remember that time he scanned John’s testicles. (AKA the greatest moment in the history of this show.)

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I loved how concerned Dorian was; he could clearly tell something was off with his Johnnycakes. Kennex didn’t even take the time to make a “disco face” comment! Talk about a warning sign.

After interviewing the victim’s mother, they headed to the school to ask some of the kids about the dead girls. The only thing worse than talking to a teenager who thinks they’re smarter than you is talking to a teenager who actually is smarter than you. Marshall the insufferable blond douchebag kept telling Kennex, “You wouldn’t understand,” which I’m sure made John want to slap that smirk off his genetically enhanced face. Stahl interviewed the only other girl of that grade who wasn’t a chrome besides Lila, the third victim.

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Seriously? That’s all we get? I know you’re trying to be professional and, like, do your job or whatever, but would it kill you to share one personal experience or any indication of your life and what it’s like living as a chrome? Why you became a police officer? Your favorite U2 album? Anything??? This episode would have been a great time for that. Maybe that scene got cut? I don’t know. But we got to know this teenage girl better in one scene than we’ve gotten to know Valerie Stahl in ten episodes. I’m just saying.

But back to John vs. the Sassy Blond kid…

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Apparently the genetic enhancements that come with being a chrome don’t include eliminating the jackass gene. That’s a shame.

Despite Blondie’s insistence that there were no illegal drugs at Mendel, they did find some weird pill in the locker one of the dead girls. Upon further analysis they discovered that it was a drug designed specifically for each individual user. How very fancy.

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I know I’m being hard on Valerie, but it’s only because I think she really is an awesome character just waiting to be revealed. With my luck, this show will get canceled before they have time to give her a chance to shine.

In the meantime, John and Dorian went on their way to track down the owner of the chem printer closest to the school, where they believed the drug was created.

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Poor Dorian had to wear an ear patch to cover his severed ear. Really he should just be grateful John didn’t try to fix his ear with some second-hand gum.

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It didn’t take them long to figure out that this kid was as high as a kite. This resulted in some weird interactions, and I think possibly Julian might have seen the future or something because he predicted the end of their conversation. The bottom line was, he didn’t do it. He suspected the fancy drug machine had been hacked, and someone tampered with the doses for the girls who died. The plot thickens!

Back at the precinct, John relayed his latest theory to Stahl.

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Sure enough, there were some incriminating messages between Scarlett and her father that made it appear as though her dad had “taken care of” some things. Hello, new suspect!

First things first: John opted to ignore Maldonado’s advice about not abusing memory drugs and went to see his Recollectionist buddy about getting those memories back in a totally healthy and non-extreme way.

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Watch out, John. Nosebleeds don’t usually bode well for characters on J.J. Abrams shows. Although at this point, you’ve got bigger things to worry about. Like what the hell is with this Russian nesting doll set?

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What a fun metaphor. Nothing is what it appears…sometimes there are six more wooden dolls inside. It’s also like that line in Shrek: “Onions have layers.” John Kennex has layers. He is an onion, or a Russian nesting doll. Take your pick. Either way, he’s a pain to take through airport security.

After staring at his hologram Post-it notes about the Insyndicate attack, John went to ask his tech friend (hi new character!) to run some tests on the Russian doll set, “off the books.” I’m so amazed that you have friends, John!

Then they went to question the sketchy father, who called his lawyer to appear via hologram.

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Daddy Dearest shed some light on the whole sitch, like how he tried to cover up his daughter’s involvement with Lila’s death, and how Mrs. Hoving knew a little more than she let on. In the end, this guy fell under the “I’m a tool, but I didn’t do it” category. (See also: Marshall the annoying blond kid.)

While they were inadvertently giving Law & Order a new idea for a spin-off (Law & Order: Hologram Unit), Detective Paul found something that might actually constitute a “clue.” So they asked Julian to enlighten them.

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He showed them the last message Lila had recorded before she died. It was an explanation of why she killed herself after taking the drug. Taking the Vero showed her how truly limited she was as a non-chrome in a chrome’s world, and that she would never become what she aspired to be. She could never live up to her mother’s expectations or her own. Basically the point is HUG YOUR KIDS, PEOPLE. It is ruhl tough being a teenager these days (and apparently even tougher 35 years from now), so let’s just all try to take some pressure off these kids. GOOD LESSON, SHOW.

When they showed the video to Lila’s mom, she confessed to having hired a hacker to overdose the other two girls. She was so consumed with rage that she let her obsession with revenge consumer her. Does that sound like anyone else you know?

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#PERSONALRELEVANCE

Speaking of John’s debilitating fixation on the Insyndicate ambush, since he was remembering things, he had to speak to another internal affairs rep. This turned out to be the most evil man to ever walk the face of the earth.

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That guy is seriously the king of all douchebags. He’s like the Santa Clause of douchiness. He’s like every annoying person you’ve ever met rolled into one giant super-asshole…wearing a Google Glass.

I am not looking forward to him showing up again in the future. (Which I guess I don’t need to worry about that much since this episode was supposed to air earlier in the season, and we haven’t seen him in any successive episodes.) Between him and Mrs. Hoving (mostly Mrs. Hoving), John decided to dismantle his digital murder board with all his Anna/Insyndicate notes.

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Yay progress! Then John’s blond lady-friend called about the Russian dolls to let him know that—OOPS—the paint actually contained nanotechnology that transmitted sound, AKA he was bugged. Meaning that Insyndicate has been listening in on John’s every move. DUN DUN DUN! But honestly, is it really that big of a deal? John’s not a chatterbox when he’s around people; he’s practically a mime when he’s alone in his home. What could they have overheard that has any importance? John singing in the shower? Cursing at the coffeemaker? Mumbling Dorian’s name in his sleep? Unless John makes sensitive phone calls from home, there shouldn’t be anything that awful to overhear. Right? I guess we’ll find out.

I really liked the concept of this episode and getting to see the world of “chromes” and how they affect the way society functions (to some extent at least). It’s a scarily plausible future, and those are always the episodes that are the strongest for me—the ones that seem like they could come true in a few years. It was a lot of focus on John’s flashbacks, which I recognize is a necessary plot device, but it leaves less time for giggling with Dorian and general Kennex humor. This show does a great job of balancing sci-fi, humor, and drama, but some episodes are heavier in one area than another. Here’s hoping next week’s episode involves less moody flashbacking and more of John and Dorian flirting.

What did you think of this episode? Were you intrigued by the world of chromes? What do you think is the deal with John’s father? How soon before we see Anna again (and John flips a s**t)? Does John need to get a pet? I feel like he should get a dog or a goldfish or something. Maybe some sea monkeys…I don’t know. Brainstorm some Kennex pet ideas in the comments section!

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

Posted on February 12, 2014, in Almost Human Photo Recaps, Television and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Maybe he should just go with a robo-dog. He would never have time to care for a real pet! 🙂

  2. I’m so behind on your awesome recaps! I think John should get a pet monkey….don’t ask me why…..I just like the idea! 😀

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