‘Almost Human’ Season Finale Photo Recap: “Straw Man”

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You know how you can tell that the Almost Human season finale was great? Because even though it revolved around one of my least favorite Fringe alumni (dammit, Anil! Stop ruining everything!), it was still one of the best episodes of the season. No offense to Shaun Smyth (I’m sure he’s a really nice guy), but I can’t look at his face without thinking of Anil and how much he annoyed me throughout the entire last season of Fringe…which is why I felt so vindicated when he turned out to be a super evil kidnapper/cyborg. That’s right, bucko—you weren’t fooling me with that nice-guy façade, helping out those poor homeless teens. Aside from Anil ‘s unwelcome appearance, this episode was chock-full of awesome, mostly involving Dorian’s evaluation, which forced John to admit how much he totally adores his partner. “Straw Man” also delved into John’s background, since his father worked on the original case. This episode really hit the trifecta of humor, action, and character development, with a healthy side of Jorian swoon. Not even Anil could rain on that fabulousness! Though he did try pretty hard…

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What a creep! Pretending to be wheelchair-bound and using the promise of food and shelter to lure teenage runaways into a dark alley so you can use them to experiment on? Not cool, Anil!

Back at the ranch, the Powers That Be were conducting their performance review of Dorian, interviewing everyone about his efficiency and professionalism.

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The best interviewee was Rudy, who was so nervous that he started babbling about how he would trust Dorian with his children…or something.

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The squad did a pretty good job of talking up Dorian, maybe even gushing too much. Not that I blame them.

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John brought up that time that Dorian exposed himself when they were discussing each others’…um, anatomy… This show! Wow… I really admire how well they take advantage of the obvious sexual chemistry between Michael Ealy and Karl Urban. They just go all out, and the result is superbly entertaining.

Maybe it was because Anil makes everyone else look good, but Detective Paul was actually almost likable in this episode. He must have had a personality transplant while he was away, because he seemed like a new person.

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I really wanted someone to ask Paul about his STD or something to allude to John’s rumormongering while he was away. But no such luck.

Back to the case at hand: the victims were found with their organs removed and their bodies stuffed with straw. The killer was supposedly put behind bars years ago—by John’s father, no less. As John looked into his father’s case file, he uncovered some things that didn’t match up that had given his father doubts about the supposed killer. John and Dorian went to visit Costa and ask some questions about, like, why he likes killing people and stuffing their bodies with straw, and if he has a pen pal or someone that he’s been talking to about murder and stuff.

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John was sufficiently convinced that his father had truly believed Costa’s innocence. Which meant that real killer was still at large.

To help shed some light on the how and why of people’s possibly cloned bodies showing up stuffed with straw, the boys went to visit Rudy, who, in true Walter Bishop fashion, demonstrated a scientific principle by using a cupcake.

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Using the same logic, they deduced that the bodies had been created by an organic printer, which left the feet flat on the bottoms. Elementary, my dear Kennex!

With their combined brainpower, they worked out that the killer had been abducting homeless teens from supplement dispensers in the city. They set up teams at all the local shelters, even sending Paul in undercover as a homeless person. On the upside, he made a friend with some really cool glasses.

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Paul gave the kid some money so he could find a place to sleep, which was a shockingly nice moment from a character that I generally despise. Detective Paul has a heart! What a pleasant twist. Too bad that kid’s luck took a turn for the worse after that. Paul found his fancy glasses in an alleyway shortly thereafter and called to have a drone track the van as he watched it pulled away.

Somewhere between Dorian singing Lionel Richie and he and John arriving at the warehouse where the van parked, John told Dorian about his father and how he was the straightest cop that ever lived. By the time they got to the killer’s lair, he knew they were on his tail. Fortunately most of the kidnap victims were still alive when they got there.

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That little douchebag put a bomb in a straw-filled copy of his body! What a low blow…literally.

Meanwhile, the real Anil was giving John a very hard time.

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After John stabbed him, they discovered that Anil (or whatever you want to call him) was part cyborg. He had been putting mechanical parts into his body since he was diagnosed with a debilitating disease over a decade earlier, and using the people he abducted to experiment on. Basically a Class A dickwad right there. Good riddance, Anil!

Dorian was called back for a follow-up interview with another nameless suit. Thinking that humans feel more confortable around MXes, Dorian decided to act as much like one as possible.

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Awwww… Turns out John temporarily let down his walls of sarcasm and curmudgeonliness to share his warm fuzzy feelings about Dorian. It was the perfect way to cap off the season and show the progress of their relationship. Upon hearing this news, Dorian went to find John (once again using John’s GPS tracker), who was eating noodles alone.

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What a great ending to an awesome season. It really highlighted the evolution of John and Dorian’s friendship and how they’ve come to respect and appreciate each other, against all odds. One of the best things about this episode was Maldonado’s description of why she paired Kennex with Dorian. She felt like they needed each other, and she was right. They both taught each other how to be more human, and neither would be able to function in society without the other. Well, maybe Dorian would, but it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun. The greatest thing about this show is how well the characters play off each other. With John and Dorian at the center, the other characters revolve around them like moons around Saturn, occasionally making jokes or delivering expository dialogue. But what really brings everything together and makes this show shine is its heart. Just like Dorian said in the car: “I was made to feel, John.” Under all the futuristic technology, the creepy crimes, and the sexual innuendos, there’s a group of characters who feel. Sometimes they have trouble dealing with those feelings (*cough* Kennex *cough*) but then they just shoot some criminals or abuse pharmaceutical drugs until they feel better. Oh wait, sorry, I mean they talk about their emotions and work through their problems with the support of their friends and coworkers. It may have taken a whole season, but John finally seems like a functional human being and a great police officer. No more memory drugs, obsessing over the past, or reckless behavior. (Okay, maybe a little bit less reckless behavior.) They may have a long way to go, but John and Dorian are on their way to fixing each other. And I will happily keep watching that journey for as long as it takes. Let’s start with, say, ten seasons? Sounds good, Fox.

What did you all think of the season finale? Were you surprised it didn’t involve the Insyndicate case? Is Maldonado one of the best police captains on TV? Is it just me, or is John perpetually eating noodles when Dorian seeks him out? How much do you want one of those organic printers so you can just push a button and make a cupcake? What was your favorite episode of the season? Your favorite Kennex joke from Dorian? Tell me everything!

As always, thanks to TV.com’s brilliant Price Peterson, whose hilarious Vampire Diaries photo recaps were the inspiration for mine. And a huge thank you to anyone who’s reading this. This show was all the more fun to watch knowing that there are other awesome people watching it who care enough to actually read my ridiculous recaps. Thanks, Almost Humaniacs!


*All images are property of FOX Broadcasting


Posted on March 5, 2014, in Almost Human Photo Recaps, Photo Recaps, Television and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. that last scene oh god i lost count of how many times i rewatched it. it was so adorable and romantic and really showed how their relationship developed and the way dorian cares about john and vice-versa.
    great recap as usual. watching almost human wouldn’t be nearly as fun without them
    fingers crossed we get a second season.

  2. Thanks for a great review of the ep and the series. Like you, I’d go for a good ten season of John and Dorian, to give us lots of time to explore their world, the lives and stories of their colleagues, find out more about the Wall, Dr. Nigel Vaughan, what happened to Anna, who on the Force is corrupt (in the first ep, Maldanado says she doesn’t trust anyone but John and he doesn’t trust anyone but her, Dorian, occasionally Stahl and Rudy). I love Dorian and would like to hear more about DRNs, and explore the ‘almost human’ aspect of creating sentient beings who feel and learn like we do but whom we enslave as possessions. I enjoy the window into new tech and would welcome more eps that explore both the good and bad impacts of tech on our lives. Would also like to see Maya Vaughan again. That girl had the potential to become a semi regular.

  3. Thanks for the great review of the ep and the series (and love your artwork). Like you, I’d dearly love to see another ten seasons of John and Dorian, to find out JHWyman’s five year plan for the show and characters, to learn what’s on the other side of the Wall, besides Dr. Nigel Vaughan, to learn what happened to Anna, to maybe see Maya Vaughan again (could see her becoming a semi regular character). I would love to see them explore more of the ‘Almost Human’ aspects, particularly the ethics of making chromes but not allowing clones, and of creating sentient beings who can feel and learn, but whom we enslave as possessions. Yep, lots more can be done with this show and I can’t imagine ever growing tired of Michael Ealy and Karl Urban in their characterizations of Dorian and Kennex.

  4. These recaps give me life. Well done every single week. I seriously save most of these to my computer for a good laugh. ( Robo-sutra. Nice. )

    I love this show so fdjskjfdskl much. The relationship between the boys is sometimes overwhelmingly perfect, and it feels like I’ve been watching them as partners for ages. It just feels right.

    Season 2- we want you!

  5. perfect
    i really love it
    this show is terrific
    i want more than 10 season of this show

  6. Hi! I only discovered these recaps after episode 8, but I’ve been reading them after each of the last few episodes and they’re great 😀 (Yes, I’ve only just watched the second half of the season… took an accidental two-month hiatus… still just wanted to say I love them.)

    I’m not usually much of a shipper, but your appreciation of Jorian is fun to read you had me starting to look out for it 😛

    I don’t know if I’m more upset that it was cancelled (what’s wrong with it? Too original?) or that there won’t be any more of these :p At least I still have episodes 1-7 to read!

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