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Monday, December 2, 2013

Almost Human 1.4: Almost Breaking Bad

A top notch Almost Human 1.4 tonight - I've been saying that about every episode - in which the nerdy roboticist Rudy makes like Walter White, or pretends to be like Mr. White, except in Rudy's case a master chef of the bends, the futuristic equivalent of blue meth.

Of course, Rudy isn't at all like Walter White, in that Rudy is operating entirely within the law not outside it.  But it's beginning to become dangerously clear on Almost Human - which is to say, clearly captivating television - that we cannot completely know who is ultimately good and bad.   Certainly not with a new character, a captain who struts on the scene, played by Benito Martinez, who also played a captain in The Shield, one of the best series ever on television.  In The Shield, Martinez's captain is usually good but by no means always.   In tonight's Almost Human, he's just bad bad bad - a police captain who is king pin of the bends drug ring - which almost leads to Rudy's demise.

Kennex and Dorian and even Rudy prevent that, and Dorian in particular gives us an excellent scene reminiscent of The Terminator, in which he fights the bad captain's bad robot.  The robot has the braun, but Dorian has the brains, and gets the better of the braun in the end.

The mix of futuristic feel and gutteral humor continues to appeal, especially the literally live food that we see Kennex eating in a sushi bar at the beginning of the episode.  Years ago, I was in a sushi place in Riverdale, NY - a take out joint - and the sushi chef tried to talk me into taking a live, wriggling clam home for dinner, or as part of it.  I knew my wife would be less than thrilled, but, truthfully, I said no because I couldn't quite wrap my head around eating anything live.  But I always regretted that decision, and so it was good to see Kennex go for it, so I could at least relate to eating live vicariously.

That's the kind of series Almost Human is - strange, compelling, and unexpected in its rush of details.  It may be a new kind of television - at least, for the traditional networks.

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