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'Almost Human' recap: Welcome back to 2048

Season 1 | Episode 1 | “Pilot” | Aired Nov 17, 2013

Hey, man! Crank up that cheesy-awesome Lionel Richie music and let’s get back in the groove of following John Kennex and his android partner/work-husband Dorian!

We’re starting from the best place to start — the beginning. To me, the pilot felt like it was on the right track. What happened to Almost Human? What exactly went wrong? The latter question will be a theme through this particular recap and, possibly, the entirety of the recap of this series.

“Pilot” begins with Kennex and his team in the middle of an ambush. The Syndicate, a criminal organization, is effectively taking them down. Bullets are flying, MXs are going down left and right. It’s a massacre, yet Kennex is still leading his team through the gunfire. The question on everyone’s minds, including Kennex’s mortally injured partner’s mind, is, “Who tipped us off? What exactly went wrong?” Unfortunately, Kennex won’t know the answer to this question until he gets out of his coma about two years later.

Fast-forward to Kennex, back in the land of the living, not even a full year after coming out of his coma. He’s at the Recollectionist, getting his mind zapped back to the ambush. It’s still up in the air as to what exactly went wrong, but one thing Kennex isn’t going to do is blame himself — even though he already is. It’s easier to blame the MX who didn’t protect them. It’s easier to blame MXs in general, since they are largely ineffectual pieces of metal.

Human.7Kennex keeps going back to the Recollectionist — a doctor whom Kennex could arrest for practicing illegal forms of medicine — to gain some closure before going back to the force, but Captain Maldonado can’t wait for him any longer. It’s time for him to come back to work. It’s also time for him to get acquainted with his new MX partner. Of course, Kennex isn’t having it. After learning some important information about his first case — finding out who stole some delicate chemicals, including some programmable DNA and Myklon Red — Kennex gives his MX the ‘ol heave-ho out of his car. On the highway.

This leads us to our first introduction to Rudy! Rudy has been ordered to give Kennex a DRN, or “one of the crazy ones,” as Kennex put it. The “crazy” label comes from the fact that DRNs are basically humans you can plug into the wall. Rudy says that because the DRNs have a synthetic soul, they can feel and intuit just as much as humans can, if not more. They have breaking points, could make rash decisions, and do all sorts of things humans loathe about themselves. For those reasons, they were decommissioned and sent to NASA. Rudy states that due to the “problems” the DRNs exhibit, they are much more of a success than people want to admit.

Once Dorian is activated (by Kennex, no less), we have now entered the phase of the show that went from hardcore drama to a story of a man learning to love and care for someone again. For Kennex/Dorian shippers, this is the part where the relationship begins to write itself.

Dorian is an adorable ball of sunshine who wants nothing more than to do his best at being a police officer. His gratefulness at a second chance is probably lessened by degrees as Kennex begins to get on his nerves. Calling him “Synthetic,” telling him to be quiet, not listening to what he has to say and Kennex violating a criminal’s civil rights during an interrogation gets to Dorian after a while, but he can’t focus on his feelings at the moment.

Human.3One of the department’s detectives, Det. Vogel, gets kidnapped. Kennex sees some of the value in having Dorian as a partner, since Dorian decides they should  attempt to save Vogel, while the MX advised against it. But Vogel is already a lost cause. He’s inside a bulletproof glass box that is hooked up to an aerosol unit. The spray goes into the box, and Vogel becomes a horrifying mass of disease.

Thanks to Dorian’s blood-filled-syringe-to-the-neck maneuver (gross), Rudy is able to discover that Vogel was a test subject. In the future, police officers get inoculations to protect them from biological warfare. But these inoculations, mixed with the programmable DNA, trigger reactions of epic proportions. Basically, you get affected by every disease you could have.

Now it’s on to save the officers and stop the bad guys. But not before Dorian finally explodes at Kennex, saying that he should probably put some blame on himself for the botched ambush. That’s below the belt, Dorian! But Kennex has been verbally hitting him below the belt since they met, so it’s an eye for an eye.

Of course, that fight doesn’t endear Dorian to Kennex, but Dorian saving Kennex’s life does. Kennex nearly died when he went back to the Recollectionist, but this time, he finally realized exactly what went wrong during the ambush. It was his ex-girlfriend Anna who tipped everything off. Thankfully, Dorian was there to save him from what looked like pre-cardiac arrest. Now the bonding begins.

Kennex finally gets that Dorian isn’t a mindless computer. He realizes that he’s got a lot of human qualities; combined with his robot qualities, he becomes a massive asset to finding out who killed Vogel. The plan they come up with is to have Dorian pull out the memory of Vogel’s injured MX and put two and two together. The result: The organization wants something the police have, and they’ll kill to get it.

Remember the criminal whose civil rights Kennex ran roughshod over by beating him up? He put a bug on a toilet (a bug he had to throw up — gross, part two), and at the right time, the bug ruined the police department’s security system, shutting down the MXs. Thankfully, Dorian runs on a different frequency, so he and Kennex can do what they need to do to get the bad guy before he can spray Det. Stahl (the female detective with the hots for Kennex). Det. Paul, who hates Kennex and presumably blames him for the botched ambush, looks on, mouth agape at the save. Eat it, Paul! Kennex and Dorian did that!

At the end of the episode, Kennex and Dorian are friends forever! We officially come full circle when Kennex says, “Thanks, man,” after Dorian says he’ll keep trying to see what the criminals wanted. To top it off, when Kennex asks Maldonado why she partnered him with Dorian, she says, “The DRN is good for you.” When pressed further, she replies, “He’s special. Just like you.” These words are the beginning to the Almost Human Shipper Bible.

Have you rewatched the pilot recently? Tell me all about what you loved the most in this episode!

Almost Human is available on Amazon, Vudu and iTunes

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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