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'Almost Human' recap: Innocent until proven guilty

Season 1 | Episode 4 | “The Bends” | Aired Dec 2, 2013

It’s the fourth episode of Almost Human, and this is where some of the real fun begins. A lot of the characters have gelled together, and now there are opportunities for jokes and whatnot. These character and relationship developments also prompted some fans to find out that Fox was showing the episodes out of order. Even though “The Bends” was shown as the fourth episode, it was actually conceived as the seventh episode in the season.

Almost-Human-The Bends-3The plot of “The Bends” is straightforward—Kennex has to prove that Cooper, a detective in the narcotics unit of the 25th Division, didn’t become a dirty cop. Cooper, who was also Kennex’s friend from the police academy, was killed in the middle of a meeting with some higher-ups in this particular drug ring. The mysterious, never-seen ringleader, The Bishop, is on the hunt for a new cook to make some high-grade drug called The Bends. However, once it’s discovered that Cooper is a cop, he’s a dead man.

Maldonado is also questioning Cooper’s real intentions, since she tells Cooper’s captain, Alexio Barros, that Cooper had an account in his dead father’s name that had been recently active, meaning he could be in bed with the very criminals he’s been trying to put away. However, as Barros states, there’s also the fact that Cooper was trying his best to stop what he felt was going to be a flooding of the market of Bends vials. Going the traditional route wasn’t working, so Barros felt that perhaps Cooper was trying to circumvent the system and continue his investigation on the down low. Indeed, Dorian tells John at the crime scene that Cooper was, in fact, not on any undercover case listings. But another twist: Cooper was outfitted with a subcutaneous wire, something that was brutally taken out of him by the criminals. If he was dirty, why would he be wearing a wire?

Kennex is adamant that Cooper is no dirty cop, so after gently questioning Kelly about Cooper’s whereabouts, he finds out that Cooper was spending more time at his father’s old cabin. Supposedly he was fixing the fireplace so he and his family could spend more time up there. However, as Kennex says when he and Dorian arrive at the cabin, Cooper couldn’t even use a hammer correctly, so there’s no way he’d suddenly start doing This Old House-style renovations. What Cooper did do to the fireplace, though, was place a recorder in it.

The recorder gives the team some insight as to what Cooper was trying to do. It reveals that Kennex is right: Cooper isn’t dirty at all. But it also shows what the team now has to do in order to finish Cooper’s work. Cooper was getting close to having a meeting with The Bishop, which would mean that Cooper would have been able to take down the whole organization and prevent large quantities of The Bends from getting on the streets. But since Cooper was stopped, The Bends are now out there, which means beaucoup money for the criminals, but tons of overdoses and related deaths for those jonesing for the highly addictive drug.

The challenge for the team is to find someone with a knowledge of chemistry to be able to pose as a cook and get to The Bishop. Kennex unwisely offers himself, earning Maldonado’s scoffing. “You can’t even cook ramen,” she tells him, to which he replies, “I can cook ramen … I can order ramen.” Suddenly, Kennex has a flash of brilliance. What about Rudy? He’s smart, and a whiz with chemicals and other strange things. He can do it!

It doesn’t take much for Kennex and Dorian to talk him into going undercover. Rudy has dreams (or delusions) of grandeur and he’s always wanted to be seen as a James Bond-type. So he goes whole-hog into it, including wearing a three-piece suit, nifty glasses and a fedora. Paul and Kennex can’t agree on much (read: anything), but they both agree that the fedora is a no-go. Rudy wears his fedora-turned-security blanket anyway, so their opinions don’t really matter.

Almost-Human-The Bends-6Rudy, who is also now a GPS thanks to the police force’s special locator serum, is now on the inside. Paul, a master at undercover work, is posing as a homeless man with a can. Inside the can is some of the cleverest tech ever—roach cameras. The police bugs are literal bugs!

Our roach friends lead us into the room Rudy is currently making a mockery of himself in. By “mockery,” I mean nearly crapping his pants. Thankfully, Dorian decides to go in to keep him afloat, but it also means he’ll have to turn off his communications systems, leaving the police in the dark as to what’s going on. They can’t know he’s a cop, after all.

Rudy comes back to himself upon seeing Dorian and is surprisingly calm under pressure, coolly saying that Dorian is a police-order bot that he bought off the black market and refurbished himself. He also wisely points out that they also have a drug-tester/bouncer bot with them. Fair is fair, so they let Dorian go. Now it’s time for Rudy to get cooking.

Almost-Human-The Bends-7Apparently, Rudy could have been Walter White if he wanted to. Not only can he cook, but his product is 95 percent pure. Rudy has passed the test, and Dorian is both proud and bemused at Rudy’s abilities.

Rudy can meet The Bishop, but unfortunately, he has to meet him alone—Dorian isn’t allowed back. Also not allowed: the GPS serum. Rudy is made to drink fluid that we later find out is the counter-agent to the serum, which means one of the criminals is a cop. I suppose they didn’t know for sure if Rudy was really a cook or just another plant, so having him drink it is just to be on the safe side. But if you were feeling nitpicky, this could be a huge plot hole, since the android should have been able to pick up the signal.

The loss of the serum sends our team into a panic. They quickly move into position, while Maldonado figures out who could be on the inside who’s also supplying criminals with stuff that’s still in beta testing. The bread crumbs—the criminals’ excused crimes—lead back to Barros, making him The Bishop.

Almost-Human-The Bends-1After tracking Barros’ location, Dorian and Kennex speed there to save Rudy, who is now in the thick of it. He manages to keep himself afloat by doing what Paul told him to do, which is to weave the truth into his lie, but his real panic sets in when The Bishop’s guy on the outside doesn’t answer his phone. He’s already been killed by Kennex and Dorian.

Rudy races out of the room, getting shot through the arm by the criminals. He hides in between some machinery as Kennex and Dorian arrive to save him. Kennex takes Barros as he heads to the sewers, while Dorian holds his own against the massive android. Dorian is nearly choked to death, but he grabs a machine’s hook, jams it into the back of the android’s neck, and turns the machine on, which lifts the android and severs his head (with spinal column attached) from the rest of his body. Rudy looks on in horror at what sweet, kind, soft-spoken Dorian is capable of.

Kennex runs out of ammo during his chase, but he finds a piece of steel and manages to knock Barros’ gun out of his hands and beat him up enough to where Kennex can grab his gun and shoot him. He also shoots him square in the head. I imagine that’s a “This is for Cooper!” move, but he basically shot him in cold blood.

No matter how it went down, though, the day is saved and Kennex and Dorian are giving an ovation once again. Kelly comes to the station and thanks Kennex personally. “You’re a good man,” she says. It seems like he needed to hear that from someone; he still feels guilty about the botched raid, no matter how many people he’s saved after returning to the force.

Almost-Human-The Bends-10The episode ends as most episodes do, with Kennex and Dorian chilling in the car. This time around, they have a guest with them—Rudy! Dorian invited him along and promised him that they’d go to Kennex’s favorite cop bar, McQuaid’s. This sounds like a setup to a bar joke: “An android, a scientist and a cop are at a bar.” I’ll leave it to you to create your own punchlines.

What did you think about “The Bends” and its being shown out of order? Discuss below!


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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