EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

'Almost Human' recap: On borrowed time

Season 1 | Episode 6 | “Arrhythmia” | Aired Dec 16, 2013

This episode features one of my big health fears—heart attacks. The one featured in this episode is a whammy.

Almost-Human-Arrhythmia-1We start at a hospital, where we immediately see why the show has been honored with an Emmy nom for special and visual effects. Of course, the nomination is only for the pilot, but the special effects seem to get more ingenious as the show progresses, the holographic doctor one of the biggest examples.

The holographic doctor shorts out, which leads the nurse to tell a patient that someone’s coming to fix it. Suddenly, a man waving a gun is ordering for life support. He’s taken to the cardiac surgeon, who is currently in the middle of surgery prep. The man with the gun, Leonard Li, is not a criminal; he’s distraught. “I’m sorry … I don’t want to hurt anyone!” he says. Unfortunately, he’s out of time. As he’s lying on the floor, gasping his last breath, Leonard tells the doctor, “They killed me.”

Almost-Human-Arrhythmia-4Cut to Kennex and Dorian’s car-bro-time. Kennex is desperately trying to listen to a song that sounds eerily similar to Daft Punk’s “Robot Rock,” but the radio’s short-circuiting. Meanwhile, Dorian is trying to get him to pay attention to his driving. He tells Kennex that he just ran a red light. Kennex gets even madder when, after daring Dorian to give him a ticket, Dorian does. “You should break a rule or two now and then,” Kennex says. “It looks good on you.”

So why was the scene with the shorting-out hologram important? Because the hologram mechanic is another Dorian! DRN 494 was once a police officer, just like Dorian. But like Dorian, he was decommissioned. While Dorian was scheduled to go in space, the DRN was instated as a regular fix-it guy. When Dorian and Kennex meet him, Dorian is immediately affected. So Dorian does what Kennex originally suggested for him to do; he breaks a few rules.

Unbeknownst to Kennex, Dorian steals 494 for a day and takes him on the ride-along, something Kennex is immediately annoyed by. He had just gotten used to Dorian’s mouth noises and questions and feelings. Now he’s got two DRNs in the car? He can’t even focus on the fact that he and Dorian had learned that Leonard somehow knew when he would die. Leonard’s heart transplant was also never on any medical records. Neither was his biomech heart—a  heart from the expensive biomech organ company Vastrel. It’s the best biomech heart out there, but how can there not be a record of a top-of-the-line heart?

The car ride is already a huge (but entertaining) mess, but it gets worse when 494 jumps out of the car and starts assaulting a man. The man was up for armed robbery years ago, but he’s done his time. However, 494 doesn’t know that; Dorian went against protocol and gave 494 his case files back, but the files hadn’t been updated since 494’s decommission. If only 494 had just assaulted the man, there wouldn’t be that big of a mess for Kennex and Dorian to clean up. But 494’s escapade launches a Rube Goldberg machine’s worth of disasters, including a busted fire hydrant, a destroyed car, a broken droid and a mutilated police android. Of course, Maldonado is mad.

After Kennex gets an earful from Maldonado, Kennex rounds on both Dorians. He orders 494 back to the car and demands from Dorian why he wanted to rescue the bot in the first place. Dorian says when he was about to be decommissioned, he hoped that there would be someone for him when he woke up. “You were that person for me, John,” he says. “I want to be that person for him.” Kennex acts like he’s not touched, but we know he is. But he’s still not over the damage 494 has caused. If 494 gets out of line again, Kennex promises to mess 494 up. “I’m gonna be that guy for him,” he says.

Meanwhile, Rudy has been analyzing the heart. Rudy confirms that the heart is the best money can buy, but he also finds some modifications. At the same time, Stahl is interviewing Leonard’s distraught mother. Leonard’s mom details how hard it was for Leonard—who was diagnosed with terminal congestive heart failure—to find a heart, particularly one he could pay for. Stahl also finds out that Leonard’s transplant took place at a crude, abandoned building.

Dorian and Kennex take a trip to Vastrel.  Ms. Rivera, the head of the company, is prickly—she is being accused of doing something illegal with her own products, after all. But she does tell them that the mods in Leonard’s heart don’t belong and that the heart originally belonged to a woman named Sylvia. Rivera says, suspiciously, that when people die, Vastrel is supposed to receive a document confirming the heart has been destroyed.

Almost-Human-Arrhythmia-5The paper leads Dorian and Kennex to a crematorium. The cremationist, Henry Mills, is suspect. After getting the third degree from Kennex, Henry states that he did sell the hearts to some dude named Oscar. “He said he knew people who needed them,” Henry says. “Just because something is used doesn’t mean it’s got no value.” Of course, this gets to Dorian, who is dealing with that issue both personally and with 494.

During the meeting with Henry, Stahl informs Kennex that Leonard had been taking out $5,000 each month. Rudy chimes in and says the modifications turned the hearts into timers, meaning that the person who was providing the hearts to patients was also gouging them out of their money. Rudy states that the patients are “on borrowed time.” As are the detectives, who have to stop the bad guy, whoever it is. Kennex orders Henry to call Oscar, ’cause it’s time to catch some criminals.

Almost-Human-Arrhythmia-6Speaking of borrowed time, 494 asks Dorian why the DRNs were decommissioned in the first place. He, Dorian and Kennex are in the car killing time until Oscar shows up, and 494 has no memory of the Luger Test. Dorian tells him about the test, meant to weed out the “defective” DRNs from the “normal” ones. But the Powers That Be got scared, he says, and decided to deactivate them all. “Truthfully, I don’t know if the Luger Test is accurate at all,” says Dorian, which must have touched Kennex’s heart, giving him a deeper understanding of Dorian than ever.

Finally, Oscar shows up and it’s time to use their tracking system. He’s tracked down to a building, where a doctor is getting ready to do surgery. Over the wire, they hear that the doctor is about to operate on another patient. They bust in, and it’s a little before the bust that we start seeing some of the proof that perhaps 494 is one of the “defective” ones. He wants to immediately rush in even though Kennex and Dorian are trying to wait for the exact moment. Even though 494 is raring to go, he’s not thinking clearly enough to be a cop.

Almost-Human-Arrhythmia-7At the precinct, Oscar tells Paul that he doesn’t know anything about his cargo or who his female employer is. All he knows is that he was employed as a courier. Even the doctor doesn’t know anything; he tells Kennex that the modifications were remote diagnostics to help the patients if they were in distress. Turns out the doctor is an innocent in the whole situation; he thought he was giving good hearts to people. As the gravity of the situation dawns on him, the detectives realize their own problem. If they are going to find out if the employer jumps ship, the patients with the bad hearts will die.

The employer doesn’t want to get caught, so she orders Henry not to answer the patients’ calls to reset their hearts. The final piece of the puzzle finally comes to light. After cross-referencing the poor victims with missing victims (and after some of Stahl’s detective work), they find out all the victims were on the list for Vastrel’s aid program. They were all turned down by Ms. Rivera. But when Kennex and Dorian go back to question her, she tells them it wasn’t her. Turns out it was her assistant!

But if there were victims before Leonard, where are the bodies and organs? The answer: Henry. Time to go back to the crematorium.

Before Kennex and Dorian enter the crematorium, there’s also another clue that 494 is one of the “crazy ones.” When Dorian gives him the opportunity to be a cop and tells him to stop anyone who is of importance to the case (with a gun, even), 494 gets shaky. He’s in such extreme distress that Dorian apologies.

Kennex and Dorian go to take him into custody, which results in a shootout. The shooting comes to a halt once Dorian, who has been tracking Henry’s motions, busts through the wall and knocks him cold to the floor. Meanwhile, human Kennex has been running around trying to catch Henry.

Humanity is something Henry seems to feel bitter about when he’s taken to the precinct. As he stares at Dorian, he discusses how fragile human life is. “All us humans running around, trying to get more time,” he says. “Must be nice to have all the time in the world.”

Almost-Human-Arrhythmia-9Little does Henry know that the DRNs do have a limited lifespan since they’re still police (and government) property. Dorian finds 494 reviewing his old case files. He tells Dorian about one case in particular. The case involved him saving a young boy from her mother’s violent boyfriend. When the boy—Phillip—looked gratefully at him, 494 says about that moment, “That look was the most human connection I ever had. That’s my proudest moment as a cop. I didn’t realize how much I missed that.” He thanks Dorian for letting him be a cop for a day.

Maldonado still isn’t having it when it comes to 494 being in her precinct, so 494 has to go back to his maintenance job. Dorian tells him how great of a cop he was and how sad it is that he couldn’t continue to be one. He removes all of 494’s memories of case files except for one memory—the memory of Phillip.

What did you think about this episode? Give your opinions in the comments section 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

You May Like