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'Almost Human' recap: Catching bullets

Season 1 | Episode 8 | “You Are Here” | Aired Jan 13, 2014

Annyeonghaseyo hwan-yeong. In English, that is “Hello and welcome!” The reason for me writing in Korean is in honor of Dorian’s bullet-catching injury, which results in him only being able to speak Korean for a portion of the episode. We’ll get into those fun times later. First, let’s establish this week’s case.

Almost Human-You Are Here-2A man, Anton Cross, is running through a subway station, trying his best to get on the train. He barely misses the train, but Anton is still trying his best to keep running. Instead, the subway security corners him as he’s desperately trying to escape. As he yells how some people are trying to kill him, a bullet travels through the subway’s skylight, through a man’s futuristic cello, and hits Anton squarely in the chest.

Meanwhile, Dorian is waiting for Kennex’s anger management session to finish. Either the people in attendance aren’t interested in getting better or, as I’m wont to believe, the group leader is terrible at her job. No wonder Kennex, or as Dorian calls him, “Mr. Friendly,” is keeping his feelings close to the vest. He might as well solve his anger and psychological issues himself, especially since the leader seems like she’s trying to make Kennex angry by reminding him that his girlfriend tried to kill him and the raid killed many of his men.

Almost Human-You Are Here-3After the session, the two head to the subway station to investigate Anton’s death. Paul and his MX are already on the scene, much to Kennex’s irritation. Three shots seem to have been fired—one through the skylight, the second through the cello and the third into Anton—but there’s only one bullet. Paul’s MX posits the ludicrous theory that perhaps an assassin shot the bullet at just the right time and at the right angle that it would ricochet and eventually land its target. Dorian has a different theory. There’s only residue from the skylight and cello, but none on the floor, meaning that the ricochet theory is impossible. Second, the bullet has circuitry. Paul’s MX is just as irritating as Paul himself; it instantly tries to get Kennex’s attention, saying that Dorian is inferior and an “retired old system believing … rambling illogical theories.” Dorian is glad that Kennex is still giving him his undivided attention, but he’s still hurt by the MX’s words. Kennex’s way of alleviating Dorian’s pain is shooting the MX in the face.

Of course, Maldonado is angry. Paul is also angry—Kennex shot his MX! Paul antagonizes Kennex, asking what would happen if he put a bullet in Kennex. This leads to a tussle that reminds me either of two kids fighting over a teddy bear or two teenage boys fighting over the same crush. “Don’t even look at Dorian,” Kennex says, bringing the imagery home. Kennex goes on to say that the MXs aren’t cops. “They’re bullet catchers,” he says, also mentioning that he sees them as faulty toasters. Ironically, the only MX that caught bullets in this episode is the one Kennex put out of commission; Dorian is the one that catches almost all the bullets in this episode.

Kennex is able to joke himself out of suspension and Maldonado sends him on his way. Meanwhile, Dorian’s research finds out that Anton worked at Trope Software with a woman named Kira. From the amount of text messages between the two, it’s safe to assume that they’re in a relationship.

During the ride over, Kennex endures Dorian’s smug grin. He knows why Dorian is smiling, but still he bites. “You like me,” says Dorian. Kennex, who can’t stand being in contact with emotions other than “grumpy,” denies this, threatening to put Dorian out of commission as well. “It’s okay, John,” says Dorian. “I like you too.” Kennex’s lack of a response speaks volumes. The tone shifts back to seriousness as Rudy patches in, confirming Dorian’s theory. The bullet is a specially designed one that can be controlled.

Once at Trope Software, Dorian and Kennex inform Kira of Anton’s death. She doesn’t know anyone who would want him dead, but it’s clear that Anton was in a jam; a message Anton left her earlier shows him being eerily distracted by someone. Also, all of his problems seemed to come after he met with a headhunter.

During the questioning, Dorian finds himself inundated with real-time personalized ads. It’s the ads that gives Dorian an idea as to what happened to Anton. Anton used the real-time technology to create the guiding system for the bullet. Rudy gives more information: The bullet was a design from the Russian army, confiscated by a group of arms criminals called Revolution Now. Today the bullet is a black-market weapon. Poor Anton was killed by the very people he sold the system to.

Almost Human-You Are Here-1What’s hilarious is that the person the headhunter and her associate are selling the bullet to is McNab from Psych! McNab (or “Wilkes” in this episode) is impressed with the bullet’s technology, but wants to see it in action for himself. The headhunter and her associate set their next target, Kira.

Back at the precinct, Dorian, Paul, Kennex and Stahl are putting their heads together to solve the case. As Stahl gets to work trying to find a money trail, Paul says something that Stahl really should have punched him over. Paul insinuates that Stahl’s father knows how to hide money. The fact that she’s “angry,” but not as angry as she should be, is astounding. Meanwhile, Maldonado has her hands full with Reinhardt, one of the people behind the raid. She’s trying to cut a deal with him if he’ll tell her what he and his group wanted to steal from the evidence warehouse. Reinhardt wants freedom, but of course, Maldonado isn’t going to just let him walk. Maldonado ultimately orders Reinhardt back to his cell, irritated that she couldn’t get the information she desperately wanted. But before he leaves, Reinhardt says, “Do you really think that I’m the only one coming for it?” If only this show lasted longer, we’d be able to see all the parties invested in the thing in the warehouse.

Back to the case at hand. Kennex and Dorian meet up with Kira on the street and inform her of Anton’s dealings with the arms dealers. As Kira describes the headhunter, Dorian senses a disturbance in the Force. It’s the bullet! In the nick of time, Dorian pushes Kira out of the way and takes the bullet in the abdomen, leading us to the Korean-language moments referenced above.

Almost Human-You Are Here-5By the way, the visual effects of the bullet speeding through the air and locking in on its target are amazing. Once again, the special and visual effects team show why they deserve that Emmy nomination.

Kira now has to go into protection. She, her daughter Amy and her best friend (and Amy’s babysitter) Janet go underground in the police froce’s specialized bunker. However, even though the bullet can’t track anyone underground, Kira is still fearful for her safety. She thinks that she must know something about Anton that puts her in danger, so she offers to go to a scrubber and get her memories of Anton erased.

Almost Human-You Are Here-6Part of this is for protection, but she also feels betrayed by Anton. He was like a father to Amy and it’s hard for Kira to reconcile that person she knew with someone who would put her and Amy in danger. Kennex is against scrubbing and wants to save Kira from such measures. Even though he can’t promise that she’ll make it out of this alive, he does promise that he and Dorian will do whatever it takes to stop the criminals.

Almost Human-You Are Here-7First, though, Kennex has to get Dorian fixed. As Rudy fixes him, Rudy makes him sing K-pop, something that distresses Dorian to no end. Of course, Kennex is also annoyed at Dorian’s singing, but it seems like he’s more annoyed at Rudy for putting his partner through this kind of torture. Kennex threatens Rudy with the possibility of him putting a bullet into Dorian, and Rudy quickly unplugs Dorian from K-pop radio. Don’t worry: He mouths to a shocked Dorian that he’s just kidding.

At that moment, Stahl gives Kennex a call. She informs him of Anton’s parking violations at a local bank. The account isn’t under his first name, though; it’s under his middle name, Mark. The safe deposit box in the account has a lot of random things: ripped up paper with numbers on it being one the stranger things in Anton’s possession. But there are also tons of videos of Kira and Amy, with a sinister voice saying that they could be killed at any time. Anton wasn’t just selling the system for no reason; he was being extorted.

Dorian then gets notification of Kira’s disappearance. She’s made a break for it and headed to a scrubber in an attempt to ferret out the criminals. She wants to show them that she’s getting rid of the memories, hoping they’ll no longer see her as a threat. Kennex and Dorian manage to make it to the scrubber and talk Kira out of scrubbing, but they can’t escape in time; the two criminals show up and a shootout ensues.

Dorian has to do some more bullet catching as he draws the other criminal’s fire so Kennex can have a clear shot at him. After that criminal is taken out, Dorian shoots the leader, injuring her. “You have certainly taken your fair share today,” says Kennex to Dorian after backup arrives. “I’ll send you the bill,” Dorian jokes, further cementing their reliance on each other.

Almost Human-You Are Here-8Back at the precinct, Kennex shows Kira the extortion video, restoring Kira’s faith in Anton. Kennex also shows her the ripped-up paper. Turns out the paper was Anton’s telephone number; Kira had torn it when he first gave her his number (written with an antiquated pen, no less). Anton decided to keep it as a memento of their first meeting. Kira gives Kennex the pen, thanking him for giving her back her trust in Anton (and from saving her from erasing her memories). Kennex gets an idea and writes Stahl something on paper (the only paper in the precinct, probably) and the pen. What’s the message? Kennex’s phone number? Some dirty sex joke? The answer to how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? The world may never know.

What did you think of this episode? Write about it below!

Almost Human is now available on DVD from Warner Archive.

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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