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'Almost Human' recap: The stress of being a 'Natural'

Season 1 | Episode 10 | “Perception” | Aired Feb 10, 2014

The episode begins with two kids experiencing a high. These girls are seeing sounds, hearing symphonies, finding new math equations and experiencing the swarming patterns of bees. All of a sudden, the girls drop dead, one in the forest, the other in an auditorium. It’s up to Kennex and Dorian to find the killer.

Unfortunately, Kennex also has been having severe flashbacks to the raid. He can feel his brain trying to recall something about Anna, something important, but he gets frustrated when his brain stutters. The flashbacks are also making him late to work; Dorian notes his tardiness to Maldonado. Dorian’s annoyed Kennex turned off his locator chip-—it’s Dorian’s job to know Kennex’s whereabouts and well-being. But his mother-like nagging gets cut short as they come to the body of Scarlett, the girl playing with the bees in the forest.

Stahl, who is in the morgue looking at the body of Elinor, the girl from the auditorium, informs Kennex that both girls belonged to an exclusive academy catering to “Chromes” (genetically enhanced humans) and highly exceptional “Naturals” (regular, non-genetically enhanced people).  The girls died of an overdose from an unknown drug. As Stahl is feeding Kennex the information, he has another flashback, causing both Stahl and Dorian to worry about Kennex’s presence of mind.

AH104a_0137At the precinct, Maldonado tells Stahl that it’s probably best if she correspond with the girls’ parents, seeing how she also is a Chrome. The most emotion Stahl ever shows is when she’s confronted with her Chrome status and she gets visibly uncomfortable with the idea of talking to parents of Chromes. But Maldonado says, “You know their world.” As Kennex and Dorian come into the precinct, Maldonado and Stahl notify them that there was another girl involved with the drugs, a Natural named Lila. However, she didn’t die of an overdose; she died of drowning.  Lila, Elinor and Scarlett were friends, but no other records of their friendship and their ties to the drug are in the database. Kennex and Dorian’s next mission is to talk with Lila’s mother.

Before they leave, though, Kennex sneaks off to what he thinks is a hidden spot in the building. With a shaky hand, he pops a small red pill, a Membliss pill. It’s supposed to help him remember, but as Dorian points out, Membliss is extremely bad for your health. Kennex gives the lame response of  “I’ve got in under control.”

At Lila’s mother’s home, Kennex and Dorian question her about Lila’s death.  Lila’s mom says that Lila was an expert swimmer and would have never taken the drugs alone. She’s convinced the girls had something to do with Lila’s death. She had hired a private investigator and gave recordings of her daughter’s conversations with Elinor and Scarlett to police, but the investigation turned up short and the records were mysteriously erased during a “magnetic surge.”

The next time we see our dream team, they’re at the exclusive school, giving Stahl some back-up with the investigation. She’s finishing up an interview with a student as they arrive. The girl, a Natural, was friends with Lila. The girl states that Lila wanted to get along with everyone, but she couldn’t make headway with her Chrome classmates. Even the interviewed girl doesn’t want to be at this school; if it weren’t for her parents’ dreams, she would have asked to be transferred long ago.

Next up for questioning is some jerk named Marshall. He gets his marching orders from some other jerk who nods when he’s supposed to stay quiet. Marshall’s stonewalling, combined with Kennex’s sudden flashback to Anna and the raid, make this interview a bust.

AH104a_0255Back at the precinct, the team finds out more about the drug. The drug is designed specifically to the user’s DNA, making it, as Kennex says, “the ultimate designer drug.” Rudy feeds to Dorian that the pills were printed on a chem-printer. This particular model is owned by an elderly man, but his son Julian was expelled from the same academy Lila and the girls went to. Not only that, but the girls’ DNA are found in the machine’s cloud, as Dorian tells Kennex in the car. It looks like he’s the culprit.

Kennex has been having flashback spells all through Dorian’s information update, but the last flashback causes Kennex to almost run straight into a big rig on the other side of the road. Dorian quickly grabs the steering wheel and saves them both, but they run into a construction area. Dorian turns to Kennex, revealing damage to his ear. “Yeah, you totally got it under control,” he says, annoyed.

As Kennex and Dorian enter Julian’s home,  it’s clear that Julian is basically the owner of the house now. His dad died and his elderly mother is vacant. He explains that his dad used the chem-printer to create his own pills when his health was failing and when the doctors had exhausted all options for his health.

It’s also clear Julian’s on the very pills that could have killed the girls. Before Kennex asks any questions, Julian tells him, “You don’t believe me. Now you know why I didn’t come forward.” Thanks to the pill, Julian can see what Kennex is going to ask before he asks it. Still, Kennex asks anyway. What does the drug do and did Julian kill the girls? Julian says the drug is meant for Chromes only—it allows them to expand their minds and see things in the universe  no one’s meant to see. He also states he didn’t kill the girls. Someone hacked into his machine and spiked the doses. However, mention of Lila makes him sober up some. Still, it’s as Julian said before; Kennex doesn’t believe him. “

After the interview, Kennex thinks that Marshall could have hacked into Julian’s machine, but as he’s about to expound on that theory, he gets a text message from Maldonado, asking him to join her after their shift. Kennex doesn’t mention the message, but instead tells Dorian he can drive. The introduction of the nickname Kennex gives Dorian, “D” (or “Dee,” as it’s spelled in fanfiction), is something the fans fell in love with.

AH104a_0469Back at the precinct, Stahl shows Kennex and Dorian a text-message conversation between Scarlett and her father after Lila’s death. Scarlett’s dad tells her, “I took care of it,” causing Scarlett to end communication with her father.  Up next on Kennex and Dorian’s to-do list is to question the dad.

But that’s for next shift. At the end of this one, Kennex meets Maldonado at the bar. She wants to know what’s going on. He tells her about his flashbacks and she advises him to stop taking Membliss. “You should let it happen naturally,” she says, also mentioning that he’s got to let go of getting revenge on Anna. “If you obsess about revenge, it will take you down.” Also, he’ll have to talk to Internal Affairs again since he’s remembering things.

AH104a_0295Instead of taking Maldonado’s advice, Kennex heads back to the Recollectionist. He’s been there for five nights straight. This night, though, he finally gets the answer his brain has been searching for. The memory is of a matryoshka doll Anna gave him. Back at home, he takes it apart, expecting to find a bug, but finds nothing. He looks at his hologram sticky-note-covered wall; it’s full of random clues and memories that he’s hoping will form a bigger picture about inSyndicate and Anna. But so far, this doll is his biggest lead. Before his shift starts, he gets a long-suffering police technician, McGinnis, to look the doll over.

Kennex and Dorian head to Scarlett’s dad, who calls in his lawyer via hologram. The lawyer does his best to prevent Kennex and Dorian from asking questions, but when Kennex tells the dad that someone deliberately spiked the doses, Scarlett’s dad closes out his lawyer and answers. Scarlett, Elinor and Lila were together the night Lila died. When Scarlett and Elinor went back to school, Lila stayed behind. Scarlett’s dad didn’t want anyone to know—he didn’t want Scarlett to be associated with Lila’s death. He paid off Lila’s mother’s private investigator and also made the tapes disappear. He reveals that Lila’s mom had contacted him, saying he would pay for what he’d done. Later, Paul calls, saying he’s found something.

That something turned out to be an encrypted image stick from Julian’s room. Julian says the stick contains the last message Lila ever gave him. “She was special,” he says, describing how good of a person she was. But she was under tons of pressure from her mom and never felt good enough. “I just wanted her to be her,” Julian says. “When you’re surrounded by perfect things, you learn to appreciate the beauty in flaws,” he says. He didn’t want her to take the drug. For Chromes, the mind opens up, but for Naturals, you just descend into the darkest parts of your mind.

The video message—which ends with Lila walking into the ocean—is why there should have been a warning before this episode. It’s certainly moving (as shown on Lila’s mother’s face), but it’s mighty triggering for some audience members, I’m sure.

AH104a_0160Lila’s mother reveals that she did hire the hacker. She wanted to make sure the girls’ parents felt the same rage she felt. When Kennex enters Lila’s mother’s room, he sees the sticky-note-laced fury on her walls, similar to his. Dorian comes up behind him, putting two and two together as he glances at the walls and Kennex. This has led many in the fanbase to theorize that Dorian must have been in Kennex’s apartment before; otherwise, how would he know about Kennex’s sticky-note habit? If there really is a missing scene showing Dorian traipsing around in Kennex’s digs, please discuss it in the credits.

Back at the precinct, Kennex has a tense face-off with Officer Reynolds, the Internal Affairs investigator. As he goes through Kennex’s files through his Google Glass-esque specs, he asks Kennex about his recent memory flashes. Reynolds chides Kennex for being in a relationship with a mysterious, unknown woman. The point Reynolds makes, albeit in a jerk-like fashion, that Kennex left himself open at the expense of his case. The final jab is when Reynolds says, “Look at your father.” As we find out later, Kennex’s father also had a tough time getting trust back after a big case.

Kennex goes home and is repulsed by his collection of sticky notes. He throws them all away, but is still concerned about his memories. Just then, McGinnis calls. The doll, she says, is a listening device. It’s got nano-circuitry in its pigment, and the last transmission was uploaded seven hours ago.

What did you think of this episode? Write about it in the comments section!

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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