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'Almost Human' recap: A house is not a home when it's a killer

Season 1 | Episode 11 | “Disrupt” | Aired Feb 17, 2014

Dorian wakes from stasis to find Rudy digging around in his head.  “You’re manipulating my body and rooting around in my head!” Dorian says irritably at Rudy, who looks really embarrassed. According to Rudy, routine maintenance is supposed to take less time when Dorian’s unconscious, but still, privacy is privacy. Kennex decides to interject, saying if he woke up to a clean shave, he’d be happy. Dorian turns the tables on him. “So if I shave you while you’re unconscious, that would make you happy?” Kennex changes the subject, saying that they’re already late for Paul’s shift.

Rudalmost human-disrupt-1y asks why they’re covering for Paul, which leads to the first of many lies Kennex tells about Paul’s absence. This one states that Paul has an infection due to a bad piercing in this nether regions. Kennex and Dorian leave, with Dorian still mad about being violated. But it would appear that the strange images Rudy discovered in Dorian’s head—a child with what looks like an IV in his arm, playing with a toy car— have some bigger significance.

Cut to the case of the day: Michael Bennett has come home from a long day of work and from society’s pressures. This is the on- year anniversary of the death of a young boy, Aaron Kasdan. Aaron was killed by Bennett’s smart home-security system.  All day, Michael and his wife have been inundated with threatening emails from people who believe them to be killers.

almost human-disrupt-2Once again, there probably should have been a trigger warning at the beginning of this episode, since the poor family is killed by their home in the most brutal of ways—Michael was shot dead as he was trying to save his wife, who was suffocating after the system closed the cover to the swimming pool. As a non-swimmer and a claustrophobic person, I was squirming big time during this entire scene.

When the police arrive the next day, Maldonado is trying to sell the line to reporters that the deaths happened because of a system malfunction; of course, she doesn’t believe in coincidences. Dorian’s mental math also reiterates that this is no coincidence; the Bennetts were killed at almost the same time Aaron lost his life a year ago.

Dorian, Kennex and Maldonado ask  S.A.M. about the night of his owners’ deaths. S.A.M. states that someone switched him from automatic to manual, but the knowledge of who did, as well as security camera footage, had been deleted from his files. S.A.M. brings up the list of death threats the family received, giving the three tons of suspects to choose from.

Not everything at the crime scene is down in the dumps, though; Kennex still has time to spread another lie about Paul’s absence. This time he tells the officer on the scene that Paul’s out for hemorrhoid surgery. “Internal and external,” Kennex says. This leads to roping the poor sap into giving money to an imaginary money pool for Paul’s doughnut pillow.

almost human-disrupt-3The next place to visit is Synturion itself. Kennex and Dorian are greeted by the next big thing in home security, an android version of S.A.M.  This S.A.M. states what’s supposed to be a selling point; that he and his kind will be there “wherever you go.” Unfortunately, this leads to Kennex directing a rather dorky impression of S.A.M. to Dorian, who looks hugely unimpressed and vaguely embarrassed. The embarrassment doesn’t even have long to register on Dorian’s face before he glitches. He’s been hit by memories of playing with a car.

Kennex and Dorian meet with the head of Synturion, Kay Stenson, and the company lawyer, Peter Newsom. Both state that the security technology is completely secure, that it uses the same type of technology the Pentagon uses to keep hackers out. But that doesn’t explain how someone was able to override the system.

Kennex has a bone to pick with them over the Kasdan case. It appears that he’s one of the people in the city who vehemently disagree with Synturion as a company after the death of Aaron. Kennex takes the viewpoint that the company created a faulty system that killed Aaron in cold blood. He says a reprimand for crossing a yard should be a yell out of the window, not getting shot down.

Stenson lectures Kennex sternly about why she got into the home security business. At 15, she was assaulted by intruders. She had called the police, who arrived within 10 minutes, but that still wasn’t fast enough. She just wants to keep people safe. She also gives a clue as to who could be behind the crimes. An online group called Disrupt had been one of the most vocal about Synturion’s hand in Aaron’s death.

Unfortunately, Aaron’s mom has to be ruled out as a suspect; it could be very well that she hired a hacker to kill the Bennetts after the Newsom made her son look like a criminal to the jury. The argument Newsom put to the court was that Aaron was trespassing, but as Aaron’s mom states, “I know [Aaron] didn’t deserve to die for it.” She didn’t hire anyone to kill;  she tells Stahl that she was at church, attending a vigil for her son. All she wanted to do was honor her son’s memory. With what’s been happening in America, Aaron’s mom’s statement about character assassination, coupled with Kennex’s statement alluding to the right to live, carry great weight.

With the tougher questions behind her, Stahl asks Aaron’s mom if she knew of any of his friends who might be a suspect. Aaron didn’t have many friends in the real world; he mostly communicated online. Stahl asks to see Aaron’s tablet to find some leads.

almost human-disrupt-4In the car ride back to the precinct, Kennex pulls a Dorian and asks how Dorian’s feeling. He wants to know what the glitching was all about. Dorian tells him about his memories. “It felt like me, but it wasn’t,” he says. Just then, the lights go out in the city, save for huge billboards featuring Aaron’s class picture. The billboards read, “Justice for Aaron.”

The guy behind the blackout is a hacker named Crispin X. Rudy, a former hacker, is well aware of Crispin’s work and admires his showmanship. But Crispin, who Rudy knew as a hacker for hire, is a suspect in a murder case; admiring his showmanship looks a bit wrong at this point in time.

It’s necessary for Kennex and Stahl to meet Crispin, find out his real name, and cuff him. Rudy says Crispin usually attends a hacker party after his big gigs, but they’ll never meet him if they don’t look the part. Enter undercover costumes! The costumes themselves are interesting—Stahl gives her best Alias look, while Kennex is just on the other side of Zoolander.

AlmostHuman-ep111b_sc34_058Kennex and Stahl expected a real party, but instead, they’re greeted with people zoned out in virtual reality. Kennex, with his fake British cockney accent, and Stahl, equipped with Rudy’s former hacker alias “Aphid,” infiltrate the “party” and round up Crispin X, aka Nico.

Meanwhile, Rudy and Dorian are working out their differences. Rudy tells Dorian that the images were probably created as a reinterpretation of his gathered visual data from cases. He also divulges that before Dorian was reinstated, he would wake Dorian up to keep him company. When Dorian was enlisted in the force again, he had to erase the files from Dorian’s memory bank. Dorian kindly asks for them back, showing that he still values Rudy’s friendship. He even says it. “We are friends; you don’t have to keep things from me.” Unfortunately, Rudy’s still keeping things from him.

Nico is in an interrogation room, with Stahl and Kennex breathing down his neck about the murders. Nico says he’s not a killer and that Disrupt hired him to help them protest. Kennex has had it up to here with hackers and the atrocity of the Kasdan case. “Protesters have the courage to stand out in front for what they believe in, not hide behind a computer screen,” Kennex grits out. Just then Dorian tells Kennex there’s been another murder. This time, it’s Newsom.

almost human-disrupt-5Newsom died of acute respiratory failure. Someone had switched his home to fire suppression mode, meaning all of the oxygen was taken out of the home. Before his death, Newsom had received the same threat as the Bennetts. The picture used in the threat also came from a social media site, meaning that the killer knew Aaron personally.

One last lie about Paul from Kennex; this time, Kennex tells an officer that Paul had an infection from a dirty sex bot. He unknowingly rats out the officer’s extracurricular activities.

AlmostHuman-ep111b_sc52a_004Nico is enlisted to find out who was on Aaron’s social media page. If he helps them out, he gets immunity. Throughout the episode, Nico is doing his best impression of L from Death Note, crouching in chairs and being super smart and all. Through Nico’s work, it’s discovered that the culprit is Emily Wilson, who was expelled from school for assaulting a classmate and later home-schooled. She was filed as a missing person the month before the Bennett murders took place. Now, her next target is Stenson.

Kennex and Dorian go inside Synturion headquarters to save Stenson. Stenson’s doing her best to stay alive in what has now become Five Nights at Freddy’s, running from killer machines. Nico is overriding the androids, but Emily keeps turning them back on. She panics and sets the fire suppression system. Kennex and Dorian now have five minutes to get out alive.

almost human-disrupt-6Dorian finds Emily, but has to fight a S.A.M. android first. Meanwhile, Kennex has been hologrammed by Nico, allowing him to take out two of the androids without the threat of being shot. Dorian finally overpowers the android and talks Emily out of killing herself. “[Aaron] was the only person I had, and they took him away from me,” Emily says. With three seconds left, Nico manages to turn off the fire suppression system. Finally, Emily breaks down, saying that Aaron was coming to see her that night.

The next day, the officer who Kennex duped about the hemorrhoid surgery gets embarrassed by Maldonado, who tells him to take his doughnut pillow donation away. Turns out Paul took his mother to Mexico for her birthday. What a good son!  Speaking of good sons, Aaron’s mom is treated to a mosaic of her son made from the well-wishes of all his online friends.

almost human-disrupt-7Rudy reveals to Kennex that the memories aren’t byproducts of processing; they are organic. Someone implanted their memories in Dorian’s brain for some reason. Rudy’s made it so Dorian can’t be accessed by the intruder again, but both he and Kennex have to watch out for Dorian. They can’t tell anyone about the memory breach, otherwise Dorian could be deactivated. It’s up to Kennex and Rudy to find out why someone’s hacking into Dorian. Going by Kennex’s face, he’s ready to take care of the intruder with his fists.

What did you think of 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

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