Almost Human S1 Ep 13 – Straw Man

Well, that was excellent. I feared I’d be disappointed because we’ve already seen an episode of Fringe with a guy pretending to be disabled playing on people’s sympathies and then killing them. But in this, I actually didn’t see any of the big twists coming. It had great character moments, too. All in all, I was impressed – and I really don’t want that to be the last we see of these characters.

Mmm, tailor-made vitamins.

Mmm, free tailor-made vitamins.

The window on what homeless life is like in this world – and how people genetically prone to mental illness are treated – was disturbing (and disturbingly believable). My skin crawled when the prison director guy described Costa, previously convicted for the serial murders, as having “failed his genetic profile as a child” and therefore been red-flagged for psychopathic tendencies.

The performance review stuff was nicely done. John had one of my favorite lines of the episode in that scene as he reflected on Dorian: “Flipped a van once… that was pretty cool, didn’t know he could do that.” Very true, and Karl Urban’s near-deadpan there just made it that much greater. And then poor anxious Rudy, who actually did know there was something to worry about over Dorian, was also hilarious as he went overboard on how much he trusts him: “… if I did have a child I would want Dorian to raise it instead of me.” HA!

I didn’t really expect for John’s father to show up (or his late father, as the case may be). I’m glad it doesn’t seem like he was the stereotypical stern, unkind cop father. I guess John still has daddy issues, but at least they seem to be because Kennex the elder is dead, not because he didn’t love his son. My only worry is that Maldonado seemed anxious to make sure John believed his father’s case – and the case of the dirty cop who arranged for his death – is over. She better not be dirty, too (assuming we ever get a chance to see any more of this show).

This is definitely something Walter Bishop would do all the time.

This is definitely something Walter Bishop would do all the time.

The Straw Man case itself was nicely creepy. The touch about the replica, printed bodies was unexpected. I enjoy how much this show expands on technology that’s revolutionary and state-of-the-art right now, like 3D printers. It’s part of the world-building that we haven’t seen enough of, yet, but that has been thought-provoking and fun in general. (Also, I could go for a cupcake right about now.)

Very fittingly, the season finale (and potential series finale) ends with a touching and amusing exchange between Kennex and Dorian. Dorian’s gift was perfectly thoughtful, and I’m sure he knew how rare a genuine “Thanks” from John would be. Plus he got to top everything off by freaking John out, welling up with tears. Awesome.

Well, thanks for reading these reviews. Maybe I’ll see you fellow fans here next fall, or maybe not. Either way, Almost Human, it’s been a pleasure.