Almost Human Season 1 Review “Skin”

The television business is a very strange one. It rarely happens that a TV series is produced and aired without a hitch, especially with a sci-fi series on FOX, so that goes a long way to explain tonight’s episode of Almost Human, “Skin”.

This episode was not meant to be the second episode of the series. It was produced later, but bumped up to be episode two later on. It really could have aired any time in the first season, but instead they decided to air it second in the “Two night premiere event”. I guess when you’re launching an expensive and highly hyped new show, you want to draw the viewers in with sexbots and cleavage.

That explains why most of the major plot lines from the pilot were completely abandoned in this episode. John’s drug use, The Syndicate, his girlfriend being alive, and any semblance of animosity between John and Dorian is mostly gone. Dorian got a little prickly when John started using terms like “owned” or “made” around the sexbot, but that was about it. It was definitely a bit jarring to have this “middle of the season” vibe in only the second episode, but thankfully that vibe is a pretty fun and entertaining one!

This episode had a much lighter and comedic vibe overall as compared to the first one. Pilot episodes are always produced well ahead of the rest of the series, so it’s entirely possible that they decided to lighten the mood considerably after the pilot. The plot itself was much less serious compared to last night, with the inclusion of sexbots and online dating being downright goofy. However, there were some interesting issues being raised.

The idea of the sexbots actually raise a pretty interesting idea that could potentially arise down the line on this show: The idea that these androids can look just like regular human beings. The MX’s that we’ve seen, and even Dorian, all have telltale signs of being an android. The MX’s look and act very robotic, and even Dorian has blue flashes on his face and minor robotic qualities. You couldn’t even tell the woman in the opening scene was a sex bot! Then you combine that with the fact that some of them are being implanted with human DNA, so they could be even more lifelike. This definitely opens up the possibility of a human character being revealed as an android in a later episode. I’m kind of hoping that they don’t go down this road, as it could feel a little forced, but it’s definitely looking like it could happen.

One of my minor complaints of last night’s pilot episode was that we need to know exactly what Dorian is and isn’t capable of, and tonight he added even more abilities to his bag of tricks! He can apparently scan android DNA, set up online dating profiles, read computer chips just by looking at them, and…scan John’s balls! I’m really hoping they don’t keep adding abilities to Dorian’s arsenal, as he’s really being used as an easy out whenever they get stuck.

After watching the decidedly darker pilot episode last night, and then watching “Skin” tonight, I really don’t know what kind of episode I’m going to watch next week. Will it be a dark and thought provoking cop drama with a drug addicted and damaged protagonist? Or will it be a shallow but entertaining buddy cop show with a healthy dose of humor? I hope we get a little bit of both, with a chummy and comedic rapport between John and Dorian, but the potential for some darker overall story lines. Despite some small complaints and abrupt changes in tone, I’m definitely excited to see what else Almost Human has in store!

What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments below!

Random Thoughts:

– We got our first look at the opening credits sequence tonight! What did you guys think? It was a little too “over explainy” for me.

– A “DNA bomb” has got to be one of the grossest things I’ve ever heard of. What kind of…DNA was being spread all around that room, exactly?

– The woman who was kidnapped to make the black sex bot had a much darker complexion than the one who John and Dorian spoke to. Is skin color not transferred over when the skin itself is harvested?