Almost Human Season 1 Review “Beholder”

Almost Human Season 1 Episode 12 Beholder (1)

With the Olympics finally coming to an end last night, Almost Human will air it’s first episode without going up against this major competition like it has for the past few weeks. It will be interesting to see if the ratings for “Beholder” are a marked improvement over the past several installments, or if the ratings are just destined to be lower for this show. Despite what happens with the numbers, I’m really hoping FOX has some faith in this show, especially if they were as good as tonight’s episode.

After finding out about Chromes a couple weeks ago in “Perception”, and learning that Stahl was one of these genetically designed super people, we got a lot more information on that front this week. When a Chrome is killed in the opening scene, Stahl tells John and Dorian that she’s a Chrome, which I couldn’t tell whether or not that was news to them. I’m sure Dorian could tell already what she really was, but John seemed to look at her for a while as if this was new information. I don’t think he has anything wrong with it, but it just seemed like an odd time for that little piece of her life to pop out in the open.

This is really remarkable, though, because this is one of the first times where Almost Human has introduced a new piece of technology and then actually followed back up on it in a following episode. We’ve had episodes that introduce sexbots, clones, fancy heat-seeking bullets and more, but then they won’t be mentioned ever again. I’m glad to have a few threads of continuity from week to week. When you consider how much FOX has jumbled the episode order around, it’s become more and more difficult to get any semblance of continuity from this show, so I’m always going to welcome some recurring themes and plot points.

Although it was really cool seeing the whole Chrome plot come back to the forefront, not every part of the case really worked together. The way that Dorian was able to see a picture of the killer, and then through his amazing computer brain he’s able to not only determine that he’s had nine surgeries and only needs one more, but he’s actually able to find the one person in the whole city who has the perfect cheekbones. What, is he searching some kind of cheekbone database? I laughed out loud when that guy’s face popped up, but then they ended up being completely right! The killer shows up and looks all disappointed at the guard patrolling the street. Apparently this guy’s cheekbones are famous citywide!

I also question the notion of him only needing one more surgery to complete his look. There are people in our day and age who become obsessed with plastic surgery, and have way more than 10 procedures done. It’s some kind of deficiency in their brains that prevents them from ever feeling content with how they look, so I didn’t buy that he would have stopped killing after he found that last cheekbone. All of these computations that go on inside Dorian’s head are often used as a plot device when it seems like the writers are stuck. They didn’t know how else to have John and Dorian predict the guy’s next move, so they just invent some ridiculous computer algorithm, and we’re supposed to go with it because it’s the future and they can do whatever they want. The “It’s the future!” excuse is just a lazy Deus Ex Machina that’s been used a few times on this show already, so I’m hoping they get away from that in future episodes.

I loved the twist that the woman he was perfecting his face for was blind all along, though. It was a beautiful piece of irony that I didn’t see coming at all, so I thought that was handled perfectly. Although, you’d think that John could have made a little better of an effort to stop that guy from jumping. He didn’t even flinch!

We had a few other things little tidbits introduced tonight as well. It was fun to see famous little person actor Tony Cox pop up as DiCarlo, one of John’s informants living inside a giant woman like in Total Recall, so I hope he pops up again in a future episode.. I also liked the guy who would mess up your face to get the heat off you, a la Dr. Solomon from Minority Report. It’s always fun to see what kind of futuristic doohickey they’ll come up with on this show.

In closing, I was bummed that Stahl went out with that Chrome guy. I’m not against the idea of her being with another man, since I feel like John is totally bungling that whole relationship, but why would she pick a Chrome?! You get the sense that she doesn’t seem particularly close to any other Chromes, and that she’s made a considerable effort to distance herself from their world, so why pick this guy? It just makes her seem shallow.

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

Random Thoughts:

– I liked Dorian’s offhanded line about Brian Barrow competing in the 2036 Olympics in Detroit. I wouldn’t have thought it was possible for the Olympic games to be held in such a run down and decrepit town, but then I saw Sochi!

– Did they mention in “Perception” a few weeks ago that all Chromes are attractive? I didn’t think that the kids in that episode were that great looking. I mean, they weren’t ugly or anything, but they didn’t seem to be genetically redesigned attractive or anything.

– I find it amusing that most things in the future government have been expedited or perfected, when it takes only 45 seconds to get a search warrant for a business, but you still have to wait weeks to get a new picture at the DMV. I guess everything can’t be perfect!