'Almost Human' Season 1 Episode 7: Meets Criminal Minds
Anyone who thought Almost Human was just a retread of Isaac Asimov's robot stories received a punch in the face in the opening segment of last night's episode 1.7, in which Dorian, contrary to Asimov's first law of robotics that a robot can never do harm to a human, punches Det. Paul smack in the kisser. And the reason was not on behalf of a loftier goal - the punch came from the short fuse Dorian has, literally and figuratively, because he was undercharged, on Paul's order.
The rest of the episode combined good out-of-control outbursts from undercharged Dorian, along with a script that could have been taken from Criminal Minds and propelled half a century into the future. A sicko brilliant programmer - rejected from the police academy - sets up a series of bombs around the necks of people who also rejected or frustrated him. Inevitably, someone we really care about - in this case, one of the two lead characters of the show, Kennex - gets a ticking collar around his neck, and it's up to Dorian with charge all be but depleted to save him.
The other aspect of this story is a good, cynical presentation of crowd-sourcing in support of online spectacles, in this case the sicko's various attempts to get his revenge on the world. The Internet has already given megalomania of all kinds a great boost in our current age, including malcontents and psychos who not only are depraved but want an audience for their depravities. Today it's videos of beatings outside schoolyards; tomorrow it could well be what we saw tonight on Almost Human. In either case, what I call this "dark side" of New-New Media is likely here to stay. The police in Almost Human appropriately refer to such streaming as the "dark net."
Almost Human continues to offer a top-notch mix of science fiction, social commentary, and police procedural.