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'Almost Human' Season 1 Episode 7: Meets Criminal Minds

January 7th, 2014 9:17am EST | Paul Levinson By: Paul Levinson

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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.

Photo Credits: Fox Broadcasting Company