Almost Human 1.2, 'Skin' Review

Ah3

rating: 5

After kicking off to an astoundingly great start (read my review of the pilot episode here), Almost Human had a lot to prove in its second episode. Could the high-concept police procedural keep the same brisk pace, incredible production design, and wonderful chemistry that made the first episode presented? The answer: absolutely. And then some. The pilot episode did a fantastic job at laying the groundwork for what will hopefully be an exciting and engaging series. Naturally, much time was spent with getting to know the characters and setting up their relationships, and this episode explores those relationships deeper while presenting new bits of mythology to chew on. The episode takes us into the seedy yet sexy underbelly of 2048 Los Angeles, introducing audiences to another model of android: Intimate Robot Companions, or so they're aptly nicknamed: sexbots. When one of the inventors of the sexbots is found dead, Kennex and Dorian uncover an intricately woven murder mystery that presents some seriously heavy themes for audiences to chew on. In an episode that could have easily been treated as nothing more than a sexy hour of television, we're instead asked questions about mortality and what happens when you die. It's Dorian who asks Kennex one of life's biggest questions, and how the android processes the information his partner gives him shows that the series has, just beneath its flashy surface, a lot of heart. Ah4 I give the writers props for this one because though it was the chemistry between lead actors Karl Urban and Michael Ealy that propelled the actions of the pilot, these underlying themes help make this episode even more memorable. We were already hooked by the show's premise and great characters, but now we're able to care about them a bit more which will ultimately be what keeps people watching the show from week to week. I have heard some complaints that the newfound friendship between Kennex and Dorian is a bit jarring in this episode, since the two now appear to fully understand one another and have a lot more banter than the last time we saw them. I personally didn't take an issue with this, completely enjoyed their dynamic and felt that it was believable. Ealy again steals the show; delivering some of the funniest lines of dialogue while at the same time truly making us forget that, despite his demeanor and emotional core, Dorian isn't human. We also get some great moments from Pirates of the Caribbean alum Mackenzie Cook, who plays Kennex's go-to lab geek, Rudy Lom. Rudy appeared briefly in the pilot but is given a bit more screentime and a lot more to do in this episode, quickly becoming one of the show's best characters. All in all, this was a fantastic episode that not only met our bloated expectations from the pilot, but exceeded them in spades. All of the elements that made the pilot so successful are present here as well, with an added sense of heart and an emphasis on world-building that shows that Almost Human has a lot to offer. Almost Human airs on Monday nights at Fox at 8 pm.
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Contributor
Contributor

James is a 24 year old writer and filmmaker living in Portland, OR. He attended college for graphic design and writes for various sources on the web about film, television, and entertainment. You can view all of his work on his website, www.thereeljames.wordpress.com