What crazy futuristic details of life in the far-flung year of 2048 does this week’s episode of ‘Almost Human’ bring us? How about nifty hologram palm phones, screaming slug sushi and robo-roaches?
The robo-roaches actually aren’t too far removed from technology being developed right now, but I can’t believe that anyone would ever willingly eat a screaming mutant slug.
Episode ‘The Bends’ opens with the murder of an undercover cop named Cooper, who was a close friend of Kennex. The problem is that no one has any records of him being undercover, and the police department thinks he was dirty. Kennex, of course, doesn’t believe that, and sets about to clear his friend’s name.
Cooper had posed as a cook for a super-addictive drug called “The Bends” that’s harvested from the deep ocean. It seems like everyone who takes the drug immediately drops dead, which leaves me wondering how anyone could get addicted to it. In any case, Cooper had worked his way into a drug gang in hopes of ferreting out the mysterious kingpin known only as “The Bishop.” Given that this series comes from the creator of ‘Fringe’, I kind of hoped for a Walter Bishop cameo, but no such luck. (Wasn’t Walter last seen in that show jumping into a time portal to the future? A crossover could totally work.)
Guest-starring as Cooper’s captain is Benito Martinez, who played Capt. Aceveda on ‘The Shield’. So, it should be instantly clear that he’s the real dirty cop and almost certainly the Big Bad behind everything.
Kennex wants to take his friend’s place undercover, but it’s pretty obvious even to him that he’d be incapable of passing as a competent drug cooker. Instead, he hatches a plan to send in the department’s IT nerd, Rudy (Mackenzie Crook, a.k.a. Gareth from the original version of ‘The Office’), who is extremely nervous about going into the field, but also kind of excited if it means that he gets to wear a fedora and develop a character back story. Kennex repeatedly nixes the fedora idea, but he brings it anyway.
Rudy successfully sells himself as a drug cooker, but the bad guys whisk him away from police surveillance and bring him to a secret lab to meet the Bishop, who turns out to be… surprise, surprise… Capt. Barros (Martinez).
Kennex manages to find the secret lab, and the episode climaxes with a bot-on-bot fight between Dorian and the drug gang’s android while Kennex plays hide-and-seek with Barros in the sewer. Eventually, Kennex catches up with the dirty cop who killed his friend, and executes him point-blank. In another show, this would be seen as a very dark development, but this one kind of brushes it off as if that’s just what he was supposed to do.
While I’ve enjoyed this show so far, I haven’t really loved it, and this is my least favorite episode of those that have aired. As I think I’ve conveyed, the plotting is extremely predictable. The attempts to play up the comic relief by focusing on Crook’s goofy character are also overplayed and fairly annoying. Although I wouldn’t say that this is a terrible episode, it’s pretty underwhelming. I hope the next one is better.