In Review: Almost Human, “Simon Says”–Episode 7

Almost Human, “Simon Says,” broadcast on January 6, 2014

Written by Alison Schapker

Directed by Jeannot Szwarc

Solar flares are causing blackouts on Earth and even the police department is effected: the building will be running on backup power while all synthetics will not be recharged. This provokes a great emotional response from Dorian, who’s currently only at half power. He’s upset that the MXs take priority over him and it shows because his personality interface is the first thing that suffers as his power starts to ebb. We then move to loan officer Ramon who is stopped in a back alley by a man who cleans his windshield for change. Ramon tells the man not to do it, but he does and then sprays some of the cleaning agent into Ramon’s face, who passes out. When he awakes he has a bomb strapped around his neck and is given instructions on what to do if he wants to live. Faster than you can say “Jigsaw,” Ramon is in his own bank robbing it at gunpoint. Unknown to him is that tiny cameras are in the bomb around his neck and in his car; someone is sending out a live feed of his terror. Dorian and Kennex chase Ramon, get him to stop, and try to disable the bomb. The ending of this scene is truly moving. Cue first commercial break.

This was a great episode with a simple plot milked for every ounce of effectiveness. As always, the chemistry between Karl Urban and Michael Ealy was terrific. It was nice to see that Kennex was dominating the conversation in their squad car at the beginning of the episode as he takes joy from past accomplishments. And Urban got a really nice showcase at the end of the hour that had him portraying humor, fear, and anger all at once. Ealy continues to delight, this time as an android on an emotional breakdown. “Classic, Paulie,” had me howling, as did “Hug it out.” David Dastmalachian as villain Simon Lynch was spot on gold as the disgruntled nerd seeking approval from anyone in any way. His bugged out reactions to his subscribers’ comments was great. Also good was Alessandro Juliani as suffering Ramon and Crystal Lowe as suffering Jeannie. High marks should also go to The Crystal Method who did the music for this episode and contributed greatly to the tension of the episode.

The good: The actors, the script, the humor, the tension, the direction, the music. Best line of the episode was Kennex saying, “I’m sorry.” Wow! What a gut punch!

The bad: The climb at the end was pushing things, but I rolled with it.

The final line: A great, funny, tension filled episode. Overall grade: A

 

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for a few years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” He had to give that up to teach 8th graders English for 19 years. He’s since moved to a high school where he’s taught 9th graders and currently teaches 10th graders English. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars or Indiana Jones items online.

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