Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Almost Human - Straw Man

As Dorian (Michael Ealy) goes through performance assessment involving a panel conducting interviews with the android and his co-workers, he and Kennex (Karl Urban) investigate a copycat killer recreating the serial killings of the "Straw Man" (William "Big Sleeps" Stewart) known for stuffing the bodies of his 21 victims with straw before he was eventually caught and imprisoned by Kennex's father (John Diehl). After talking to the still imprisoned paranoid schizophrenic, Kennex learns of his own father's doubts as to the man's guilt which may have led to the cop's suspicious death two-weeks following the biggest bust of his career. Which means Kennex and Dorian aren't searching for a copycat but the original Straw Man (Shaun Smyth) who has returned.

Rudy (Mackenzie Crook) discovers the bodies of the victims are actually genetic copies stuffed with straw to hide the fact, meaning the killer is keeping the real victims alive for his own nefarious puposes. After catching up with the Straw Man (who was actually a cyborg fighting a degenerative illness) Kennex also finds enough evidence to clear his father's name. And, thanks to his partner's glowing recommendation, Dorian's contract gets renewed allowing the android to stay on the force for another year.

"Straw Man" is the show's First Season finale, and likely the show's finale as it appears the network is leaning to cancelling rather than renewing the sci-fi series for a Second Season. Despite some inconsistent writing, Almost Human has shown promise and the core buddy cop relationship has been strong enough to carry it through most of its rougher patches. And I'd like to see the show return to develop the Kennex/Stahl relationship which has been teased at times over the First Season. We'll just have to wait and see whether, like Dorian, the show will get a reprieve of its own or be the latest sci-fi series FOX cancels after only 13 episodes.

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