Home > TV and anime > Almost Human: Season 1, episode 5. Blood Brothers (2013)

Almost Human: Season 1, episode 5. Blood Brothers (2013)


Almost Human: Season 1, episode 5. Blood Brothers (2013) brings us to a potentially interesting plot point. Here’s Detective John Kennex (Karl Urban), a human who’s upset his partner’s late for starting his shift. As you would expect, said intemperate one goes down to roust out the tardy one only to find himself surrounded by the latest model androids. They’re the emotionless ones and, frankly, the not very bright support androids who now dominate the subservient niche. When he gets to his partner’s recharging slot, he finds it empty. The thoughtless machine has wandered off somewhere without so much as an SMS or Skype message to say where he was going. These older model androids have no manners. But, in the end, there he is pulling on his T-shirt and looking sad. How would you feel having to get dressed surrounded by all those androids with brain-dead eyes? Yes, it’s interspecies android time. The DRN can’t stand the newbies on the block and I can’t say I blame him (or should that be it?). They’re creepy and not just in a subservient way. And then we get into the personal comparison side of this mismatched partnership. Yes, I’ll show you mine if you show me yours and, boy (sorry android!) does Dorian (Michael Ealy) have a big package for a machine. It makes you wonder what he does with it and why the designers thought they would go for additional physical equipment when they were creating a machine? Assuming the DRNs really are machines, of course.

So now into the plot: Captain Sandra Maldonado (Lili Taylor) comes over all ballsy in a trial where there’s no physical evidence to link an upstanding member of the community to a murder, but there are two eyewitnesses. We now descend into plot 101. In a safe house, we have one of the witnesses talking with Maya Vaughn (Megan Ferguson) a psychic or medium. Wait. . . there’s a psychic in a safe house. Does she know something exciting is going to happen? Yes, well, the first witness is blown away in a hail of bullets and the second witness, the psychic, who saw it coming, jumps out of the bathroom window and makes a run for it. Fortunately, Dorian can track her down. Perhaps he’s a psychic on the quiet.

Minka Kelly with two out of four versions of Graham Miller

Minka Kelly with two out of four versions of Graham Miller

Maldonado is going head-to-head with Ethan Avery (Graham Miller), the sociopathic accused. He’s out to ruin her self-confidence. Meanwhile it turns out the psychic has been through a new scientific brain enhancement procedure. It enables her to use more of her brain to think and, as a side effect, one or two human lab rats have shown paranormal abilities. Anyway, now she’s been rescued, she claims to be able to talk to the dead witness who saw the shooter. The deceased is insisting she was gunned down by the defendant Ethan Avery. Yes, it’s a bilocation event with a doppelgänger in court while the other does the shooting. Of course, the human detective thinks the medium would be better off in a funny farm while Dorian reserves his position. Then here comes a message from Rudy Lom (Mackenzie Crook) (almost a song in there somewhere). He’s pulled a voice recording from one of the useless new androids who was guarding the safe house. An analysis confirms it’s the voice of the defendant who was actually in the house when he said it (if you see what I mean). Gosh this is just so exciting. A mystery! So if it’s not an identical twin, did the accused clone himself? After all, the murder victim was an expert in reproductive technology. Did the accused give birth to himself. . . no that’s not quite right. Did the accused give his DNA to the good doctor who created the superbaby? Then we get the message. It was quads! Whoa, the four supertroopers fire a hail of bullets into the car being driven by our heroes. They all miss except the psychic in the back is hit in the shoulder. If nothing else, it proves she didn’t see it coming. Let’s face it, to be happy, all this girl needs is a door knob. All our android needs is a little privacy and John Kennex? Well, he just needs to get inside a bottle of bourbon or whoever’s carrying it.

As it’s her turn to get extra air time, Detective Valerie Stahl (Minka Kelly) gets to line herself up as the chaste love interest for Kennex. Fortunately, the human can overcome the red shift and accommodate novelty, even if over a football game. It’s now time to put my finger on the real problem with this series. Everyone apart from Dorian speaks with a highly artificial, mannered style (except for the Brit who really should be given subtitles so we can understand what are the words coming out of his mouth). It’s as if everyone apart from Dorian is speaking slowly so they are indistinguishable from androids. Call it adaptive behaviour. They’re all just trying to blend in. And talking about blending in, there’s some weird technology involved here. To allow our witnesses to give evidence from a safe house, there’s a projection device set up in the court room to show her holographic presence. But exactly the same effect can be achieved in a wood for a prisoner exchange. There’s no need for any projectors to be preinstalled. All that’s required is Rudy to say the magic words and there are the images. Given we had robbers wearing cloaking masks to pretend being terrorists, I see no reason why the same device could not be used here. This holographic projection system is completely incredible. Then there are more bullets fired, some by a clone with a sniper rifle and a state-of-the-art targeting device and still none of the good guys are hit. And Dorian. . . well, can he run fast or what? This means Almost Human: Blood Brothers is another embarrassing failure.

For reviews of other episodes, see
Almost Human. Season 1, episode 1 (2013)
Almost Human: Season 1, episode 2. Skin (2013)
Almost Human: Season 1, episode 3. Are You Receiving? (2013)
Almost Human: Season 1, episode 4. The Bends (2013)
Almost Human: Season 1, episode 6. Arrhythmia (2013)
Almost Human: Season 1, episode 7. Simon Says (2014)
Almost Human: Season 1, episode 8. You Are Here (2014)
Almost Human: Season 1, episode 9. Unbound (2014)
Almost Human: Season 1, episode 10. Perception (2014)
Almost Human: Season 1, episode 11. Disrupt (2014)
Almost Human: Season 1, episode 12. Beholder (2014)
Almost Human: Season 1, episode 13. Straw Man (2014).

  1. January 1, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Got to say I agree; the writers are getting lazy with the whole “future-tech is just magic” thing.

    • January 1, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      As a concept, the human/android relationship has potential but this particular series is failing to get to first base. It’s all stand-alone episodes so no real chance for the broader social or technological issues to be explored.

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