Almost Human: Season 1, episode 7. Simon Says (2014)
Almost Human: Season 1, episode 7. Simon Says (2014) starts with another issue that deserves proper attention. In this future society, unless something fairly miraculous has occurred, the demand for energy has increased. In particular, we can expect heavy use of electricity. Hopefully, this is coming from renewable sources since none of the CGI shows haze or any obvious evidence of air pollution. Temperatures also remain temperate and stable which suggests the scriptwriters don’t believe in climate change. Anyway, something must be slightly different in the technology of power generation because a solar flare has knocked out supply and this has led to the implementation of rolling blackouts. Since the androids supporting the police agency are battery driven, the local use of electricity to recharge our mechanical men has been given priority. No more additional shifts for humans. Keep the mechanicals in the front line. Except, Dorian (Michael Ealy), the sole DRN, is at the back of the queue. He’s only being allowed half a charge. Some power should be better than none but that’s not saying anything because, without a full charge, he gets cranky to the point of randomly assaulting humans — in this case, he hits Detective Richard Paul (Michael Irby) who’s been asking to be hit since he first appeared as a member of this squad.
So how does this work when he’s on a long shift out in the field. There he is after twelve hours operation and he’s down to half charge. This must happen quite often. Is this why the DRNs were called the crazy ones? Would Dorian routinely behave erratically if his batteries were running down? This seems to be a major design flaw. Further, treating Dorian as a second class robot only entitled to half a charge knowing of this flaw seems poor android management. The MXs have been built not to care if one of their own gets less than its full charge. Of course this would be an excuse to consummate the bromance by Dorian moving in to the broom closet in the apartment occupied by Detective John Kennex (Karl Urban). The fact it’s full of sporting memorabilia is of no importance. All Dorian needs is a socket to plug into. Sadly, Kennex is very protective of his space and this leaves Dorian with no choice. The DRN is relocated to share lab space with Rudy (Mackenzie Crook) and is now able to act as his interpreter when others have problems understanding his Brit accent. One thing we do know is that, with less than half a charge, Dorian hits like a girl. He may look as though he’s got muscles coming out of his arm, but Detective Paul is not staggered by the blow, there’s no split lip and no bruise. All he needs to reassert his normal calm demeanor is a coffee which the MX is pleased to get for him. Oh and Kennex used to be called the White Cheater because of the speed with which he could dump the current girlfriend.
Anyway here comes the plot from Hell. This mad bomber is playing Simon Says because he’s called Simon Lynch (David Dastmalchian). Nice touch that. The warning Dorian calls from inside the car is a good joke as the White Cheatah shows he can be outdriven by a mump until Kennex cheats by using an EMP device which is phenomenally directional and limited in its effect, affecting only the other vehicle and leaving Dorian unaffected. The force field is the first special effect in this series that hits the mark in the Department of Horrific Executions. This is great. Every time a terrorist wants to make a point, he sends out people with bombs strapped to them and, with cameras looking on, has them wrapped in a force field and detonated. It avoids collateral damage. Keeps the neighbourhood neat and free of body parts. And creates a really scary effect while the world looks on.
The final countdown from Simon’s effort generates 3,000 plus viewers on the dark web. That’s a big flash crowd in this future time. So having blown up one loan officer, he now picks on the flower girl as the next victim. She has upset this guy she met on a dating site. He was so creepy that she ran off. Now he’s getting revenge. Back at HQ, they have tracked down the one Simon who wants to control and humiliate those who’ve rejected him. Guess that just leaves the member of the bomb squad who benched him for acting like a sad DRN with only half a charge. We then get into yet another of these really tedious countdowns. Yes, it’s Kennex with the semtex on the bench in the park and Dorian required to climb the clock tower before his charge runs down to zero. According to the scriptwriter’s guild, scripts with more thrills than this are bad for the health of viewers and banned under union rules. So as with previous episodes, Simon Says is terrible with a chance of meatballs detonating inside force fields for light relief.
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 5. Blood Brothers (2013)
Almost Human: Season 1, episode 6. Arrhythmia (2013)
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).