Almost Human: Season 1, episode 8. You Are Here (2014)
Almost Human: Season 1, episode 8. You Are Here (2014) starts with a throwback to the idea of the running man. Sadly, we don’t have anyone famous doing the running but this guy is giving it his all as he attempts to get away from whatever it is he’s afraid off. So, like the startled rabbit, he’s across the bridge, dodging and weaving through the mass of people, and into the city centre. He’s trying doors but the businesses are not yet open. Then it’s into the light rail system station where transport cops slow him down, and then the bullet finally catches up with him. He can a good race but, no matter how hard he tries, he can’t never outrun a bullet that’s got his name on it. And talking about things hitting with unerring accuracy, Detective John Kennex (Karl Urban) has been required to attend anger management classes and we get an extended joke whereby the counsellor tells one guy he’s making great progress because he’s using words instead of his fists (he can’t use his fists because the bandages hide serious injuries from the last verbal exchange of opinion he had) while Kennex is being dishonest by saying everything is fine when he should be angry. The peanut butter joke strikes the target in this sequence as it perpetuates the increasing tired routine of a supposedly humorous few minutes to start every episode.
Well, for the first time, we get to hear an MX in action as it deconstructs how a single bullet, given a 5 mph wind, could have entered through the glassed roof, bounced around the station a little, and then entered the victim’s chest. Even Detective Richard Paul (Michael Irby) thinks it the most likely explanation. Yeah, right! However, this leads to an illuminating exchange with an MX insisting Dorian (Michael Ealy) is an inferior android and its opinions are worth shit (fortunately this has nothing to do with the skin colours of the two androids — it’s just version numbers). This is the first tine we’ve been allowed to see the racism of the android community front and centre. It’s a sign of some intelligence on the part of the script. The intelligence is then, sadly, sacrificed by Kennex pulling out his gun and removing the head of the KKK MX. When Captain Sandra Maldonado (Lili Taylor) berates Kennex for shooting an MX, he defends himself by saying he treated it like it was a defective toaster and put it out of its misery before it could spoil any more breakfasts — MXs are not designed to accept verbal commands to cease talking. It really looks as though the anger management counselling is delivering the goods. Inevitably, Dorian is right. This is the ultimate in intelligent bullets. It did not ricochet or bounce. It adjusted its flight to ensure encountering the heart of the victim and then smashing itself on the nearest wall. Rudy (Mackenzie Crook) researches the technology and identifies it as Russian. Dorian suggests the victim created the software to perfect its tracking ability and the gunrunners used it to kill him.
The girlfriend tells our dynamic duo her boyfriend was into gaming. He didn’t know lot of people outside work. He might have been approached by a headhunter called Natalie. And then, quite out of the blue, we suddenly get a link back to the pilot episode with Maldonado offering one of the criminal gang a deal if he will explain precisely what the gang wanted to recover from the evidence room. Continuity! It makes all the difference to the credibility of a series. And then back to Dorian saving the life of the girlfriend who can identify the gunrunner (who’s not actually called Natalie). It’s just a thought but, having now seen a demonstration of how this this rifle is supposed to work, it’s almost pure bullshit. The bullets are not rocket propelled. The rifle imparts momentum and then it’s somehow left to the bullet to keep on flying until it reaches its target. Yet it must have been able to outrun the first victim. So it must have been hovering and then flying up and down, and round corners to have some fun by allowing the rabbit to think it had a chance of escaping. That’s some evil bullet, Harry.
We now discover Kennex is anti-scrubbing. Personally I just go for the usual wash, rinse and spin cycle, but the rescued girlfriend is trying to say the bad people would let her go if she had her memories scrubbed. Kennex tells her scrubbing would make no difference. We then get into the embarrassingly bad plotting device of Kennex “promising” he and Dorian can find the bad guys and take them out before the tracking software finds her. Sorry, only joking. They’re going to use the girl as bait. She will be moved to an underground location and then the tracking software will be turned back on. The bullet can’t go underground even if the doors are open or it’s a car park without barriers, so the bad guys will have to come to her. Yeah, right! The bullet is suddenly dumb because there are no tracking devices underground. How come the man who wrote the tracking software didn’t know that, run into the nearest cellar, and shut the door?
The plot then assumes the threat to the girl and her daughter is over with the death of the two fronting this operation. It seems no-one else is involved in having stolen the technology from Russia, smuggled it into America, found the key software engineer, and so on. No-one will care enough to kill the survivors because the gang members who could be identified are dead. In the end, there’s an appalling flood of mushy sentimentality because the girlfriend didn’t finish the scrubbing and so can remember her boyfriend, and then a return to the old technology of paper and pen — a ghastly note on which to end. So You Are Here has more magic technology with memory wiping and occasionally intelligent bullets that can go anywhere (except underground) within a two mile radius of where they are fired. That compounds the hokey script and overly dramatic acting to produce really bad results.
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 7. Simon Says (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).