Almost Human review: The Bends.

Previously on Almost Human: Are You Receiving?

After last week’s character-exposition heavy outing, this episode tells us more about 2048 state-of-the-art drug manufacturing and Rudy (Mackenzie Crook), your friendly neighbourhood scientist.

Of course, there is plenty of bickering between our two leads — Dorian is undoubtedly the resident Sass Master — but not only Rudy got a little more to do this time. Detectives Stahl and Paul were shown training Rudy for his undercover mission instead of John and Dorian, which gave us a little peek into how they’re completely different, and yet seem to work well together soon as they put aside their differences.

Rudy Lom (Mackenzie Crook) at the meet with The Bishop's henchmen

Meet Detective Richard Paul — almost

Yes, let’s face it, Paul is a complete jerk. He’s disrespectful towards Dorian to the nth degree (John hasn’t lost his temper yet, but I’m just waiting for him to snap in Dorian’s defence), he’s a smug, smirking asshole who loves pissing on Kennex’s parade, and takes the path of least resistance when it comes to convenient investigation hypotheses.

But is that all? No — simply because there’s got to be more to him than this to keep him on the regular cast pay roll.

So, we discover that Paul may be a dickface, but he’s also good at his job, and he’s about getting it done properly and safely. He may not be down with the idea to let Rudy do this, but he prepares him well, making sure he’ll be as safe as possible, on such short notice. (He just doesn’t do it nicely.) It’s contrasted with Valerie’s style of checking Rudy’s cover story, which she constructed herself — what irks me a little about it is that Valerie didn’t toughen up her questions as well. She’s a good detective, she knows the kind of danger Rudy was going to be walking into. Having only Paul go tough on Rudy’s ass seems setting up his Asshole But Good Detective mini-arc a little too obviously for my liking.

I do wonder where they’re going with Paul. Redemption arc? Comic relief? Token jackass? We just don’t know, but I’ll wager we shall see.

Rudy, the undercover mission, and (no) martinis

In the meantime, Rudy is as excited as a little kid over his undercover job — and the James Bond allusions are as adorable as they are slightly painful, but the cute definitely wins out. John and Dorian will have a hard time breaking to him that he won’t be going on any other op like this anytime soon… Still, the story gave us a glimpse into Rudy and his love for science — and also his relationship with his “creations.” As we saw at the beginning of the episode, he talks to his MXs/DRNs as he builds them, and they seem to have a fairly good grasp of what the inside of his head looks like as well. We see that he’s fond of what he creates, which makes him less of a puppet master and more of a dad to his batch of robots.

Speaking of feelings: through John, Dorian learns more about the concept of friendship and the unwavering and unconditional loyalty it entails, along with the willingness to go against the grain and just believe in somebody, even when everybody else is showing you proof of whatever else. All of this is building up towards Dorian taking deliberate leaps of faith at some point — faith in humans. First and foremost in that story is John himself. Dorian calls him “friend” at the cabin, directly after John explaining that he owes his allegiance to Cooper. That can only mean two things: one, Dorian is trying  out the notion of having a friend for himself, someone he can trust that much, someone to be fond of and believe in no matter what. Two, he’s trying to tell John that in not as many words, trying to tell John that, no matter what happens, Dorian will fight for him. He’s adopting the idea, and John is the first person he wants to apply that to, because John’s his partner. John, not surprisingly, doesn’t get it. Still, it’s there, and it seems like a throw-away line, but it’s an incredibly important step for Dorian.

Also, that Captain from the other precinct played by that actor is always the bad guy. Always.

Next: Blood Brothers.

Have a sneak peek at next week’s episode, Blood Brothers. Yes, they went there.

They’re also totally setting them up for two things: John putting Dorian up at his apartment, and more conversations about Dorian’s private parts.

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