And that’s a wrap on season 1!
Even though Almost Human’s future is uncertain, I’m glad we got what we did. I didn’t write nearly as much as I wanted to about this show. I had originally committed myself to one blog post per episode, but, well, real life got in the way. Hate it when that happens!
Instead of answers or revisiting ongoing plot lines, we were introduced to an entirely new case with entirely new implications. It brought about resolution for Detective Kennex and exposed a lot of the ways corruption has unraveled even further in this era. It also showed how Kennex has done a complete 180 since the premiere: rejecting his synthetic leg and behaving intolerably around his android partner to accepting a gift of an advanced synthetic leg from the android he once couldn’t stand and admitting that Dorian was an important member of the team.
I’ll be the first to admit that my expectations were very specific going into this show. Not high, mind you, just specific. I’ve been rewatching some of season one of Fringe (eventually the references will stop, I promise), and it occurred to me why my expectations were specific. On Fringe, everything is connected. Same for Lost, Alias, and pretty much every book I’ve read in the last five months. Except Bad Twin. That was just bad.
Maybe there’s just no vast conspiracy!
I know, I know. You’re either screaming, “Duh, Emilee!” or “Blasphemy!” at my words, aren’t you? But it’s still possible to present intimate philosophical concepts and intriguing drama through a procedural cop show, yeah? I’ve loved digging into some of my old Hume and Locke volumes, but we, as general sci-fi, pick-it-apart-until-it-bleeds fans, just don’t know what to do with procedural shows a lot of the time because we expect there to be something to figure out. Something to watch out for. Patterns. Convenient coincidences.
The only coincidences I’ve really managed to pick up on consistently are this show’s ties to Fringe! This week, for example, reminded me of the season one episode Inner Child (also of Arrow’s season 2 Broken Dolls, but mostly of the Fringe episode). In Inner Child, “The Artist” is a serial killer who kidnaps women, kills them, and dresses them up to be put on display, like an artshow. The first time we see the Artist hunting, he’s in a laundromat, seemingly confined to a wheelchair, until he gains the sympathy of the woman he’s targeted and he gets out of the wheelchair to push her into his creepy van.
Like the results of the Straw Man case did for Kennex, Inner Child brought closure to Olivia. The Artist had been an old case, an unresolved one (and we know Olivia + unresolved = angst). Inner Child also introduced the empath, who became important again in season five, but also displayed a connection with September in passing…which leads us back to the everything is connected standpoint. Without that added component, this episode is an open and closed case. Interesting and well done, in my own opinion, but it cleanly wraps up the death of John’s father and the case goes seemingly no deeper than a dirty cop making a buck off some evidence locker items.
Last week’s tie-ins to Hume and Locke were good, really good, very thought provoking to me. This week, I really liked the way the straw man fallacy was incorporated. I tried to work this out best I could… but please feel free to correct me if I’ve gotten something wrong.
- People are being murdered and stuffed with straw (original argument)
- A case is built around a crime that the police really don’t understand (the distorted argument)
- The distorted argument is orchestrated by a man who willingly engages in deception (obviously, because he’s a serial killer).
- Straw man frames an innocent, though believable, man (hiding the original argument).
- The framing of Costa led to a police investigation that became a criticism of the distorted argument, which makes the uncritical eye believe that the argument has been settled (when actually they are listening to false logic).
- The arrest and conviction of Costa is the straw man/distorted argument being resolved (or “knocked down”)
- The distorted, misrepresentation of the actual crime is acknowledged by Detective Edward Kennex, who attempts to expose the false logic.
- As soon as the concept of false logic is proposed to the current investigation, the “straw man” (the argument, not the killer) can be removed from the ongoing investigation so that the real argument can be addressed.
Of course, this type of fallacy is easier to pinpoint when presidential candidates are nipping at each other’s throats and refusing to address the others’ questions. But it’s an interesting play on concept… and, of course, the literal depiction of it too. What is most thrilling about utilizing the straw man concept in this situation is that the killer actually stuffs his victims’ printed body doubles with straw, like a blaring message to the police that it’s misdirection.
Are You Satisfied?
I keep trying to remember way back to when we were just learning about this show and what it was going to be about. What were we promised? What were we told? I keep thinking that there must have been something to lead me to believe this show would be more than a police procedural, but I don’t think that was ever the case. I think I might have chuckled, amused, assuming that Wyman was using the Lost writers’ tactics in their pitching mechanisms to ABC… or maybe it had to do with J.J. Abrams name being attached to the show. My expectations were definitely off.
I need a rewatch. Whoever suggested the summer rewatch–in order–I am 100% in. I want to see what I missed, if anything, but at the very least, I want to see the story because that is what Wyman does so well. He tells brilliant, loveable, and engaging stories.
What do you think of season one? Are you satisfied? Do you need a rewatch? Do you feel like you wasted your time? What would season two have to contain in order for you to sign on?