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Almost Human Episode 13 – Finale Review

Almost Human Episode 13 – Finale Review

‘Straw Man’

So we’ve reached the end. After 12 weeks of erratic episodes came the series finale, an episode that in true Almost Human fashion wasn’t quite as good as it could have been.

For once, the premise and scripting was probably the best aspect of the episode, as what seemed like a copycat serial killer emerged, only to throw open a wider conspiracy and reopen Kennex’s fathers last case. Sure, it was a bit derivative – there have probably been more copycat murders in fiction than have actually ever happened in real life – but really, the way it was used made for a well-plotted episode.

Simply in terms of how much of a plot there was, it wasn’t quite as detailed as some weeks, but nor was it as simplistic as others, instead sitting square in the middle and giving enough time for some set-pieces. That said, whilst the show in general isn’t a glowing commendation of police intellect, this week’s episode took the ‘dramatic convenience’ principle that occurs so often in crime shows to an annoying limit. The killer’s stomping ground was identified as the 46 homeless shelters in the city, and Maldonado decided that they’d have full police patrol on 44 of them; just Det. Paul in disguise on one, and Dorian and Kennex waiting in a car nearby another. Unsurprisingly, after being scared off by the MX’s at the other shelters, the straw man hit Paul’s location, leading to a final raid on his hideout.
almost-human-straw-man-01Further problems came with how the plot actually panned out. While the ideas themselves seemed good, the execution didn’t reach the same level, feeling slow and a dull a lot of the time. A good slow scene can be more important than anything to a show, but here the scenes didn’t utilise this pace to display characterisation or depth, instead letting things drag. The episode was neither as entertaining nor as interesting as usual.

Whilst the series had delusions of grandeur, trying to make a point by showing how many homeless people were in the city, it didn’t really feel like anything more than window dressing – people congregating in one location before being kidnapped. It could’ve been a shopping centre or a train station, and the plot would’ve changed very little. The world that’s been built here is one that has become pretty layered, with a clear socio-economic and even possibly genetic, given the financial superiority of the chromes, boundary between the haves and the have-nots, but it wasn’t allowed a chance to develop.
almost-human-straw-man-02
As the final episode of the series, this was even more underwhelming. Perhaps if the circumstances behind Kennex’s fathers death had been fed in over the course of the series, this would have felt like a natural conclusion, but instead we got another one-off, tied up neatly afterwards.

On the characterisation front, we saw Dorian have a suddenly announced review as to whether he kept in service. There were some pretty funny testimonials from Rudy among others with Mackenzie Crook being very strong in the comedy department once again. After Dorian’s renewal as an officer, we had what felt like a culmination to the building dynamic between the two leads, as he and Kennex voluntarily shared a drink and a present (a better synthetic leg for Kennex), before being called onto another case as the series ended.

So that was that. A middling episode to finish, with some good plotting let down by poor execution, and an underwhelming feel to the episode.

★★★

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