‘Almost Human’ Season 1 Finale Review: The End?

Published 5 months ago by

almost human season 1 finale kennex dorian Almost Human Season 1 Finale Review: The End?

There are no cliffhangers or surprises in the Almost Human season 1 finale, yet J.H. Wyman’s futuristic drama continues to deliver thoroughly enjoyable, episodic adventures to the end. The question now: Is it enough to garner a season 2?

In this week’s finale, “Straw Man,” written by co-executive producers Alison Schapker and Graham Roland, Kennex (Karl Urban) and Dorian (Michael Ealy) stumble upon a string of murders which copy that of a serial killer Kennex’s father put away. As Kennex digs further into his father’s case files, he finds out that an innocent man may have been wrongly put behind bars. Elsewhere, Dorian receives a performance evaluation – one which could lead to him being decommissioned.

Chances are, unless you’ve been following the episodic descriptions of the series week-to-week, it’s highly unlikely you would have intuited that this is the season 1 finale. This unfortunate conundrum, as well as the overall absence of any actual thru story-arc, continues to weigh the series down, making it impossible for the franchise to stand on its own. Though the mysterious death of Kennex’s father is, if anything, a starting point.

almost human season 1 finale kennex Almost Human Season 1 Finale Review: The End?

There is, or was, a proverbial enemy within the police precinct and Kennex’s father paid the price for digging too deep. Kennex himself searches for answers and finds them, which leads to his father being exonerated for the crimes he’s been accused of committing. Any of this season’s futuristic tales could have been used to serve this purpose, as Kennex’s father (like girlfriend) is barely mentioned, and one could make the case that many of the series’ previous tales would have been better suited to do so.

The story at hand is, as always, fascinating to watch unfold, yet the conclusion is exceedingly simple and far less poignant than most of the cases we’ve seen along the way. Like audiences have been doing from the beginning, it now feels as if producers are finding it exceedingly difficult to explain why the series should continue on, and their haphazard attempt at presenting a tale which is directly connected to its lead actor serves to only reveal other issues.

almost human season 1 finale dorian Almost Human Season 1 Finale Review: The End?

Urban’s weakness has finally been revealed: emotions. Give him a gun, badge and reason to fight the good fight and Urban can deliver a performance which turns other 8pm series into a joke. Force him to emote, however, as this finale does, and machismo sets in, preventing him from being able to realistically immerse himself in the emotions the scenes require of him.

Even so, Urban and Ealy, together, are a force to be reckoned with, and the supporting characters are able to make up for some of the heart that’s missing in the series. Whether or not it’s enough for them to receive a second-chance season 2, so to speak, is still too early to tell.

Almost Human, while flawed, has proven that futuristic tales with exceptionally talented actors can exist in a time slot typically used for more family friendly entertainment, and it did so without the budget Terra Nova had. Fox is still one of the most tightly-scheduled networks, and they have few spot available to fill with programming. Chances are Almost Human is done – but if not, a Friday night timeslot might do this series well. Just don’t change the name to “Almost Human: Uprising”.

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Almost Human season 1 aired from November 17, 2013 – March 3, 2014 on Fox.

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  1. I have to be honest,I didn’t even realize that this was the finale.

    I do like the show a lot,but without there being an overarching plot,it just seems pretty directionless.

    The point of having an overarching plotline is to keep people interested.Without that thread of the show,if you miss an episode,then you usually don’t feel bad about it,and are less inclined to bother catching up with what you missed.This usually leads to missing more episodes,then eventually not really caring.

    Personally,I feel that this show deserves more that what they are presenting.If they are lucky enough to get a second season,which I predict probably won’t happen,they really need to step up the storytelling and make it less of a procedural.We already have enough of those as it is.

  2. this is a good show with potential. but it was on fox so they will find a way to kill it like they do with all of their good shows.

  3. If this should have been the last Almost Human episode ever it would be a appropriate ending for the show, because both Kennex and Dorian completed their individual character development arcs (Kennex is finally at peace with articifial humans and Dorian has overcome the doubts and proved himself as a capable police office). Sure, there were a few seeds planted here and there that could be considered loose ends (Dorians repressed memories, for one), but they were so thin and almost non-existent that it doesn’t really matter. The last scene was a great send off. I’m really glad they didn’t fall into the trap of (temporarily) decomissioning Dorian for contrieved cliffhanger drama after the review. That would have sucked big time.

    • *artificial / officer

  4. Surprised that this is from the Fringe team.

    You would think they would keep a cohesive thread of the terrorist group, his girlfriend, his dad or the human memories of Dorian going through each episode to give us some continuity and mystery.

    Despite the “Uprising” dig, Agents of SHIELD is a better show than Almost Human as the overall story is more consistent (despite the lack of supers).

    I guess we’ll see if they get a Season 2 and if they can fix it.

  5. In some respects the setting (future) and the production design provide the immersion and depth we expect from a story arc. Almost Human is a fine example of this; for me, the issues raised by technology provide an enduring fascination. Each episode explored one or more techno-social issues in a generous, visually vivid fashion. The synthetic escorts of episode 2 resonated against the Kennex/Dorian relationship. The hacking of high end home security systems for murder was a ripper.
    The final sequence of episode 13 (Sushi Bar amid the neon and rain) was the finest homage to Blade Runner I have seen. Only the origami was missing. It was absolutely brilliant production design. The visuals alone deserve many encore seasons.

    • I totally agree. The music also had a lot of Blade Runner traits, especially those synthesizer strings (?).

  6. All I can do is give Fox the big ol’ finger if they cancel this show. Really tired of channels like SyFy and Fox prematurely canceling shows and then introducing new, crap in their place.

    • I agree, 2 big ol’ fingers! I loved this show. I haven’t been this angry since Firefly was cancelled!!!!! I’m a huge Urban fan and I was looking forward to seeing expansion of “the wall” plot. Tired and very disappointed to see crap being renewed year after year.

  7. This show has been such a wonderful escape with a great cast. FOX please do not cancel! I enjoy your network and it would be tragic for me to never see more of this great sci fi.

  8. My husband and I are huge sci-fi fans and have looked forward to watching Almost Human every week. I seriously hope they renew the show..give it a chance! It’s interesting and touches on some of the emerging technologies in interesting ways. We were also big fans of “Heroes” too which got canceled. I’m remembering a certain show called Star Trek that got canceled after just a couple of seasons…I’m seeing a trend here..

  9. I hope the show is renewed, it’s one show my wife and I enjoy watching!

  10. I think the episode on the “wall” would have been a far better season finale than straw men. And I agree showing episodes out of sequence was Fox’s way of enabling cancellation. If anything, this would have been a GREAT summer program when most channels show reruns. I am not a sci-fi “geek” but love this program. So tired of watching shows whose premise is centered around gory mass murders and who can win the race of showing the most of a sex act (just plain porno, really.) This show has so much untapped potential on both the socio-ethical-humanistic level. Please bring it back!

  11. Almost Human IS, IS , IS, the best new show of there season. Intreging, inventive, obsorbing, are just some of the words that come to life.
    Do not take this show off the air. FOX has always been good at coming up with programs that are fresh and aluring.

  12. there’s no story arc? there’s no cliffhangers? what’s wrong with me? because almost human was cancelled and I’ll never know what there’s behind the wall, I’ll never know why dorian has memories that doesn’t belong to him, I’ll never know the evil plans from the androids creator, I’ll never know about what happened to kennex’s bad girlfriend… if aññ those things aren’t left to be cliffhangers… I’m confused

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