TV Review: Almost Human Season One Episode Five "Blood Brothers"

Blood Brothers had one real goal tonight. Bring Valerie and John closer together. Now people who "ship" relationships will be very excited. While others will groan when the two most attractive people in the show are paired together just like every other show you've ever seen.

Initially I was against the idea, since Almost Human is such a great shift from the regular dramas you find on network TV. However, I am the first to admit: when something works, it works.

They aren't drowning us in it, and they're exploring their relationship with some finesse.

The case this week was a cool one. It revolved around the murder of one key eyewitness to another murder, where all the evidence pointed to the man who was on trial in the courtroom the whole time. The antagonist was good enough this episode - almost like a monotone House or Sherlock the way he would diagnose Sandra's hidden feelings to get under her skin. The episode itself provided for a discussion on the ethics of clones - who the department finds is responsible for the antagonist Ethan Avery to be seemingly in two places at once. After realizing that the man who Ethan was accused of murdering (Dr. Fuller) helped cloned Ethan, Valerie goes to the house where his research is.

Unbeknownst to her, the clones had stolen a Mx's communications device, so they were monitoring police chatter. She's promptly taken and used as a bargaining chip to get the real Ethan Avery released in a swap deal. The deal itself was done well.

Using the ever clever Rudy, they used the same broadcast beaming technology used to beam the eyewitnesses into the courtroom from earlier to give the literal illusion Sandra was walking Ethan over to his clones. I'm glad that it didn't go smoothly, however.

The birds flying through their projections was a nice touch that set off a nice bit of action. Dorian chasing down the van on foot and flipping it until it exploded was awesome.

Throughout the episode, Almost Human has Dorian connect with the psychic eyewitness. It's an interesting contrast to an earlier episode, where Dorian bonds with an android that had to be put down. The psychic explains her reasoning for getting a surgery that allows her to be psychic: it allowed her to be able to talk to her dead parents.

However, a house fire burned all her parents belongings, and now she has nothing of theirs to touch. Therefore, she cannot communicate with them anymore.

At the end of the episode, Dorian brings her a box of things that was locked up in the arson investigation to help her reconnect. What a sweet DRN.

Now like I stated in the beginning, the main focus of this episode was to bring Valerie and John closer together. Did all of the moves work? Definitely not. Telling the audience Valerie's first call to John means he's important to her and John's voice on the phone meant she was important to him isn't exactly inspired writing.

Show me that on screen. They are good actors - let me see and hear it in their voice. There's no need to hold the audience's hand and tell them stuff like that.

That being said, Almost Human succeeds when it uses unique aspects of the show to bring Valerie and John closer. Using Dorian's ability to completely mimic Valerie's voice to taunt John as well as having a MX recite sports scores to reveal John and Valerie both like the same team worked really well. My favorite technique however wasn't one that was unique to the show. Rather it was a pretty common method used in shows where the philosophy of the guest star was considered wacky and out there. Oftentimes when that is the case they'll have an ending where the biggest skeptic (in this case John) realizes something (coincidence or not) and is forced to consider the wacky philosophy as the reasoning. In this episode, it was the psychic declaring John had a strong "aura of red" around him that represented anger and frustration. Then she had a psychic vision of someone running towards her, and smelled bourbon.

Well, fast forward to the last scene of the show, where Valerie comes to watch the game with John at the station and offers him bourbon. It causes John to have that "maybe she was right and isn't crazy?" reaction often seen in episodes that use this story idea. I think I like it so much because it's a restrained form of writing, and tells the audience that these characters are getting closer, without actually saying it.

Always the best way to do it. If it works, it works. I like the pace they're moving at with John and Valerie, so let's see how they handle it going forward. So far, I'm quite enjoying it.

Photo Credit: Entertainment Outlook