ALMOST HUMAN: Arrhythmia Review -

Almost Human Review

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  • Episode: Arrhythmia (Season 1, Episode 6)
  • Starring: Karl Urban, Michael Ealy, Minka Kelly
  • Written By: J.H. Wyman (creator), Alison Schapker
  • Directed By: Jeff T. Thomas
  • Network: FOX
  • Studio: Warner Brothers
  • Series:

ALMOST HUMAN: Arrhythmia Review

The edge of insanity

By Jarrett Kruse     December 17, 2013

ALMOST HUMAN: Arrhythmia Review
© Warner Bros.

In a country where you are royally screwed if you do not have health care, this weeks episode of Almost Human is more prescient than ever. When insurance coverage in the 21st century seems to be on the edge of insanity, the bad news is that the future doesn't seem to bode any better. This week Dorian & Kennex are thrown into a very interesting case that pushes the boundaries from the opening scene and does not let up until the credits roll. The show continues to impress me with its depth and the exploration of the interpersonal relationship between the grizzled veteran cop Kennex and the super positive synthetic Dorian. They are quickly becoming the perfect match on a show that deserves to get the green light for renewal for next season.

When a man enters the emergency room with a gun demanding a new heart, the narrative takes off with a big wallop. Before the surgeons can help the panicked and drenched in sweat patient expires when his heart is literally turned off.  Kennex and Dorian catch the case and immediately suspect that something is amiss when the video of the dying man has him muttering “they killed me.” Upon sending the heart back to Rudy to inspect it, he finds that the organ has been modified with a timer like a bomb and was set to explode at a specific time. Not much is turned up at the hospital but Dorian sees another DRN that has been relegated to be a handyman and decides to take android on a police ride along much to the chagrin of Kennex. A lead begins the investigation to the ominous Vastrel corporation that was the manufacturer of the hearts but they had nothing to do with the aftermarket adjustments that were made. Clearly someone is dealing these hearts on the black market but who?

The guys investigate a crematorium where the shady Brit worker confesses to selling at least a hundred refurbished hearts over the years. He figures that you cannot cremate the bodies with the artificial organs inside so why not make a buck for himself. The problem is that he is just the start of a very efficient organization where no one knows each other leaving little room for error and no one person knows too much. He explains the process to the cops and they decide to sit on the location to catch the delivery man in the act. As soon as the crematorium worker hands over the heart in the cooler to the bagman, the police spring into action and nab the goon. However once back at the station he is of little help and is clearly just a cog in a much bigger operation. The cooler was tagged with a tracker and thermal imagery leads them to a warehouse where a desperate woman is about to undergo heart surgery to save her life. But the cops break it all up before the woman's transplant leaving her despondent and angry before learning that whoever is in charge of the hearts would have turned hers off eventually.

The mysterious female that is the head of the operation orders the “cremator” to get rid of all of the evidence including the timers that reset all of the hearts. Out of all the matches that the PD are able to procure that were fitted with Vastrel hearts, they are not able to find any of the recipients bodies. So a crematorium is indispensable to the operation and is a great way to get rid of any and all evidence of those that couldn't “pay their premiums” so to speak. The organization have made a complicated network of timers on all of their transplant patients and then extort payments from them until they can't pay wherein they let the timers run out thus expiring the patients. Its a pretty lucrative racket but the cops are closing in on the case. The one lead they get is from a surgeon that works for the operation who thinks that he is genuinely helping save lives. “Karen” is the head's name and without her they have nothing to go on. 

It is a terrific game of cat and mouse and I really did not want the episode to end because I was so into it. I like that they are taking real world problems and putting a futuristic twist on them because it comes off as very believable. If you love the banter between Kennex and Dorian, then you will really love the Detective trying to deal with two DRN's. It is damn funny to watch Dorian interact with his counterpart and their conversations really humanize him as a character. He genuinely wants to do good on the force and needed to have this interaction with one of his own to realize his importance to being Kennex' partner. No spoilers on just who the big bad head of the organization of black market hearts is but it definitely threw me for a loop and I did not guess correctly...but I was close! A definite must-see this week of a show that is turning into a real winner.
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Showing items 1 - 10 of 10
Iridan 12/18/2013 4:46:47 AM

I agree, a good episode, despite one big problem. I have a hard time believing they would not have brought in the crematory guy for questioning, or at least had some surveillance on him.

monkeyfoot 12/18/2013 7:13:09 AM

It's an Xmas miracle. I really liked this episode! As you stated it took a modern real world problem and did an allegory in a sci-fi future of it.  But what finally clicked for me is I felt the humanity of what the characters suffered through including the DRNs. Even over an intellectual connection, an emotional connection with characters on a show is the best thing for me. And this one finally clicked for me. I'm not saying I'm a big fan since the show hasn't worked for me from the start but this one did and it makes the effort I've put in to keep watching worth it. A little.

But I agree with Iridan. In any modern set cop drama the crematory guy would have remained a suspect, brought in for questioning, arrested for the crime they already know he did (illegal selling of artifical organs) or at least keep under surveillance. The only out I give them on this is that this is a future that has some disarray and things don't seem to be done the way they are now.

CalamityJohnson 12/18/2013 9:21:59 AM

this has been a good show. not as good as Fringe, but wow, miles ahead of SHIELD.

dalgoda 12/18/2013 9:25:20 AM

Gonna be hard for Wyman to top Fringe.  That is one of my all time favorites, but I do like this show as well.

Iridan 12/18/2013 11:21:12 AM

So far I like it more that season 5 of Fringe. Seasons1-4 would be awfully hard to beat.

batkruse 12/18/2013 3:19:46 PM

Thansk for the input guys, it is always appreciated. I agree w/ CalamityJohnson, this is leaps and bounds better than SHIELD which has turned out to be awful TV. As far as the creamatorium guy goes I think they didn't bring him in b/c they were sitting in on his location to keep an eye on him.

Iridan 12/19/2013 5:19:17 AM

The problem is, they weren't keeping an eye on him.

axia777 12/19/2013 11:00:46 AM

The only problem I can see if if this epic show does not go for at least 5 seasons!  LOL  This is by far the best show on TV outside of Game of Thrones and Walking Dead.  They can take it so many places in the Cyberpunk world it is just crazy.  All they have to do is mine William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, and Philip K. Dic books for materials. It can be ENDLESS.


lusiphur 12/22/2013 7:47:02 AM

 Since we're comparing this to other shows, I liked this episode but it wasn't as good as season 3, episode 2 of Murder She Wrote.  Now that's classic television.

Z4RQUON 12/24/2013 7:55:46 AM

 //"...In a country where you are royally screwed if you do not have health care..."//




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