Okay, can we seriously get Almost Human a good title credit sequence? Every week, I tune in only to find myself distracted by the cheapness on display when it comes to the credits. Whereas other shows have a great theme or snappy images to introduce their show, Almost Human’s opening sequence simply has a narrator reading off the show’s premise over various unremarkable clips from the first few episodes. Even the Arrow credits, which follow a similar narrated-premise-plus-clips scenario gets a bit of an exclamation from the buzzing crescendo at the end of the theme music. Not to mention it has the benefit of actually being narrated by the main character, as opposed to some random voiceover lady who sounds like she was taken straight from a car commercial recording.
Alright, rant over. Watching “You Are Here” was quite the revelation for me in that it finally made me realize why the current season has felt so sluggish at times. Though the pilot appeared to set up an arc involving the Insyndicate that would play out over the course of the season, “You Are Here” marks the first time we’ve returned to that arc since then. The intervening six episodes have subsequently been a series of stand-alone stories that roughly play out the same way to varying results. The show needs some forward momentum or a hook that makes an audience feel like they’re seeing a bigger picture develop. That, of course, presents a problem since I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Insyndicate storyline or the whole drama behind Kennex’s treacherous girlfriend to begin with. The latter plot is even less appealing considering we’ve gotten little to no flashbacks to contextualize Kennex’s relationship with his ex or convey the sheer shock of her betrayal. In that way, it feels like the show is simply telling me that this was a tragic situation.
But yes, in case new viewers are only now tuning in, Kennex’s opening scene finds him in the midst of an anger management group meeting whereby his therapist proceeds to deliver all the background exposition from the first episode. In another callback, Capt. Sandra Maldonado meets with the Insyndicate member who invaded the station in that same episode. He offers to divulge important information if she will grant him total immunity.
Ultimately, all the Insyndicate-related bits mean very little since the majority of the episode focuses on yet another stand-alone case. This week’s victim is a brilliant software engineer who is assassinated by what we later discover to be a self-guarded bullet. Turns out, he’s the one who helped design the software that made the bullet possible, and he ended up selling his program to a gang of ruthless arms dealers. Kennex and Dorian attempt to get information about the late man’s business from his girlfriend, Kira, only to discover that she is now being targeted by the same arms dealers. Dorian manages to stop the first assassination attempt by throwing himself in front of the bullet, but the damage causes his language settings to switch to Korean. (While humorous at first, I’m very glad this gag didn’t continue for the rest of the show.)
When all is said and done, “You Are Here” serves as a fairly standard Almost Human premise. The whole reason I wrote so extensively about the credits sequence and the Insyndicate arc is because, quite frankly, I’m at a loss for what exactly to say about the episode. It’s a fun hour with some good banter and several moments of inspired action, but nothing that I feel compelled to go into great detail over. Does that make it a poor episode? Not necessarily. It’s just that the episode did little to surprise me. Given that it’s in its freshman year, however, that should be a sign for the show to start shaking things up a bit. Nothing is more disappointing than getting tired of a show before it’s even finished the first season. Here’s hoping the next episode will be another “Arrhythmia” rather than … all the other episodes.