Written by Scott Clifford
It’s nice to see some science fiction in my science fiction police procedurals. “Beholder” is the second to last episode of the first season and all of the fans of this show such as myself are crossing their fingers while praying to various deities for it to get a second season. “Beholder” gives us more insight into the setting of Almost Human along with the Chrome culture that Detective Stahl has been avoiding for all of this time. Let’s find out how far people will go in order to achieve their version of perfection when you have access to nano bots.
A man plays a game of virtual golf before a murderer takes fluids out of his body with a needle and kills him. Meanwhile, Kennex tells Dorian that he is upset about his date being uninterested in him Detective Stalh and Captain Maldonado tell then about their new case. Stahl is concerned about this case because people are saying that it was a death due to natural causes even though Chromes don’t die early due to being genetically perfect. Kennex remarks that most Chromes aren’t police officers either but there is a first time for everything. The murderer brings his prize to a scientist and threatens to expose him if he doesn’t help him. The scientist agrees to help and the Murderer starts screaming as his face changes in real-time.
Time passes and Detective Stahl goes to an exclusive gets into a private Chrome party, much to the chagrin of a blonde hostess who looks as if she stepped out of a beauty magazine. The two get into a nerdy catfight that is kind of sexy to perverts such as myself until a man named Jake steps in to help Stahl. Jake wonders if Stahl is happy being a police officer as he gets her the surveillance video of the victim’s house. She is able to find the murderer because the camera picks up a man whose face is constantly changing as he walks by. Rudy steps in and figures out that the murderer is achieving his goals by performing a form of plastic surgery with nano bots. The audience then sees the murderer tell a woman that she has beautiful eyes. Great.
Kennex and Dorian start metaphorically knocking down doors by first going to the doctor who pioneered nano bot plastic surgery in a building that kind of looks as if it was taken from the set of a soap opera but with more dramatic lighting. The doctor explains that the procedure worked by programming a special injection needle called an actuator (is that even a real word?) to focus on a specific part of the human face such as a nose or a pair of eyes. The nanobots then go into someone’s face and analyze these parts before going back into the actuator. Then these nanobots go back into the patient’s face and make microscopic changes in order to make the necessary changes. It sounds great but there is a side effect, death by heart attack. This side effect couldn’t be corrected and so the trials were stopped.
John then takes Dorian to one of his underground contacts that may know about anyone performing illegal medical procedures. The place that this contact is at is an underground exosuit-fighting ring. John knocks over one of the combatants and DeCarlo, a man with Dwarfism, comes out of it. DeCarlo complains about John breaking his expensive exosuit but helps him out anyway. DeCarlo points them in the direction of an underground medical doctor that does all sorts of illegal procedures. Perhaps the nano bot surgery is one of them.
This black market doctor that everyone is talking about rushes at the duo while hopped up on adrenaline before having a heart attack. Dorian shows off some more of his tracks as his hands turn into electric paddles in order to save the black market doctor but they aren’t enough. They learn that the intruder was basing his face off of one of the Chromes that Stahl met earlier and they rush a squad of police droids to protect him. Kennex realizes that the murderer has access to 3D pictures that are used by the DMV. They look through the DMV employee database and find the murderer’s address. The audience is then shown that the murderer has been changing his face in order to satisfy a woman that he is about to meet for the first time who thinks that he looks like someone else. The whole idea is a heartbreaker when the woman tells him that she is blind. All of the murders were for nothing and the John can’t stop him from killing himself. Kennex is then inspired to ask Detective Stahl out for a drink but he’s too late. Jake, the fellow Chrome who helped Stahl earlier asked her out first. That’s too bad.
“Beholder” is a good episode that could’ve used one more draft in order to become great. All of the plot points are there but they didn’t come together as well as it could have. However it is technically a better episode than last weeks so it is a step in the right direction. I can’t wait for the finale.