Written by Scott Clifford
“The Bends” is the clichéd “drugs episode,” something we see in any cop drama.
Almost Human is using it as an excuse to develop this show’s tech expert, Rudy Lom (Mackenzie Cook). While I’m happy to see that Rudy finally being given more screen time in the show; I’m not completely satisfied with what the creators are turning him into.
The episode begins with John (Karl Urban) eating at his favorite noodle place as Dorian (Michael Ealy) watches impatiently. The banter between the two causes to John to have an Oldboy moment where John eats a live eel after Dorian convinces the restaurant manager to pressure him to eat it. Even in the future, white guys refuse to be impolite to Asian restaurant owners, no matter what the cost. We then get to the meat of the story as the eel is being devoured alive in John’s stomach.
Drugs called … “The Bends” are flooding the streets and an undercover cop named Frank Cooper is killed while making a deal to a buyer named The Bishop. John decides to convince Rudy to go undercover since he is intelligent enough to make high-quality drugs. Rudy happily accepts, unsuccessfully trying to incorporate a fedora into his wardrobe, as they show him the ropes. Rudy’s character arc is more goofy and whimsical then in previous episodes. He sees himself as James Bond even though he is more like Mr. Magoo. Maybe I’m a terrible person but I was hoping for more of a sadistic scientist type with a heart of gold instead of the genius who behaves like a five-year-old. Let’s not forget that the plot is extremely predictable. They introduce the captain of Frank and have him go on and on about how upset he is over Frank’s death. So of course he turns out to be The Bishop all along.
There are good things about this episode. Dorian rips the spine out of another android while protecting Rudy as if he was Sub-Zero in Mortal Kombat. The in media res approach to the episode was a nice change of pace even though it wasn’t perfectly executed. Also, Rudy’s idea to create a liquid GPS tracker that can be swallowed as if it was a shot of Jagermeister is both ingenious and scary. The guy even makes a funny sex joke involving chess! There is even a darker hint about the use of synthetics causing worldwide plagues for mankind in the future. I just wish that the writer was allowed to write another draft of this episode before they started shooting. It’s as they forgot the things that made this show great.
Speaking of that it’s become more apparent that FOX is airing the episodes of this season out of order. We’re introduced to Rudy while John goes back to making insulting remarks at Dorian’s expense on a regular basis and the female actresses are once again pushed to the back seat. FOX may want a procedural that happens to be in the future but they can’t keep changing the order of its episodes while ignoring half of the characters of the show and expect to maintain an audience.