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<i>Almost Human</i> Recap, Episode 3, 'Are You Receiving?'

In the latest episode of Almost Human, the bad guys take hostages, the good guys defeat them, and Minka Kelly smirks through the whole thing. That's it. That's what happened.
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Are we receiving? Unfortunately, yes.

In the latest episode of Almost Human, the bad guys take hostages, the good guys defeat them, and Minka Kelly smirks through the whole thing. That's it. That's what happened.

It starts out promisingly enough: Kennex is in bed. (Always a good place to start.) And then he pours some olive oil in his hand. (Sweet -- things are getting juicy!) Then he rubs the oil in his hands (yeah ...) and applies the oil to his (yeah ...) bionic leg per Dorian's suggestion and his leg functions correctly for the first time. It's less a dramatic build-up and more a how-to video on Dorian may as well quit his job as a cop and take over Helpful Hints from Heloise in the local paper. It's 2048 -- she's probably dead by then, anyway.

While Kennex is doing mini-squats in the kitchen, the bad guys break into a building downtown and take a bunch of hostages on the 25th floor. We know they're the bad guys because the leader is short and unattractive and his lieutenant is bald and unattractive. Apparently, in 2048, ugliness is itself a crime, along with subtlety and nuance.

To control the situation, the chief of police jams all cellular communications in the area except for Sprint which was down anyway. To communicate with the bad guys -- and this is my favorite part -- she sends a flying Roomba up to their floor and it unceremoniously spits a phone at them and leaves. Ha! You know that your show is in trouble when the best character is a vacuum cleaner.

We spend time with only two of the hostages, both of whom are women and, as it happens, sisters. They spend the entire episode whining and crying so much that I started disliking them. That's right -- I actually started rooting for the bad guys just so the crying would stop. Unseen by the bad guys, one of the sisters was hiding in a closet and heroically feeding information about the bad guys to Kennex and Dorian. But then, in my least favorite part of the story, she gives in to her emotions and gives up her position of power in order to be closer to her sister. She goes from hero to zero because she can't handle her emotions, stress, or power. (Someone should call Joss Whedon and make sure he's ok.)

One woman who can handle her emotions is Detective Stahl. And that's because she only has one emotion: smug. At one point, she hears that Kennex and Dorian have been killed. Her response is so smirky, she may as well have looked right into the camera and said, "I'm on TV! Hee hee!"

During the crisis, Dorian gets shot in the head and Kennex has to fix him up with a wad of gum and a Q-tip. I got excited for the MacGuyver reference but it never came. Once Dorian is fixed up, they discover that the bad guys are disguising themselves with face-makers, technology that makes you look like a completely different person. In the end, that's how Kennex sneaks in and saves the day -- by looking like one of the bad guys. Is there a face-maker for television shows? Because I know a show that could use one.

Turns out, the hostage-taking was all a ruse to distract the cops from the real crime: stealing precious metals from a vault across the street. Which got me thinking -- maybe this whole show is a ruse to distract me from better shows on another channel.