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'Almost Human' Season 1 Episode 11: The Metaphysics Of Flesh

Paul Levinson Paul Levinson
February 18th, 2014 7:10am EST

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In Almost Human 1.11 we get another good future crime story - involving both the digital and the tangible - as well as an important piece of the ongoing Dorian biography with implications for the overall Almost Human narrative.

The crime story is centered around a smart home, which we're just beginning to see emerge in the 21st century. Our homes today can and are constructed to regulate temperature, what's on television, and other benign and helpful things, as well as call police when intruders - i.e., people who don't have the requisite code or other characteristics - break in.   How big a step would it be to program homes to kill an intruder whom the home deems a danger to its denizens? In a stand-your-ground world taken to its logical, deadly, sick extreme, a smart home kills a teenage boy who climbs over a wall in Almost Human 1.11.  This in turn sets in motion a revenge plot in which Kennex and Dorian must overcome masterful hacking and killer androids - or a combination of cyber and physical - to stop further killing.

The smart house, like the smart car, and smart phone, represent the continuing evolution of what the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty called the "metaphysics of flesh".  Homes and cars and phones of course are not flesh, but they can be animated and driven by information in the same way as living beings.  Important and instructive to see this on a television show.

Also expansive to see another hacker on the side of the good in addition to Rudy - in this case, Nico, who manages to out-hack Emily, the master hacker seeking revenge.  But Rudy plays the more significant role in the ongoing story, discovering that Dorian has been embedded with human memories. Rudy removes that module, but the reason for the embedding remains to be uncovered - including who did it - and will likely have a decisive role in the series.

There are just a few episodes left of Almost Human this season, with still no word that it will be renewed.  I hope it is.  What certainly hasn't helped in building an audience for this good series is that, for whatever reason, it episodes have been presented out of order. The labyrinths of television programming can rival the metaphysics of androids and smart homes of the future.

Photo Credits: Fox Broadcasting Company