Greetings, fellow Humaniacs! Can you believe it’s the season (and possibly series) finale already? It seems like only yesterday (well, four months ago) when we first met Detective John Kennex and his robot partner Dorian. Since then we’ve delighted to their banter, been intrigued by the show’s bubbling mythology (what’s beyond the Wall??) and tolerated Minka Kelly’s terminally dull Detective Stahl.
Tonight’s episode, “Straw Man,” answers some lingering questions about Kennex’s dad and features Dorian singing a Lionel Richie classic. So let’s jump into the recap!
We open on a homeless young woman named Abby in line for her food pill. (The little glimpses we’ve seen of 2048’s various social classes — from the privileged Chromes in their slick private communities to the impoverished street people lining up for their daily allotment of food and medicine — have helped to paint a bleak portrait of the future. You either incorporate technology into your daily life or you might end up one of the starving masses.) A man in a wheelchair tells her about another shelter that’s open that has beds and actual food. Turns out the man, whose name is Glenn, is faking the whole wheelchair thing and drugs Abby and puts her in a van.
At the precinct, the yearly review of the squad’s robotic officers is underway. And, oh, hey, Det. Paul is back from wherever he was. (Something about a vacation with his mom? Honestly, he’s barely registered this season besides being a gruff straight man to Kennex and Dorian. If he disappears permanently next season I can’t say I’d even notice.) The investigators want to know how Dorian, the station’s sole DRN model, is doing. Maldonado, Rudy, and even Kennex sing the praises of their robot pal. Kennex mentions the time when Dorian flipped over a van, a great moment that would rightly give any human partnered with a super strong robot pause.
Later in the car, Kennex jokes that he told the review panel all about the time when Dorian scanned his testicles and then promptly flashed his robot junk. (If nothing else, this show will be remembered for its frequent use of robot genitalia gags during the family viewing hour.) They examine Abby’s body and find a piece of straw. Wait for it — it seems that Abby has been sewn up and stuffed with straw. (How you like them apples, The Following?? Almost Human can do icky serial killer murders too!) Looks like the MO of Michael Costa, aka “The Straw Man.” Except that Kennex’s late father caught The Straw Man (he was the Joker to Kennex’s pop’s Batman), so it looks like the gang has a copycat killer on their hands.
Kennex and Dorian visit Costa in jail, but he denies ever killing anyone. He’s a paranoid schizophrenic and used to have blackouts, sure, but he’s no killer. Turns out Kennex’s dad believed Costa was innocent and visited him before he died. Costa reveals that Kennex’s dad was looking into something involving crooked cops and robots. Two weeks later, he was killed in the line of duty. (Coincidence??) Dorian and Kennex surmise that the original Straw Man killer is still alive. Cut to creepy Glenn from earlier picking up another homeless girl.
NEXT PAGE: Hello, is it Dorian you’re looking for?