ALMOST HUMAN “Arrhythmia” Review

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The future for the non-elite don’t look so great in this week’s episode of Almost Human aptly named “Arrhythmia.” The episode opens with a desperate man waving a gun around in an operating room, pleading for a doctor to prevent an impeding heart attack. Unfortunately he dies before anyone can do anything to help him. Kennex and Dorian enter the hospital shortly after and run into another DRN model fixing a malfunctioning holographic doctor. Awkward. The duo find that the desperate man has a premium grade artificial heart, which was the cause of his sudden death. To further troubles, the heart doesn’t belong to him but to a woman who died two years before.

Turns out, there’s an underground racketeering ring taking biomechanical hearts from the deceased and selling them to patients who were previously on the waiting list for a new heart but were rejected. The secondhand hearts were modded to operate a month at a time. If the patient didn’t pay up, the preset clock wouldn’t be reset and they die of heart failure. Think of it as a newer, cleaner, spin on the concept for Repo Man.

While following leads Dorian brings the other DRN for a ride-along, at the behest of Kennex, and even goes as far as returning his old police case files from before their line was decommissioned. When confronted about this decisioned, Dorian answers that just before he was put to sleep, he didn’t when or if he was going to wake up again. But then Kennex came along and gave him purpose once more. “I wanna be that to him.”

“Arrhythmia” shows us a little more of the world, which hints at the possibility that there could be a huge gap between the working class and the higher elite. The hospital at the beginning of the episode shows a crowded waiting room and a patient talking to what looks like a holographic A.I.

Legend of Hercules 2
How frustrating is it when your doctor starts to malfunction just before she tells your diagnosis?

Another little interesting bit this episode gives is some more insight into what led to the decommissioning the DRNs. We’re not told exactly what led to turning off every single model in the line, but it may have something to do with one of them breaking police protocol and killing a man to save a kid. What’s also intriguing is that there are other Dorian look-a-likes running around, repurposed to do other jobs than police work — Dorian 2 is a janitor. It begs to question why there are others walking around if they were deemed “crazy” by the police force.

Finally “Arrhythmia” doesn’t go all sociopolitical on us, that’s likely left for another time, but it does lean on ethics quite a bit. What would go through your mind if you were a cop trying to stop a racketeering ring that instantly endangered hundreds of lives if stopped? Additionally, why wouldn’t a doctor risk his career giving rejected heart patients perfectly good, working biomechanical hearts (the doctor wasn’t aware he was part of a scheme and that he was modding hearts to switch off). Tricky stuff, indeed.

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The Author

Christina Janke

Christina Janke

Host of Intro to Geek on Her love of all things Mass Effect knows no bounds. She also carries an obsession with comic books, video games, and quirky television shows. Her heroes are Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, and Gail Simone, and hopes to be just like them when she grows up.