Almost Human wrapped up its first season this week with a finale which was written and filmed while the show’s status for a second season was still up in the air. That status still has yet to be decided by FOX, publicly at least, meaning that Straw Man could end up being the show’s final episode period. If that’s the case, creator J.H. Wyatt at least did fans the favor of avoiding a storyline cliffhanger even as they grapple with a cancellation cliffhanger.
Straw Man revealed a new facet of Detective John Kennex’s backstory, bringing his late father, also a policeman, into the plotline. It turns out (spoiler alert) the elder Kennex was the only good cop amongst a dirty crew, and when he found out that he had inadvertently arrested the wrong man for a series of murders, he himself was murdered before he could rectify it. That left John with the task of tracking down the real killer, rescuing the survivors, and setting the wrongly accused man free – all of which he was able to pull off by the episode’s end.
The seeming cliffhanger material of android partner Dorian’s department evaluation, which could have seen him arbitrarily taken out of service, was also wrapped up nicely with a cherry on top: thanks to the positive words of Kennex, Dorian was given perfect marks and cleared to continue on the force. Straw Man ends with the two partners sharing a beer as Dorian presents John with a newly innovative artificial leg, bringing peace to the season long arc in which John resented having to rely on a prosthetic, and fades out as the two are called away to solve a new crime.
There are still an abundance of questions raised by Almost Human during the course of its first season which still await answers. What’s the real story with Kennex’s girlfriend, who apparently had been setting him up for ambush during their entire relationship before disappearing? Why was that giant wall built in the middle of town, and what’s really on the other side of it? Just what has John Larroquette’s mad robotics scientist character been doing since he climbed over it? And just what do all of Dorian’s implanted childhood memories mean?
Fans of Almost Human will have to wait to see if there is to be a season two before they’ll learn whether they’ll get answers to any of the above questions. But if the show is cancelled, at least they won’t be stuck with their final impression of the show being a kidnapped Kennex or a decommissioned Dorian or some other perennial limbo non-ending to the series. Wyatt could have written in such a cliffhanger as a last ditch effort to increase interest in the show during the offseason in the hopes of improving the odds of renewal. Instead he appears content to simply allow the first season’s body of work stand on its own, with plenty to build on if he gets another chance to.