Anytime a show starts off with a guy running through the streets in terror, some serious –ish is about to hit the fan. Unfortunately for the victim, said –ish is a guided bullet that hits its target, which just so happens to be the dead center of his chest.The MX is about to lose its head to ‘Mr. Friendly’
Since the beginning, Kennex’s instability has been mentioned as well as—to the tune of a handful of destroyed MX-synthetics—shown. Mandated by Captain Maldonado, he’s taking part in a “Coping with Anger” session where the doctor in charge finally brings up the most sensitive of his hangups, namely a girlfriend that betrayed him, got his entire team killed, and was responsible for him losing his leg. But he’s just peachy with a side o’ keen. After being picked up by an amused Dorian, Kennex heads to the scene of the running man, one Anton Cross. Detective Paul suggests a three-bullet assault while his MX hypothesizes a one-bullet ricochet theory. When Kennex consorts with Dorian about the latter’s theory, the MX takes offense and reminds Kennex of the DRN model’s inferiority. The MX takes things a bit too far and is introduced to the bad side of “Mr. Friendly’s” gun.
Back at the station, Maldonado reams the unflinching Kennex while Detective Paul openly threatens Dorian. Kennex makes his opinion known, as if the bullet to the MX’s face wasn’t enough. “They’re not cops,” he tells her, “they’re bullet catchers.” After Maldonado dismisses Paul, Kennex shows enough contrition to draw an exasperated smile from the Captain. He leaves her office to work with Dorian, who’s found Kira Larson, Anton Cross’s girlfriend.
On their trip to Trope Software, Dorian sports a maniacal grin and states Kennex’s affinity for his DRN partner, one the detective gruffly denies. Rudy interrupts the “You like me/No I don’t” banter with information on the magical bullet. Turns out it’s like a guided missile, hitting its target, no matter the obstacles. “If the shooter wants you dead,” he tells them, “the bullet will find you.”When they reach Trope, they deliver the bad news to Kira. While Dorian checks up on Anton’s files, Kennex asks Kira about her boyfriend’s most recent behavior. She brings up Natalie, a headhunter recruiting Anton through Kinsey. After being bombarded by specialized advertisements at the company, he surmises that Anton’s guidance system for the bullet taps into the surrounding tech to find the target. Rudy adds to that with the information on a stolen microchip, which was taken from the Russian military by a splinter group called Revolution Now. A new weapon for the black market, one a potential buyer wants to see firsthand. The woman brokering the potential deal selects Kira, stating that “we have to kill her anyway.”
Along with Detectives Stahl and Paul, Dorian and Kennex brainstorm, figuring out their next steps. Detective Paul shows a bit of animosity towards Stahl, who seems to come from money. Before they follow up with Kira, Kennex catches Maldonado questioning Rhinehart—the Syndicate operative not seen since the series premiere—about what they were looking for in the evidence warehouse. He wants a deal, a full pardon but she balks. When Kennex arrives, he tries antagonizing the detective, though the former refuses to take the bait. Shut down from being released, Rhinehart drops an eerie message that others will be after the mystery item. And despite Rhinehart’s vileness, Maldonado fears there is something worse hidden in storage than the murderous Rhinehart.
Kennex and Dorian meet Kira on the street and glean a physical description of Natalie from her. That same Natalie warms up the tracer bullet for a demo with the potential buyer and lets it fly. Tapping into the tech grid, Dorian steps in front of Kira, taking the bullet. Other than resetting his default language to Korean, everyone’s favorite android isn’t the worse for wear. While Dorian’s examined, Kennex presses the urgency of the situation to Kira, as if the bullet meant for her wasn’t enough. She only capitulates if they get her daughter Amy, who’s being watched by her best friend Janet. They bring both into the police safe house and, under more questions from Kennex, Kira finally admits to having some doubts about Anton. Unable to fully believe Kennex and the force can protect her, she suggests going to a scrubber to “erase everything I know about Anton.” Kennex doesn’t like it and knows that’s not the answer. He impresses upon her that, if this technology does get out, the world will be even more dangerous than it is now. She relents and asks what they need her to do. Getting the okay from Maldonado, Kennex tells Rudy the plans using Kira as bait while the scientist fixes the scrambled DRN. Stahl delivers some information on Cross that leads them to a safe deposit box at Merritt Bank. They find a video card in the box that proves Anton’s actions were fueled by his desire to save Kira and Amy, not make a profit.‘Natalie’ lays down the fire but is ultimately taken down by Dorian
Back at the safe house, Janet whispers in Kira’s ear, making Kira question how truly safe there are. She ends up finding a way to escape from protective custody and makes her way to a scrubber. Dorian catches wind of her escape on the com. She makes her way to a Scrubber, finally turning her com back on and the signal’s picked up by both Kennex and the black hats. He and Dorian find the underground Scrub shop and the naïve Kira thinks the baddies will leave her alone if they see she’s wiped all memories of Anton. They try to escape but end up getting caught in automatic weapon crossfire. Using Dorian as a distraction, Kennex takes down one of the targets while Dorian puts a few bullets into ‘Natalie’, though she’s a bit luckier than her now dead partner.
Things wind down with Kennex showing Kira the extortion video and she’s thankful to have the memories of her dead boyfriend alive and well. As a thank you, she gives Kennex a pen, the same one Anton used to write notes to her and, when they first met, his phone number. Kennex puts it in play almost immediately, giving Stahl and handwritten note, a thank you for the energy chew she’d just given him.
More Than Human
- For weeks, I’ve been openly questioning how it’s seemed the writers had dropped the ball on the Syndicate angle that began during the series premiere. Though not at the forefront of the episode, the slimy Rhinehart and his plans to steal an unknown item out of the evidence warehouse surely opens the door for a future arc where Kennex’s ex will most assuredly be reintroduced.
- While the flirtiness between Stahl and Kennex is well done and not over the top, Stahl has not been given the screen time she deserves. Detective Paul’s less than subtle jab at her family life does raise eyebrows and hints at her being further integrated into the weekly mix as more than just a peripheral character.