Almost Human viewers who haven’t been paying keen attention may have been surprised by this week’s focus on something called The Wall.
So, what’s this Wall that everyone was talking about in “Unbound”? Some new plot point?
It’s not, actually. In fact, it’s one of the oldest plot points to the show. Sound crazy? Let’s jog some memories, shall we?
The Wall first appeared in the first episode, both visually and verbally. When Kennex is approached by an MX inquiring about why he’s in the seedy part of town (for noodles, he responds), the MX mentions that they are investigating reports of someone having “come over the Wall.”
The Wall also featured in the background of that same scene, although it wasn’t very noticeable as more than part of the Blade Runner-y set dressing the pilot episode had.
In the episode, “Arrhythmia”, John further threatens to throw Dorian’s newfound DRN friend ‘over the Wall’ for getting out of line. It’s also name-checked when Ethan Avery taunts Captain Maldonado in “Blood Brothers”. “You were in the news. About that ordeal at the Wall,” he tells her.
But by far, my favorite mention of the Wall is the CSI robot in “You Are Here”, who gives Dorian a canned speech when done gathering evidence from him: “Thank you for your cooperation, and remember: Hugs not drugs. Stay on this side of the Wall and respect authority.”
So, what do we know about the Wall?
In both images I’ve included here, you can see the Wall in the upper left-hand sides. From these few images we have, it appears to be fairly large in comparison with the main city surrounding it. It houses what appear to be dilapidated or crumbling buildings. From the way police respond to incursions from the other side, it must be filled with less-than-desirable elements.
It’s also ‘off the grid’, as evidenced both by conversation in “Unbound” and the fact that at night, the area behind the wall is almost completely dark. Has the city intentionally cut off whatever is behind the Wall, or did something else happen to it?
Citizens can apparently go over the Wall on both sides, as evidenced by Vaughn’s escape in “Unbound” as well as standard police warnings to the public to ‘stay on this side of the Wall.’ How do they get there? Are there gates where things come back and forth? Or are there secret ways in and out, like tunnels under the Berlin Wall? Is it something teenagers do on a double-dare?
I’m also intrigued by the fact that during Vaughn’s escape over the Wall, several “missing persons” posters were tacked to the Wall itself. Could these disappearances be related to the Wall?
The Wall itself is one of my favorite arc elements because it harkens back to creator JH Wyman’s time on Fringe. This kind of mysterious object, played as just part of the characters’ everyday life, is exactly one of the things that made me love Fringe so much. Doesn’t it remind you of things like the amber in the Alternate Universe of Fringe’s later seasons?
So, now that the writers have brought the Wall out of the background, when will we see more of it? Will we have a chance to go ‘over the Wall’ and see what’s on the other side? What do you think is behind the Wall? What could have happened that the city decided that the best course of action was to erect a huge fence to separate off a section of its population and territory?
Doesn’t this kind of thing make Almost Human so much more interesting? And how come no one at FOX seems to understand that?
We’ll just have to wait and see, for now. Stay tuned!