Alphas Review: Risk, Trust, and Consequences
Alphas continues to be a much better sum of its parts this season, and "The Quick and the Dead" began taking some risks in the storytelling, all of which is already bearing payoffs.
The first risk is deciding to play Nina so quickly. Nina’s continued spiral of self-created ostracism and addiction to push people with her ability creates a dynamic that puts her at odds with the team.
Because while Dr. Rosen wants to bring everyone back together and begin to unravel Stanton Parrish, restoring the team mentality that has been missing over the last few months, Nina has now found herself in a corner where the team doesn’t approve of her continued pushing - and yet it’s a continued necessity in order to retrieve information.
Nina’s pushing plays a part in her own emotions as well, and it ends up acting as both a security blanket and an outlet for her to speak her mind with repercussion. She apologized to Cameron for using her ability in their relationship, and then when Nina found out he’s seeing someone else, she used her ability on Cameron to cover up her pain, her guilt and to find answers.
I have to wonder why Cameron is being a little hypocritical here. He’s not willing to let Nina use her ability in their relationship, but Dani has free reign to do so? Is it because one leads to pleasure rather than potential pain?
Finally, Nina is quickly heading toward rock bottom as she even ends up pushing her greatest ally away: Dr. Rosen. He continually advocates for her, and she continually screws it up. She would much rather do what she can to get that high rather than realize her actions have serious consequences on innocent bystanders and loved ones. Kudos to the writing team for going all the way with Nina; otherwise, this storyline could crumble quickly.
There’s an inherent risk in playing and building such an adversary like Parrish because there’s a chance no other villain in the future could live up to what was set up for the original. However, that thought shouldn’t take away from Parrish, who seems to have a roots and connections to just about everything and everyone.
Eli’s story brought something new to the conversation: creating Alphas. It seems Parrish was actively trying to create them in his experiments, much like Fringe’s Cortexiphan trials. It would certainly fit with Stanton’ overall theme, and his wanting to reshape the world. What better way to reshape the world then by actively populating it with people of your own choosing or creation rather than by luck and chance?
The final risk is Rosen’s circle of trust. His continued optimism and drive to do what is right or moral makes him a truly great character as we watch as he struggles to make those choices every week, but Rosen’s circle of trust isn’t the strongest: Nina has made a swift exit, Cameron will likely give Dani information, Bill is having a mini-feud with Rosen over leadership, Gary is Gary and Rachel isn’t fully in control of her senses.
As much as we want to sing Kumbaya that the team is back together again there are real challenges, and those challenges bring real consequences that can easily begin to change minds and party lines.
- I literally said to myself “that damn van is back!” as I watched it pull behind Rosen’s car.
- Alphas continues to have some of the most imaginative effects on television: the beginning with Eli and the rain was phenomenal.
- Has Bill’s profuse sweating been toned down for Season Two?
- One word: Jerkasses.
What did you think of tonight’s Alphas?
Alphas: "The Quick and the Dead"
Nick McHatton is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.