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Alphas: Wake Up Call

Rosen: “People fear what they do not understand or what they cannot control.”
Scipio: “I’m not human, I’m an Alpha.”

What happens when you put everything on the line, expose a government cover-up and beam it out over the internet? The answer, it appears, is absolutely nothing. Rosen really did try to take over the chess board (see episode 1.2) but it is important to remember that governments don’t give up so easy. You can easily be put on the shelf and discredited as a lunatic by your own government. A government run by fear and responding with an intense need to control. Sound familiar? But this approach doesn’t really work for anything, and Rosen just has to wait until things become unmanageable. A well-executed prison break from Binghamton breaks everything open again. I was strangely disappointed by the ease with which the breaking apart of the team was resolved.

This Week’s Superpowers

Well, there was no skimping on the superpowers for the premiere. We had alphas who can control electrical impulses (Debra), create sound that disables people and shatters glass, a strong man counterpart to Bill, another that was a counterpart to Nina (Kimi), Asher who can spot and smash weaknesses, Scipio who can create fire from his sweat glands and a host of others who didn’t really display what they could do. Every nasty Alpha that has been found and brought to Binghamton is now on the loose except for poor Debra, who got left behind by her boyfriend and Asher. These Alphas (or their leader) are also pretty smart. They manage to fake out Rosen, Clay, the warden and guards and our team. You think that someone might have thought through the problem of plugging Debra into the control system. I’m glad they didn’t, though, since when they freed all the “bad” Alphas they also freed Gary. Gary’s presence in Block 7 certainly brought into question all the other Alphas being held there.

Our Alpha Team

With Rosen gone, the team fell apart. Although Bill and Hicks were still working with Clay, Bill was taking anti-anxiety medication to control his power and Hicks was looking scruffy and missing shots. Rachel couldn’t even get out of bed and Nina was back to her old ways. Gary had been seconded to the NAS but ended up in Binghamton because they were too stupid to figure out how to work with him. Gary is what brings the team back together again--or at least that is what Rosen uses to bring the team back together. Although they all come when Rosen asks them, it is obvious that the team is still unstable and unsure of itself. Nina and Hicks, in particular, are not getting along. Something has happened to turn their relationship sour. Rosen does manage to stabilize each team member. Is he actually an Alpha? It seems that he could tell exactly what each team member needed. Of course, this is also the mark of an excellent psychiatrist, but Danielle is his daughter and these powers seem hereditary. I loved how the whole team came together to try to get Gary to talk again. It was interesting that, although he was angry at them, Gary did let them invade his personal space and touch him even as he complained about it.

The Anti-Alpha Team

Stanton Parrish has his war and his own team of Alphas. I would say that they are the evil counterparts but I don’t think it is that easy. Although they used Rosen as a diversion, they also made sure he was freed. The only person that they killed was the security guard at the gate (I’m not quite sure why that happened since they seemed to spare everyone else). I did wonder at one point if Nina could push someone to kill themselves. Kimi obviously has that capacity. In the end, although Rosen tried to change the game by appealing to people to open up and learn about each other, Stanton had a more accurate read on how the government (and probably most people)would respond. I wish he was wrong.

Bits and Pieces

The whole thing is looking pretty X-menish but this show is more about the ordinariness of the life of Alphas. There are no costumes, pretty run of the mill crimes, and kick-ass dental plans.

Rosen has taken on the government, saying that he will only return if he can have control of the team, the assignments and where Alphas end up. I wonder how long that will last.

Rosen was involved in an LSD bust and his ex-wife didn’t have kind things to say about him during their divorce. He is not an angel. I like that all our characters are very “human”.


Hicks: “Douche bag.”
Bill: “That would be aisle three, Hicks.”

Hicks: “Frigging meter had it comin’.”

Bill: “He couldn’t get a Girl Scout to confess her favourite cookie.”

Bill: “Without Rosen there is no team.”

Gary: “You have to wear pants even if they are uncomfortable. It’s important to wear pants when you leave the house.”

Clay: “The government is a hundred thousand feudal kingdoms all fighting for money and control.”

Nina: “Rachel, Gary’s not a dog. He doesn’t respond to treats.”
Rachel: “Dogs don’t like hummus, do they, Gary?”

Stanton: “The smoke stack has ever waged war on the apple tree. We’ll put an end to that. Better people, better world.”


  1. We were wondering the very same thing about Dr. Rosen, Doc. After all, he's the Professor X, and Professor X has powers. I like your theory on what his powers might be.

    I liked this premiere a lot. As you point out, it isn't just Rosen that brings the team together; it's Gary. They all care about each other, yes, but they have a really soft spot for Gary, annoying as he can be. Hicks was still trying to keep tabs on Gary before they knew what had happened to him, and when he and Bill discovered Gary in Bldg 7, they immediately tried to help him. Nina, too, changed her tune when she knew that it was Gary in trouble. And Rachel pushing the hummus at the end was a nice reflection of her own connection to and concern for Gary. Gary is a key part of the glue, so it didn't bother me too much when they managed to pull him back into the team dynamic so quickly. They are the glue for him, too.

    I wonder if Nina's inability to push Gary constitutes a very special connection she's not completely willing to lose. Hicks seemed to intimate that his relationship with Nina broke down because she was 'pushing' him. It must be important for her to have one relationship in her life where that is not a possibility.

  2. Is it me or has Clay mellowed since the first season? I wonder if seeing what the government was willing to do to Rosen and Gary has made him less accepting of the company line.

  3. I keep watching but I think more because there's not much else available during the summer. For some reason Alphas hasn't quite "clicked" with me yet... but Gary was always my favourite so very glad he was the one who brought them all back together.


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