Alphas: Cause and Effect

Dr. Rosen: “I’m calling people like you Alphas.”
Marcus: “Alpha, acceleration, the first variable. I like that.”

In the last episode, we met the team. In this week’s episode, we meet the conspiracy. We found out a little bit about who the Alphas are and their mission: to find other Alphas and, if they are “bad” Alphas, turn them over to the government. The definition of “bad” is an Alpha who is a danger to themselves or others, but the real questions are, who gets to define bad? And then, what do you do about it? In classic sci-fi style, you can’t trust the government to deal with these issues, because the government is made up of “normal” people who are terrified by anything new and different.

This Week’s Superpower

This week’s superpower is the ability to observe and determine an exact chain of events and predict them into the future. This ability allows Marcus Ayers to do such things as free himself from handcuffs in a traveling ambulance which has an armed guard. Unfortunately, his enhanced abilities also give him the power to kill in very creative ways (although a gun would be just as effective). The downside of Marcus’s superpower is paranoia. He can’t believe that others are not as perceptive as he is. If he can control outcomes, he assumes that everyone else can, so if bad things happen to him it is because he is being attacked. As well, he sees every human encounter as a “move” akin to a chess game. It seems like a pretty miserable way to live.

There is a saying, "just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that they aren’t out to get you," and it appears that although Marcus is paranoid he is also correct in assuming that the government is trying to destroy him. He tells Dr. Rosen that Binghamton, "the compound," is not a place where rogue Alphas go to heal but rather an experimental lab where the government is trying to find a way to shut the superpowers of the Alphas down. The whole government conspiracy is a staple in the sci-fi world (X-Men anyone?) but I never tire of this exploration of human xenophobia. We tend to be a shoot first, ask questions later kind of species.

The Alpha Team

We got to know our team a little bit better. Poor Rachel is struggling with a controlling family and can tell exactly how dirty her office is because of her super senses. (I doubt she would last a day in my house.) Bill can move a pop machine wherever you want it and likes to boss people around. Gary is awkward but lovable. His literal interpretations of things lightens up the show. Nina has good taste and likes to "borrow" things — very nice things. Most people would call this stealing, but Rosen doesn’t seem to mind. Cameron is not happy about joining the team but is willing to pull his weight. His alpha ability is akin to Marcus’s, but as Rosen points out, they are "similar but not the same." It seems that many of the Alpha team are dangerous to others, but Rosen is responsible for "treating" them. In terms of counseling it is certainly an unusual set-up.

Our team also has an FBI minder. Don Wilson is the usual but Kathy Sullivan is the back-up. Is Nathan Cley the muscle?

Bits and Pieces

Dr. Rosen is a hound dog. I loved the bit when Kathy Sullivan came in and Nina thought she had slept with Rosen.

Rosen is a rose-coloured-glasses kind of guy. He really had no idea what was going on at Binghamton, but as Dr. Singh points out, he was happily ignorant.

Rachel looks up to Nina, but Nina envies Rachel.

Loved Rosen’s crazy hair.

Marcus isn’t necessarily gone. That coin had the impression of a bullet in it.

Quotes

Marcus Ayers: “The universe isn’t random. Things happen because people want them to. It’s just moves, forced moves.”

Gary: “I can’t search better than anyone else, Bill. I’m not google guy.”

Bill: "Do not get sentimental. That man is a killer."
Rosen: “He was a patient first, Bill. My patient. I keep wondering what I could have done differently. If I knew then what I know now, I might have been able to prevent all this.”

Rosen: “Nobody is born broken, Bill. Life just conspires.”

Nathan: “You’re saying I’m the black king. I like that.”

Marcus “An out of context problem, that’s what the Alphas are. No one saw us coming so the response is instinctual, panicked, violent.”

Marcus: “The sides are only going to get more rigid, more predictable. But you, you’re the variable. The part I could never see. You still have one move to make. The only thing that might get you to this rosy future that you cling to.”
Dr. Rosen: “What move is that?”
Marcus: “Take over the chess board.”

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