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Alphas: The Quick and the Dead

Hicks: “When he asked me to check up on you, I don’t think this is what he had in mind.”
Danielle: “Oh, I don’t know. He did grow up in the sixties.”

This episode actually felt disjointed and not particularly effective, but I guess that reflected our team. I hope it was just one of those necessary set-up episodes for future events.

Things are not good in Alpha land, except for Dani and Hicks, our star-crossed lovers (that's my prediction anyway). Dr. Rosen is coming to terms with his own “hubris”, Bill is not happy with the new hierarchy, Gary is getting aggressive, Rachel seems lost and Nina has gone over the edge and flown the coop. But this rag-tag band still managed to hunt down their Alpha. Stanton Parrish was back without his anti-Alphas and is more mixed up in this mess than anyone could have imagined. He was experimenting on children to try and produce Alpha abilities, seemingly without care for their health or lives.

This Week’s Superpower

There was only one: the ability to move very, very quickly. Eli Akino has an enlarged suprachiasmatic nucleus which is responsible for controlling the circadian rhythms of the body. I’m not sure that enlarging it would make you move more quickly but this is a real part of the brain (I looked it up--it wasn’t easy). I continue to enjoy the injections of neurobiology into the show. It makes the Rosen character more authentic and, as the ads say, shows that these people who are super but still human.

This is certainly true in the case of Eli, who was just an ordinary hyper-active kid until the researchers at the Yankee Medical Institute started using Brain Wave Entrainment Therapy (also real and much easier to find). Unfortunately, this speeding up also increases the rate of aging. I didn’t blame Eli for being upset about being used as a guinea pig. This type of experimentation is unethical and illegal but that doesn’t seem to stop some scientists, particularly Stanton Parrish. I am still on the fence about his evilness but this certainly didn’t win him any points.

Our Alpha Team

The Alpha Team is no longer one big happy family. Gary is not happy about the government “jerk-asses” that are hanging around eating his pudding, and he is not above behaving badly to keep them out of his way. Rachel is awkward, uncertain and disgusted by the state of her office. Bill has been doing his best with Hicks to hold the place of the team in Alpha action, and he doesn’t trust Rosen as his leader anymore. Nina is back to using her ability to get whatever she wants, including a Van Gogh just because it matches the couch.

The central sweet piece of this mess, Nina and Dani, is also what explodes it. Office love affairs are often messy, and Nina and Hicks are no exception. She did push him and that is why they aren’t together anymore. She was willing to push him again to find out who he is seeing. (It was interesting that Hicks answered that it was Dani even though she had told him they were done.) Nina is off the rails and Hicks and Dani were the last straw. Bill is right to point out that this is not a functioning team. I was glad that he challenged Rosen. The team’s leader has his faults just like the rest of them. As fractured as they are, Rosen is right when he says that they are all there is. Something is not right and although Parrish seems to know what it is, he wants Rosen to figure it out for himself.

Bits and Pieces

I thought Dani was with Parrish. Maybe he is more of a father figure. I wonder if she knows some of the things he has done?

Bill can run super fast and Rachel can tell when people are lying.

Stanford has 32 grandchildren who are now all dead. Were any of them Alphas? What about great-grand children?

Dani can transmit the feelings that she picks up and this means that she can create a feedback loop that makes sex amazing. She is worried that this is why Hicks likes her.

Did Nathan’s deflections about who shot Eli indicate a cover-up? Is Stanton Parrish involved?

Does Parrish have the capacity to take life? I thought maybe he was holding his grand-daughter's mouth and nose closed but I heard her last breaths.

Rosen doesn’t seem surprised when Nina tells him that Hicks is sleeping with Dani. It doesn’t seem to bother him.


Gary: “Dr. Rosen, I’m slamming my door.”

Gary: “Bill, it’s not Gary vision, it’s electro-magnetic perception.”

Bill: “Watch this. Brains over brawn works every time.”

Gary: “No, that’s what he is - a jerk ass. It’s good. He fears me now.”

HIcks: “You can’t get through the day without a little Hicks fix. That is literally my best line.”

Gary: “Hicks, I broke your sex code.”

Hicks: “Gary, I’ll kill you.”
Gary: “No, I’ll kill you first. I get up at 7:42.”

Nina: “A lot of people like me died around you, but it’s never your fault.”

Rosen: “From now on you are to consider this your only circle of trust.”


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  2. I think everything is a little off this season in an intentional way. I actually like all the characters in their own flawed ways, even Nina although I think she is being a brat. They are all basically nice people trying to do the best they can in a messy world where they are different than anyone else. I think it is difficult to flesh out all these characters, deal with their super powers, have an interesting plot each week and keep up with an overarching story arc. I'm willing to give them another season.

  3. I like all the characters, too, with the possible exceptions of Hicks and Nina, and I don't actually dislike them. This season does feel a tad off; I wasn't really happy that there was a reset so quickly. But I enjoyed the crazy office stuff and Gary bitching about his pudding. I'm a little confused about what Dani is up to and if Parrish is evil or not, but I think I'm supposed to be confused.

  4. I'm intrigued by this notion that you need to connect with at least one character in a "I'd like to be his/her friend" kind of way to enjoy a show. I guess all I need is characters that are interesting enough that I want to spend an hour seeing what happens to them. "Likability" is not the same as "watchability" for me. Although, realistically, I guess I usually stick with shows in which I "care" about at least one character, but not necessarily in a "friend I'd like to hang out with" kind of way. I think so long as at least one character has something redeemable about them, so that I can find ways to root for them, in spite of their flaws, then I'm willing to stay onboard. Probably, the only show I watch where I sometimes struggle with connecting to the characters is Sons of Anarchy. Some weeks I wonder why I'm still watching that one.

    On Alphas I find all the characters interesting or appealing from a watchability perspective, and I like the way they bounce off each other. Bill, Gary, and Rachel teasing Hicks about Dani on the roof was really delightful. But I'm glad that the team reunion isn't going smoothly. It feels realistic to me that folks would have trouble adjusting after 8 months. Especially Rosen.

    I suspect Parrish may be behind the murder of Eli. Particularly since it has spurred on Rosen's distrust of the government. I think Parrish wants to push Rosen to come around to his point of view. And whatever he's planning for Dani will be in service to that end. Poor kid. "Sure. Have your happiness. At least, until I completely destroy it."

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  7. Zob, I think that your comment generated an interesting discussion. Is it possible to watch a show and not care about or connect with the characters? So many ingredients go into what makes a good show for me but I"m with Jess, if I don't care about at least one character and usually most of them, then I'm not going to keep watching. I realize that I do care about our Alpha team. I want Dr. Rosen to get his head out of his a**. I want Bill to calm down and be comfortable with himself. I love Rachel and I want to see her bust out of her shell. Nina needs to grow up and start loving herself without the adoration of a guy. Hicks is just cute and should find himself a nice partner and reconnect with his son. Gary just needs to be more Gary and I want the world to let him. That and the science keep me watching :).


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