Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Alphas: When Push Comes to Shove

Nina (pushing herself): “You’re happy, this is everything you always wanted.”

We knew Nina was off the rails but we didn’t know how far or why. The scenes with Nina as a child were heart-breaking. When your parents are fighting nastily and your father finally decides to leave, what little girl wouldn’t want to make him stay? Nina could and her ability to do so ended in tragedy. He needed to leave and when he couldn’t he took the only way out left to him. I love how this show doesn’t sanitize the super powers that people have. People with super powers are still going to be people.

Sometimes they will be noble and sometimes not, but the clearly delineated good and evil that we often see with “super” people isn’t evident in this show. Instead the characters are very human even as they evolve beyond the norm. I also like that there is a negative for every power. That makes sense. If I woke up tomorrow with the capacity to “push” people, would I really be able to use the power wisely? I can just imagine telling one of my children that they have to do something that “I” just know is right for them. How could I resist?

Our Alpha Team

With all that has happened, I’m not sure how easy it will be to integrate Nina back into the team. What she did to Rachel was cruel and she has pushed Cameron so often now that the effect of her pushes last a long time. She even pushed Dr. Rosen. She stole, she endangered people and she tried to steal Tommy away from his family. It will be hard to live these things down. I thought it was interesting that Rosen talked about Nina as an addict. This is an issue that many addicts face when they work to get clean and sober. You may start using because of pain but that pain is only compounded by the many things you do while addicted. It is often a long road back with many bumps. It will be interesting to see how the show deals with these issues. I really hope she isn’t just welcomed back to the fold. As Rachel said, Nina is not her friend anymore. Speaking of addiction, would this also apply to Bill? Is that why he is going back to the fight club? Will it apply to all the Alphas?

Kat was introduced into the show more fully. I really like her character and how she interacts with Rosen. I enjoyed her turning the tables on him and was pleased when he took it seriously. The bits with Gary were hilarious as usual. His alarm clock not working was priceless, but it was encouraging that he didn’t lose it entirely. He was just a bit rattled. Rachel and John are going to be a cute couple but I really don’t think it is a good idea to date someone from work. Of course, Rachel doesn’t have a huge pool of men to choose from.

Rosen seems to be pulling himself back together. He is being more open and humble about his abilities. He is an excellent therapist. The bit at the end in the hospital was very moving. Any relationship needs to begin with trust but this is doubly true in a therapeutic relationship. Nina will never learn to trust herself again if Rosen doesn’t trust her first. A big shout out to David Strathairn’s acting in this episode. He is always good but I thought the work he did during the scene on the roof was fabulous. The awesomeness of the rescue by Hicks is obvious. Great acting, action, character development, tragedy, humour — what more could you ask for?

Bits and Pieces

The bank manager thinking the money was a baby was a nice touch. I’m sure Nina could have just told him to bring her the money but she obviously has a twisted sense of humour. Sending the server for red pepper was another example of this. As Gary points out, though, it is only funny because he didn’t die.

It was a nice twist to make it look like Tommy was the bad influence on Nina. I wondered if he was an Alpha.

Nina often embellishes her past but she told the truth to Rosen.

Kat’s neurons myelinate at an astounding rate which means she creates and maintains muscle memory very quickly (this show always has a plausible scientific explanation). She retains skills even if she can’t remember how she learned them. So far she has basic electronics, various martial arts, violin and motorcycle maintenance.

Enjoyed Kat listening to Rosen’s vinyls. Good music again, this time: Yes, “I See All Good People.”


Rachel: “I’m a freak.”
Bill: “Yes.”
Rachel: “It’s because of my ability.”
Bill: “No. You are a freak for a million different reasons.”

Gary: “I’m going to have to take off my towel, and then you’re going to see my fruit.”

Gary: “Hey, hey, we need to lock Nina up. Her office is my man cave.”

Becky: “Department of Defense, whatever.”

Rosen: “There have been times in the past, frankly, when my passions have overtaken my practice.”

John to Rachel: “You’re not the only one who’s sensitive.”

Clay: “This is the last freebie you get. Next time you shut me out I’m throwing you under the bus.”


  1. This episode finally clicked with me in a way previous ones hadn't! And I don't quite know why... maybe the fact that it made such a strong character as Nina more human, more relatable, and quite a tragic figure! How on earth is she going to regain their trust? And if she IS an addict, doesn't that mean they shouldn't ever ask her to use her ability for the team? In which case, what use is she to the team?

  2. Just saw this one and I agree with CrazyCris that it was the best one so far this season. I actually thought Nina was going to die. Awesome rescue. And you're right, Doc, Straithern was awesome.

  3. I thought this was a good episode, more so than previous ones. I do have one thing that bothered me though. Is it just me or is Gary getting, um... "less autistic"? I know that isn't good way to put it, but it the best I could think of. At the very least the nature of his autism seems to be changing since he is more responsive, and is smiling a lot more (might be due to participating in a lot of comic relief). Would be interesting if his ability is affecting him, and how. I'm not sure if this is intentional by the writers or the actor or what not.

  4. Interesting comment Eran. I have noticed that Gary is coming out of his shell more and feels more comfortable with the team and himself. I thought that this was a result of his work with Dr. Rosen. Many autistic people just need the right environment and/or tools to be able to function in society. Like most disabilities, it is the way society is structured that creates problems rather than the different ways that people interact with the world. However, you made me think about other possibilities such as the down side of Gary's ability and perhaps that is reducing in some way. The above comments still apply but the source of the "problems" is different.


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.