Alphas: If Memory Serves

Hicks: “Well, I know who you are. You are the girl who can drive a rig and pick a lock under water.”

This episode was about the importance of memories, especially painful ones: the ones that teach us what it is to be human and give us meaning. On the one side, we have Kat, smart, talented and without memories. On the other, we have Mitchell, sweet and a bit stunned but full of memories from everyone.

In different ways they are bereft of their own personal history, and that makes them a little lost and unhappy. I was particularly touched by the way this episode highlighted the importance of painful memories such as loss and regret. We avoid heartache in so many ways, but who would we be without it?

This Week’s Superpower

Just about anything. The beginning was a parade of Alphas being captured. We didn’t so much see their powers as have them intimated by the restraints that were used — high tech mouth covers, hoods, special glasses, long bars that kept a man’s hands apart. I was struck by the ordinary situations these people were in as they were captured. The series of scenes where Nina pushed each one was quite chilling. I would imagine that the constitutional rights of these people were not particularly respected. There is going to be a backlog at Building 7.

We also met Mitchell, who can take on the memories of anyone and feed them back and “The Caretaker” who could rebuild his broken bones as long as he had enough calcium. I like how each Alpha ability has a down side. Being extra heavy as you repair yourself wouldn’t usually be much of a problem. I was impressed that Kat figured out one of the few time it would be. Mitchell was so sweet and naive but his gift was very powerful. I imagine that his gift could be used to trap people in their negative memories or even to lose themselves in happy ones. Mitchell chose to only offer help.

Our Alpha Team

The writers must have been listening to me. This episode really focused on Kat as she returned from her Quantico training. I continue to enjoy her. I loved the play-by-play commentary as she and Hicks went to check out the farm house. She is videotaping her life so she will remember and her quips and obviously overeager rookie approach were quite funny. It was welcome levity as the episodes get darker each week. It wasn’t all levity though. I was so sad for Kat when she found out that the memory she thought was her mother was only a commercial. Perhaps it will still provide a link to other memories.

Rosen, as expected, is off the rails. He’s unpredictable and increasingly careless with the lives around him. Maybe this is necessary for the fight that is coming, but in such a fight it is so easy to become the monster you are trying to defeat. I hope Rosen hasn’t lost himself in grief. I was particularly concerned with the way he dealt with Nina. As she said, she was just acting in the manner he had expected of her. She was becoming the person he wanted her to be but he didn’t seem to be very pleased about it. He said he was going to smooth things out with the senator, but instead he threatened her. It usually isn’t a good idea to threaten a senator.

I’m not sure why the writers chose to have Gary’s mother get into an accident and become ill. It did show how far Gary has come in terms of relating to, and understanding, others but it seemed sort of stuck into the episode. Perhaps it will become clear next week. Losing his mother will have a huge impact on Gary and may put him out of commission when he is most needed.

The Anti-Alphas

So living for two hundred years might have some impact on your memories? I hadn’t even thought of that but it makes sense. Stanton found Mitchell as his way to retain his memories. It was interesting that he used Mitchell for feeling memories. Is that the downside of his gift? Does he have trouble retaining his experiences? Is that why he operates in the manner he does?

Just when I was sure that I could put Stanton in the evil box and Rosen in the good box, the writers have messed things up a bit again. The last memory that Stanton gave to Mitchell showed that he was uncertain about his sacrifice of Dani. He isn’t a sociopath, but that makes the choice he made to sacrifice Dani less understandable. He really did love her and he still killed her. It did make Parrish more human but Rosen is going to use his humanity against him. This seems a wrong choice for him. The ends very rarely justify the means.

Bits and Pieces

One of the highlights of this episode for me was the awkward high five between Rosen and Kat.

The caretaker regenerating his bones after his neck was broken was gross. I’m not a fan of gross. Besides, what would happen with his spinal cord? It must have taken a beating as well.

Senator Burton is not stupid. She figured out that it was Nina who pushed her and she managed to get herself assigned to the unit just so she could figure that out. She would make a good ally, but Rosen may have made her an enemy instead.

We are going to see those photovoltaic machines again. I still want to know if Rachel has been compromised by being exposed to one. On the other hand it seems to have helped her control her power. Maybe they have an upside?

Kat may be super-smart, but it took a minute for her to figure out that Hicks was in the car. Experience, ie. memories are a big part of what makes us effective. On the other hand, how quickly did she pick up that rock and wade into the water even though she wasn't sure if she knew how to swim (which she didn't)?

Quotes

Kat: “All ears. Quantico-trained ears.”

Kat: “I was calm as we approached the farm house, sliding into danger as if it were a pair of fuzzy slippers.”

Rosen: “Senator, you are right. My team is dangerous and so am I.”

Stanton Parrish: “If I could have that moment back...”

Rosen: “Sleep, what’s that? Cameron Mitchell is nothing more than a thread to be pulled and Parrish will unravel.”
Hicks: “Parrish won’t let you keep Mitchell chipped. He’ll come for him.”
Rosen: “Let him come.”

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