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Alphas Review: Risk, Trust, and Consequences

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Alphas continues to be a much better sum of its parts this season, and "The Quick and the Dead" began taking some risks in the storytelling, all of which is already bearing payoffs.

The first risk is deciding to play Nina so quickly. Nina’s continued spiral of self-created ostracism and addiction to push people with her ability creates a dynamic that puts her at odds with the team.

Because while Dr. Rosen wants to bring everyone back together and begin to unravel Stanton Parrish, restoring the team mentality that has been missing over the last few months, Nina has now found herself in a corner where the team doesn’t approve of her continued pushing - and yet it’s a continued necessity in order to retrieve information.

Alphas Cast Photo

Nina’s pushing plays a part in her own emotions as well, and it ends up acting as both a security blanket and an outlet for her to speak her mind with repercussion. She apologized to Cameron for using her ability in their relationship, and then when Nina found out he’s seeing someone else, she used her ability on Cameron to cover up her pain, her guilt and to find answers.

I have to wonder why Cameron is being a little hypocritical here. He’s not willing to let Nina use her ability in their relationship, but Dani has free reign to do so? Is it because one leads to pleasure rather than potential pain?

Finally, Nina is quickly heading toward rock bottom as she even ends up pushing her greatest ally away: Dr. Rosen. He continually advocates for her, and she continually screws it up. She would much rather do what she can to get that high rather than realize her actions have serious consequences on innocent bystanders and loved ones. Kudos to the writing team for going all the way with Nina; otherwise, this storyline could crumble quickly.

There’s an inherent risk in playing and building such an adversary like Parrish because there’s a chance no other villain in the future could live up to what was set up for the original. However, that thought shouldn’t take away from Parrish, who seems to have a roots and connections to just about everything and everyone.

Eli’s story brought something new to the conversation: creating Alphas. It seems Parrish was actively trying to create them in his experiments, much like Fringe’s Cortexiphan trials. It would certainly fit with Stanton’ overall theme, and his wanting to reshape the world. What better way to reshape the world then by actively populating it with people of your own choosing or creation rather than by luck and chance?

The final risk is Rosen’s circle of trust. His continued optimism and drive to do what is right or moral makes him a truly great character as we watch as he struggles to make those choices every week, but Rosen’s circle of trust isn’t the strongest: Nina has made a swift exit, Cameron will likely give Dani information, Bill is having a mini-feud with Rosen over leadership, Gary is Gary and Rachel isn’t fully in control of her senses.

As much as we want to sing Kumbaya that the team is back together again there are real challenges, and those challenges bring real consequences that can easily begin to change minds and party lines.

Other thoughts:

  • I literally said to myself “that damn van is back!” as I watched it pull behind Rosen’s car.
  • Alphas continues to have some of the most imaginative effects on television: the beginning with Eli and the rain was phenomenal.
  • Has Bill’s profuse sweating been toned down for Season Two?
  • One word: Jerkasses.

What did you think of tonight’s Alphas?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (23 Votes)

Nick McHatton is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Fortyseven

@bobby, she's a new cast member on the team. She can learn any ability instantly but then she'll lose it after a short period of time.

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Who is that blond girl? And I hope that nina come back soon I don't think that she meant to use her power on hicks but when she got angry it just happened she is my favorite charcter and I want her to be alright.

Fortyseven

Boring and unoriginal. Good special effects. Gary was funny. Some new ideas. They need to build more on Parrish and a new dynamic. I hope there's something more going on with Nina.

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I had expected much more from Season 2. Especially more originality.And what I saw in the two first episodes of the season was so not original in every aspect.

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Dreamrose; Interesting theory - I LIKE it! Though Rosen's comments suggest that this is a pattern for her, so... My only objection is that they're all acting like they share some measure of Gary's autism in the way they're interacting with each other.

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I have the sneaking suspicion that Nina was pushed by another Alpha with similar abilities to her own, that she was manipulated into her current behavior in order to sow distrust and tension in the group as part of a long-term, subtle strategy to break them apart, or, at least, make them less effective. Something Stanton Parrish would think of.

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One word: Jerkasses.

Marissa

I liked this episode I think that Nina is outta control with her ability because even though she used it to get information and help the team when Cameron said he was seeing someone else she pushed him to tell who he was seeing then she kinda blamed other people like rachael by saying like she didn't know because she knows everything when really rachael didn't know. I agree that dani will try and warn Cameron but end up getting killed protecting him. I think Nina will come back and help them soon. I can't wait for the next episode because I think that girl alpha is going to join the team or at least be in more episodes which would be awesome because she looks like a pretty cool character.

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As far as Cameron leaking information to Dani I think that probably the opposite thing will happen. She will most likely deaply fall in love with him and try to warn him about one of Stanton's schemes.She will probably be killed trying to protect Hicks from Magneto.....ooops sorry Stanton Parish I mean.Then Nina will return to support a grieving Hicks.Of course that is only one possible scenario.One that I would like to see unfolding.

Alphas Season 2 Episode 2 Quotes

His phone's at the office and it's broke, but he has the extended warranty so it's okay.

Gary

Oh, and FYI, Hicks is nailing your daughter.

Nina