Alphas Review: The Final Embers of Humanity
"If Memory Serves" did one thing well, it was this: cementing Rosen’s transition from an empathic character into a man who is cold and calculating.
Thankfully, Alphas actually did multiple things well tonight.
But we really need to start with Dr. Rosen. The juxtaposition as we learned more and more about Mitchell’s memory banked on Parish and that Parish does regret some of the actions he takes, particularly the human cost. That came more into focus as Rosen began to leave his humanity at the door.
Rosen is no longer leading with empathy, but rather with an agenda. This stark contrast to the Rosen of even a few episodes ago is rather stunning, as it seems Dani’s death became the straw that broke his empathetic back. Rosen isn’t concerned with Parish’s feelings from a therapy and redemption angle; no, Rosen is now completely focused on making sure his revenge mission with Cameron is going according to plan. His exchange with Senator Burton puts it best:
Burton: Your team is more dangerous than the Alphas they go after, and you, you are the worst. You use them to assault innocence under a pretense of justice. | permalink
Rosen: And, yes, Senator you are right, my team is dangerous, and so am I. | permalink
Rosen had no moral qualms over the blackmail he had over Burton until it was needed, and this was after Nina’s continually pushing of her. Even Nina and her moral gray area were having objections to Rosen’s decisions. The situation is pretty interesting for a man who went to a government prison willingly in the beginning of the season.
The one element tonight that felt out of place was Gary’s story. While I can appreciate his mother’s sudden stroke and subsequent hospitalization, the development just seemed to appear out of nowhere, and the harsher moments of it may have lost their impact because of the bigger plots at play. I hope Alphas can find a way of incorporating and exploring the issues and emotions that are at play here because there’s a lot of good story to be found there. I would rather it not be swept under the rug.
Two more thoughts:
- Kat and Cameron’s adventure had its moments, and I certainly like both of their characters apart, but when they are together they don’t really interest me much at the moment.
- Kat’s emotional fallout from killing Mitchell’s bodyguard is a welcome development. Sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between emotion and memories, and you wonder if her short-term memory loss also brings the emotions she has along with it. I’m glad she acknowledges it, and I’m hoping it stays with her as we go into the final stretch of episodes with a less sympathetic Rosen.
Alphas: "If Memory Serves"
Nick McHatton is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.