Finally did I manage to get round to reviewing last weeks episode of Alphas. It maybe summer holiday for others but not for me, which is really a shame because last weeks episode of Alphas just rocked! It was entitled ‘Rosetta’ in reference, obviously, to the Rosetta stone which helped decipher the ancient Egyptian language. This episode is the first since the pilot to really move forward the Alphas mythology. Remember from the pilot that Cameron had been recruited into Dr Rosen’s Alpha group after he had tried to assassinate government witnesses who were involved in studying Alphas. It was revealed he was working for Red Flag, a group or person who took the view that the government was Alpha hostile and that it has been systematically trying to capture as many Alphas as possible because they see them as a threat.
In this episode things quickly move forward after a somewhat slow start. It starts off with SWAT staking out a Red Flagg safe house together with Alpha team members. The location of the safe house had been found out by Gary (played by Ryan Cartwright) using his ability to scan the wireless spectrum. At the same time we are shown what the two Red Flag operatives do inside the house, something that can be best described as eerie as they treat each other with contempt but at the same time seem to need each other for staying ahead of the police. Quickly both Swat and the Alphas led by Cameron and Bill move against the safe house inhabitants only failing to capture them after one of the Red Flag operatives uses his ability to short-circuit the electrical system.
As Dr Rosen and the Alphas lament the failure to capture the Red Flag operatives they discover a women (Anna) in a backroom who seemed to be a prisoner of Red Flag. Quickly it is discovered that the Anna suffers from a form of autism but can communicate through the sound of brushes that are deciphered by a computer. Indeed it is revealed she can understand all languages in the world. With Gary’s help Anna revels that the Red Flag operatives have hijacked a gas tanker and intend to blow up a target. Gary, however, has his suspicions as Anna makes mistakes. After the Alphas fail to find the gas tanker it is deduced they were deceived and that Anna herself is indeed ‘Red Flag’. The Alphas determine the target for the Red Flag operatives as being a pharmaceutical company that is making a drug that can suppress Alpha abilities in unborn children. The last sequence is just breathtaking with a tanker chase all the way to the company factory with the Alphas and the Red Flag operatives using their abilities against each other. In the end however a Red flag operative sacrifices himself with using his powers of conducting electricity to set of the bomb underneath the gas tanker and blow the factory up.
This episode was mostly Gary centric as we learn more about how he is integrated with the Alpha group and how his abilities work. The way he forms a bond with Anna is fun to watch as only he and Dr Rosen seem to understand what drives the autistic Anna. Yet this episode also reveals some fractures within the Alpha group as they are regularly rude and dismissive of each other. Also Dr Rosen’s fallible nature makes him more real than his previous untarnished leader status.
The plot more than once reminds me of the X-men, with Dr Rosen playing Xavier and Anna being Magneto. A comparison which has been made by people ever since the pilot. For me this episode made much good after the disappointing episode last week. i just hope this show can juggle between keeping its audience captivated and ‘jumping the shark’ with increasingly unrealistic Alpha abilities show by the bad guy of the week.
The next episode of alphas is entitled ‘Never let me go’ and should air tonight, watch the video below for a sneak peek.