ORBzine - Alphas TV Review

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Alphas

Season 1

Alphas Alphas [Season 1, Episode 1] Pilot (90 min)
Shown 11/Jul/11

This is the 90-minute pilot ep of a new show. David Strathairn (Sneakers) runs a bunch of literally superpowered pseudo-cops (as opposed to metaphorical ones like in CSI, Numbers and Criminal Minds) Callum Keith Rennie ( BSG 2003 ) is the Police Liaison, a stereotypical straight-nosed tough cop.

Their first mission is to solve an impossible shooting. It turns out the sniper has a super-power too ... he never misses. But he may have been brainwashed by a super-villain.

This show is run by ST: DS9 Creators Wolfe and Behr. It seems a bit rough around the edges, with characters talking over each other, but that is presumably an attempt at realism. There is no way for a lo-budget TV show to compete with a mega-budget movie like X-Men ...

Alphas Alphas [Season 1, Episode 2] Cause & Effect
Shown 18/Jul/11

An Alpha escapes from secure transportation. He was Dr Rosen's first Alpha patient, and he has the power to make events happen by predicting cause and effect. Just like one of the killers in Fringe: Season 3 .

The theme of the episode is that the Government forces themselves are every bit as dangerous and untrustworthy as the criminals they hunt.

Alphas Alphas [Season 1, Episode 3] Anger Management
Shown 25/Jul/11

Someone is using pheromones to start riots in NYC. The Alphas suspect it is one of their own, so they go after the main suspect. The result? A recurring character is killed, just to make a point.

This ep was written by ST: DS9 Creators Wolfe and Behr.

Alphas Alphas [Season 1, Episode 4] Rosetta
Shown 01/Aug/11

The superheroes, with SWAT team backup, raid a Red Sky safe house. Two terrorists escape, causing an electrical blackout. They leave evidence of their next plan, an explosive attack on a petroleum company.

The terrorists’ apparent hostage is a beautiful young woman with extreme autism. The heroes’ own autistic manages to communicate with her. She acts very docile and harmless, but has no carer in the house. Evidently she is a lot more capable than she appears to be, and her relationship with the terrorists was a lot more complex.

Alphas Alphas [Season 1, Episode 5] Never Let Me Go
Shown 08/Aug/11

The team get their new ID passes - DCIS (like NCIS, only Defence Dept instead of Navy!).

They go to a small town where people in authority are dying mysteriously. Is this something to do with the High School's football coach, who is a bully and a thug?

Alphas Alphas [Season 1, Episode 6] Bill And Gary's Excellent Adventure
Shown 15/Aug/11

Bill the ex-Fed is only on suspension, pending a final disciplinary hearing at the FBI for excessive use of force. He and Gary the autistic boy team up to solve a kidnapping case, so he can prove he is still FBI material. The kidnappers have a billionaire's daughter, and they are using untraceable cell-phones.

Stargate Alumni Peter Wingate and Alaina Huffman are suspects, as the victim's father and his head of security respectively.

Alphas Alphas [Season 1, Episode 7] Catch and Release
Shown 22/Aug/11

Skylar ( Summer Glau ) is an Alpha, with the ability to build incredible gadgets. Our heroes must get to her before a gang of gun-toting thugs can get her.

Nina ( Laura Mennell ) rekindles her friendship with Skylar, and must decide where her loyalties lie.

Gary's mother discovers how dangerous his work is. She refuses to let him participate any more, so Gary goes off by himself.

Alphas Alphas [Season 1, Episode 8] A Short Time In Paradise
Shown 29/Aug/11

Garrett Dillahunt (Cromarty from Sarah Connor Chronicles ) is a Cult Leader. He claims to bring peace - by brainwashing people. And like Glory in Angel Season 4 , there may be a dark side to this.

Nina ( Laura Mennell ) the Push lady cannot challenge him, his power is greater. She and Cameron Hicks the sniper (Warren Christie - Andromeda: Season 5 ) shack up together.

Can Dr Rosen (David Strathairn) save them? Will he compromise himself morally?

Elsewhere, Rachel the Asian babe takes Gary the aspergers kid as her date to a family function. They discover her dad has throat cancer, but he does not believe them.

Alphas Alphas [Season 1, Episode 9] Blind Spot
Shown 12/Sep/11

The team bag and tag a suspect - Brent Spiner ( Star Trek: TNG, Threshold ). He is blind, but has sonic powers (like Daredevil ).

But mysterious goings-on mean that an invisible assassin has infiltrated them. Rebecca Mader guest-stars.

Alphas Alphas [Season 1, Episode 10] The Unusual Suspects
Shown 19/Sep/11

The entire team are tranqed and black-bagged by the MIBs. Apparently one of the team is a traitor. Red Sky terrorists are assassinating scientists who worked on the CIA's MK Ultra programme. Apparently the info could only have come from the Alphas' office.

Of course, nobody even mentions that their security was compromised only a week before, when Invisible Bitch snuck in. Could she have stolen the info then, or left a trapdoor? She even tempted one of the team with the idea of going freelance for big bucks. This glaring omission happens despite the fact that Rebecca Mader is specifically shown in the Last Week On ... bit at the start of the show.

The ending is nicely tied up, very convenient for all involved.

Alphas Alphas [Season 1, Episode 11] Original Sin
Shown 26/Sep/11

The team uncover a Red Sky cell, and a secret encryption that can lead them to the leader of the terrorist group. The terrorists are planning a summit. This will be the opportunity to get the entire leadership ...

Gary has been secretly corresponding with Anna. But things may not end well for the happy couple ...

The Doctor is reunited with his estranged daughter.

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Alphas

Alphas Alphas [Season 2, Episode 1 ]
Shown th October 2011 [Wednesday]

Alphas

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  • Season 2

    Alphas Alphas [Season 2, Episode 1] Wake Up Call
    Shown 23/Jul/12

    The team has been disbanded. Dr Rosen's punishment for revealing the truth to the world is that he has been incarcerated in a mental ward. He is accused of paranoia, which is laughable considering how many people are really out to get him.

    All the super-villains are chipped in the head and locked in an open-plan warehouse. Naturally, things go wrong and the inmates take over. They demand that Doctor Rosen negotiate with them.

    Alphas Alphas [Season 2, Episode 2] The Quick and the Dead
    Shown 30/Jul/12

    The team is back together. Unfortunately they have to share office space with the Feds, which leads to friction. Gary is still angry after his incarceration without trial.

    Hicks the ex-marine sniper (Warren Christie - Andromeda: Season 5 ) is trying to keep his private life secret. Unfortunately his co-workers are nosy, and have superpowers. They soon uncover the identity of his new girlfriend.

    Nina ( Laura Mennell ) is having a meltdown. The Doctor tries to bring her on-board, but she resists.

    Stanton Parrish (John Pyper-Ferguson - Adventures of Brisco County Jnr ) is still on the loose. He has a strategy, and most of his enemies do not even believe he exists.

    The Freak of the Week is C Thomas Howell ( Peter Benchley's Amazon ), who can run at super-speed. Unfortunately this means his metabolism is twice as fast too, so he ages at twice the normal rate. He kidnaps doctors who he thinks can cure him, and kills them if they cannot.

    Alphas Alphas [Season 2, Episode 3] Alpha Dogs
    Shown 06/Aug/12

    Bill and Hicks the sniper (Warren Christie - Andromeda: Season 5 ) go undercover at the Alpha equivalent of Fight Club . It is not a male-bonding experience, it is just fighting for money. But Bill takes to it ...

    Bill's mentor is another Alpha, a young girl with the ability to absorb and process information at an incredible rate. But she becomes a target for some Alpha-snatching villains.

    Alphas Alphas [Season 2, Episode 4] When Push Comes to Shove
    Shown 13/Aug/12

    The team investigate a series of people who have been brainwashed into hallucinating. Their obvious suspect is not the Red Sky terrorists, it is one of their own. Nina ( Laura Mennell ) has quit, and she is now indulging in a hedonistic lifestyle. She has a boyfriend (Morgan Kelly - Being Erica ), and everyone thinks he is taking advantage of her. This ignores the fact that she is never does anything she does not want to do.

    The wee girl from last week is Dr Rosen's new addition to the team. Well, his new patient anyway.

    Rachel tries to overcome her phobias.

    This is a great episode, it fleshes out the characters and shows the negative side-effects of their superpowers.

    Alphas Alphas [Season 2, Episode 5] Gaslight
    Shown 20/Aug/12

    Hicks (Warren Christie - Andromeda: Season 5 ), Bill, Rachel and Gary are sent to investigate a hospital. They all start to hallucinate about their nearest and dearest. This puts them all in harm's way - except Gary, who sees his GF (she was killed at the end of the last Season, and they did not bury her until this ep!). This has been done before in other shows, but the execution here is very well done.

    The Doc takes Nina ( Laura Mennell ) to interrogate a US Senator who is an unwitting pawn in Stanton Parrish's plot. It involves medical experiments, and August ...

    Alphas Alphas [Season 2, Episode 6] Alphaville
    Shown 27/Aug/12

    Dr Rosen wants Skylar ( Summer Glau ) to have a look at the super-weapon he discovered. He puts the whole team in his car, and drives them to where her signal came from.

    It turns out that Skylar and her super-genius daughter are part of a community of Alphas. Ever since Rosen made the Alpha phenomenon public, they have had to live in secret off the grid.

    Gary does not like being off the Grid. But he learns to see the beauty of nature - pulsar stars, the Aurora Borealis.

    The villain sends a goon squad after the super-weapon. They discover the existence of Skylar and her special talents. But their presence alerts Rosen to the presence of a mole on his team.

    Alphas Alphas [Season 2, Episode 7] Gods and Monsters
    Shown 10/Sep/12

    The teenage boy has come out of his coma, and attends school. But he ends up using his superpower to take over everyone's mind, and turn them into his drones. Was this not the plot of an episode of The 4400 ?

    Dr Rosen has to team up with his arch-enemy, Stanton Parrish (John Pyper-Ferguson - Adventures of Brisco County Jnr ). They both want to cure the boy. But Rosen does not trust Parrish's goals.

    The mind-link allows for another plot development, as we get another hint of Parrish's end-game.

    Alphas Alphas [Season 2, Episode 8] Falling
    Shown 17/Sep/12

    The team investigate a crew of extreme sports enthusiasts who go BASE-jumping without parachutes. It seems like they have a pill that can give them an Alpha ability. The wee blonde girl seems to have a personal history with their leader, so she goes undercover. She might actually get some of her memories back. But will she get too deeply involved with her target?

    Stanton Parrish (John Pyper-Ferguson - Adventures of Brisco County Jnr ) still has an undercover agent in the Alpha team. Dr Rosen knows who the mole is - but should he inform the feds?

    Hicks the ex-Marine Sniper (Warren Christie - Andromeda: Season 5 ) gets custody of his son for a couple of days. He takes the week off, and spends the time together before his boy has to fly back to Arizona.

    Alphas Alphas [Season 2, Episode 9] The Devil Will Drag You Under
    Shown 24/Sep/12

    Hicks the ex-Marine Sniper (Warren Christie - Andromeda: Season 5 ) joins the terrorists, so he can be with Dr Rosen's daughter. Stanton Parrish (John Pyper-Ferguson - Adventures of Brisco County Jnr ) subjects them to interrogation by his psychic mind-raper ( Kandsye McClure ).

    The production values seem to gave gone up quite a bit this Season. The visuals in the action sequences are very impressive and elaborate for a SciFi TV show, especially compared to the early episodes.

    Alphas Alphas [Season 2, Episode 10] Life After Death
    Shown 01/Oct/12

    Our heroes are dealing with the aftermath of Stanton Parrish's genocidal attack on New York City. Dr Rosen and Cameron Hicks (Warren Christie - Andromeda: Season 5 ) are both having special problems. The Feds are suspicious as always, pushing in on Dr Rosen's jurisdiction. However, he is very distracted so they have every right to do so.

    The team discover a baby that may have Alpha abilities. Gary the autistic savant develops a special bond with the child, although he still lacks social skills in other respects. Bill the Fed and Nina ( Laura Mennell ) try to find the baby's origins, so it can be reunited with its birth parents. Unfortunately, some villainous types take an interest in the child.

    Rachel the Persian babe is getting comfortable with her new BF.

    Alphas Alphas [Season 2, Episode 11] If Memory Serves
    Shown 08/Oct/12

    The FBI puts its full resources into the hunt for Stanton Parrish (John Pyper-Ferguson - Adventures of Brisco County Jnr ) and his super-terrorists. However, this means they have to show results. Senator Lauren Holly is the official Government liaison. But she starts to remember bits about how she got her brain damage. Nina ( Laura Mennell ) feels guilty. Will she confess, and put everything at risk?

    The wee girl is back, having graduated from FBI academy in two weeks. She is an over-achiever, but she is only the third field agent in the unit! She and Hicks (Warren Christie - Andromeda: Season 5 ) raid a terrorist safe house, where they discover human memory-machine Sean Astin ( Lord of the Rings ). They go on the run together, pursued by a Terminator-like Alpha with super-dense bones (and apparently no sensation of pain).

    Hicks is still grieving from the loss of his GF. The wee girl has no memories of her childhood. Can Sean Astin help them? And more - what can he tell them of Stanton Parrish's memories?

    Alphas Alphas [Season 2, Episode 12] Need to Know
    Shown 15/Oct/12

    With the FBI muddying the waters in the search for Stanton Parrish (John Pyper-Ferguson - Adventures of Brisco County Jnr ), Dr Rosen decides to take extreme measures. He takes Hicks (Warren Christie - Andromeda: Season 5 ), Nina ( Laura Mennell ) and Rachel out of the office for a secret, unauthorised mission. But how far will they morally compromise themselves?

    Gary tries to contact Skylar, but she does not reply to him. Is she helping Parrish, or is she a prisoner?

    Alphas Alphas [Season 2, Episode 13] God's Eye
    Shown 22/Oct/12

    Dr Rosen is wounded, bleeding profusely, and halucinates that his daughter is guiding him to where Stanton Parrish (John Pyper-Ferguson - Adventures of Brisco County Jnr ) is hiding.

    Can the rest of the team function well enough to prevent the coming apocalypse?