Alphas Review: Season 2, Episode 6 "Alphaville"
Review: Alphas Season 2, Episode 6 “Alphaville”
This week on Alphas Summer Glau is back, returning as the Alphas version of Forge, Skyler Adams. With only three episodes left in the season, the story is moving closer and closer to an all out confrontation. This episode gives us insight into Alphas trying to live off the grid and the human cost of Dr. Rosen’s decision to go public with the Alphas phenomenon.
Dr. Rosen has become single-minded in his goal of discovering just what Stanton Parish has planned. Now there is the team of him as the intellectual and Bill as the detective, with both working towards any kind of meaningful discovery. We see that out of all his team , Dr. Rosen seems to trust Bill most of all and often defers to his expertise. This will make for an interesting revelation and character confrontation when he learns Bill is secretly attending Alpha fight club.
What Dr. Rosen doesn’t realize is that he is just a rat in the maze. Every corner he turns, he finds himself with another obstacle. The photic stimulator from the hospital of last episode seems important, but until they figure its purpose in the larger plan, knowing what it’s capable doesn’t give them any new clues. From Gary’s lines last episode, we know hundreds of the machines were sent to different hospitals. Are they all the same? Is this exact one unique in a sea of do nothing devices? With only one person who Dr. Rosen trusts to take the device apart, the entire team sets out to find Skyler Adams. In terms of narrative, it’s a perfect place for her cameo. Dr. Rosen’s tragic flaw, which he will realize too late, is his own hubris. He’s willing to drag everyone into danger to get the answers he needs.
The episode worked well as a good team unification, this being the first time everyone is on one mission together since before being unofficially disbanded. Nina is still being publicly shamed but attempts to be gracious about it. She knows she has done wrong and is willing to keep her mouth shut and simply do the work. Bill equates her to an alcoholic, who now only drinks during office hours. This episode ended up being very interesting for Gary as well. By removing him from his element, near signals that he could read he is forced to adapt and acclimate with his new surroundings. This also shows us that alphas powers are constantly expanding and Gary can read a much larger part of the frequency band than previously believed.
When the team reaches the edge of Skyler’s last known signal, they find a very unwilling welcome party. Though Skyler stops them from being tossed, the only way they are able to enter is through Dr. Rosen using guilt to manipulate Skyler. Guilt is Dr. Rosen’s real power and he uses it whenever he needs to get his way. Once he’s earned someones trust, he’s waiting with that up his sleeve. Once he does that, he forces himself and his team into the hidden colony, Alphaville. Little does the team know, their adversaries are already on their tail. Jill has become a double agent, which we knew previously, but she’s clearly conflicted because of her continuing relationship with Hicks. We also meet Claude, who can speak to nature, and who comes of as a bit self-righteous and extremely isolationist. For someone with his power, who was also outed as an Alpha, the set up of their little village is the perfect situation. He’s a natural leader and while I didn’t view him as an adversary he was extremely confrontation to Dr. Rosen, the man who outed all of them as what they are publicly. It’s clear Claude doesn’t want any outsiders to ruin the good thing they have going.
As we learn more about Skyler and Zoe’s (who is affectionately nicknamed Digit) life since last seeing them, we understand that her intelligence is growing at exponential rates. Skyler’s power is to envision and take existing parts to build anything she can imagine. A life in a cabin in the woods is hardly the ideal place for her. She tries to be stoic about the situation, knowing she is doing the right thing for her child. By the time the team reaches her, she is about at her breaking point. There’s nothing like a crisis being brought to your front door to precipitate change. With Skyler’s help we learn that photic stimulator has smaller microchips imbedded into the wiring and its main purpose is to enhance Alphas abilities further. We have no idea of the long-term implications, but in the episode we see it used on Rachel (accidentally) and Scipio (offensively). While it is traumatic on each of them at first, in the time after we see a great capacity to their ability and a greater degree of control.
Even while trying to do the right thing, the team just leaves destruction in their wake. The small woodland utopia is burned by opposing forces, driving everyone there from hiding back into the real world. We also get a scene of the first meeting between Skyler Adams and Stanton Parish. Parish presents himself like something of a politician, when in reality he is an ideologue and master manipulator. And because of what Skyler can do, she is someone he wants on his side.
Bill and Dr. Rosen know there is a leak somewhere in the unit. Dr. Rosen places all his trust in bill to conduct a mole hunt. Neither Rosen or Hicks will be prepared to learn they are constantly being betrayed by someone so close to them. And while Gary isn’t working for Red Flag, he is inciting further mayhem as a violent, rebellious tribute to his fallen friend Anna. Notable absent from this episode was Kat, who isn’t an actual team member, and Clay, who is head of the entire division. Both are going to be vital on the teams side with Stanton Parish’s plans come to fruition. The team needs as many friends as it can get. Having been responsible for bringing arson upon Alphaville, they just lost a whole lot more potential supporters–and drove them right to the opposition.