Review: Alphas Season 2, Episode 7 – Gods and Monsters
“…the most widespread use of mental control we’ve seen on the show so far.”
After the labor day broadcast break, Alphas is back! With six episodes remaining, Dr. Rosen is closer than ever to finding the answers he seeks about Stanton Parish and his clandestine agenda.
Though it has been addressed in other episodes, this episode really hits home the point of overuse and overexposure to Alphas abilities. Nina is visibly fatigued from weeks of mental prodding on the senator. Similarly, the senator is cooked to be nearly brain-dead and wanders into traffic without even realizing. This episode could have easily been a part 2, but instead is a callback. Jason is the kid who was in a coma only two episodes prior. We get to see the extent to which his ability has developed thanks to Stanton Parish’s photic stimulator. It’s also the most widespread use of mental control we’ve seen on the show so far. One thing I really enjoy about Alphas is they try to root these improbable things in as much real science as possible. Jason’s power isn’t individual mental manipulation, but rather a hive mind imposing his will on whoever he touches. His ability also touches the recurring thematic element of no power is magic, and nothing is without consequence. Massive brain hemorrhages await all who stay under Jason’s influence too long.
I was pleased to see Kat back in the mix after being excluded from last weeks episode. Since her debut, she has been all about joining the team as an alpha agent. It’s clear Dr. Rosen doesn’t fully trust her yet and her take charge attitude leads to more suspicion that she could be the possible source of the leak. Dr. Rosen continues to grill Bill over potential leaks. While Bill’s biggest concerns were clearing the team and being thorough, both Bill and Dr. Rosen have looked in-house, but not in the family. Meanwhile, Dani Rosen is having trouble continuing to be the snitch. She is beginning to see Parish for what he really is: a zealot who will destroy any one or any thing that gets in the way of his plans for the future. In order to reaffirm Dani’s trust and try to bring Dr. Rosen to his way of thinking, Parish manipulates the Jason situation to his advantage.
The episode ends up being something of a good scientist/bad scientist episode, with both Rosen and Parish in pursuit of helping the boy, while also keeping an eye on each other. Parish is only able to convince Rosen to work with him by eventually threatening Dani. Though both want to help Jason, they clearly are administering their help to further their agendas. Kat continues to be a breath of fresh air on the team simply because of her characters disposition. She’s jokingly bitter about her first assignment guarding the van. She breaks the heavy dramatic tension during the teams first meeting with Stanton Parish. I really hope by the beginning of next season, she still remembers the team and the office.
Though Dr. Rosen doesn’t have the lifetime(s) of experience Parish does, he recognizes when he is being manipulated, even if he doesn’t know towards what end. He makes his devil’s bargain, trying to trap Parish in his sphere of influence. Stanton Parish is clearly a man we understand as a villain, but know very little about as a character. In his first appearance at the end of season one he states that he has “total brain control.” He exhibits something like this in becoming part of Jason’s shared consciousness and then stealing the people within as his own. We don’t know if he has any mental abilities, or if he’s just been honing the skills of his mind for hundreds of years. What we do know is that he can’t get sick or be killed, reviving mere moments after stabbing himself in the jugular. Dr. Rosen is able to touch Parish’s mind and gets a taste of his centuries of memories. In the quick cuts we see Sean Astin, soon to be guest star, presumably from Parish’s past. Dr. Rosen’s memory walk is also how he comes to realize that Dani is indeed the mole after all.
Under utilized this episode were Agent Clay (who wasn’t even seen) and Hicks, whose main purpose this episode seemed to be throwing a tranquilizer dart and revealing the painting on his wall as a work by Dani. Also, we saw this episode that the building has received major security upgrades and yet the writers had to include Bill’s line about the brass skimping in ballistic glass on all floors. Sure, it’s a plot hole but line serves as a patch for now. Nina’s guilt has also go the better of her and she seeks to take responsibility in the wrong way, by delivering the senators brain scans to her doctor. Her guilt is misdirected, as she was manipulated by Dr. Rosen into pushing the senator in the first place. By the end of the episode we see that she is resolute in her choice that this is the right decision, regardless of the consequences, and that Rachel and Nina are on the road to being friends again.
Geek Smash Rating: 75/100