As the weeks go by, ‘Alphas’ continues to impress and improve. This week was nothing short of a powerhouse episode. Written by ‘Star Trek’ alums Ira Steven Behr and Robert Hewitt Wolfe, and guest starring ‘Trek’ icon Brent Spiner, this week’s episode brought the story to a whole new level. The recap below does contain spoilers, so be warned if you want to go into this episode…well…blind. If you are still unsure of whether or not to start watching ‘Alphas,’ let me just say now that I would highly recommend it.
This week starts out with the DOD building a special holding cell for Alphas in the team’s office. The only team member who seems pleased by this is Bill, who has found a new sense of calm ever since losing his ability in the incident with Jonas two weeks ago. Everybody else is hesitant about the idea of bringing in dangerous Alphas for interrogation, and they already have one on whom they can test the new holding cell: Doctor Kern, an obstetrician who is also believed to be an Alpha and a high ranking member of Red Flag. He has the ability to use very highly sensitive sonar. This enables him to see despite the fact that he is completely blind, and also grants him the power to shake anything he wants to pieces.
Rosen takes the lead in questioning Kern on what he knows about Red Flag and their motives and operations. The scenes between Spiner and Strathairn are nothing short of mesmerizing. Kern is a very cool and calculating man who uses logic and reason to explain the actions of Red Flag in such a way that you really begin to believe that they are on the more righteous side. To use X-Men metaphors, if Rosen were the Professor X of this story, then Kern would most definitely be the Magneto.
Kern, however, was not alone when they brought him in. A mysterious presence is in the office, hacking computers and systematically finding ways to get to Kern. We learn that this person is another Alpha by the name of Griffin (played by Rebecca Mader of ‘LOST’). She is a mercenary sent to kidnap Kern and his research on a drug he has developed to counter the effects of the drug we learned of earlier on that stops Alpha development in the womb. Her ability allows her to hide in human blind spots, just outside of everybody’s vision. If you watch ‘Doctor Who,’ it’s not unlike the ubiquitous perception filters of that show.
As Griffin closes in on Kern, Bill is forced to take a special drug concoction that Rosen made to re-ignite his ability. He was hoping to have time to weigh the pros and cons of getting his ability back, but the danger necessitates it. Amazingly, it’s Rachel who ends up taking Griffin down. As they interrogate Griffin, they begin to notice that cracks are appearing all over the building. Kern has been using his ability to find the resonance frequency of the building and break himself out.
In a superb supervillain sequence, Kern explodes out of the holding cell and goes after Griffin. Trying to stop Kern and save Griffin, Bill finally switches his ability back on, and buys Griffin enough time to kill Kern. Griffin opts to pay Bill back for saving her by giving him the name “Stanton Parrish.” They don’t know what it is, but its apparently some clue for something bigger.
I am disappointed that Kern was killed. He would have made for a great long-term villain. Brent Spiner brought a level of cool creepiness to the role that just transcended normal bad guy tropes. With only three episodes left in this season, it would have been nice to see some sort of solid anti-Rosen emerge, and Kern was definitely the strongest candidate thus far. I am certainly intrigued by this mysterious third element that is hiring out Alphas and has its eyes on Red Flag.
While I wasn’t entirely convinced that ‘Alphas’ worked as a show grouped in with the likes of ‘Eureka’ and ‘Warehouse 13,’ it has certainly come into its own and established itself as one of the new and growing pillars of Syfy. I can’t wait to see where this show goes.
If you missed last week’s episode you can read our ‘Alphas: A Short Time In Paradise’ recap to catch up.