This week, the team is taken over by an Alpha named Jonas, played by Garrett Dillahunt of ‘Deadwood’ and ‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.’ He is a preacher with an ability to show people “the light” and brainwashing them into a cult. This gift comes with a price, however. Eventually, the people who Jonas brings in begin to suffer from neural breakdowns and fall into comas.
Cameron falls into the trap when Jonas attends one of his AA meetings, and he quickly brings Nina into the fold. When people start collapsing, Rosen is brought in to find a cure. He determines that the condition is treatable, but the payoff is that the treated members are no longer mesmerized by Jonas and return to their normal state of being. Jonas, truly believing that he has been given a gift from God, refuses to let this happen and would rather kill everybody in the cult than let them lose what he has given them. It’s up to Rosen to stop him, and he is forced to do the one thing he has never done before: kill a man.
The b-plot of this episode centers around Rachel and her estranged family. When she reluctantly attends her sister’s engagement party, she discovers through her ability that her father is deathly ill. Showing a determination that she’s never really demonstrated up to this point, she demands that he see a doctor and get treatment. He is so floored by how strongly she demands it that he does exactly what she says. It turns out that he has throat cancer, but thanks to Rachel, the doctors were able to catch it in time and get him a very low risk treatment. This starts what is sure to be a new obsession with her family. Before, they were obsessed with marrying her off. Now that they know about her ability, they want her to diagnose health issues with every member of the family. Well, progress is progress.
What I liked about this episode was how it showed Rachel’s growth as a character, and how Gary is really much more of a voice of reason than anybody gives him credit for. The budding relationship between Cameron and Nina has yet to prove that interesting or relevant to me, but we’ll see where it goes. A little disappointing was Rosen dealing with the fact that he just killed somebody. He didn’t seem nearly as shocked or traumatized by it as one would think. In fact, at the very end of the episode, he and Bill seem to almost joke about it.
Despite these flaws, I’m still enjoying this show, and I feel that it gets closer and closer to its potential with every episode. Another thing that really works in its favor is the excellent guest stars they’ve been getting. Last week was Summer Glau. This week we had Garrett Dillahunt. Next week, we get Brent Spiner as an almost Hannibal Lecter-ish Alpha. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m definitely looking forward to that. With such such top caliber ‘Star Trek’ alums like Robert Hewitt Wolfe and Ira Stephen Behr already on board with this show, I’m eager to see what they do with an actor from the classic in this new environment.