Last season five ordinary people with some amazing abilities were brought together by one extraordinary visionary. The Syfy channel took a chance on a show that was originally dropped by other networks during the writer’s strike of 2007. This gamble paid off in a surprisingly fresh, mature take on the superhero genre. Let’s see what the second season holds…

Warning Spoilers ahead!

Season 2 opens with Dr. Rosen talking to another patient in a therapy session… or is he? The tables have turned on him; he is now the patient. He is the one handcuffed and in a therapy session. We’ve missed some time since last we saw him broadcasting the truth about the Alphas to the world. He’s been locked up for 8 months.

Hicks is back in his grocery store gig… or is he? He and Harken are undercover at a grocery store when the security cameras and lights start to blow. A girl in the back of the store has her hands on some wires and seems to be the cause of the disturbance. Before Hicks and Harken can close in on her, a madman in an awful Hawaiian print shirt starts shooting the ceiling with two semi-automatic machine guns. Harken is closest so he amps up his strength to take the guy out but finds this guy is an Alpha too! He’s also packin the superhuman strength. Hicks and an assault squad finally subdue the guy at multiple gunpoints. But the guy gets the slip on them because another Alpha with a supersonic yell takes out everyone in the store (except his buddies because they’re ready with earplugs).  Once his head clears Harken is able to nab the girl in the back but the rest escape because Hicks can’t get his mojo to work under the pressure. (THAT was a fantastic way to open a season -a little twist on the story and just a touch of action. I like it! Worth noting – the music in this show rocks! It’s young, hip, and full of energy. TV shows today tend to gloss over the power of music.)

Back at headquarters, Harken is poppin pills and Hicks is fretting over spelling. Meanwhile, we find out Detective Clay is in charge of the Alphas and is trying to interrogate the captured girl. We also learn that neither Hicks nor Harken have heard from Gary; he hasn’t even called his mom.

Rachel is at her parents and having difficulty blocking the senses overload. She seems so lost without Dr. Rosen. She can’t focus so everything just keeps streaming in. She won’t leave the comfort and security of her room.

Nina is walking from shop to shop when she runs into a homeless man yelling about Alphas. With a little evil grin she tells him to stop talking. The man can no longer speak and runs off. Then she “insists” that a good looking man share his cab with her. It looks like Nina is adapting fine without the Alphas team.

Hicks and Harken deliver the captive to building 7 at Binghamton Special Research Facility – less on the research and more on the prison side of things. This is the maximum security facility that captures and holds dangerous Alphas. The guys are discussing the right and wrong of the situation – is this a humane way to hold dangerous Alphas by implanting chips in their brains making them into zombies? Harken tries to make his point but when he looks down he finds Gary sitting at one of the tables. Gary!

Clay shows them footage from the National Security Agency showing Gary wigging out when someone touches him. Hicks tries to explain that Gary is autistic and needs special handling. Clay agrees but Gary attacked a couple of the agents so the NSA sent him to Binghamton.

Back at the Roosevelt State Psychiatric Holding Center – Dr. Rosen is visited by his daughter Dani. He’s having trouble concentrating so she uses her Alpha ability to clear his mind. (This is something I questioned back in season 1 – how can Dani be an Alpha but Rosen isn’t?) She fears the government is building a case of severe mental illness against him to keep him locked up and out of the way. He truly believes that there are people out there that will create an event that will force the government to see he is needed. He will be patient and wait for that moment.

At Binghamton – the new captive is being “chipped” to control her but she takes control instead. (Really? They didn’t see that coming?! They’re friggin Alphas! All y’all saw what she could do with some electrical cords! It didn’t cross your mind that she would do something if you plugged her into your system?) The incident interrupts all of the chips. Every Alpha is awake! Harken tosses Gary over his shoulder and tries to make a break for it before the security doors engage but Gary wiggles loose. While his attention is diverted Harken’s taken prisoner and tossed in a cell with Gary who is totally unresponsive.

The angry inmates demand to be released and show Clay exactly what they’ll do if they aren’t: They bring forth the warden as a hostage. Kimi Milard steps forward and whispers in the warden’s ear. He puts a gun to his head and pulls the trigger. Luckily it just goes “click, click.” Scipio decides he doesn’t want to negotiate with Clay any longer as he loads real bullets into the gun. He’ll only talk to one person – yup, you guessed it – Dr. Rosen.

Clay goes to the psychiatric facility and tells Rosen it’s time to take ride but the doc’s not having it. He wants to know what’s happened, then HE’LL decide if he’s going to help. (Kind of a pompous move there Doc.)

I guess the doc decides to help because the next time we see him he’s at Rachel’s house asking for her assistance. She needs a lot of mental encouragement to get her to walk out the door. He’s the one to convince her to do it.

Nina is now influencing the same hot guy into buying her diner and then kissing her. Then she forces him to tell her she’s beautiful. (I think Nina is losing her marbles. Are we now getting to see her Achilles Heel?) Dr. Rosen just pops out of nowhere and tells her Gary needs them. Without the slightest hesitation Nina sends the hot guy on his way. (I love that she has such an attachment to Gary!)

At Binghamton – Harken keeps trying to apologize to Gary but he’s being ignored in true Gary fashion. The only thing to snap him out of it is Rosen’s arrival. Gary can see Rosen, Nina, Rachel, and Hicks through the cameras.

Rosen’s plan is to go into the facility and talk. (That’s ballsy doc. He put many of those Alphas in there.) He has a safety line to the outside though – Rachel can hear him through the ducts. An Alpha named Asher greets Dr. Rosen with a quick punch to his shoulder to remind him who’s boss. Scipio stops Asher from doing any more damage though. He extends his hand in welcome. Rosen is reluctant to take it (not safe to touch an Alpha especially one that burns by touch) but does in the end. Scipio then escorts him to the main holding area. (This does NOT look good for the doc! These folks look mad as hell!)

As Rachel listens to the conversation she hears a faint banging.

Scipio wants to know if the abilities/curse can be reversed. Rosen tries with all his might to convince Scipio that he and the others’ powers aren’t a mistake; how they’re using them is the mistake. He takes note that Scipio, as well as the others, are strangely calm given the situation. He remembers Scipio’s ability of pyrotechnics is triggered when he’s under stress but he’s calm as a cucumber at the moment. The entire situation stinks of Stanton Parish. Rosen is on guard now. Scipio decides it’s time for the “main event.” The cameras go snow for a minute and when they come back online the inmates have Dr. Rosen, Harken, Gary, and a couple guards bound, gagged and kneeling on the floor. Asher executes the first guard with a bullet to the head! Rosen is next. Instead of shooting him they douse him with fuel and Scipio lights him on fire! (Something’s not right. There’s no way they could get all of those people together that fast.)

Rachel can tell that what’s happening in the main hall is all wrong. She hears something.

Meanwhile, Hicks and a tactical unit are storming the area. When they enter the main hall they only find an unconscious warden. After looking further they find the electrical girl holding wires in a back room. Rachel tells them the banging is coming from the southeast corner. This girl has given the inmates time to escape through the walls.

Explosions, gunfire, screeching tires and complete chaos disrupt Rachel’s abilities and send her into a panic until Nina steps up to “nudge” her mentally to focus. (Way to go Nina!)

The inmates leave Rosen but take Harken and Gary as hostages. Everyone piles into several large SUVs. Rachel can hear Gary in the second car. Hicks takes aim with a high powered rifle. The stress is getting to him until Rosen reminds him to throw the quarter. (You’ll have to go back and watch season 1 to get the reference. ;) It’s worth it.) Target hit! The SUV flips but Gary and Harken are okay.

Later, Clay admits he needs Dr. Rosen. He offers Rosen a full pardon and a raise. Rosen agrees but only if he’s in charge. He has to be the one calling the shots. (Isn’t that exactly how the first season opened?!)

Gary’s not responding to anyone, not even to hummus or Harken letting him drive – two very appealing Gary treats. Dr. Rosen points out that its 3:14 and wants to know what Gary does at that time. He’s attempting to put Gary back on schedule. Something clicks behind Gary’s eyes and then he calls his mom. (I love you Gary!) Then he cusses out Harken for leaving him and letting them take him to building 7. (Gary is back to normal!) Rosen goes to his office to look through a file labeled top secret. Inside is a profile on Stanton Parish marked “deceased.”

Elsewhere – Dr. Rosen’s daughter Dani meets with that same “deceased” man (And the plot thickens!) as well as the escaped inmates. Then a freight train blows up. These folks aren’t going on the down low are they? Now that they’re free it’s time to cause a ruckus.

Not too shabby for a season premiere. A little bit of good storytelling, a whole lot of action and Gary! I wasn’t sure what to expect but I’m impressed and pleased. They could have gone totally camp but they kept their feet on the ground. Not even Rachel bothered me. She got a bit too far on the whiny side last season but this time she seems to have grown. Everyone else seems to be just about the same. What do y’all think?