This week, the team investigates none other than an Alphas Fight Club and Dr. Rosen and Gary find out a startling secret about Stanton Parrish.
So, dear readers, I have taken over recapping duties from the fair Sheree, and, admittedly, have seen two episodes of the show entire. But! Not to fear, I will try to deliver the same level of goodness that you’ve come to expect. As for my second round with the show? I like it more and more. ‘Alphas’ reminds me a lot of other paranormal procedurals of the past, like ‘Torchwood’ or ‘The X-Files’, or any sci-fi show that has the week to week baddies but can also play a long game. And it definitely seems like they want to amp up this Stanton Parrish/upcoming war on Alphas things, which also reminded me a lot of the X-Men vs. Brotherhood of Mutants debate: will Alphas coexist with society or will they have to defend themselves against prejudices of “normal” men. Stanton Parrish definitely believes that the latter is well under way. But, to be honest, there wasn’t much of that this week, there was a whole lot of hoopla about a dead Alpha who was killed in a fight by someone who could spit acid. This inevitably leads the team to Alpha FIght Club.
Okay, that’s not what it’s called, but it’s an underground fighting ring where people take bets on fighters with “skills”. Bill is tasked with infiltrating the club, along with Hicks and Nina, trying to figure out who killed the Alpha. Bill’s not-very-bright solution into figuring out what’s going on at the club is to enter a fight himself. There, he meets a girl named Kat, who is also an Alpha, and tells him she can help him learn how to harness his skills and win his next fight. Kat has the power to learn just about anything if she studies it for a period of time, and thus, had extreme short-term memory loss. She tells Bill that in about a month, she won’t even remember him or the fights and will just move on to the next things and assume that’s the way it’s always been. She doesn’t remember her family, growing up, or even how old she is, really. But nonetheless, she teaches Bill how to relax so that his powers don’t put so much stress on his body. However, when Bill takes on his next fight, Kat is his opponent, and she knows exactly how to beat him.
All this leads to a surprising development when Kat is called by some parties unknown who have a “job” for her. She is kidnapped and the team follows her to a warehouse, where it turns out that Alphas are being kept for medical experimentation. The original Alpha they were trying to find, the one who could spit acid, is dead. Everyone in the operation is taken down and ambulances sent for the survivors. It seems that Kat will be sticking around with the team, which I think will mean some very interesting things, especially for Bill, who has a kind of paternal attachment. it could also mean excellent things for Bill, if he became more comfortable with his abilities.
Meanwhile, Dr. Rosen is still trying to find out more information about Stanton Parrish, as well as deal with some strife going on in Gary’s homelife. Lee and Gary track Parrish’s whereabouts back the the Civil War, where a doctor discovered him dead on the battlefield with a bullet through the skull. The doctor studied Parrish’s healing abilities for years and wanted to go public with the information when Parrish murdered him. Lee meets Parrish in a diner in the middle of the night, telling him what he knows. Parrish tells him once again that the war between Alphas and the rest of humanity is at their doorstep. Lee seems more confident that Parrish may be trying to start it himself.
Meanwhile, Gary’s mother is concerned about his behavior. Every morning, before he comes down for breakfast, Gary screams at the top of his lungs, before appearing as if nothing was wrong. Dr. Rosen assures her that it’s probably jsut a stress-relieving coping mechanism, but his mother worries that the new office may be the problem. However, Gary wants to move away from home into the new office, and while Dr. Rosen thinks it would be a positive step, his mother thinks it’s “too big.” By episode’s end, Gary moves into the office, but promises to call his mother every morning at eight. “I’ll pick up,” she says tearfully.
This episode seemed to focus a lot about how the lives of the Alphas are affecting the lives of the non-Alphas around them. Bill’s wife also worries for her husband, brings him food to the office, and is surprised to find Bill much more relaxed than he’s ever been. There’s a new tactical officer named Jon, a non-Alpha who wears way too much Old Spice for Rachel to fathom, forcing her to literally have to push him away. By episode’s end, she asks him out for dinner, but he awkwardly turns it down, considering that they’re new colleagues and all. It seems to be a running thread – no matter what, the Alphas will be permanently separated by their abilities, even from the people they love most, especially in extreme circumstances like Kat’s, where she can’t even remember if people love her. Oh and also, Lee knows about Hicks’ relationship with Dani already. He can keep his job if he keeps his daughter happy.
A few random thoughts:
- “I smell nice, I smell like the washing machine.”
- No appearances from Nina this week.
- Kat can totally stay. She won me over when she kept prodding Bill about being an Alpha Secret Agent. “That’s totally what this is, isn’t it?”
- Bill wanders right back into the Alphas fight club at the end of the episode. Does he need the victory? Does he want to get better control of his abilities? Either way, Fight Clubs always end in pain.
- Rachel and Jon will probably end up hooking up either way, I suspect. She knows what soaps match his natural scent, which is apparently pretty nice.
- I really thought I wouldn’t like Stanton Parrish because big mysterious villains with a lot of secrets can be a letdown. (Say, any baddie on ‘Lost’ who wasn’t Ben.) But John Pyper-Ferguson is really solid.
- I’m interested to see how this exploitation of Alphas thing keeps working out. Hopefully it will be able to tell a cool story without being…you know… ‘X-Men’.