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Posts Tagged ‘Alphas’

 Every hero needs a nemesis. For every Charles Xavier, we need a Magneto to truly understand the potential destruction or good that these people with extraordinary abilities can do. This episode may have just introduced the evil character who doesn’t necessarily want to do evil, but situations force his inner evil to bubble to the surface after six years of institutionalization.
 The alpha in question, Marcus Ayers was a patient of Dr. Rosen’s six years back. He has the ability to predict what happens for every cause he sees. He can predict the effects of anything, which makes him a highly coveted alpha for the government and hence, the six years of drugs and training. Marcus escaped custody after triggering a multiple vehicle accident during his shifting from the Compound to a facility where they would extract his alpha abilities. Marcus possesses the power to predict what will happen as a result of his actions.  It’s the cause and effect to him, the universe doesn’t act in random uncalculated ways and the life is just a series of chains of events. But his actions have a malevolent purpose behind them, he blames everyone else for his faults. The shocker is that Cameron (Wanted style gunman) has a similar neuro-anatomy to Marcus.
 Dr. Rosen and his team of alphas seek out other alphas and those who prove to be a threat to others or themselves are sent to Dr. Singh and Agent Wilson where they are supposedly treated for their own good. Rosen appears genuinely shocked when he finds out that Marcus and the others were being treated like guinea pigs instead of patients. Dr. Singh was doing much more than training and rehabilitating, he was domesticating and neutering those alphas who proved un-trainable. Well, this earns the wrath of Marcus over him. Also it rises the age-old conflict of Destiny and Free-will!
The first thing which is different and makes you look up is Dr. Rosen has got rid of his beard, a new office and the title sequence is different from the pilot. Of course, since there are so many months gap in between the pilot and the second episode, its understandable. Dr. Rosen seemed too naive to believe that the government would treat the alphas as merely patients. I guess that was the only complaint of the whole episode. And Marcus is a really interesting character. I like him and hope they make him a major character.

The big brother-little brother thing going between Bill and Gary seems to be a continuing theme and Nina and Rachel seem to have a sister thing going on. When Cameron and Nina are in the same room, the sexual tension becomes palpable. The government agents would likely be a recurring theme and this too points to X-Men movies and that’s not necessarily a bad thing at all. My only hope is that the series goes beyond just New York to make it seem that the alphas are more of a global phenomenon rather than a regional one. All in all a very entertaining episode.

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Alphas has been written and directed by Zak Penn who was also the writer of X-Men 2 and 3 movies. He also serves as an executive producer in the show which airs on the Syfy channel. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody that this show has an X-Men feel to it. Other than that it also seems to derive some elements from another hit show ‘Heroes’ and the movie ‘Wanted’. Here, people with special ability are called ‘Alphas’ and their incredible powers come with a price, which is refreshing to see.


Characters:
Now that’s out of the way, lets dive in to the story and characters. Dr. Lee Rosen is the leader of a group of people who have superpowers. He is more of a doctor, like Xavier, than the leader you would expect and its refreshing for a tv show. He juggles between babysitting and his work of a therapist who gets the desired results from his team of Alphas. Watching him interact with Don, an agent, offered comedic elements which will be a breather in the days to come.

Bill Harken has superhuman strength and he is also a FBI agent. His chemistry with the team is lacking and he just doesn’t seem to consider the others as his equals, probably because all of them come from normal upbringing and don’t have the necessary professional quality in them. Nina, the hottie, has the power of hyperinduction. She can override the willpower in others and that’s a cool Jedi mind trick. Rachel has the power of synesthesia. that is she is able to enhance any one of her senses while all other senses shut down. Gary has the power of transduction. He is able to see all wireless electromagnetic wavelengths, making him the ultimate snoop.

Cameron is brainwashed into murdering a police suspect in a closed room, using his hyperkinesis. In my opinion, his story will be the most interesting and has the most potential since he has a troubled past, a problem with following orders though he served in the military and having this extraordinary ability which Angelina Jolie had in Wanted.

Recap:
Dr. Lee Rosen is called in by the Department of Defense to investigate how this could happen in a sealed room with only two guards and no windows. Rosen calls in his team of Alphas to investigate why. Nina uses her powers of influence to talk herself into the room and Rachel uses her enhanced senses to figure out where the bullet came from. Bill is able to piece together a profile using all this information, leading them back to Cameron.

The alphas soon figure out Cameron was brainwashed by someone and use him as a decoy to draw that person out of hiding. Gary is able to trace who that person is by finding their unique cellphone signal. The alphas storm a hotel and believe they find the brainwasher who jumps off the roof of the hotel after a quick chase. Come to find out, the brainwasher brainwashed a bell boy to trade places with him. Thus the bell boy is the one who ends up killing himself.

The brainwasher is able to escape and manipulate Bill into trying to kill Rosen. The alphas figure this out with Nina heading off to help Rosen and Cameron running after the brainwasher. Meanwhile, the brainwasher has taken Rachel hostage while attempting to escape before being caught. Cameron is able to shoot and kill the brainwasher before he kills Rachel but not before he tells them “you’re on the wrong side of this.” Nina and Rosen are able to subdue Bill. The pilot ends with Rosen officially welcoming Cameron to the team.

I actually liked the pilot very much. Granted, it has all been done before, but it was still exciting to watch the 90-minute pilot. Ordinary people with extraordinary powers, an evil force out to get them. It is a classic plot and I am a sucker for it. I think this is going to be another show on my must watch list.

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