Sunday, July 15, 2012

Alphas Season One, Episode Four, Rosetta

This episode opens with team rushing in because Gary picked up a cell phone signal to what they believe is the leader of the red flag.  They don't know what the leaders power is and when they rush in the house, the men escape by turning out all of the lights on the block, leaving behind a woman named Anna who Lee believes is a low functioning autistic.  Rachel asks what they should do with her, but Lee has no answers.

Back at the office, Lee plays a video and it seems that it is a mission statement from Red Flag asserting that Alphas are actually better than so-called normal people.  He quickly stops the tape, and when Hicks asks to see more, Lee cuts him off saying that it is simple propaganda and that Red Flag is about hurting its enemies.

Back at the house, Anna is trying to communicate with Gary.  She manages to tell Gary that she can help them find them. Anna was used by Red Flag to encode their messages.  It turns out that though Lee immediately assumed that Anna could not understand him, Anna actually understands every language. He tests this by talking to her in several languages.  He realizes that she is a virtual rosetta stone.  It turns out that she has Apraxia.  Anna took all the sounds that she is able to make and created her own unique language.  

When Lee brings Gary home his mother is very upset because he is off his routine.  For someone who is autistic, routine is extremely important.  Lee tells her that Gary met Anna and that he has never seen Gary take to someone so quickly.  She is happy with this news and Lee promises no more late nights for Gary. 

The next day, Garry and Anna set to work decoding the encrypted emails on the tablet. The tablet works  as a translator for Anna and they start to really communicate. Gary sends the translation for the emails and  Bill recognizes a routing number for a petroleum fuel truck. Okay, I don't know about you but this really feels like a bit of a stretch for me, even if Bill is FBI. Hicks realizes that the rogue alpha is going to blow up a fuel truck.

The two Alphas take the truck at truck stop. Kathy, Hicks, and Bill take off after the truck and the wrong truck to stop. When Bill checks the fuel he recognizes that it is empty.  In the meantime, the two Alphas are on the New Jersey Turnpike. Kathy suggests that maybe Milos changes his mine but Lee says that he is an idealist and they have to get one step ahead of him.

Rachel tries to get Gary to go back to the office but Gary yells and says that he is not leaving.  She gets frustrated but he digs in his heels.  This has me thinking about all of the flattery that Anna has been using on Gary.  She has been encouraging him to rebel against authority even as she stokes his ego.  Perhaps, Anna is not nearly as compliant as the team assumes that she is.  She tells him that she is glad that he stood up for himself and that she really likes him, but Gary is no longer buying it. He knows that she lied to him about the code and he has figured out that she gave him the wrong code for the truck. He figures out that Red Flag wasn't making her do anything because she is working for them, but Anna corrects him and says that they were working for him.

Back at the office, Hicks is having a coffee out of Rachel's cup and Bill points out that Rachel is going to know what he did because she will smell it.  How is it that Bill is suddenly so concerned about Rachel's space when just a few episodes ago he was putting his hands in her food without asking? Bill figures out that they should be looking at the northbound trucks.

Back at the house, Anna tells him that she doesn't just write the messages and that Milos trusts her.  She tries to recruit Gary telling him that they would trust him if he joined them and never treat him like a child. He says that he can figure out the real number and that he doesn't want anyone to get hurt but that she needs to tell him.  She tells him about a drug that prevents birth defects at that women who take this drug will not give birth to anymore Alphas. Anna says that society cannot deal with people like them and that they need to send a message that they are not a problem to be fixed. She tells him to make a choice for himself and that all he has to do is say nothing.

Gary tells her that he never made his own friends and he questions whether she is really his friend or pretending so that he would send the wrong information.  She says that she is his friend but he responds that he has done something sneaky that he believes that she will not like. At the office Lee is upset with Rachel that she didn't bring Gary back and she tells him that he should have told him that.  It seems that Gary sent the location to the office and tells them Anna is responsible for the original mix up.  Rachel realizes that Gary is still with Anna and he and Rachel rush back to the office. 

Anna is upset and says that she  does not need Lee's help. She does something to her computer which does something to the radiowaves, causing Gary to fall to the ground in pain. Milos makes it to the factory with the team hot on his heels. Milos causes the cars to short out which stops Hicks from making a clean shot at the wheels of the truck. After a high action packed scene, Milos climbs under the truck and uses his abilities to blow it up. 

At the house Nina, Rachel and Lee find Gary on the ground.  Anna has taken off. When Lee drops Gary off he tells Lee that he is not one of them.  Lee says that Red Flag is just a small group of people and that he does not make distinctions.  Gary enters the house saying that he sent Lee and email. While he is brushing his teeth he gets a message from Anna saying that she is sorry and hopes that she is still his friend.

Back at the office, Lee and Anna watch a recording from Red Flag detailing the days explosion, stating that they cannot stop true neuro diversity. Lee admits that he underestimated Anna and the strength of her argument as well. Lee realizes that Red Flag is more than a criminal enterprise and that it is a movement. On a map of the U.S. there are tons of red dots indicating the various cells.

I am not sure that agree with neuro diversity being used as a rally point or Red Flag.  I like that Lee continues to be conflicted about what he is doing though.  There really isn't a right or wrong here because Alphas do have the potential do a lot of harm as we have seen and so the fear is legitimate but at the same time, their humanity should never be questioned.  I think Anna raised some very important issues about how Gary is being treated by the team. They don't ask, they simply tell him what to do and assume that he will be compliant.  It's true that he is treated like a child and it will be interesting to see if Lee can acknowledge the ableism in this.