Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Alphas Season Two, Episode One: Wake Up Call

When we last left the team, Dr. Rosen had broadcast a message that went public about the existence of Alphas as the team looked on, and his daughter and Stanton Parish watched from his home.  Clearly, an admission like this has got to have some pretty serious repercussions. This season opens with team split apart with Dr. Rosen in a mental institution, Gary imprisoned in Binghamton, Rachel trapped in her room overwhelmed with stimuli, Nina back to using her powers to manipulate and Cameron and Bill still working together to trap Alphas who break the law.

Cameron's abilities seems to be miss firing and Bill seems to be having heart issues.  Cameron makes a point that Bill is looking pasty even for him.  Umm yeah, not necessary. Cameron has been spending his time in a chat room talking to people who claim to be Alphas, but Bill is not impressed.  Clay assigned Gary to NSA and the team has not heard anything from him in two weeks.

When Cameron and Bill deliver an Alpha to building seven in Binghamton, they discover that Gary has been imprisoned with a lot of other Alphas.  He has had a chip implanted into the back of his brain to make him docile.  Bill feels that this is humane because these people have a history of criminal activity until he sees and violence, until he sees Gary whereas; Cameron finds it anything but and compares it to the treatment of rabid dogs. 

They look back at NSA tapes and discover that when touched on the shoulder by an agent, Gary reacted violently.  Cameron reminds Clay that this is exactly what they warned him about when he chose to send Gary to the NSA.  The fact that Gary is autistic means he doesn't like to be touched and he has special needs which must be taken into consideration to have a relationship with him.  I think that this scene is really important, because it speaks of the low tolerance TAB people have with the disabled. Even when they know accommodations are needed, they don't necessarily comply. Clay claims that he told them but because Gary sent two agents to the hospital, he ended up in Binghamton.

At the hospital, Daniel goes to visit Dr. Rosen who is overwhelmed with the strong drugs they have forced him to take. Again, I think this is important because though drugs have an important place in mental health treatment, there are many incidents of over medication and this scene makes the point that even when drugs are needed to deal with a mental health issues, they are not free of side effects and consequences. Daniel is worried that her father will be permanently trapped there, but Rosen is firm in the belief that he will be released eventually because they are going to need him.

At Binghamton when they try to put a chip in Meg, she shorts out the system, which brings all of the Alphas offline.  Bill is on the floor with Gary and immediately tosses him over his shoulder in a fireman carry, as the prisoners try to escape captivity. When Gary struggles away, Bill is punched in the chest by a prisoner who tells him, "I remember you, you have have a weak heart and I can stop you."  Bill and Gary are both imprisoned in a cell together. Bill tells Gary that he cannot amp up and is in clear pain.  

On the floor Asher brings in the warden when Clay refuses to negotiate.  An Alpha named Kimmy, talks the warden into putting a gun to his head and pulling the trigger. Luckily for the warden, the gun isn't loaded but they promise that the next time it will be.  Scipio demands to see Dr. Rosen and so Clay goes to see him at the institution. Rosen talks Rachel out of her room and finds Nina using her powers to force a man to kiss her. I'd like to know when Nina got so insecure?  This is not the confidant woman that we met in the first season.  

Bill tells Gary that he was wrong to let him go to the NSA and only did so because he felt that they had to do this in order to prove that they were still valuable without Rosen. Gary still does not answer him and seems to be spending his time looking through signals. Finally, Gary tells him that Rosen is there.  Outside of Binghamton, Cameron and Nina are not getting along.  Hicks tells Nina that she needs help because she is pushing everyone she knows and Nina counters by asking him if he feels like jumping off of a building. Rosen stops the bickering and tells them that there are things they need to do.  Cameron is concerned that the prisoners only want to get their hands on Rosen because he is responsible for their incarceration.  Rosen tells Cameron that if he cannot diffuse the situation that they are to come to the rescue.

Rosen is immediately confronted by Ted, the same man who attacked Bill when the alpha's chip went offline. Ted punches Rosen in the stomach and this knocks out his radio link, but before he can do more damage, Scipio says that Rosen is their guest.  When Scipio holds out his hand for Rosen to shake however, Rosen is slow to accept. 

Outside, Nina hears that Rosen is asking Scipio to see Gary and Bill but that is not on Scipio's agenda.  Nina pauses for a moment when she hears banging, but is quickly drawn back in when Scipio demands to know how Rosen can justify putting them in Binghamton and if he knows how they have been treated. Rosen admits that they are being treated deplorably and says that's why he went public with the existence of Alphas.  Scipio wants to know why they are all so screwed up and says that they are all mistakes, who are never going to be let out of Binghamton. Dr. Rosen tells them that their ability isn't the mistake, and that the mistake is in how they use it.  Scipio wants to know how to turn off his ability.

In his cell, Gary is talking about his daily routine.  Rosen notices that despite the situation that Scipio is calm and he wants to know if this is a delaying tactic.  Scipio says that maybe it just comes down to us versus them, which leads Rosen to suggest that he sounds like Stanton Parish. The conversation is interrupted when someone tells Scipio that they are ready, leading Rosen to believe that he is right about the delaying tactic. Rosen tries again to say that there is no us or them and that Scipio is not a mistake.  Before Rosen can finish, Scipio cuts him off and the computer feed temporarily.

When the cameras are turned back on, Rosen, Bill, Gary, the warden and a prison guard are tied together kneeling on the floor.  The prison guard is shot in the back of the head, as Cameron rushes into Binghamton. As Rosen is brought to his feet, they pour gasoline over his body and he is set on fire by Scipio. Nina starts to freak out watching the video, but Rachel says that he doesn't smell the burning and that the yelling and screaming is only on the monitor. She tells Hicks that it is all fake. It turns out that everyone has escaped and Rachel says that she is still hearing a banging in the south east corner.  When they head outside, the Alphas are escaping and Scipio pushes Rosen aside saying, "you're not one of us." Rachel begins to freak out from the stimulation and so Nina pushes her to believe that she is safe.

Rosen begs as Scipio puts Bill and Gary in a van.  Scipio says that he is not human and that he is an Alpha.  Hicks has a gun and they tell him to take a shot but his powers aren't stable, until Rosen tells him that it is just like throwing a quarter.  Hicks makes the shot and the van turns over.  When they get to the car, Gary and Bill are alright, but Scipio has disappeared.

Clay and Rosen are taking a walk and Clay says that they need him and his team to deal with the building seven escapees and to keep this entire incident quiet. Rosen wants to know why the government didn't think of the issues before they institutionalized the Alphas.  Clay offers Rosen a full pardon and a consulting fee like the old days.  Rosen is resistant, but Clay tells him that he should take this deal.  Rosen counters saying that he needs to run the program and decide what happens to the alphas, and that he must approve of the assignments or he is out. Uh huh, given that Rosen's credibility is questionable, I don't think he will do much better than the government. We have already seen that he is more than willing to use information gained in therapy against his team to force them to comply with his wishes. He is not an ethical man, though the show tries to portray him as such.

Back at the office, Gary is non responsive and Rachel offers him her mothers humus, which Nina points out won't get him talking, because Gary is not a dog, who will respond to treats.  It seems that bringing him to the office was Bill's idea, with the belief that familiar surroundings would make him more comfortable.  Bill tells him to look around him and points out that everyone is there and that he should greet his co-workers appropriately. In desperation, Bill offers to let Gary drive. Rosen interrupts and asks Gary what he usually does around here. Rosen puts his phone down in front of Gary and Gary calls his mother and leaves a message.  He quickly comes back to himself. I really liked the fact that the team came together to help Gary and showed concern for him, as far too often in the first season, he was treated as useful but a pain in the ass.

Back in his office, Rosen looks at an image of Stanton Parish. The camera moves to Parish talking to Daniel on a bridge. He promises Daniel better people and a better world.  It seems that Parish engineered Rosen's release from the hospital. Under the bridge which they are standing on, a train goes by and is blown up. Parish walks away and is followed by Scipio and several other Alphas.