Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Alphas Season Two, Episode Six: Alphaville

This episode begins with Rosen and Bill examining experiments that the government started during the cold war to test the limits of the human neurological system.  Rosen is hoping to figure out why Parish had the senator fast track FDA approval of his device because he believes that the device is a crucial part of Parish's war plans.  Bill suggests that the device be handed over to Clay in the morning because it constitutes evidence, but Rosen says that it is going to Skylar because he believes she is the only one who can figure out what this machine does. This is of course after having Kat try examine it.

The next morning, Rachel is having breakfast with John and she is clearly disturbed and overwhelmed by the atmosphere in the diner.  John tries to calm her nerves by claiming that health inspectors eat there. Rachel says that she has to get going but refuses to tell John where because Rosen is being paranoid about security. At the office, Gary is making clear that he does not want to go but Rosen says that once Stanton Parish finds out that they have the device, he is going to come looking for it and Gary is too important to be left behind. When Nina shows up late, the team is not welcoming.  It seems that now that she cannot pay for her Bentley, it has been repossessed.  Rosen tries to calm the groups nerves by saying that Nina is going to use her ability for the good of others.  UH HUH, what he really means is, "I am going to control Nina through manipulation, don't worry folks, got it covered."  Hicks is on the phone with Dani and she is not impressed when she learns that Nina is back on the team.  Hicks assures her that she does not have to worry, but Dani's concern is not Hicks but the threat Nina poses. As soon as Hicks hangs up the phone Dani texts someone with the message, "they are on they way."

In the car, Rosen has Gary call Skylar, who immediately hangs up on him.  Unfortunately from this contact, Gary is able to trace her signal. Two men stop the van but when Gary reveals they are feds, they send attempt to send them on their way.  Hicks attempts to move forward and one man uses his alpha ability to stop the van. Skylar appears and tells the men to back off but makes it clear that Rosen is no friend to her and tells him to go home.  Skylar walks and Rosen says, "I know I promised that I would never contact you again but this is important."  When Nina brings the device to Skylar, she is not all interested and walks away, so Rosen of course points out the risk he took helping her in season one.

Skylar is not impressed but leads them to an old abandoned summer camp filled with Alpha refugees, hiding from the neurotypical world and from Rosen. Bill and Hicks are chatting and, Bill suggests that they all stay aware because there could be Parish sympathizers everywhere. He says this even as children are playing around them.  I cannot for the life of me understand how Bill can be so obtuse.  He's seen first hand what happens and Binghamton, but somehow it's these alphas who present a threat. 

Skylar breaks down the device mentally and says it's a photic stimulator, which Rosen already knew Zoe runs in and immediately starts touching things and Rosen distracts her by getting her to pretend to blow a bubble and then to draw a picture for him.  Skylar is impressed and Rosen answers, "I've had experience raising and equally spirited one of my own."  Yes, isn't he wonderful, that is if we ignore that he experimented on Dani.  Can you tell I despise Rosen? 

Gary is not impressed by the camps because there are no signals. Bill tells him that after awhile he will learn to appreciate a place like this.  As Gary is walking, a hive of bees start to swarm and he swings his arms wildly until they meet Claude -- the founder of this colony -- who uses his powers to send the bees on their way.  Bill asks about security arrangements, but Claude makes it clear that they all get along and have never had any incidents. Gary wants to know if Claude is responsible for the lack of signals, and Claude responds that it is not dead there because nature is crawling with symbols, if you are open to them. 

It seems that Skylar and Rosen are bonding over the difficulty of raising an Alpha. Claude enters and Rosen introduces himself but Claude simply says, "I know who you are," and refuses to shake Rosen's hand. Claude excuses himself saying that he will see them at dinner. Rosen  asks if it was something he said, and Skylar responds that letting the world know about alphas, did not earn him any friends there.  Skylar gets up to leave for dinner and Rosen packs up the device.  When Skylar tells him to leave it there, Rosen says that he prefers to have it with him, to which Skylar responds, "you should see a shrink about those trust issues." 

Gary decides that he is going to walk back to the office because he doesn't have his things.  Bill follows him saying that this is a part of his job. Gary stops suddenly and looks up at a star, which irritates Bill because they are not there to look at stars.  Gary points out that some stars send out radio waves. Gary keeps walking and sees the aurora borealis, but what they don't realize, is that a man is standing right behind them with a weapon. As  Rosen's team sit down to eat, another group of Alphas discusses taking the machine.

At dinner, Bill is clearly not impressed with the food and Gary is in awe of the signals he is picking up from nature. Skylar does the mom thing and tells Zoe no dessert unless she eats her supper.  Nina is impressed by Skylar's domestic side and even points out that she got rid of her tats.  Skylar flashes a light on her arm and the tats become visible, causing Nina to say, "I thought this was a place where Alphas could be free to be themselves."  Skylar responds, "not me, I'm just here for Zoe."  Skylar picks up on the tension between Nina and Hicks and Nina says that Rosen's team are not exactly happy to have her around and suggests that she should stay there with Skylar.  Nina goes on to say that she ruined it and now when she is with them, she just feels alone. 

At a table, Rachel comments she likes the honey wine that Claude made.  He responds "it's human nature to exploit the special abilities of other species."  Of course Rosen picks up on the dig and says, "Perhaps, but it could also be perceived as two groups working together for their mutual benefit and when one disengages from that bond, both suffer."  Claude asks if Rosen has ever had a brick thrown through his window, and if he has ever been persecuted for who he is.  This is a valid question even beyond and Alpha conversation because Rosen is White, able bodied, class privileged, straight and cisgendered.  It does not get anymore privileged than him. Rachel interrupts to say that "Rosen has spent his career working against exactly that kind of intolerance". Claude responds, "His career? This is our lives I'm talking about and we did not elect you to be our spokesman. You're not one of us and you never will be.  You're just an outsider looking in."  I love this call out because it presents why privileged people who want to help marginalized people need to listen and follow their lead rather than attempting to set an agenda because they don't understand all of the issues involved. Trust Rosen to completely miss this message because he responds, "What would you do if you knew your bee colonies were about to collapse? Wouldn't you try to stop it?"

Rosen is walking by himself and he is attacked by Gower who asks, "why did you try to kill me?"  He starts to kick Rosen and the machine and so Hicks picks up a rock and throws it at the attackers throat, while Bill pulls out his gun.  Claude marches over and orders the weapons put away saying he does not allow violence. Rosen says that Claude should talk to his man because he didn't start anything. Gower says that his life fell apart because of him and that not only did his wife leave him, she took their kids, because Rosen opened his mouth. Rosen responds, "I opened my big mouth because it was absolutely necessary. If you'll just let me explain." But before Rosen can finish, Claude interrupts and sends Gower on his way.  When Rosen tries to object, Claude says, "you can spend the night here, but I want you gone by morning."

In the morning, Gary is walking by himself picking up symbols from nature. As Rachel and Skylar attempt to fix the machine, Rachel finds control circuits embedded within the wires themselves.  Rosen points out that they don't have much time, because Claude wanted them out first thing in the morning. When Skylar responds lucky them, Rachel says that she and Zoe are welcome to come with them.  Skylar says that she is there for Zoe but it was so much easier when she was alone.  Zoe overhears this and runs for the door. Rosen instructs Rachel to turn the machine off but she accidentally zaps herself and has a seizure.  As Skylar looks for Zoe, she is interrupted by Gary, who says that he wants a cabin there.

Rachel is on the ground and Rosen tells her that what she is experiencing is a heightening of her own ability and she needs to go through her protocols to control it. Skylar continues to run through the wood looking for Zoe as Bill picks up Rachel and carries her out of the cabin. What Skylar does not know is that she is surrounded by Alphas, who have made themselves invisible. She is finally confronted by two alphas who want the machine back and they drop Zoe's toy, making it clear that they have her.  Back at the van, Gary makes it clear that he wants to stay, but none of the team supports him. Rosen heads back to Skylar's office and discovers that the machine is gone.

Skylar confronts Scipio and shows him that machine but refuses to hand it over until she gets Zoe.  Rosen catches up and begs Skylar not to hand over the machine because Scipio works for Stanton Parish.  Skylar says that Scipio has Zoe and that Rosen is the reason why they are there.  When she turns her head, Scipio makes a grab for the weapon Skylar was holding against his chest. Scipio burns Skylar causing her to fall to the ground and Rosen uses the machine to zap him.  Skylar is upset because now she believes she won't be able to find Zoe, but Rosen promises that they will and says that they have to get to the van.

As they are driving away, Rachel orders them to stop because she hears a child 1/4 of a mile away who is breathing hard and is scared.  Hicks and Bill head out but when Skylar attempts to leave, Rosen says that she has to wait because it is too dangerous.  Skylar takes off saying, "I'm not waiting, she's my child." Scipio comes to and discovers that his powers have been amplified and he sets fire to the building that he was laid out in. Rahel says that she smells the fire and that it is headed towards the camp and Rosen hops in the drivers seat.

Cameron has a bit of battle, but with Bill's help they manage to subdue the woman guarding Zoe.  When all of them head for the exit, they are greeted by Scipio, who sets it on fire. When Rosen makes it back to the camp, he grabs Gary and asks Claude what he can do.  Claude runs by and says, "haven't you done enough."  Skylar does a Macgyver job and builds a fire extinguisher with the tools there.  Cameron tells Skylar to just take off and Bill helps him out of the building. 

Skylar and Zoe are in a diner when they are approached by Stanton Parish.  He says that a child like Zoe needs an environment that she can thrive in. He apologizes for his team and says that he wants to give her the chance to help make the world a better place. At the office, John goes in to see Rachel saying that he heard she had a rough trip.  Rachel and John finally share their first kiss.  Dani comes to see Hicks and apologizes when she realizes that he has been hurt. Not knowing her involvement, Hicks says that it is not her fault. In his office, Rosen has the machine sitting in his office, and Bill says, "let me guess you told Clay that machine got burned up in the fire." Rosen admits that he did and Bill responds, "one of these days doc, that crap is going to come back and bite you in the ass."  When Rosen asks what's on Bill's Minds he says, "Scipio knew that we were going to be there." Rosen surmises that someone close to them is working with Parish and now he wants Bill to vet everyone and asks him not to tell anyone else.