Thursday, July 21, 2011

Round Two: Alphas

Alphas: Season 1, Episode 2 “Cause & Effect” (B)

I’m not sure this episode grabbed my attention the same way the first installment did, and it’s definitely not quite as enthralling. That said, there’s still plenty of cleverness and smart construction in it, even if it’s not as strong as last week’s series premiere. If nothing else, it’s an intense character study, with Dr. Rosen having tremendous insight into the various Alphas, something which no one else, especially not the agents, seems to have. Agents Sullivan and Clay are hard-headed and stubborn the way that federal agents on shows like this always are, though Clay is definitely bolder than most, planting himself as a target in order to draw out Marcus. Will McCormack turned in a fine performance as Marcus Ayers, and the cause and effect sequences created by his abilities were pretty cool. His conversations with Dr. Rosen were just as intriguing, noting that he missed Dr. Rosen’s belief that trajectories can be altered even once the dominoes fall and that he had one move left, to take over the chess board. Ultimately, it’s Dr. Rosen espousing the attitude of “us and them” instead of “us vs. them,” an optimistic view that will surely never come to be broadly accepted. In terms of the other Alphas, their interactions continue to be entertaining. Rachel listening with her abilities and proving to Gary that there was no hum was amusing, and her delivery of “I’m scanning, let me concentrate” is appropriately dorky for the science fiction nerd in all of us.

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