Genre: Sci-Fi | Drama | Action
Premiere: August 22, 2011 at 10/9c
Creators: Zak Penn and Michael Karnow
Alphas stars David Strathairn (Temple Grandin, Good Night, and Good Luck), Malik Yoba (New York Undercover, Why Did I Get Married?),Warren Christie (October Road), Azita Ghanizada (Castle), Ryan Cartwright (Mad Men, Bones) and Laura Mennell (Watchmen). The Alphas team is a clandestine group of average people with amazing abilities operating within the U.S. Department of Defense. Led by Dr. Lee Rosen, a preeminent neurologist, psychiatrist and Alpha phenomena expert, the team investigates cases that point to others with Alpha abilities. As they work against the clock to solve this new brand of crime, they must prevent their own personality differences and disparate backgrounds from interfering with their ultimate mission.
Episode Summary: In this episode, Agent Sullivan, played by Valerie Cruz (Off the Map, True Blood, Dexter, The Dresden Files) charges Dr. Rosen (David Strathairn) and the Alphas team with tracking down and protecting Skylar, guest star Summer Glau (The Cape, Dollhouse, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Firefly), an Alpha and technology whiz with a penchant for amazing inventions which, in the wrong hands, could prove lethal.
YES, SUMMER GLAU! And my favorite episode to date. One of the best bits to my mind was a chase scene near the beginning that used the abilities of every Alpha on the team (except for absent Gary, Ryan Cartwright) almost like a relay race. It had a Team Superhero vibe, and although we’re often reminded that they’re not superheroes, it was nice to see them work so easily and powerfully together.
Another favorite part was an early scene with Agent Sullivan (I loved Valerie Cruz in The Dresden Files) that made her character more interesting and less like a government lackey. This view into her life made her choice, when she needed to decide whether to follow orders or take a more “human” approach to a situation, all the more effective in underscoring the theme of the episode.
Summer’s part was terrific and she looked terrific, the part and the look both being a little edgy. She was allowed some personality and some action, and her character and Alpha ability were engaging; it was a bit of a mashup with River from Firefly and Orwell from The Cape. It’s always great to see Summer, especially in a well-written role.
Don’t worry, Gary fans, you’ll be seeing him, and he is continuing to grow. In fact, all of the characters are continuing to grow. This week Dr. Rosen, mind-pushing Nina (Laura Mennell), and former FBI agent Bill (Malik Yoba) were given some good moments of character development, and I particularly enjoyed Bill‘s brief interactions with Gary and how it tied in with Bill’s when-he’s-home story.
There was enough going on in the episode to keep it moving, there were decent action scenes, and the new Alpha abilities were enviable. Factoring in the addition of Summer Glau and the continuing character development made this one of the strongest Alphas episodes yet.