Alphas 2.04 "When Push Comes To Shove" REVIEW

TV REVIEW Mind games

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Alphas 2.04 “Alpha Dogs” TV REVIEW

(opens in new tab)

Episode 2.04
Writer: Adam Levy
Director: Omar Madha

THE ONE WHERE A spate of crimes carry all the hallmarks of Nina’s Alpha power, and Rosen sets out to stop her.

VERDICT Nina hasn’t been the most interesting of Alphas, but this week she was given some much-needed back story and proved herself to be a genuine risk to society. Not a bad week for the push-happy maneater all told.

In fact, pushing the Stanton Parish arc aside for a week to concentrate on Nina’s off-the-reservation power abuse showcased a lot of the things that Alphas does best. A super-powered thriller interspersed with revealing and at times highly emotive flashbacks, absorbing character developments and a delicate moral quandary on Rosen’s part, there’s nothing here not to like. There was even a topless Gary for the ladies, and a bit of girl-on-girl snogging for, well, anyone who’s into that sort of thing (certainly not us, I was busy pondering the ethical dimension of Nina’s actions at the time, naturally).

Nina proved to be much more than the sultry mind-manipulator she’s often come across as, and the impact of her powers on those around her was cleverly explored. Her pushing of her father, leading to his eventual suicide, and the heartbreaking glimpse of Nina pushing herself in a window reflection, opened up a door into her psyche that suddenly made Rosen’s long-held interest in her make perfect sense.

Rosen, meanwhile, continues his awkward balancing act between keeping his government paymasters happy while providing the sort of care he feels his alphas deserve. Nina’s alpha ability could bring down governments – a sizeable threat – but Rosen is the only one to understand that she needs therapy (and lots of it) rather than incarceration.

This week’s focus on Nina was so well handled that I barely even noticed the lack of Stanton Parish and his Alpha army for a week. Nice of them to put their war on hold while Rosen dealt with Nina – I can’t help but wish they’d swoop in and save us from John and Rachel’s burgeoning romance though.

It’s an awkward entanglement that we could all do without, the horribly obvious overtones of their relationship dropping all around (you mean she’s got super-powered senses, but he’s emotionally sensitive? That’s deep, man). I’m not normally the sort of bloke to cheer on the death of a character, but when Hicks shot him, I was genuinely thankful. Of course, my joy was promptly skewered by John’s handy bullet-proof vest. Next time, you boring bastard…

Elsewhere, we got to see the repercussions of Gary living at the desk (which once again resulted in Gary getting the best line of the week), and new girl Kat finding her feet with the help of a bit of classic Rosen therapising. She’s a lot of fun and has a power that’s on a level with Gary’s in terms of general coolness. Hopefully Rosen’s memory-building tactics will ensure she’s around long enough to gain full Alpha status.

BEST BIT When Cameron saves Nina from her rooftop plunge: it was a stunt worthy of a Lethal Weapon film.

Gary: “Yeah, I call it my fruit.”

Rob Power

Alphas season two is currently airing in the UK on 5*, Tuesdays at 10pm

• Read our other Alphas season two reviews

More info

Available platformsTV
Dave Golder
Freelance Writer

Dave is a TV and film journalist who specializes in the science fiction and fantasy genres. He's written books about film posters and post-apocalypses, alongside writing for SFX Magazine for many years.