Alphas 2.05 “Gaslight” TV REVIEW(opens in new tab)
Writer: Terri Hughes Burton. Ron Milbauer
Director: Leslie Libman
THE ONE WHERE An Alpha goes loco in a hospital, causing the team to investigate. Meanwhile, Rosen and Nina attempt to get closer to Stanton Parish.
VERDICT After last week’s well-handled rollercoaster, Alphas returns with a maddeningly inconsistent episode that makes you wonder whether the writers are talking to each other.
Let’s recap: in the previous episode, Nina went off the reservation, posed a serious threat to herself and society at large, and ended up in a bed, blindfolded and restrained. Which makes it not only baffling but also incredibly annoying that she simply strolls back in to the office this week. No guard, no security protocol, nothing. Like she wasn’t effectively kidnapping people and robbing banks what can only really be a matter of days – weeks at most – ago (unless Alphas is running on a bizarrely extended timeline, which let’s face it, it isn’t).
As if all that weren’t enough, the second she’s back in the door, Rosen is asking her to use her powers. That’s right, the super-sensitive friend of the Alphas pretty much forces his most vulnerable patient into doing something she clearly doesn’t want to do. And not only that, he wants to force her outside of her comfort zone into entirely new realms of dangerous head-screwing, simply to follow up a lead on something that he literally didn’t give a solitary fig about last week.
Let’s put all this Nina stuff aside for a moment and take a look at the hospital plot, maybe there’s something of interest there. Ah. No. Sorry, not really, my bad. Fright-free horror-by-numbers, it singularly failed to elicit a single shiver from me. Perhaps if you’re of a more sensitive disposition, you’ll have been cowering behind the sofa, but I seriously doubt it.
The entire hospital episode appears to serve a single, overly contrived purpose – to bring Rosen into contact with a Photic Stimulator that has some tenuous link to a charity linked to Stanton Parish. As unconvincing plot contrivances go, it’s a real corker.
It wasn’t all bad this week: there was no John for example, so that’s a win all round, and Gary is getting brilliantly spiky as his independence grows. It seems like he’s starting some sort of Twitter-based revolution, arguably the single genuinely interesting plot development this week. The only other point of interest was Cat, whose mind is slowly being unravelled by Rosen. Watching her become a professional artist in order to draw the woman from her memory was touching as well as impressive. We definitely need to see more of her.
Minor plus points aside, this was a disappointing episode from Alphas , a show that I’ve come to expect much, much more from. Half-baked and thoroughly unsatisfactory, here’s hoping Alphas bucks its ideas up next week.
Gary (to Anna): “Are you haunting me?”
Alphas season two is currently airing in the UK on 5*, Tuesdays at 10pm
• Read our other Alphas season two reviews