Alphas 2.11 “If Memory Serves” TV REVIEW
Writers: Terri Hughes, Ron Milbauer
Director: Allan Koeker
THE ONE WHERE Rosen captures a vital part of Stanton Parish’s operation.
VERDICT It’s Sean Astin! Hooray! And what do you know, he’s playing nice-but-slightly-dim character, who wants to go home, is incredibly personable and turns out to be important. Oh, and he spends a significant chunk of his screen time wandering through the wilderness trying to avoid a seemingly invulnerable enemy. While Astin’s role might sound familiar, his sprinkling of stardust did the job and helped lift Alphas out of its recent rut in an episode all about memory.
As Stanton Parish’s walking memory stick, Mitchell is automatically a key piece in Rosen’s ongoing chess match with the 200 year-old danger to society. These episodes concentrating on Parish and Rosen’s conflict are always the most compelling, and so it goes this week. The glimpse into Parish’s psychology is fascinating, and it turns out he’s not the sociopath Rosen had him pegged for. The good doctor is a changed man though, something that was hinted at last week but which we can now see all the more clearly. His face as he burned Parish’s cabin and threw Mitchell into Building Seven burned with pure, stone-hearted revenge.
It wasn’t only Mitchell whose memories were under investigation this week. Nina’s relentless pushing of the senator was bound to come back to haunt her, but in the end it was a disappointingly brief problem. Rosen seems more confident in his jurisdiction and more than happy to step on any toes that step in his way, which looks promising for the rest of the season but made the senator sub-plot something of a damp squib.
Easily the most upsetting memory-based reveal of the episode was Kat’s, though, the poor love. When Mitchell revealed that the only memory she has, which she was convinced was her mother but was actually from an advert, you couldn’t help but feel for her. On the up side, she doesn’t appear to be forgetting anything at all anymore, instead turning into a human multi-tool. This should be much more annoying than it actually it – Erin Way is doing a great job of keeping Kat interesting, not irritating.
Gary had his share of heartbreak this week as well, with his mother having a series of strokes. He felt sidelined this week though, as did Bill (now coping with a new baby) and Rachel (now coping with doing the dirty), peripheral stories in an episode that didn’t really need them. I’d like to have seen more of Rosen’s interview with Mitchell and really delved into Parish’s memories rather than, say, visit the hospital with Gary, but c’est la vie . Rosen is sure to deploy his new Parish knowledge soon – definitely something to look forward to.
WAS IT JUST US OR…? Was there something a little bit Terminator about The Caretaker who was chasing Mitchell, Cam and Kat, even down to visual cues.
Kat: “Since when did I turn into Tonto?”
Alphas season two is currently airing in the UK on 5*, Tuesdays at 10pm
• Read our other Alphas season two reviews