Writer: Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Director: Matt Hastings
The One Where: As Rosen rots in prison, the highly dangerous Alpha inmates at Binghamton mount an escape bid.
Verdict: After Rosen blew the lid right off the Alpha phenomenon at the end of season one, you might be expecting a whole new world for Alphas this time round. For the first 25 minutes or so of “Wake Up Call”, that’s exactly what you get, but it's not an Alphas-out-in-the-open style shift.
Picking up eight months after Rosen’s all-stations broadcast, we find our happy band of Alphas in quite a state. Rosen has been drugged, banged up and branded a crazy person by the US government. Bill and Hicks have reverted to type, working steady jobs for the government taking down rogue Alphas and locking them up in high-security hell-hole Building Seven. Nina is out gallivanting round town and is back to her old tricks, pushing moneyed city-types into buying her whatever she wants. Rachel is in sensory over-load, refusing to leave her room, but most shockingly Gary has ended up a zombified inmate of Building Seven.
There have clearly been some developments between seasons. Both Hicks and Bill are encountering serious problems, especially Hicks, who is now a sharpshooter unable to shoot anything in particular. But big-picture, things haven’t changed too much. Rosen’s announcement seems to have largely been covered up or discredited, and it’s a little disappointing to see. Instead of Alphas evolving into a show that deals with Alphas living in a world that is aware of their existence, it reverts to the familiar structure by the time the credits roll.
As the linchpin of the show, it was always obvious that Rosen was going to find a way out of his cell, but it happened so conveniently that there was little point having him in there in the first place. There were some fascinating hints at his former life dropped by his daughter, though – an acid bust, anyone? But by the end of the episode, the reset button had been firmly smashed, with the old team back together and Rosen back in charge.
Thankfully, there are some promising looking storylines ahead. Stanton Parish, that ageless scallywag, looks set to ruffle more than a few feathers, firstly through his recruitment of Rosen’s daughter, but also via his penchant for blowing up trains (and explosive conclusion only brought down by some patchy looking FX). Meanwhile Building Seven is an escalation in the concentration camp style conditions captured Alphas have to endure, further blurring the already muddied morality of Rosen – and his team’s – position.
Best Line: Gary: "It's important to wear pants when you leave the house"