Alphas Ep. 2.13, “God’s Eye”: Season closes strong and leaves plenty of future opportunities

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Alphas Review, Season 2, Episode 13, “God’s Eye”
Written by Bruce Miller
Directed by Matt Hastings
Airs Mondays at 8pm (ET) on SyFy

It’s time for the big showdown between Dr. Rosen and Stanton Parish. The entire season has been building to this moment, but it lacks the predictable fireworks of the typical finale. Suffering from the gunshot he received at the end of last week, Rosen is barely holding it together while still hoping to avenge his daughter’s murder. She appears to him as a vision of calm rage and keeps his doubts about this venture from growing too strong. It’s an interesting way to show the angry side of Rosen’s personality while his body deals with his injury. Meanwhile, Parish is making final preparations for his plan to cleanse the world of much of humanity. It’s clear the weight of this undertaking is affecting him. John Pyper-Ferguson does an excellent job using subtle mannerisms to reveal the sadness behind his confident demeanor. When he connects with Rosen at the end, he doesn’t gloat about what’s about to happen. Instead, Parish conveys the hope that his adversary will lead the survivors. This may be the last straw that softens Rosen’s resolve and keeps him from crossing the ultimate line.

“God’s Eye” chronicles the race against the clock by Bill, Kat,  Skylar, and others to stop mass murder around the world. A chance accident with construction workers gives them an opening to discover the source of Parish’s plans. This leads to a surprisingly simple solution (cut the power!) for most cities, but it isn’t so easy in New York City. A dead man’s switch is an extra challenge and requires serious work from Skylar to subvert it. It’s interesting to note how smoothly Summer Glau fits within this cast. Her character plays a key role this week despite her grumpiness about the endeavor. A back-up generator sends them to Grand Central station for a final showdown with Parish and his goons. It’s pretty silly that his last line of defense involves guys with machine guns. Where are the villains with super powers? Does he really want the plan to succeed? This gunfight does lead to an awesome moment where Bill throws Kat right over the unwitting goons. Watching her take charge and beat up the larger guys is always refreshing. It’s a fun callback to their fight in “Alpha Dogs” and is solidified when Bill shows up to punch out the leader.

Alphas’ ratings haven’t been strong this summer, but they have remained consistent. There are some rumors that a third season is possible, so hope remains. The finale ends with a stunning cliffhanger where only Gary is clearly safe. He walks through the station in a daze as his friends and many others lay motionless on the ground. Skylar saves the city, which keeps Parish’s plans localized to that spot. Unfortunately, this may be the end for at least someone on Rosen’s team. It’s a clever move that doesn’t feel like a cheat because the threat has been set up in the past. What’s even more interesting are the moments that happen just before the attack. Rosen decides not to harm Parish, but Cameron arrives and shoots him in the head. There is an easy opportunity to end his existence, but Rosen comes to his senses and convinces Cameron to stand down. There’s a sense of true understanding between the pair that getting over Dani’s death and killing Parish are unrelated. Their sense of loss and anger remain, but deciding whether to cross the line is still a choice.

The entire cast brings their best and offers a reminder about the strength of the ensemble. Ryan Cartwright shines once again as Gary stands up to Rosen and won’t abandon him. It’s a great moment and follows his mom’s Rocky II-like speech to her son. She’s still in the hospital and could have brain issues after the stroke, but clarity arrives just in time to encourage her son. While this moment is pretty obvious, it works because Cartwright sells it. Strathairn looks very haggard throughout the episode as he wills himself to keep moving. He wanders through the city and talks to himself but manages to put it together. Rosen is also dealing with the growing conflict inside about killing Parish, and Strathairn is up to the challenge. Erin Way is another superstar and does an excellent job showing how Kat isn’t ready to forgive the team’s betrayal. It takes a convincing talk from Bill to remind her of their bond. Malik Yoba doesn’t always take center stage like Cartwright and Way, but he continues his excellent work. His consistent presence is pivotal to the success of their team and this show.

There are too many great scenes to mention them all in this piece. Even though it seems random, the kiss between Cameron and Nina works because of the high stakes. Rachel and Bennett also get their moment, but it slips into the “did you say you loved me?” formula that’s used too often. Even so, the actors do their best with the material. Early on, Pyper-Ferguson has an intriguing scene after he learns that Rosen may be dead. Parish is trying to outwit his adversary, but he also respects him greatly. This conflict makes him more than a cookie-cutter bad guy. Alphas has spent much of this season revealing the thin line between hero and villain. The phrase “with great power comes great responsibility” is obvious, but it’s a fitting one for this drama. These issues play out beautifully in this fast-paced finale and show the potential of another season.

SyFy, make this happen.

Dan Heaton

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