Alphas Review, Season 2, Episode 7, “Gods and Monsters”
Written by Kira Snyder
Directed by Mairzee Almas
Airs Mondays at 8pm (ET) on SyFy
This season of Alphas has made it clear that nothing’s more powerful than control over the mind. Some villains might shoot fire or have super strength, but the true authority isn’t physical force. Nina’s tormented past reveals how much destruction is possible from mental dominance. Even when she has good intentions, there’s always danger of going too far. A prime example is Senator Burton (Lauren Holly), who nearly gets herself killed this week. Without clear direction from Nina, her brain is lost and can’t perform a simple task like crossing the street. This moment provides a telling omen for the rest of the episode, which will show just how important mind control can be to people like Stanton Parish.
This week’s Alpha is Jason Miller (Connor Price), who appeared briefly as the comatose patient causing the dangerous hallucinations in “Gaslight”. He’s awake and going to high school, but he’s not doing so well in the social realm. His ability gives him the chance to rectify this problem and make everyone love him. Of course, it also turns the classmates into mindless automatons who have little personality. Jason isn’t really a terrible guy; he just wants people to like him. All it takes is a touch for him to force people to his will. Stopping him is tricky because he can send a mob that cares little about their physical well-being. This seems like yet another tricky mission for Rosen’s team, but it’s only the beginning. When their primary foe shows up with an offer to join forces, it only complicates an already difficult situation. Parish saves Rosen’s life, but it’s clear that his interest is more than just helping his primary foe.
The interesting aspect of the Parish/Rosen confrontation this week is that both guys underestimate the other. Parish can easily take out Rosen but still believes he can turn him to their cause. He seems far too trusting and walks right into their offices like he owns the place. Rosen is walking a tightrope between stopping Jason and avoiding their destruction. He’s taking a serious chance by working with Parish, but even he doesn’t realize how far his opponent will go. When a guy is willing to use a plastic cup to slice open his own throat, this is a different level of mania. There’s no real danger to the immortal Parish, yet the move says a lot about this dedication. Unlike Rosen, Parish isn’t concerned about if his actions are ethical. He’s willing to do anything to enhance his powers and will manipulate those around him to move forward. His ultimate plan to develop a legion of mindless followers is shocking because we haven’t seen him go this far. It clarifies how serious the threat is, despite the lack of concern from Rosen’s superiors.
At the end of last week’s episode, Rosen directed Bill to search for the mole within their group. It seemed clear that the investigation would ignore Danni, though it was only a matter of time before she was caught. This week’s climax sets up that conflict after Rosen inadvertently discovers this stunning information. He connects with Parish inside of Jason’s mind, which doesn’t really make sense but provides a compelling montage. Rosen now understands his foe’s history, but he also must confront the reality of his daughter’s betrayal. It’s clear that she doesn’t realize the carnage her assistance has wrought and is trying to help her dad. It’s unlikely that will excuse her from serious consequences next week. Similar to Hank’s discovery on Breaking Bad last week, the happenstance of Rosen learning the truth is a bit silly. However, this type of luck is probably needed to have a chance against a mastermind like Parish. He seems to be one step ahead of Rosen’s team every week, and they’re scrambling to play catch up with his devious schemes.
“Gods and Monsters” is a tense episode that effectively moves the ongoing story forward. While Jason’s motivations aren’t that interesting, the sight of a crowd of students threatening to destroy everyone is memorable. They’ve almost like the zombies on The Walking Dead who move with a singular goal. It’s a striking amount of power that could morph into something even nastier under the tutelage of a guy like Parish. The related story of Nina deciding to help the doctors fix Senator Burton’s mind offers an emotional counterpoint. She understands the possible consequences but can’t sit by and watch her actions destroy someone. The greater good of stopping Parish could make it worthwhile, but it doesn’t take much to become just like him. Rosen is always dealing with that danger and hasn’t pushed aside that hazard yet. While the threat from his enemy grows, he must continue to push the envelope or risk losing everything.