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Alphas: A Return to Abnormal

Alphas S02E01: "Wake Up Call"

It took a while, almost the entire episode, but once Rosen's team of Alphas cracked Gary's shell and got the kid talking again, it was great to have Alphas back. Though the Syfy series is full of people with superhuman abilities, an imminent war between people who have powers and people who don't, and questions of government corruption, the best part of the show is when the main characters just hang out with each other and act anything but spectacular. So there was Bill calling Gary a bastard, and there was Gary squeamish when his friends tried to hug him, and there was Rachel worried that smelly things had been left in her office while she was away. Alphas has always had that seen-it-before tag prematurely slapped onto it (and with good reason), but it's the show's characters and the way they engage with each other that makes Alphas more than just Law & Order: Heroes.

But before we could get to that point, fallout from the Season 1 finale had to be dealt with, and that's pretty much what the Season 2 premiere, "Wake Up Call," was limited to. It didn't try to do too much except give us the lowdown about where people were during the off-season, and then it went about bringing them back together. So let's remember where we were at the end of Season 1 in one sentence, shall we? Rosen made waves by bravely UStreaming his Congressional chat to the public, in which he confirmed the existence of Alphas for all the world to see. Flash forward eight months to "Wake Up Call," and Rosen was committed to a mental institution. It's disappointing that his words didn't shake the foundation of society like we thought they would, and that Rosen could be muzzled with a simple "This guy is crazy" and a room at the local Looney Bin.

While this turn does belittle the impact of the excellent end-speech of the Season 1 finale, it does allow the show to continue to operate with the same parameters of the first season. Alphas are still things of legend to the public, Binghamton is still covered up, and our Alpha friends can run around being the good guys. We're back to square one, guys! Now we just have to get the gang back together.

When we checked in with everyone eight months later, they were all split up. Rosen was in crazy prison, Bill and a hairier Hicks were working with Clay and the USDoD, Rachel was at home annoyed by the sounds of everything, Nina was pushing her way into shopping sprees and fake dates with handsome men (and yelling at homeless people), and Gary, poor Gary, was working for the NSA and then being thrown in Building 7 of Binghamton where he was pacified with a bunch of other dangerous goons.

It was there in Building 7, where the most dangerous rogue Alphas are kept, that much of the action took place. The inmates—surprise!—used Alpha powers to gain control and have drawn-out debates about whether Alphas are humans with super powers or something greater, but it was all just filler to get to the real point, and that was to have all of Building 7 escape so we could have a guideline for Season 2.

Clay asked Rosen to help him recapture the escapees, and Rosen used leverage to gain full control over the operation, including getting to pick his team and being guaranteed that there'd be no outside interference from the government. And just like that, the reset button was kicked in and the DCIS was back together catching bad guys. Now we can all go ahead and forget an eight-month time jump ever happened. It feels a bit like the writers writing themselves out of the corner they painted themselves into during the Season 1 finale, but isn't catching bad guys what we want to see the DCIS do? It may be an indication that Alphas wasn't quite ready to take that leap to the next level, but we were all plenty happy at the old level anyway.



Notes

– Really dug the fight in the supermarket and the Wolfmother soundtrack was a nice bonus. I forgot how much fun Alpha fights can be. I'd love to see that Asian guy with the supersonic throat-singing do karaoke.

– I watched an advanced screener of this episode, so I didn't get to see all the special effects. How did the train crash at the end look?

– One of the things "Wake Up Call" did well was show how instrumental Dr. Rosen is to the team. Remember, when this guy started the DCIS, most of the main characters were lost souls who needed his guidance.

– Hicks: "Douchebag." Bill: "That would be aisle 3, Hicks."

– There seem to be a lot of duplicate Alpha powers, and we saw both Bill's super-strength and Nina's powers to push in bad guys in this episode. I guess that's reasonable and would probably happen?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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I really enjoyed this. Far more than I did Warehouse 13. But there is a lot of The 4400 coming back to me in this and that gives me a sad.



The train wreck looked really good as far as special effects. That is came on the heals of a rather eloquent speech was admirably tragic. Wasn't Anna a threat for being too violent? Well I guess she was a threat to Statton's rule, too. And that is why he had her killed.



I am just not sure how exciting this impending war can be. Its been done on so many shows before...
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Rosen being locked up for what he did and it all being swept under the rug is very realistic. Anyone who expected some big sweeping change out of it may not have been thinking it through quite enough. If some guy got up in front of congress and started talking about the existence of Aliens, you'd think he was a nutter too... common sense, it's a thing.



Thought this was a great episode. It really sets up the rest of the season and gives us a clear villain for our team to work against. Can't ask for much more.
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Very good start to a very good show. I understand the non-impact of Rosen's words from the season 1 finale for two reasons:

1. Boasting that people with powers truly exist and they're all around us. It sounds freaking insane! .

2. The US Government had 8 months to cover it up. If there is one thing the Government is good at, its taking conspiracies and making them sound ludicrous.



The action was fun to watch too. From all the craziness happening in building 7 to the train crash at the end, I was definitely tuned in the whole time, including the supermarket break-in in the beginning. I still believe in Rosen's words and cause. It still seems Parrish is one hell of a mission, and the eventual war of Government vs Alphas is more prevalent than ever. I still can't stand what Binghampton stands for, but what Parrish is doing is just as dangerous.



The breakout has definitely opened a lot of doors for season 2 and I can't wait to find out what happens next.
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Better than first season. I'm really looking forward to the season 2.
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I think it's too soon to tell, but how many shows have used the premise of gathering a group of fugitives versus the format of season 1, which was "Alphas are among us." Probably a lot more. This could conceivably work if some of the recognizable villains from the last scene of the premiere are recurring, but doesn't this format kind of mandate all Red Flag all the time, as opposed to the season 1 format where Red Flag would pop up every few weeks but there was room for episodes like "Never Let Me Go" and the cult episode?
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Poor man's Heroes and Heroes was poor after the first series. Banality personified.
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I think banal would be better used to describe this post.
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I was really looking forward to the season's premiere and I was not disappointed...

Having said that... it seems that both sides, Dr. Rosen's and Parrish are marshalling forces, this season's showdown better be good!

And yes, I do enjoy the characters a lot. Let's wait...
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Great Episode. I missed this show so much. Each episode i hope i hope they don't screw it up, and somwhow they managed never to disappoint me. I don't think that the reset diminished anything. You saw the fallout of Dr. Rosens speech, although it wasn't as profund as we might have expected. But There are Tabloids now refering to Alphas and people walking down the street shouting about it. But i am guessing Dr. Rosen speech would have made the most impact for other Alphas. People who didn't know who or what they were suddenly heard they were not alone, had a word to call themselves. Alphas.

I like that the team is back together and how the writer managed to do just that. The action is good, there is an overarching story and a bad guy, great characters and relationships. So far it continues on the right track.
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I really don't understand how much of anything a man Bill's size does could be considered adorable, especially calling someone a bastard. But that's exactly what it was when Bill called Gary a bastard. "Greet me you bastard" Adorable!
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must say I am disappointed that they took the easy way out, very disappointed. An it sounds like it ruins all of the build up of last season of Rosen finally growing a pair only to return to his pay masters with them cut off again.



Yes they undid the final episode and it obvious that this is not what the original show creators had planned, after all they were replace by Syfy lackies and it shows.
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Anyone else catch the blatant product placement in Rachel's room?
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People seriously need to get a grip. The impact of the finale didn't have any impact on the first episode of this season? Are you kidding me. Rosen on in jail, team scattered, and Alpha's causing more of ruckus isn't a impact? Come on people. Moving on. Love the episode. With the team disbanded you tell how much the team needed Rosen. How Cameron missed a shot he should have made, Rachel became a shut in, Nina back to her old tricks and Gary was put in an environment he couldn't handle. Speaking of Gary I still think he saw something at the NSA he wasn't supposed to see.



While SyFy was showing what was coming up this season I noticed that there will be a new cast member joining the crew. Looking forward to what the rest of the reason brings.
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It had a impact on the team, everyone was expect it to have an impact of the whole world, to change game from the team vs other Alphas, to the team vs Alphas vs government.



Instead we have the team just becoming government lackies again and it only a matter of time before last season episode is repeated again or the government decides Rosen and his team have outlive their usefulness.
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How exactly is the word of ONE discredited doctor supposed to change the world? The show has based itself in a realistic place, and what you wanted was so very unrealistic.



Rosen had the options of being labelled a crazy person and spending the rest of his life in that place, or being placed back into his old job with more control over it. He made the small change he could make, he's just a man.



People are so bloody naive sometimes.
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Given that he was in front of the senate committee that seem happy to listen to him until he decided that the entire world needed to know what he was going to saying, even dragging him off. There was some powerful people in that room, all clearly shown on camera,, they were powerful senators, discredit scientist don't get far unless they are talking fact that is simple logic. The media, even Fox news would be like rabit rabies invested dog tearing that story apart until they found out one, how the biggest hack of the century got pulled, two why did the senate book a meeting with Rosen, three are there really mutants out their.

They gave hints several times during season 1 that the government was hiding stuff, secrets and knew more about Alphas than they were letting everyone know, even Dr Rosen
An they spent the entire season building up the three way conflict as well.

He also had a third option, which was to plan for the civil war before he went into the senate hearing so they didn't lock him up. He had Garry hack every communication platform in the world, he clearly had a plan,.

But that all change when syfy chose to change writers and programme runner and turn the show into a generic, boring good vs versus evil, with the American government being on the good side after they slaughtered a bunch of civilians, an garry girlfriend, all of the depth and story they built up during season 1 disappeared in season 2 .

Season 1 was a monotones of grey, season 2 was black and white, evil vs good.
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I can understand why people are disapointed that the speech at the end of season 1 didn't have more impact. But I like that it didn't, as it is more realistic. After all Rosen only TOLD the public about alpha's he didn't provide any visual proof. I would have been more disappointed if the public had taken it at face level. I have really missed this show, but like Tim says my fav bits are watching the alpha's play off one another - mainly watching Bill wind up Gary. I can't wait 'til next week now that they have all the filler stuff out of the way. I am curious to see how this season develops.
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Actually he did provide proof, he uploaded all the files and evidence he had on the internet along with the transmission.
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Because everyone knows the internet is a fountain of truths.



Anyone or Anything can be discredited with enough money and power. Welcome to the real world, it's not pretty.
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It pretty easy to tell whether a document is faked or not, plus you got the doctor who was in an official meeting, where the senators were prepared to see him and allowed him to make a speech.





The media would be all over this, people who kept their power secret would decide to show themselves. Stories, videos that people kept secret because they thought they would be declared crazy,. Plus the way it was done, how could an insane doctor hack into every broadcast in the US in one go to beam his message, that alone would cause the media to go crazy wanting more answers than it just an insane doctor,
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Dude, do you have anything constructive to say or are you just here to contradict everyone else?



I am surprised the conspiracy theorists didn't have a field day with that upload.
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Bad episode, bad show.



So the only effect that speech had was to get the boss guy committed to a mental hospital. I would have expected his team to bust him out quickly, but instead we get to see them 8 months later, when two of them have sold out to the dark side and are now working to put all alphas except themselves behind bars, while a third member of the team has become a serial rapist with no regard for other people. Will that guy she told to stop talking ever be able to talk again?



Not sure if I'll watch it again. Right now I'm thinking no.
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Hope you don't mind being spoiled. Everything you just asked for, is coming in the rest of season 2. I've read the spoilers, this show is gonna get interesting.
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I wish tv.com had a thumbs down button. It's just the first episode of the 2nd season, get a grip.
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I think I love you.
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Aside from my disappointment at the lack of impact of what happened in the season 1 finale, this episode was a lot of fun. I thought there'd have been a fairly bigger impact made by Dr. Rosen's speech than a guy walking around ranting about Alphas -- seriously, crazy people yelling in streets are the quickest deterrents and discreditors -- but this approach is okay, too. Just... a bit too safe, I guess.
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Exactly - it feels a bit easy to just reset and go back to the same though I hope we're being tricked into thinking it is all back to normal and in instead things go wilder with more of an arc plot involving that Stanton guy....



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This episode was a disappointment only because it seemed like the producers didn't have the guts to stick by what they set up at the end. Heroes may have been a wreck after season 1, but at least it tried to be honest with the changes it was making. Here we have what essentially feels like a pilot for the series, except this show's actual pilot a season ago was far better. Also, they really did a poor job spelling out the big threats, except to CGI budgets - that poor train crash looked so good and yet also so bad.
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The show runner was replace. If anything it was Syfy that did not have the guts to stick with what the writers have spent first season setting up.
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The train crash looked terrible, otherwise good episode. Glad it's back on TV.
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The only issue I have with the way season 2 starts is how dependent they all seem to be on Rosen. We get it; he's the glue, the father figure, the professor x. I can't help but feel a little let down at how they all fall apart especially after seeing the characters establish themselves and develop so well in season 1. That's just bad therapy. I think this season could determine the show's future. Lets hope it's a good one.
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The characters fell apart as a group, but I don't think they necessarily fell apart individually.



Nina seemed as strong as ever, except she just resorted back to her old "all about me" ways. Gary was okay -- albeit at a desk job -- until somebody that didn't know or care about his needs decided to touch him. Bill seemed relatively the same. Hicks was almost the same except for a slight problem with focus. Rachel was the only one I'd say fell apart, and from what I remember from season 1, she was the most dependent and high maintenance member of the group anyway.



Also, the problems any or all of them faced may not have come from dependence to Dr. Rosen, but maybe from disappointment and surrender after seeing Rosen's failed attempt at changing the public view regarding Alphas.
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I don't really have anything to say about your comment. I just wanted to say I like your username.
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Well, it's not like the doctor in a group therapy got replaced or something. He was taken by the government, discredited, the the remainder had to work for the very people that feared and despised them and could make them "disappear" if they felt like it.

Rosen was the main force pushing back against the government to treat them better... without him things went South.

It would be easy to slip into bad habits with all of that going on. Especially if there is no new therapist and your only support is other people that are equally devastated and afraid.
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To your point that the writers copped out on the season 1 finale, I'd say the main writer from season 1, Ira Steven Behr, has left. Fortunately, Robert Hewitt Wolfe is still there, so the season 2 premiere at least wasn't as different from the first season as I feared. I'm not sure if the Brimstone/Time Trax premise of capturing the Building 7 escapees interests me as much as the "Alphas among us" structure of season 1, but Alphas is still the only time I go near the Syfy Channel now. I think the most interesting part of the current set-up is Rosen's daughter being BFF's with Stanton Parrish and Rosen not knowing it. I hope both Rosen's and Hicks' facial hair is here for the duration. The opening credits still flash by too fast though.
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I love how you start out with good inside business info about the writers, move into the story structure, and then talk about facial hair. Ha ha, awesome.
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Imaging someone tell you that there are Alphas in our world.Would you believe it ?! It was the logical approach and I loved this episode.

Thank God Hicks and Nina broke up!it was awful!
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Actually yes, simply the fact that someone had the abilities to hack into live broadcasts an take over the air waves would be enough to convince me of alphas, plus all of the info Rosen and Garry dumped on the net would be a good convincer as well. Added to the senators reactions and yes I would be convince that their something to Rosen story and that Alphas exists.
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"It's disappointing that his words didn't shake the foundation of society like we thought they would, and that Rosen could be muzzled with a simple "This guy is crazy" and a room at the local Looney Bin."



The sad fact is that this could be too easily explained. Saying the doctor is a madman and locking him up would be the way to go for the government. And they've had 8 months to sell this story to the "normals". However, not everyone was sold on the story (only one ranter in the street so far, but it's only the first episode). I expect we may see more "normals" later on that may be trying to take back whatever they believe the Alphas are trying to take from them.
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Meh. I'm not a fan of the "reset" approach. It sort of deflates the grand moves that come before it.
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Tim, I was wondering why you "slipped up" in the first paragraph, talking about Bill and Gary? In the first sentence, you are talking about BIll cracking Gary's shell, from being put away in Binghamton, but later in the paragraph, you talk about Bill, calling RYAN a bastard, which is the character Gary's real name (Ryan Cartwright) and you make the same mistake a second time, in the same sentence as well.



Yes, it does seem quite contrite though. Some intrepid news reporter would pick up on that and investigate thoroughly, if Lee Rosen had broadcast that around the world. The whole world would not have ignored that gigantic of a claim.



It seems we are getting a new female Alpha this year, Kat, played by Erin Way, according to your listing for the show on here.
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Ha, yeah oops. Called him Ryan after the actor's name. Fixing that!
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Can I just say I hope they stop pushing the Hicks/Nina romance? It makes me cringe every time. I feel no chemistry, just "let's pair the pretty people". This is my main complaint. I love this show though, and I can't wait to see what happens!
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Actually not only will they be pusing Hicks/Nina they will also be pushing Rosen daughter and Hicks down our throats, and obvious Nina and Rosen daughter rivalry.
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I was getting ready to thumbs-up your comment after the first four sentences, and then I read the last one. :) So I'll just say that I agree about the romance.
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Who is Ryan?
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Great show. How I missed it. I love the team together, and that is a strong point of this show. However I do also like the full on mythology and am eager for the overarching storylines as much as the individual ones.



-Alpha fights are awesome.

-Train crash was okay. It wasn't nearly as horrible as I've seen, but it wasn't the train crash from "The Fugitive" either (how awesome was that train crash, seriously?).

-Dr. Rosen truly is the core of the team. And I love that. Just a subtle lining underneath everything about the importance of humans/alphas comingling, so you can never forget what sets the good guys apart. Perfect.

-....

-It's very reasonable to assume that duplicate powers would happen. That said, I'd imagine that the duplicate powers are similar but distinct. They'd amount to very similar results, but much the way that each person runs differently, each power would be slightly different.
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Well....I remember something in Biology called Convergence Evolution. Organisms develop different structures to achieve the same function such the winds of birds and insects.
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Fun premiere. It's great to have Alphas back on TV.

Question: What was the train crash at the end about? Sign of a coming war? I found that really vague and unnecessary.
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It looks to me they're setting up Season 2 with more parallels to domestic terrorism, so step 1: blow up a train!
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I really liked the premiere. I would've hated to watch a season where the group was split up. I love it when they're the big dysfunctional family with super powers. I was slightly disappointed to see that they wouldn't really be following up on the Alphas publicity like the S.1 finale alluded to. That could've made for an interesting story line as long as they didn't go toe for toe with already established superhero shows like XMen and Heroes. But you're right; I have no problem with this being the above-par quasi-procedural with grit.

P.S. I love Gary and Bill! They're adorable together!
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Gary + Bill = <3 They're the best!
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Enjoyed the premiere. Of course they had to hit the reset button, why tamper with a formula that works so well. Probably by season 3, after the showdown with stanton parish, I'm predicting a major shakeup. I'll be thrilled. Just as long as it doesn't take the radical route that Heroes or Mutant X diverged onto. It completely destroyed both shows beyond salvaging.



Gary is easily my favorite character and the great chemistry he has with Bill is the stuff of legends. Nina, I'm currently wondering what her purpose is, she isn't exactly an engaging character, I'm relieved that there's still clearly something brewing under the surface there with her, which I hope we learn more about.



I agree Tim, this is first and foremost a people show, which is what's so great about the same premise. I can't help but feel excited about the direction this season will take.
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Though not as great as the finale of last season. It was a fantastic premier for a truly great show. I was really skeptical when I saw the first episode. But it grew on me fast and I think it is great and one of hose shows that no me should miss. The mythology is fun, the dialogue is great and the are building their universe well. They aren't knocking people over the head with it. And it isn't overly produced or flashy. It is good sci fi. And just such a top notch show.



Hey Tim. Did you get to spend anytime at comicon with alphas.
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The Alphas panel and press room conflicted with previous appointments, so I couldn't. I was bummed about that, I really wanted to meet Ryan Cartwright... he's such a great actor.
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I liked the episode but it wasn't as awesome as the finale, anyway you are right about the best scenes being when they are all together, it was weird when they were seperated. and Douchebags aisle 3 was hilarious. this season will be awesome I'm sure
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Such a great show, and it was a good way to start off the season I think. Hopefully Alphas gets a bit more of the recognition it deserves this season! The characters are so awesome and the dialogue is refreshing - Bill and Gary's conversations will never get old :)
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Such a great show, and it was a good way to start off the season I think. Hopefully Alphas gets a bit more of the recognition it deserves this season! The characters are so awesome and the dialogue is refreshing - Bill and Gary's conversations will never get old :)
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The train crash looked kinda fake actually. IMO, it was obviously CGI.
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Fantastic episode and an great ay to start the season. The supermarket fight WAS great. Loved Gary with his "You called me a bastard Bill, you're a bastard!!!"
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Cool first episode
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How I miss Alphas but now it's back! It's starting to become one of my fave shows! :)
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