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Alphas: The Whistle Blower

Throughout its vastly underrated first season, Alphas has continuously blurred the line between who's right and who's wrong. At the center of this dilemma has been the show's version of Professor X, Dr. Lee Rosen (David Strathairn)—a well-meaning scientist who's trying to decipher the secrets of Alphas and the true intentions of all parties involved with them. So it was only fitting that Rosen was the centerpiece of the season finale "Original Sin," an episode that brilliantly set the stage for Season 2 and that stands to change the series in a huge way.

Alphas has done a great job of encouraging its characters and its audience to flip-flop between allegiances. The government's involvement with Alphas has been both necessary and unconstitutional. Red Flag's actions have been both revolutionary and insidious. We've often found ourselves in Rosen's head, pondering which side is wearing white and which one prefers black. But as is often the case when things get out of hand to the point that they become unsalvageable, both sides now share equal blame for screwing things up.

"Original Sin" was about righting wrongs. It was about seeing injustice, whether on a personal scale or a global scale, and taking the initiative to set things right. Over the course of the episode, Rosen underwent a transformation, having experienced both the government and Red Flag (the latter of which had been dubbed a terrorist organization by some) trying to ensnare him for their own use.

When Rosen stepped up to the podium before a closed session of Congress and explained that Red Flag's radical activities were just as responsible for the rift between Alphas and the government as the government-run secret prison in Binghamton, he was not just saying "f--- you" to Red Flag leader Stanton Parrish and the people responsible for Binghamton. He was standing up for his morals. And when Rosen secretly live-streamed his speech to the public, and therefore broadcast the world's biggest secret, he became history's greatest whistle blower. Even though the potential consequences of his actions were uncertain, Rosen decided to bring the matter to the public because it was the only way to avoid inevitable war.

But it took a lot of pain for Rosen to reach the point where he felt the need to take matters into his own hands. In the end, it was his own broken relationship with his daughter that made him see things in a different light. The disaster by the D.O.D. at the Red Flag meet-up pushed him a little further. And Stanton's insistence that Rosen could make his mark on history by helping Red Flag pushed him even more.

Bam! What a performance by Strathairn, and what fantastic work overall to make that whole final scene come together and leave us with something to scratch our chins over. How does the series progress now that Alphas are out in the open? Will the public heed Rosen's call? Will Season 2 involve convincing people that Alphas aren't a threat?

Alphas was initially billed as a show about extraordinary people doing extraordinary things, but in the end it was actually about an ordinary man stepping up to do something anyone can do: Fight for what he believes in, tell the truth, and trust people. At the risk of sounding corny, that was the most extraordinary thing of all.

Notes:
– How cool was knife girl? But I'm seriously disappointed in Cam. Come on, dude. You should be able to kick her ass.

– The Alpha massacre was some good television! Lots of tragic death, a few good fights, and an emotional scene from Gary. The people who make this show know what we want to see.

– What do you make of Danielle working with Parrish? We all suspected her appearance was more than just coincidence, but how much did she know about Parrish's plan?

– Rachel should probably wear different clothes if she's going to be out in the field chasing bad guys down alleys.

– When Rosen went after Danielle in the Baltimore Hotel, it reminded me a lot of the scene in Traffic where Michael Douglas searches out his daughter in Hotel de Crack. The setting, the blue tint, even the score sounded vaguely familiar.

– In the beginning, Alphas was good. In the middle, Alphas was okay. But in the end, Alphas was great. I'm proud of Syfy for renewing the show, and I'm really looking forward to Season 2.


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

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great episode, it was so sad when ana died and gary just started beating the cop, the whole massacre was just sad and I'm proud of Dr. Rosen for doing something about it. He finally stopped just sitting in the grey area, though too bad it wasn't sooner.
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next season...rachel must develop a super allergy to all fabric



i want a naked rachel
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This was a fitting series finale. A game-changer without comprominsing the core ideals of the show. Season 1 of Heroes was incredible but quickly over-reached. Alpha's more grounded scenario actually gives MORE scope for the future. Stanton Parrish obviously echoes with David Anders from Heroes, but the more real-world furrow ploughed by Alphas proveds a richer scope for this series to explore. Gary is wonderful as always, a future Emmy winner if the fates are just. I think we need more exploration of the female characters though, Nina and Rachel need more storylines and backgrounds.
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I love this show and I loved what Rosen did at the end. But in true cliffhanger tradition, we all know it will come back and bite him in the butt next season. My question is who will stand beside him, and who will stand behind him waiting to plunge the knife. I wouldn't miss this show for anything and am praying that they show reruns before the new season starts so i can catch up on those things I missed. After all - you Always miss Something.
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Awesome ending! The rest of it was pretty good, too.
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Was it just me who thought that tear gas (was it tear gas or knock-out gas? don't remember) was a bit ineffective? Or was it the point to proceed to straight-up genocide all along? I mean, that decision to fire at will seemed to take no effort at all... Quite cold, Parish-cold, really.
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The tear gas seemed just to prove that Alphas are immune to - or at least super resistant to - tear gas. I guess it gives the government useful intel, but beyond that...yes, it was pretty damn useless.
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Absolutely love this show. Looking forward to season two
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And btw...Stanton Parrish reminds me of the Adam character from Heroes, the guy who never ages, one of the original "Heroes" and was part of the Founding Families. But I think Alphas has a much better take on the idea
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This show is just great all around. I think for Season 2, the govt will somehow detain Dr. Rosen for sometime. I mean, some people are probably going to recognize Rosen from his telecast. They can't risk anyone finding him and interrogating him for more info on the "Alpha phenomenon." So we'll probably see a shift in the chain of command. I'm betting Sullivan will assigned as the group's new leader, (which is bound to incite a huge rebellion among our Alpha team members) at least for an episode or two, until the DoD can figure out what to do with Rosen and how to keep him quiet.
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I had been meaning to watch Alphas since it first previewed but never got to it until the marathon before the finale on Monday. I dvr'd all the episodes and just finished watching. I am so hooked! I got my brother hooked and looking forward watching the season. I wish there were more than 11 episodes, but they managed to acheive in 11 what other shows barely achieve in 13 or 21. The characters are well formed, storyline hooks you, great cast, great effects and action, great comedic balance. I know this is constantly compared to Heroes, but this show can stand on it's own and keep you tuning in for more. I can't wait til Season 2!
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im just in love with this show.when season 2 come and all alphas are exposed the show are going have some big plots coming.syfy needs to stop with all this long breaks being human and alphas are getting this long breaks its so annoying.
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I've had an issue with Rachel's (and Nina's) clothes, specifically their shoes, since "Gary and Bill's Awesome Adventure." This is the first show I've regularly on Syfy since BSG, and I'm looking forward to season two as well. One priority for next season should be to find a role for Nina along with leaving the last three actors' names up during the opening credits long enough for viewers to read them. My thought during the knife girl scene was, "Why doesn't Hicks try a ricochet shot?" It was a good finale (best Jon Pyper Ferguson character since his role on The Crow: Stairway to Heaven), and I loved the music during the last scene, although my favorite episode is probably "Blind Spot. Who would have thought Clay would turn out to be a more sympathetic character than Mitchell?
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Great finale to a great first season. I was thoroughly impressed with this show from the beginning and they have done nothing but whet my appetite for next summer to see more. I never knew what to expect from any episode and I was never disappointed. THIS is how Heroes was supposed to be. Can't wait until next summer to see what happens.
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One of the best shows on TV -- so glad it was renewed!

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AMAZING ending to a good first season.
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Perfect end to a great first season. I think Rosen did the right here not just for himself but for his team and other Alphas. Danielle working with Parish all along was another sweet surprise, didn't see that coming at all. If you say you did your lying. Two of the most entertaining parts of the episode: 1) when Gary went ape sh*t on the FBI guy after sawing Anna dead. If gary had super strength dude would've be dead. 2) Cam vs Knife girl, seriously Cam you should have taken chick out but more power to her though.



I think of heroes had taken this route Alphas took it might still be on TV right now. Can't wait for next season.
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I agree that the quality of the episodes was a bit up and down throughout the season, but overall, I really enjoyed these past 11 episodes. I thought Gary's little fight-tantrum with the DOD officer near the end was quite significant. Seemed like they purposely shot the scene to make it seem like Gary had a secondary Alpha power, something to do with rage or super-fast arm speed. He didn't do much damage so I don't think he has that kind of ability, but based on how they shot it, I think the show was maybe portraying a message that based on circumstances and/or emotions, people can do "special" things.
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I should have guessed that Danielle was working with Parish, I usually notice those little twists, but this show has had me looking in so many different directions that I just didn't see it coming. Great finale to a great debut season and I can't wait for the next season to begin.



I, like many commentors before me, am worried about the fact that this show is on cables No. 1 food and reality TV channel, SyFy (I still hate typing that). Anyone want to bet me that, barring a massive change of personnel at the top, this channel will have no Sci-Fi programming left in three years time?
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They are taking it in the direction Heroes should've done. Brilliant characters, brilliant actors and a story that has so much potential. Hope they go somwhere great with the second season.
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" I don't think Alphas will be a breakout hit, but thanks to strong characters it should be a Syfy staple for a few seasons at least."

Beats the hell outta the "Quantum Leap Kitchen"

Perhaps more important than how did Alphas do is how is SYFY doing??
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I still have faith in SYFY. It really is too bad Caprica didn't have better characters, because that show was probably the most thought provoking science fiction to ever grace a television screen. In the end I still give props to SYFY for letting the story happen. I can understand why Eureka got the can, since Haven seemed like its grittier replacement. However, SyFY seriously needed to launch a new series this Fall. They have released two high quality shows in a row, Being Human and Alphas, they should have kept up with that momentum.
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With the exception of me thinking Alphas has been good the ENTIRE way through, Tim pretty much summed up my thoughts about the finale and the lookout for season 2. I love what I saw with that great finale. I'm definitely leaning more towards Red Flag now after that massacre of innocent Alphas (that's right, innocent! They were practically martyred without any warning!), but their methods are still dangerous and costly. Anna's death was tragic, and I feel completely sorry for Gary. She had issues, but she was still his friend, and Gary's reaction was more than appropriate. Also, the daughter working with Parrish fooled me - good twist. This show has definitely succeded where Heroes didn't. Looking forward to Season 2!
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I wouldn't call Gary's ability less interesting, I guess maybe for others he looks like a lunatic, they can't see his wavelenghts, but Bill - Gary duo is one of the most interesting things to see on the show. BTW, not really interested in Cameron - Nina. They have feelings for each other, it's complicated, haven't we seen it already?



Agreeing with Tim: Knife girl is amazing, too bad Ana died, waiting for Season 2
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the moment danielle handed out the necklace to rosen, I understood something was going on, it was sad that how fatherhood and danielle's emotional rant prohibited rosen to realize the same thing.. and when stanton appeared in his home, it was definite for me.. next season will probably open up with team being dismissed, rosen being held somewhere / or team forced to work with another leader (if not being threatened to be sent to binghamton) and rosen being held somewhere.. the world would be seperated in two as pro-alphas and con-alphas, some alphas doing crime, while some come-out and help, etc.. I simply wonder how they will find a reasonable way to let team back-on with rosen, as the procedural part of it was as important and good as the serialized part and I really, really would not like it turn into a war series between gov, alphas, redflag, etc.. maybe the gov would assume this revelation as a key to hunt down more alphas and would not do much about it.. well, I am looking forward for season 2 and seriously wishing it wasn't just a summer show with 10-12 episodes but a full season show.. and special thanks for you Tim, as I began to watch it because you pointed it out very strongly..
More+
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Don't care much for sci-fi shows or procedurals, but somehow I really became hooked on Alphas. That says something.
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I don't understand how this proves anything to the public? No one knows what "Alphas" are, so just saying that there are alphas does nothing. All that's really been accomplished is revealing the unconstitutional prison in Binghamton I guess. And letting everyone know that Congress knew about it.
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On the contrary, revealing their existence like this will give every Tom, Dick, Harry and Susie out there who love investigating government conspiracies something to talk about, look up, google, etc. Alphas may just be a word to some of us, but to others who love reading between the lines, that broadcast could've just added fuel to the fire.
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A good show that became great.
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Parrish and Danielle aren't obviously not only working together, they are a couple. Makes perfect sense when you get the clues:



-Parrish doesn't have any emotions at all, Danielle can give her overwhelming emotions to others

-Parrish telling Rosen that they share much more than a common goal and looking up towards where Danielle is



I'd say she is number 2 of Red Flag. For S2 they will most certainly just present Rosen as a lunatic. There's not much proof of what he says out there available to the public.
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Ryan Cartwright was awesome this season as Gary. He has one of the least interesting and believable abilities but yet he's consistently the funniest and most interesting part of every episode.
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Loved the ending, great way to finish the season. Definitely looking forward to its return.
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i love this show since the beginning. and WOWWWW. Alphas' season finale is very Alphawsome !!!!!



Many twist on the story, bigger scope of enemy revealed, many death on Red Flag, And the awesomeee is ALPHAS ANNOUNCED TO PUBLIC !!!!



wondering what will happen next, Alphas CHAOS? Disaster on humanity????



My mind is just filled with "WOW!!!"
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Awesome show and awesome finale! Loved every minute.
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I loved the season finale. And to be honest, I think Alphas was Universal's Way of rebooting Heroes without it being as such. It had everything Heroes had but more...better character development, chemistry/friendships between the cast, did everything you would think to happen in a show about humans with powers (being locked up, the world eventually learning about Alphas) all in one season. Heroes had four seasons to finally reveal that people with powers exist to the world..and got canceled. Im very excited about Season 2 its pretty much the Heroes Volume 6: Brave New World that never came to fruition.



Alphas is a great show.
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Actually, about the heroes comparison, I think Alphas has a way more pronounced realistic dimension. In heroes, everything was really mystic and the idea of whole mythology was planning over (which was interesting during the first two season and then became too much). Themes such as fate or destiny are quasi absent from Alphas.
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I think Season 2 would do well with a little mythology coming from the Red Flag camp. A little mythology, not so much that it becomes series defining or convoluted.
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So far i loved this show, they do a lot of right.

But the massacre? this was obviously a terminate mission, still they mask it behind asking for permission to fire, then proceed to fire on anything indiscriminately? brutally massacre 30+ people, AND let non-combatans travel freely in a free fire zone?

I love that they nuance the situation. Red Flag is to the goverment terrorists. They are in a sense freedom fighters, this poses the question as to means vs end. The goverment experiments, exploits and imprison. This whole thing feels real, since there are good and wrong to both sides, as things tend to in real life.
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Great show!
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I still think Rosen has an Alpha ability, and has thus far declined to show it.
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It's funny to see how that show is really about Rosen. You are 100% right, Tim.

Since the beginning we, as audience, have been in Rosen's shoes because we lived exactly the same thing. First we all feared the basic procedural show exactly the same way Rosen thought his job was catching bad guys. Then our perception of the show was blurred when Rosen's understanding of the Alpha's phenomenum, Red Flag and hs team's purpose evolved. And finally, we understand that this show is way more than a super-heroes show when Rosen finally meet the super-villain (is he ?) and see what is coming.

Assumption, perception, revelation : we've been conned guys !



Add to that subtle writing, a good directing (I loved the ep with the "anger" alpha), a good cast (rosen and gary mostly) and you have a very good tv show. A really good surprise and a great way to spend a summer. I'll be glad, ten month from now, to tune in for the season 2 even if one question remains : will they be able to produce a great season with such a game changer that is the "outing" ?
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The show rocked all season long. Can't wait for season 2. :-)
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I really enjoyed it, I had no idea where the episode was going but I sure loved the ride. I really liked the Gary/Anna relationship and I am sad she had to die. Looking forward to more
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"But in the end, Alphas was great. I'm proud of Syfy for renewing the show, and I'm really looking forward to Season 2."



That pretty much sums up how I feel about this awesome tv show.



Love to see a show with potential actually reach it. And bravo for Syfy for giving Alphas a second season.
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Holy shi,t I was about to quote Tim's last line and say the same exact thing that you just said..spooky.
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Wow could not agree more with article.
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All sources indicate it's Parish, not Parrish.



I'd be concerned that they'll just hit the reset button and claim that Rosen's broadcast was some kind of Internet prank. The real question is... what's next for Rosen's team? The government can't support them whether they claim it's a prank or Rosen breaks out, or whatever. It doesn't seem like they can continue as the covert DoD team no matter what, unless Rosen makes some kind of deal.
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ALPHAS SEASON 2 FOR THE WIN!
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