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