Alphas

Season 1 Episode 10

The Unusual Suspects

11
Aired Monday 8:00 PM Sep 19, 2011 on Syfy
8.5
out of 10
User Rating
160 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT

The DoD imprisons Rosen and his team after they suspect that one of the members is a Red Flag traitor.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • This is the best episode of the series so far. This show has been doing right since it's premiere and thats why even though its ratings aren't spectacular, SyFy renewed it for a 2nd season. Honestly the best hour of (non-fringe) TV since Heroes' Cold Snapmoreless

    9.5
    The cold opening shows an older man meeting a younger man on a dock and the younger one uses his alpha ability to (suck the life out of?) the older man who is a scientist that was involved in some Cold War Alpha experiment.

    This episode revolves around the team being tranquilized, abducted and thrown into Binghampton because Rosen's frienemy agent guy (forgot his name) believes that there is a mole within the team.

    This episode got me because it makes you want to believe that none of these characters would be a traitor but seems to suggest at one point or another that each one would have perfect reason to go to RedFlag. The way it all played out made for a heart-pounding episode that was actually driven by great writing, great use of alpha abilities (especially when they all decided that they had enough of being locked up and fought their way out) and I also genuily laughed a few times. The end of the episode shouldbode well for the final few episodes of the season.

    This episode really reminded me of Heroes Volume 4. And somehow..they managed to do better in one hour than Heroes had 12 for. Good thing for Alphas.(And I LOVED Heroes)moreless
  • A great episode with the team being kidnapped by the DOD because they believe there is a traitor on the team feeding info to Red Flag which has been murdering DOD scientists.moreless

    9.0
    Another great episode of Alphas and I gave it a 9 rating. The basic tenant of this episode is that the DOD kidnaps Dr. Rosen's team because they believe one of the group is responsible for providing information to Red Flag which has used that information to kill three top DOD scientists that were involved in Alpha experimentation. The episode starts off with one of the scientists being killed by the touch of one of these rogue Alphas.

    After the team is kidnapped they are interrogated by the DOD agent, Nathan Cley, while being watched by another Alpha who can tell when people are being honest or not. This Alpha, Eric Letrobe, has worked with Dr. Rosen before. Dr. Rosen setsup an escape plan which works and the team escapes to a warehouse to plan what to do next. At the warehouse Dr. Rosen tells the team he knows who the traitor is and accuses Cameron which starts a fight between Cameron and Bill. Gary becomes extremely agitated because of the fight and Dr. Rosen grabs him and escapes during the heat of the fight. He takes Gary back to HQ to wipe the data files containing the data on the scientists that have been murdered. Back at the warehouse Rachel detects in some blood from Rosen that the Rosen person is not really Rosen and the team takes off after Gary and Rosen to HQ.

    Meanwhile the real Dr. Rosen, who has been drugged and held captive at Red Flag's facility, comes out of the drug induced stupor realizing he is in trouble. He grabs some of the spare drugs, fills a syringe, and fakes being knocked out. The killer Alpha comes in to kill Dr. Rosen in his sleep but Rosen injects him with the drug and escapes. He heads back to HQ where he finds Gary and the fake Rosen/Alpha. He confronts them and a fight occurs as Gary is confused by who the real Rosen is. The Alpha Rosen attempts to escape but the team arrives.

    The end shows Rosen discussing the entire incident with Cley and a final scene with the team joking with each other.

    This was a great episode and developed more of the story line behind Rosen's team. It was also not until very close to the end that the duplicate Rosen plot line was revealed. There was great interaction with the characters and the conflicts made for some great action. And there was some great humor and as always some really good humerous lines from Gary. The plot was very interesting and, as I already said, the entire plot was not revealed until close to the end making it even more interesting and throwing in the final surprise of Rosen's duplicate. As another reviewer stated, this series reminds me of Heroes which I liked quite a bit. However Heroes devolved into a gimmick of the week series with the writers simply writing up some fantastic new ability to carry a plot. Hopefully Alphas will keep it more realistic and it is doing a great job so far.moreless
  • A possible watershed for the series.

    9.0
    I have no inside information, but I suspect that there may have been a debate at SyFy over what kind of show they want Alphas to be. There seems to have been a rule about making each episode stand alone, with no "Previously on Alphas ..." clip montages preceding the episodes, and the action proceeding from somewhat loose recollections (or re-statements) of previous events. Standalone episodes become increasingly hard to pull off in a series that creates its own universe. For that universe to be believable, the characters need memories, and the plot needs history.

    So it was a pleasant surprise to get that "Previously on Alphas ..." intro. Seeds planted in several different episodes hint that the characters are not comfortable with DCIS/DOD affiliation, and might even be sympathetic to Red Flag. These memories, these positions are vital for the action that follows.

    After a slam-bang opening act showing the DCIS team being violently captured by armed thugs, we get a somewhat stale "who's-the-traitor" plot. But there are several points that save the story from being a by-the-numbers whodunnit.

    First, the setting. They're held in Binghamton, which has been established as A Very Bad Place, but has never been shown. Our first visit shows that it's essentially a prison, sterile, cold and unnerving. This is where the team has been sending their targets, week after week (with a few exceptions); seeing themselves suddenly made subjects, and prisoners, was a big shift in tone. Hopefully, the characters will not forget the treatment they received here from Clay.

    Clay himself is the second saving grace. The team's operative boss, he is smack in the middle between good guy and villain. He has a job to do, and he has no sentimentality toward the team in rooting out problems. He will go so far as to consider letting a sniper take them out. He also mistrusts Alphas, treating them with a mixture of fear and condescension. I dislike Clay in a good way; he keeps me guessing. On the one hand, he's an SOB, but on the other, in the established Alphas universe, he's got a high-pressure job: keeping the public safe from a threat far larger and better-organized than the DCIS (an early glimpse into Red Flag structure showed hundreds, maybe thousands of members around the country). This is why that consistent-universe thing is important: it lets us know why he's an SOB.

    A third saving grace for the show is the cameraderie of the team. Watching them cooperate to escape Binghamton felt as real as watching them fall apart when Bill and Cam came to blows later. (That was a good fight scene, as it showed each man using a definite strategy: Bill lunging like a boxer, and Cam doing something more akin to dance.) Even with the pressure on, there's a feel for the characters.

    The resolution -- without giving anything away -- satisfied, to a point. The mole (and, in fact, the whole doubt that a mole might even exist) was a well-kept secret right up until the reveal, but it threw just a touch of doubt into what preceded it. Was the team cohesion we saw in the middle of this episode really possible under the circumstances? I have my doubts. And there was a subsequent escape scene that was a little too convenient to be credible.

    The episode threatens to end on a quiet, convivial tone, but then suddenly tosses up a cliffhanger crisis. As this will have to be addressed immediately, this hints at an increasing serialization. "Serial" is not a dirty word for me; it means that what came before is relevant, and doesn't necessarily mean bedhopping and frantic alliance-flipping. I look forward to having a tight story arc and a credible universe smartly handled by the writers. Based on what I've seen so far, I trust them to live up to that expectation. "Melrose Place" with superpowers, this ain't ... should it turn into that, I'll tune out.

    There were a few new wrinkles introduced. Gary and the Red Flag chief (so we're told) are pen pals. Binghamton has a dreaded Building 7. Rachel has a socially-awkward love interest. Dr. Rosen has an awful haircut. Plenty of littlepoints (in addition to the aforementioned cliffhanger) are in place to lead to the season finale. By tradition, this is where they may upend everything, and leave a mess to resolve over the course of a (confirmed) second season. SyFy has been coy about admitting it, but the series has been building up to something. Time to deliver.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • When the team was together and Rosen got his back problem, Cley picks up the phone to call a medical team into the room. On the computer screens you can see the doctors entering the room, before Cley finished picking up the phone. In the next shot, the medical team is entering the room again.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Cley: Look, we had to bring you in with everybody else. Otherwise they would have been suspicious.
      Bill: You shot me--what--eighteen times? You did a really good job selling that.

    • Eric: Hi, Rachel. It's Eric. Long time.
      Rachel: Eric Letrobe? I know him. We brought him here two years ago. Eric, what are you doing?
      Eric: I'm reading your micro-expressions. So far, so good. Cley said if I help out, he'll get me out of this dump. So maybe once I get out, you and I can catch a movie.
      Rachel: Eric, would you please tell Cley that I'm telling the truth?
      Eric: Or maybe a show. Le Miz, or The Producers. 'Cause I know a guy.
      Rachel: Eric, I don't even think those shows are running anymore.
      Cley: If the two of you are done, I'm trying to conduct an investigation.

    • Cameron: Hey, Eric! How's life treating you in here, huh? Nice and comfy?
      Eric: The food's crap.
      Cley: I've had it before. It's not that bad.
      Eric: Look me in the eye and say that.

    • Nina: Gary doesn't lie
      Bill: We all know Gary doesn't lie.
      Gary: No, I do lie. I've been practicing. It's a social skill. Like the other day when I said I was going to have a pudding pop. I was lying. 'Cause I don't like pudding pops. That was a lie. I do like pudding pops.
      Rachel: Gary...
      Gary: I just knew we didn't have any.

    • Eric: Hey, is there a bathroom around here? Hey, it's my downside. When I get nervous, I have to pee.
      Cley: No, your downside is that you're a distrustful, depressed miserable human being.
      Eric: Oh, yeah. That.

    • Gary: Oh, that's gross. Dr. Rosen, don't do that in there? Are you sick?
      "Rosen": No, I'm fine.
      Gary: No, you're not fine. Vomit is the body's way of telling us that we're not fine.
      "Rosen": Do you ever shut up?!?
      Gary: But that won't grow anymore now, Dr. Rosen. It's delicate. It's a philodendron.

    • Rachel: Where is Gary?
      Gary: I'm here. I'm the real me. He's the fake. He was the fake Rosen before, but the real Dr. Rosen is here now. And he's hurt his leg and he has bad hair. Oh, yeah.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (4)

    • Title:
      Referencing the 1995 film The Usual Suspects, a mystery thriller with Stephen Baldwin and Kevin Spacey. Most of the events are related in flashback as a detective interrogates a suspect in a police station, a suspect who turns out to be more than he appears.

    • Cameron: Come on, everybody's seen Casablanca.
      Referencing the 1942 Michael Curtiz film Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. At the end of the movie, Bergman's character, Ilsa, asks "What about us?" and Bogart's character, Rick, replies "We'll always have Paris."

    • Nina: I figured you for more of a Field of Dreams type of guy.


      Referencing the 1989 movie Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner. He plays a farmer who hears a mysterious, heavenly voice telling him: "If you build it, he will come." He turns one of his cornfields into a baseball diamond. After a while "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and other ghostly players, banned from baseball for their part in throwing the 1919 World Series, show up to play.

    • Cameron: A little while back, I took Tyler to see that movie, uh, Up.


      Referencing the 2009 animated Pixar movie about an elderly toy balloon vendor who teams up with a Wilderness Explorer named Russell to move his house to South America, using helium-filled balloons, to clear a famous explorer's name.

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