Contributor: John Keegan
Written by Adam Levy
Directed by Omar Madha
Nina’s been heading for a confrontation with her old team, and they might want to consider themselves thankful that it happened before Stanton Parish could direct her self-loathing towards a more destructive purpose. It would be all too easy for Nina to use her abilities to “recruit” other Alphas to Parish’s cause.
The only thing holding Nina back is the knowledge that she “pushed” her father to stay with her mother, for her own selfish reasons, and it eventually led to his decision to commit suicide. It’s a stark reminder that all of the Alpha abilities have limits; sooner or later, Nina’s “subjects” realize that their will has been subverted, and it takes its inevitable toll.
There’s a logical flip side to that equation, and it’s explored with Tommy. It all comes down to force of will. Nina has to reinforce her will upon her “subjects”, or the will of the individual will begin to override the commands. And it’s also a function of the strength of Nina’s will at the time of the induction; if she starts to doubt her motives, her will weakens. The natural psychological response to that is a kind of self-induction, which actually serves to make Nina more unstable as a result.
All things being equal, Nina would be one of the most dangerous Alphas if she were completely stable. The fact that her ability works on her own internal coping mechanism, changing her over time, makes it that much more of a threat. The scene at the club was just the tip of the iceberg; there’s a fine line between indulging one’s desires and subverting someone else’s. Nina steps right over that when she forced Rachel to kiss her. On the one hand, it’s salacious, as we knew that mere kissing can be orgasmic for Rachel, and she’s not at all psychologically prepared for it. On the other, it’s just a taste at how dark Nina’s journey could become. (Again, if this show were on cable, one can only imagine how far she would have gone!)
The bottom line is that Team Rosen is damn lucky that Nina was hobbled by her own issues. Even as distracted as she was, she managed to get the drop on the team and all but defeat them on her own. And she very nearly took herself out in the end; if it wasn’t for Cameron using his ability in a delightfully creative way, she would be a splatter on the pavement. But she remains, she’s not working with the Brotherhood of Evil Alphas, and the writers can bring her in when the situation dictates.
One very nice touch is that this episode advanced the romantic direction for John and Rachel. By giving him a reason to be tentative and self-conscious, it puts him on more of a level playing field with Rachel. And considering that Rachel was just given a rather compelling reminder of what physical contact means for her, slow but steady is likely going to end well for both.
Final Score: 8/10