Entertainment Magazine

Review #3654: Alphas 2.5: “Gaslight”

Posted on the 21 August 2012 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: John Keegan

Written by Terri Hughes Burton and Ron Milbauer
Directed by Leslie Libman

One of the more interesting aspects of paranormal research is experimentation with infrasound. In essence, there is a great deal of evidence demonstrating how exposure to infrasound can induce everything from general unease to paranoia to auditory and visual hallucinations, depending on the amplitude, length of exposure, and individual susceptibility. Given some of the strange acoustic effects that can be found in many of the more storied “haunted” locations, and the fact that many have heard the stories and accounts of previous visitors beforehand, it should come as no surprise that many believe that at least some experiences are the result of infrasound.

Review #3654: Alphas 2.5: “Gaslight”

That was very much in the back of my mind while watching this episode of “Alphas”, because Adam’s ability effectively hinged on that concept. Indeed, if one thinks about it, one’s expectations feed into what the infrasound ultimately triggers, thus explaining why experiences can vary so dramatically among a group of people in the same place. Extending that, each member of the team is confronted by something within themselves, triggered by the infrasound Adam generates.

Bill’s fear makes perfect sense. His ability was killing him, until he found a method within the madness of the “fight club” to express his ability in a different way. But that’s a work in progress, and there’s always the chance that he won’t work it out before his heart takes too much damage.

Cameron’s family situation is foremost in his thoughts because of that phone call at the beginning, but it speaks more generally to the fear of many fathers: that they won’t be able to spend enough time with their children.

Rachel is still reeling from the violation that Nina visited upon her in the previous episode, so her fear is the potential result of that rift: that Nina will need her, and she won’t be there to help her. Rachel has been so isolated in her life that these recent connections are important to her, and she experiences the all-too-familiar conflict between the desire to forgive and the inability to forget.

Gary’s situation, as always, was different. Being attuned to frequencies as a fundamental element of his ability, it makes sense that his “hallucination” would actually be a part of him trying to communicate to himself. Taking on the form of Anna is more an expression of his desire to fulfill his promise to her, made back in the first season.

Nina’s role in this episode was unexpected. Not only was she back in the “pushing” game (and I can take those extreme close-ups of Nina all day long), but she helped Kat make a breakthrough with the downside of her ability in the process. And the fact that the two sides of the episode ultimately came together to suggest a link to Stanton Parrish was a nice touch.

In many ways, it was practically a “bottle show”. Most of the action was in a confined area, it was all about delving into the psychological issues of the characters, and all of them came out of it in a slightly different direction. All in all, I’d call that a winning play on the part of the “Alphas” writing staff!

Writing: 2/2
Acting: 2/2
Direction: 2/2
Style: 2/4

Final Score: 8/10

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