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Review #3760: Alphas 2.13: “God’s Eye”

Posted on the 24 October 2012 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: John Keegan

Written by Bruce Miller
Directed by Matt Hastings

I’ll mention one thing right off the top: yes, this episode relies a bit on convenient plotting to make some of the elements work. That alone keeps this from being the near-perfect grand slam of a finale that most of us were hoping to see. However, by the end of the episode, it really doesn’t matter. If the writers of “Alphas” have demonstrated anything, it’s that they know how to deliver a solid cliffhanger!

Review #3760: Alphas 2.13: “God’s Eye”

A lot of people are complaining about Rosen’s stumbling journey through Manhattan, spewing blood along the way, only to find a conveniently placed Alpha with limited healing ability in the nearby vicinity. Is it a bit of a cheat? Maybe, but it’s not like they shot him at the end of the episode and restored him to full health by the end of the first act. Rosen is just dying more slowly.

He’s also wandering with the shadow of Dani walking behind him, urging him on, which is a compelling metaphor. I saw it as Rosen’s fevered embodiment of everything that Dani was driving within him, given how her words and attitudes changed with Rosen’s intentions and thoughts. Rather than interpreting his happenstance arrival at Grand Central as a narrative shortcut, I look at it as his subconscious driving him to the right answer.

I also enjoyed how this episode began to pull together the progress that the team has made over the course of the season. Rachel’s control over her ability has grown by leaps and bounds, and it’s exactly as useful as one would expect. Bill hasn’t needed to worry over his heart condition since the season premiere. Kat, who has been more of a supporting character, finally had a breakthrough moment where she remembered details from something more than the last 30 days. (The timing is convenient, as many would note, but fits her slow process of progress.)

I will admit, though, that the real issue for the episode was the notion that Parish’s healing ability is somehow voluntary. Considering that he didn’t know he had the ability until he rose from the apparent dead, and he wasn’t exactly conscious, how does that fit with everything we already know about Parish? Unless it was a very subtle clue that Rosen wasn’t thinking straight, it’s a pretty big retroactive change that feels implemented to allow the finale to work.

I’m also a bit annoyed with how the writers chose to handle things with Nina. I understand that there is a certain amount of resolution that they would need to address, on the off-chance that the series doesn’t get a third season. That made sense of the John/Rachel scenes, but Nina’s relationship with Cam has been out of the picture for quite a while. And Cam is on a mission of vengeance in Dani’s memory, something that plays directly into what happens with Parish when Rosen chooses not to become a murderer. So why now, when it really wasn’t something that needed to be resolved?

None of that matters much, though, when one considers that the writers just slaughtered thousands of people at the end of the episode. While it was established that Alphas would survive the effects of Parish’s attack, and would have their abilities enhanced as a result, the majority of mundanes will not survive. Those who do will have latent Alpha abilities activated, presumably (shades of various “X-Men” plots, of course).

It would be an interesting step to take with Team Rosen, especially given their development this season, but what about Rosen himself? It would be a stunning plot twist if he were actually killed off by this event. Alternatively, I wonder if this is meant to be the catalyst for turning the whole Rosen/Parish conflict into even more of an Xavier/Magneto analog. I fully expect Parish to be revived in some fashion (or replaced by an even worse threat), should the series live on.

But it’s more than just the fact that New York is now Ground Zero for the emergence of a ton of new Alphas (as well as all those places where the other attacks were successful). It’s that this successful attack by Parish represents the next escalation in the story. The first season ended with the public becoming aware of Alphas, and now there has been a major terrorist act by Alphas. The writers have made the clear statement that they refuse to back away from making serious changes to the status quo. (Though I wonder how/if this will be reflected in other Syfyverse shows like “Warehouse 13”!)

The difference, perhaps, is that “Alphas” has been uniformly better this season than it was for much of the first season, so the effect of a strong cliffhanger is not so profound. It’s still more than enough to make me yearn for more, since I all but cried out in frustration when the episode faded to black, but it’s not as obvious or stunning a game-changer as the first season finale. Even so, it ends the season on a high note, and that’s the only thing that matters.

Writing: 2/2
Acting: 2/2
Direction: 2/2
Style: 3/4

Final Score: 9/10

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