This has been an outstanding season of Alphas, and a real improvement over Season 1, but it hasn’t been perfect. There were gaps in last night’s season finale, God’s Eye, pacing problems, and moments of tension that simply weren’t all that tense. It was, nonetheless, exciting, and smart, and I’ll be back for next season (if it’s renewed, that is).
One thing I really like about this show is the gender equality. No one is telling the women to stay back and stay safe (I’m talking to you, Walking Dead). Powers aren’t handed out based on gender, so that an empathic power is as likely to belong to a woman like Dani as to a man like Mitchell (Sean Astin’s character), and a geek-tech power can be Gary’s or Skylar’s (Summer Glau). The raw strength abilities tend to belong mostly to men, but there are still women like Kat who kick ass. I couldn’t help but notice that, working on the power grid, it was a group of women on the roof; no man there to save the day, and no one remarking on it either.
And yet, watching the power go on and off, on and off, was simply not exciting. And adding fake tension because “old tech is hard” was just goofy.I mean, why is old tech hard, other than ‘we’ve written everything we can think of in this script and we’re ten minutes short’?
I’m also not a fan of really useful and deeply symbolic hallucinations, because that’s a TV trick I’ve seen far too often.
And yet. And yet, The Only Living Boy in New York cracked me up. Here’s a deadly serious, horrific situation, a dramatic ending that packs a real wallop, and here’s Gary, and that song, and his ginger walk among the bodies, and isn’t that an amazing way to end a season?
Every character on this show is true to him- or herself. Every character has a specific, weighty presence that is felt, and real. A world with Alphas in it is given plausibility and grit, and it’s easy to become involved. This show is definitely playing at a higher level than average genre fiction, which is perhaps why I want to slap it silly when it resorts to silly tropes or leaves big gaps for logic to waltz through.
What happens next? If Rosen survives, it could mean he has a latent Alpha ability, or it could mean he closed his eyes, or it could mean some small percent of non-Alphas are able to survive the photo-stim. It’s a good, solid, game-changing finale with a tragi-comic cliffhanger. What more could you ask for?