Alphas: God’s Eye View (Season Finale)

 Posted by on October 23, 2012 at 5:23 pm  Alphas
Oct 232012
 

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?

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  4 Responses to “Alphas: God’s Eye View (Season Finale)”

  1. 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?

    I so agree. I know that ending an episode with a song has become a cliche by now, and I can’t say for sure that this one is my favorite (I’d have to think about it some more. Mad Men has made some killer song choices), but I can’t think of another that was simultaneously funny and poignant in quite the way this was. Besides, I just love the song.

  2. A bit anti-climactic, but I dig this show.

    “other than ‘we’ve written everything we can think of in this script and we’re ten minutes short’?”

    I don’t care if this is the nature of the beast, but I am so, so tired of feeling this way. Another reason to prop Mad Men.

  3. I thought the “really useful and deeply symbolic hallucinations” were the emergence of Rosen’s Alpha ability – there all along but activated by his daughter’s death. It’s an interesting new spin on an old cliche – a technique we see a lot on Alphas. If the show is renewed we should see Rosen’s ability amplified.

    I think the show’s ending (everyone possibly dead except Gary) probably just means the show runners haven’t decided which characters to bring back (except Gary for sure) – maybe contract negotiations – just guessing here.

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