This past Monday, the Syfy Powerful Mondays lineup changed with the season premieres of “Warehouse 13” and “Alphas.” The “Alphas” episode, “Wake Up Call” was aptly named, as the characters and indeed the whole world within the show have finally received a wake up call regarding the existence of Alphas and the significance of this information. However, I also think that this Monday night was a wake up call for the show and for Syfy, showing that there is room for improvement.
This was a good episode, but not great. I didn’t feel like there was the impact there should have been from a season premiere, and I felt a bit of a letdown after how things were left at the end of season one. My opinion is that they had the potential for a much better kick off to the season, but this episode of “Alphas” just didn’t quite go the distance.
It was interesting to see where everyone went when the team disbanded, but I was hoping for a bit more on this front. Perhaps we will learn more about those eight months as the season progresses. I would almost say that they should have made this a two or three episode mini arc, showing some of the characters’ time apart, and not have the team back together so quickly. That being said, the basic story of the prison revolt and breakout was nice, particularly the interaction, or perhaps lack thereof, between Gary and Bill. Ryan Cartwright is a wonderful actor, and he does so much with Gary with expressions and body language.
Speaking of Gary, I did find it hard to believe that they would have assigned him to the NSA, at least not without a hands-on handler. Yes, this is fiction, but for me, this is pushing the limits a bit. Story-wise, I have to wonder if maybe they set him up so that he would crack and they had a reason to send him to Binghamton. I hope that there will be a bit more adjustment for Gary, as he reintegrates into the team. In the coming episodes, the writers need to explore the trust issues that Gary has, with his feelings that his team deserted him.
One of the other problems I had in this episode was that it seemed a little predictable. I guessed early on that the girl was supposed to get caught, and when Rosen told his daughter that he knew that Parish would do something dramatic and that he would be needed, I knew in general where they were going with the episode. Also, everything was a bit too quick and easy, as if this was a throwaway episode only there to reunite the team rather than further the overall scope and story for the series.
By contrast, “Warehouse 13” knocked their episode out of the park. I do like “Alphas” and some of their episodes last year were better than some “Warehouse 13” or “Eureka” episodes. However, seeing these two particular episodes together should be a wake up call for everyone at “Alphas.” It is a good show, but they need step up their game. Whether we should or not, because they air back to back, fans will compare them … it’s just natural.
I see the potential in “Alphas” and I am rooting for the show to reach it. Next week, perhaps guest star C. Thomas Howell will be able to help them towards that potential. I think the concept of an Alpha who can move through time faster than everyone else is interesting, and I love that they don’t seem to be making this person out to be like the typical speedsters in comic books, but of course we won’t know for sure until we watch the episode. Enjoy this sneak peek of “The Quick and the Dead” and then come back here next week for my thoughts on the episode.