How nice is it to turn on your DVR and discover that it has recorded a show that you really like but, because you weren’t paying attention to its network, hadn’t realized was already back with a new season? That happened to me this week with the second season premiere of Syfy’s superhero adventure drama ‘Alphas’. This was my favorite new series of last summer, and I’m pretty excited to get back into it now.
At the end of the first season, Dr. Rosen had sneakily broadcast a closed session of Congress live on the internet, thus revealing the existence of Alphas to the general public. This was, potentially, a game-changing turn of events for the show’s storyline and mythology.
The new season premiere, ‘Wake Up Call’, kind of undoes that, unfortunately. Rosen has been locked away in a mental hospital, and the government has covered up his revelation by claiming that he’s just a nutty conspiracy theorist and that his broadcast was a hoax. Thus, aside from Rosen being imprisoned and some shake-ups in his team, things have largely reverted to the status quo, at least as far as the rest of the world is concerned.
With Rosen gone, hard-ass NSA agent Clay is now in charge of the team, which has been whittled down to just Cameron and Bill at this point. Gary was reassigned to another NSA division, or so they believe. Rachel is a shut-in and refuses to leave her bedroom. Nina has reverted to her old ways and spends most of her time manipulating men into doing things for her and buying her expensive gifts. (As for Bill, his heart condition is worsening, and he has trouble amping up when he needs to.)
A supermarket robbery leads to the capture of an Alpha girl who can manipulate electronics. Bill and Cameron are ordered to deliver her to the Binghamton prison for Alphas, where she’ll be fitted with a so-called “pacifier chip,” which is basically a high-tech superperson sedative. While they’re there, Cameron and Bill spot Gary, and learn that he’d been tossed into Binghamton when the NSA couldn’t deal with his special needs.
It turns out that the girl had allowed herself to be captured as a ruse to get into Binghamton. When the prison doctor tries to fit her with a pacifier chip, she hacks into the computer network and shuts off all the other prisoners’ chips. This leads to a prison riot with Bill and Gary trapped in the middle. The NSA has no choice but to release Rosen and send him in to negotiate. This has mixed results. He manages to get Gary and Bill out safely, but a bunch of the prisoners escape.
At the end, we learn that immortal Stanton Parish, leader of Red Flag, was behind the whole plot, and has nefarious plans involving a freight train derailment.
The NSA eventually reinstates Rosen and allows him to re-assemble his team, on the condition that he keep everything on the down-low again and not make any more public revelations.
I’m slightly disappointed that the angle about Alphas being outed has been aborted so quickly. However, I’m willing to forgive the show since the premiere episode is otherwise quite good. It has some excellent action scenes (I hope the production didn’t blow too much of the season’s budget on this one episode), a clever plot, and sets up an interesting storyline for the season. I can’t wait to see more.