‘Alphas’ 1.11 Recap: “This Just Got Complicated”

Just as the fall TV season ramps up, the last of the summer series finish their runs. The fact that these two things have to overlap for a couple of weeks makes for a very crowded DVR schedule in my household. ‘Alphas’ was one of my favorites of the summer this year, which I wouldn’t have expected at the start. (It’s a show on Syfy, ferchrissakes!) Although its first season had a few dodgy episodes in the middle, it picked up again in the last few weeks (which I didn’t have time to cover here, unfortunately), and went out strong in this week’s finale.

‘Original Sin’ introduces us to Dr. Rosen’s estranged daughter, Danielle, an Alpha with the power to manipulate people’s emotions. She ran away from home as a teenager because she felt like a guinea pig in her father’s lab. As the episode starts, she’s being chased by an evil Alpha assassin who wants a special necklace with rubies that she stole from one of the mysterious Red Flag organization’s leaders. Rosen’s team rescue her, and Rachel discovers that the (fake) rubies actually form a jump drive with an encoded message inviting all of Red Flag’s leaders to a secret meeting. The message contains references to Stanton Parish, “Red Flag’s favorite dead author,” an early Alpha who wrote a manifesto for empowered individuals.

Gary meets with Anna, with whom he’s still regularly in contact. She warns him that Stanton Parish is a dangerous man. Not was a dangerous man. Is. It turns out that Anna is not the chief Red Flag honcho after all. She’s a subordinate to Parish, who is still alive and has been for hundreds of years. Photographs date him back to at least the Civil War, and he has apparently not aged a bit today. Anna is afraid of Parish.

With knowledge of this upcoming meeting, the Department of Defense sees this as an opportunity to take out most of Red Flag’s leadership in one fell swoop. Rachel’s super hearing picks up the members talking about going public and telling the world about the Alpha phenomenon. The D.O.D. raids the building, and the siege quickly turns chaotic. Although intended to be non-lethal, many Red Flag members are killed, including Anna. Gary is distraught at the loss of his friend.

Stanton Parish is nowhere to be found. Agent Sullivan and the D.O.D. nonetheless claim this as a rousing success. Rosen and his team, on the other hand, are conflicted about the results.

Later that night, Rosen is unexpectedly visited at his home by Stanton Parish himself, who makes it clear that he manipulated events so that the D.O.D. would do the dirty work of cleaning up dissenting members of his organization for him. As he coyly explains, it’s currently still in his interest to keep the Alpha phenomenon a secret from the public. He invites Rosen to join him, and offers answers to many of his questions, but Rosen refuses.

The D.O.D. is so pleased with the victory that it pledges additional money and resources for Rosen and his Alpha team. Rosen is also invited to testify before a closed session of Congress. While doing so, he sneaks in a recording device in a pen, and broadcasts the whole event live on the internet, thus revealing the existence of Alphas (and the government’s knowledge of them) to the public. This, Rosen believes, is the only way to foil Parish’s plans, whatever they may be.

Watching all this unfold is Parish, with Rosen’s daughter. She was working for him all along. Undoubtedly, he’d been manipulating Rosen, and this was his end goal the whole time. This is a great plot twist, and I’m really excited to see where the show goes in Season Two.

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