The dynamics of Alphas

The first season of Syfy’s most popular show has come to an end with a remarkable cliffhanger.

Doctor Rosen’s final move against Red Flag is as surprising as it is interesting. The season may have been short, but it surely did its job.

The team is built. Each team member got a focus episode to develop their personality and power, while simultaneously keeping the “monster a week” format working for them.

Each week introduced a new case with new enemy alphas, and new developments to the mythology, and finally, in the season finale, we discover why Doctor Rosen is as focused as he is on the Alphas situation and where his passion for the issue comes from. 

All of the major characters have evolved over these eleven episodes, displaying a dynamic which is rare in television characters. For example, Gary and Rachael both grew beyond the restrictions of their families, as they finally stood up to the parents who treated them like oddities.

Meanwhile, Bill is learning to control his temper and attitude, going from a nearly unlikeable character in the first few episodes to an almost jovial figure; and combined with Gary is the source of most of the show’s humor for the last few episodes. Nina has finally made a real emotional connection through her relationship with Cameron. Cameron himself has gone from the reluctant new guy to a real team member, who no longer bucks at every order. 

Doctor Rosen has changed perhaps the most, going from a man who is interested in studying the Alpha phenomenon into the de facto leader of an oddball strike team.

Indeed, here at the end of this chapter of the story, it is Rosen who convinces the others that this team needs to continue to fight against the enemy Alphas.

I have a feeling that our new Alpha, Dani, will be playing a major role in the developments of the second season, which will mostly deal with the ramifications of Rosen’s announcement to the world. Where her loyalties truly lie is yet to be seen, but some drama is surely in order.

My hope is that they do not completely abandon the individual cases. So often shows like this get bogged down with the sub plots, and stop introducing us to new cases and adventures. The “monster a week” format is working for Alphas, and the subplots can remain subplots. The worst thing that the writers could do for this show is stop introducing a new Alpha each episode. The characters are great, but they can’t support the plot without the weekly case.

The second season of Alphas will start next Spring on Syfy.