The ricochets of Alphas

We’re quickly approaching the end of the first season of Alphas, and the show has not yet disappointed.

Rather, Alphas features some really great moments to go along with the portrayal of the strange powers possessed by the protagonists. They are unlikely heroes, and every episode shows it.

One danger of the group of unlikely heroes trope is to make them appear like the unlikely heroes in the first episode, then completely forget how unlikely they are after that, allowing them to carry on as if there was nothing uncanny about their behavior or abilities.

However, the writers have done a very good job of making sure that the unlikely heroes remain unlikely. Every single one of the team members is saddled with some underlying issue that makes one constantly wonder how they even keep it all up, and makes the team feel like a house of cards, which could come crashing down at any moment.

This is what made the two most recent episodes so compelling. They broke from spending time on individual character development, and instead focused on the team. 

In one episode, the characters were forced to fight a pair of Alphas who required a bit of team work to take care of, with excellent cameos from Brent Spiner and Rebecca Mader. In the other, the team was pitted against itself by the invasion of an outside force – an Alpha who could shapeshift – and attempted to work against the team from the inside. That episode was made even more interesting by the introduction of a character for whom there is no actor.

The shapeshifter was represented by an accent (vaguely British) and an attitude, but had to be played by only existing actors, since there weren’t any scenes in which the character wasn’t disguised as someone else.

This also gave us the added bonus of seeing Ryan Cartwright play a part – if only for a few seconds – that was not Gary.

The episode also had some really great teamwork moments, where the abilities of the characters were allowed to complement one another, which always enhances the action, and Rosen really showed his merit as the leader of the team. He may not be an Alpha himself, but he’s not just there by luck. If it weren’t for his intellect and deep understanding of Alphas, the team wouldn’t survive one fight.

Overall the show has remained well-crafted through its entire run so far, and luckily, it’s also keeping up its viewership, so it’ll likely be around for some time. If you’ve been holding off on this one to see if it would last long enough to be worth watching, it’s time to jump in and catch up before the season finale hits Syfy on Oct 3 , 2011.