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Alphas: Painkiller Jane Just Needed a Little More Strathairn


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#421

bbell

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Posted Aug 22, 2011 @ 11:10 PM

Well that was a fast hour. I like where they are taking this show. It is becoming very x-men. The one thing left to do is to get Nina out of the high heels and tight jeans. She can keep wearing the flimsy tops.
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#422

CGRealms

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 12:05 AM

I'm becoming more invested every week. I love that each alpha of the week challenges the whole team -- Rosen included -- on a personal level. All of the characters have evolved since the pilot, and none of them are stupid for the plot's sake.

While I agree that it's turning very X-Men-ish, it's the evolution from a government unit on a tight leash toward renegades in the between of the men in black on one side and the extremists like Anna on the other that I find involving. There's no 180-degree moment. It's the Alphas -- and Rosen too -- getting slowly more disillusioned with each passing week.

Even though the scenes between Bill and his wife at the beginning always tie in thematically with the main story of the episode, I was still blind sided by the reveal that Summer Glau's character was a mom. With the whole series about the Alphas as pawns on a very large chessboard, it was nice to see a reveal that was counter to that -- a mother trying to protect her daughter, by any means necessary. I would also LOVE a spin-off with Glau's Über-MacGyver and her math genius daughter on the run, caught between the alphabet soup government agencies on one side and nasty mercenaries/terrorists on the other.

Even though Gary is TV/"Rain Man" autistic instead of anything in the realm of realistic autistic, they established the boundaries of his character early on and have been consistent with them. He had the potential to get very annoying very fast, but they walk the line well by keeping his schtick from getting too broad.
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#423

cmm226

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 1:16 AM

The one thing left to do is to get Nina out of the high heels

I agree, she looks uncomfortable. Terrible posture.

And while she's at it, she needs to put a brush through her hair, and probably snip the ends.


I'd really like them to drop any of the UST between the two boring characters (Nina & whatever his name is). Because they're boring and have no chemistry.

The best parts were with Gary. No surprise there.
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#424

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 1:17 AM

Awesome episode.

Loved that the Nina-focused episode was centered on her friendship with another woman - not the obvious, which would be a relationship or using her pushing ability to get into trouble. Loved that she was right. Really loved Bill, the tough, uber-macho guy, sitting there, watching Skyler and Zoe with a goofy smile on his face. Great tie-in with Gary and his mom as well.

I loved that Rachel just threw all her senses into taste when Skyler flattened everyone else, and was just nicely focused on business while everyone else was grousing and complaining.

This show is great. It works on just an action-adventure level, but there's this amazing subtlety and level of thought that tie it all together.

Oh, and I want two things - Skyler to come back from time to time and one of those espresso machines.
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#425

Actionmage

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 1:22 AM

Damn, I get the parenting thru-line, but Sandra? I can understand some of where she's coming from, but if she was suspicious- even for a little while- why not directly ask Rosen. "Making" your son tell you isn't fair or cool, even if your excuse is protecting him. (BTW, was Sandra just using the usual Mom Mojo or is Gary an actual 2nd gen Alpha? :) )

I did like that Bill got a spectrum to look at; from Cameron's currently non-powered son, with a chance of Alpha, to cute-as-a-button Zoe who is so off the charts there isn't a chart left for her to be off of. (Sorry for the dangling participle.) I also like that he's willing to chance parenthood, but I'd like it even more if he'd tell his patiently loving wife that he has powers and that he's ambivilent about possibly passing on the Alpha gene(s).

Is this the first time Summer Glau has played someone's mom? If so, cool. While I'm sure that playing badass SF/F chicks is fun, changing the routine is nice too. Plus little Zoe really looked like she was Summer's daughter.

It was nice to have the Alpha of the Week be a female with hard science powers; are linguistics considered hard or "soft" science?

Maybe the group's arc is breaking from the government period? If Sandra's freaked about Gary's choice now, how about if he consciously chooses to stay with the group when the government isn't working with them? I think that this episode just made Sandra a wild card. Between Red Flag and his mom, Our Gary is having to grow faster than everybody's expectations, including his I think.

PS- loved the dismay over the apartment from Rachel. Well, not loved, but it was another real moment between/about the characters.
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#426

cutecouple

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 1:24 AM

It was nice to have the Alpha of the Week be a female with hard science powers; are linguistics considered hard or "soft" science?

They're a hard part of the social (soft) sciences.

Generally, I liked the past two weeks episodes. Bill & Gary were a compelling team. And I liked Skyler as a grey character, purely on her own side. Her daughter was born before she met Nina, yes?

Given that TPTB just axed Eureka while in the same breath praising it, I can only suppose their next move will be to combine Alphas and WH13 into a single show to save money.

I'll buy them both being in the same 'verse, but they have very different vibes. I think both shows are doing well, but unless one of two things happens - double the ratings of Sci-Fi's best shows ever and|or incredible contract negotiations - these shows aren't getting very far past 5 seasons.

Edited by cutecouple, Aug 23, 2011 @ 1:26 AM.

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#427

bbell

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 1:43 AM

This 2nd gen alpha (2ga) story line can be a very good one. Can you imagine the secret vault at Binghamton. 1st gen alpha male sperm in one freezer and 1st gen alpha female eggs in the other freezer. Some nameless scientific bureaucrat reading Dune and dreaming of his very own Bene Gesserit breeding program.
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#428

arc

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 1:53 AM

My favourite episode so far. I wish DOD and NSA weren't such tools, though. I get their position, but they have to realize their policy of trying to contain potentially dangerous alphas, esp those who aren't currently dangerous, is counter-productive: they'll manage to cage the not-that-dangerous ones and substantially piss off the ones they can't lock away. They're making enemies out of the disinterested.

Anyone else think when Hicks was fiddling with the toaster that it would be a disappointment if he didn't manage to create a time travel device? (He could have been the second non-Brazilian to travel through time!) I'm guessing the writers might have, because they dropped a time travel ref a few minutes later in the ep.
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#429

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 1:57 AM

It's original that the Rosen character is so a) nurturing and b) soft-spoken. So different from the standard Jethro-Horatio-macho leader barking orders you see leading teams. Love the irony that the Alphas are led by a non-alpha male.
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#430

lorenzothekind

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 3:06 AM

Dear The Cape

Meet Orwell. Inventor of the Skynet Targeting system

So, was I only one half hoping BOB would turn out to be an early version Terminator?

I would also LOVE a spin-off with Glau's Über-MacGyver and her math genius daughter on the run, caught between the alphabet soup government agencies on one side and nasty mercenaries/terrorists on the other.


Seconded.

Edited by lorenzothekind, Aug 23, 2011 @ 3:14 AM.

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#431

Sandman

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 8:24 AM

I definitely like the direction this show is heading, even if it is all very X-Men. (I didn't think Rosen would destroy Cerebro, though.)

I was thinking X-Men, with a tiny taste of The Dresden Files. (Hi, Bob!)

So, Toronto is off the map? I suddenly have a lot less sympathy for Agent Sullivan. It's not that her job is all that hard. It turns out that she's just not that good at it. I agree with arc that the policy of "containing" Alphas on the assumption that they will eventually become dangerous is short-sighted and potentially wildly counterproductive.

Anyone else think when Hicks was fiddling with the toaster that it would be a disappointment if he didn't manage to create a time travel device?

Hey, I'm just glad they didn't have him burn down Alpha-ville.
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#432

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 9:42 AM

I liked most of the character stuff in the episode but the plot had a lot of holes in it. If Skyler knew the NSA were after her, why didn't she tell the other Alphas? Why were the NSA after her to beginning with when she had already done a lot of work for them? Why did no one think that maybe there was something like the Constitution that was seriously being violated in regards to Skyler being hunted by the NSA for no reason? Why no go public about the situation? It would certainly get the government types in trouble.
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#433

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 9:57 AM

I was under the impression that Bill was WORRIED that his kid would be an alpha, not hoping he might be.

Why were the NSA after her to beginning with when she had already done a lot of work for them? Why did no one think that maybe there was something like the Constitution that was seriously being violated in regards to Skyler being hunted by the NSA for no reason? Why no go public about the situation? It would certainly get the government types in trouble.


Skyler can't go public without becoming a highly sought after commodity for every government and technical company on the planet, putting her genius+ daughter in even more danger. Even without the kid to protect, she would paint a giant target on her own back and never be able to live her own life.

The NSA was working with her until they decided she was selling secrets to foreign governments which makes her an extremely dangerous traitor. Once the government has evidence that you're a spy of some kind (and the secret code is a big red flag-especially one that they can't break) your rights are pretty slim.

Edited by avid_reader, Aug 23, 2011 @ 9:58 AM.

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#434

Tableau

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 11:07 AM

The NSA was working with her until they decided she was selling secrets to foreign governments which makes her an extremely dangerous traitor. Once the government has evidence that you're a spy of some kind (and the secret code is a big red flag-especially one that they can't break) your rights are pretty slim.

You think it could have been sorted out pretty easily then if they had just talked to her about it instead of invading her base of operations.

Seriously, it's like in the Alpha-verse there's no such thing as diplomacy where the government is concerned.
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#435

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 1:05 PM

Oh, that was so much better than last week's. Loved Gary standing up to his mom, and his hugging her to make her feel better. Aw. And I've been wanting a lot more insight into Nina, which this gave me, so awesome. I hope we see Skylar again. Kid was pretty cute, too.
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#436

Sly Librarian

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 1:08 PM

The NSA was working with her until they decided she was selling secrets to foreign governments which makes her an extremely dangerous traitor. Once the government has evidence that you're a spy of some kind (and the secret code is a big red flag-especially one that they can't break) your rights are pretty slim.


Well, your rights are actually exactly the same, particularly since the NSA has no law enforcement powers at all. They're purely signals intelligence, they don't get to work on US soil or carry guns, let alone go busting into someone's home to arrest them. It would have made more sense if it had been the FBI coming after her.
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#437

Sandman

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 1:34 PM

You think it could have been sorted out pretty easily then if they had just talked to her about it instead of invading her base of operations.

But if she didn't want to tell the Government Flunkies (whether actual NSA or the tv-kind with unrealistic but plot-helpful security enforcement powers) about her daughter's existence that sort of lets the air out of the diplomacy tires, no? If one party is mistrustful to the point of creating a migraine-inducing brain-scrambler gizmo on the fly, I'm not sure civilized negotiations are a real prospect.
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#438

bulldawgtownie

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 3:53 PM

"Making" your son tell you isn't fair or cool, even if your excuse is protecting him. (BTW, was Sandra just using the usual Mom Mojo or is Gary an actual 2nd gen Alpha? :) )

I think by "make" all she did was ask. And Rosen seemed shocked at the revelation that Zoe was a 2nd gen Alpha so I think it's fairly uncommon. Also I suspect he's had to talk with and meet Sandra many times by now and would've recognized if she were an Alpha.

The NSA was working with her until they decided she was selling secrets to foreign governments which makes her an extremely dangerous traitor. Once the government has evidence that you're a spy of some kind (and the secret code is a big red flag-especially one that they can't break) your rights are pretty slim.

You think it could have been sorted out pretty easily then if they had just talked to her about it instead of invading her base of operations.

I definitely think that was a cover story. I've watched too much tv to believe they really think that she was a spy or selling secrets.

Edited by bulldawgtownie, Aug 23, 2011 @ 3:55 PM.

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#439

OptimisticCynic

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 6:53 PM

There is something about Nina/the actress that drives me nuts. I can't explain it but I find myself much more interested in seeing the other characters rather than Nina. I prefer Rachel as a character.
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#440

Strega

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 7:36 PM

If you don't always check the homepage, be aware that weecaps turn up here within a day or two of airing.

#441

LightPhoenix

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 7:42 PM

If Skyler knew the NSA were after her, why didn't she tell the other Alphas?


I get the impression that the working assumption of the show is that Alpha abilities that significantly alter intelligence and perception also alter the brain, and that's the downside to those powers. Gary and Anna are obviously autistic, possibly the probability guy as well. People have speculated Rachel might fall somewhere on the spectrum as well. I figured that Skylar was similar to Rachel in that regard.
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#442

Tableau

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 8:47 PM

My favourite episode so far. I wish DOD and NSA weren't such tools, though. I get their position, but they have to realize their policy of trying to contain potentially dangerous alphas, esp those who aren't currently dangerous, is counter-productive: they'll manage to cage the not-that-dangerous ones and substantially piss off the ones they can't lock away. They're making enemies out of the disinterested.

Yeah, this Alpha-verse government needs to take some 500 year advice from Machiavelli: "men are either to be kindly treated, or utterly crushed since they can revenge light injuries" aka either be reasonable or, if you're going to dominate them, go all the way with it because this in-between shit is just going to get you killed.

Edited by Tableau, Aug 23, 2011 @ 8:50 PM.

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#443

natyanayaki

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 9:02 PM

I think by "make" all she did was ask. And Rosen seemed shocked at the revelation that Zoe was a 2nd gen Alpha so I think it's fairly uncommon. Also I suspect he's had to talk with and meet Sandra many times by now and would've recognized if she were an Alpha.


And the way I see it, Gary just isn't a good liar, and he's probably a worse liar with his mother. He probably let something slip, and his mom probably asked until he gave in.

There is something about Nina/the actress that drives me nuts. I can't explain it but I find myself much more interested in seeing the other characters rather than Nina. I prefer Rachel as a character.


I think Nina and Rachel are excruciatingly boring (the characters, and the actors). Of the main team, only Dr. Rosen and Gary are interesting. Bill and Hicks are OK. Sullivan and Clay have potential.

If Skyler knew the NSA were after her, why didn't she tell the other Alphas?


I get the impression that the working assumption of the show is that Alpha abilities that significantly alter intelligence and perception also alter the brain, and that's the downside to those powers. Gary and Anna are obviously autistic, possibly the probability guy as well. People have speculated Rachel might fall somewhere on the spectrum as well. I figured that Skylar was similar to Rachel in that regard.


I thought it was because she was under the impression that Rosen's Alphas are governmental flunkies as well, an didn't trust them either, and I'm not sure that I blame her.
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#444

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 9:23 PM

I did like that Bill got a spectrum to look at; from Cameron's currently non-powered son, with a chance of Alpha, to cute-as-a-button Zoe who is so off the charts there isn't a chart left for her to be off of. (Sorry for the dangling participle.)

Actually it's a dangling preposition, not participle. But according to Grammar Girl it's just fine to end a sentence with one if it serves a purpose (which yours does). Some computer programmers put code into Word a few versions back (in the 90s) that scolded us for ending sentences with prepositions, but before then, I used to do it all the time and get A+s.

I was wondering if Summer Glau's character's name (Skylar) was going to be some sort of shout out to Skyler from Breaking Bad. Both characters are mothers with young daughters, and both need to watch out for governmental agencies that might want to lock them up. So, maybe.

Nina should've done Skylar a favor and pushed her into a less conspicuous hair style.

There's a scifi novel that uses mechanical insects, but they were not so friendly; they were flunkies of the government.
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#445

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 9:34 PM

As far as Sandra goes, I was mostly joking about her having Alpha powers; moms just seem to have an uncanny knack for knowing when the full truth isn't being spilled. I give props to the actress as I keep flip-flopping between understanding and strongly disliking Sandra.

As to why Skyler didn't talk to the Alpha crew? My guess is pure paranoia. As the saying goes, just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

Add me to the list for the Skyler and Zoe On The Run Adventure Hour!

Is anyone else curious about the picture behind Rosen's desk? The one of a woman with red in it? It's striking and I always wonder if an Alpha drew it for him.

It is tiringly cliche to make all of the government handlers "evil" and prove worthy of all Alphas' distaste and fear. Isn't there someone beside Rosen who wants to treat them with dignity? IA with Tableau's Machiavelli quote' these folks will make it their business to remember the folks who hurt them &/or their families, why piss them off if no one is adversely impacting society?
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#446

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Posted Aug 23, 2011 @ 11:13 PM

It is tiringly cliche to make all of the government handlers "evil" and prove worthy of all Alphas' distaste and fear. Isn't there someone beside Rosen who wants to treat them with dignity?

I think that's what the show is going for with Sullivan, even if they're not entirely pulling it off. Sullivan doesn't want to mistreat the Alphas; her hands are tied because of orders from higher up. I think they're going to have to actually show her butting heads with Cley, though, before I buy that's she's conflicted.
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#447

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Posted Aug 24, 2011 @ 2:24 AM

I'm kind of over Summer Glau (I liked Jewel Staite a LOT more on Firefly). She's not that cute, and I don't think she's that great of an actress. Yo me, she's kind of coasting on fan-love.

But I did like this episode. A lot of plot-holes to be sure (the cabbie got stiffed on $70 some-odd, but he's willing to drive Gary to Maine????), but fun none-the-less. And I liked the flirtation between Cam and Nina -- they had fun without making either look weak or stupid.

But what I really want to know: P = x - 1 / Px -1 where P and x are integers and p does not = x... From Googling, it looks like it might have to do with prime numbers, but that seems a little blase for Zoe.
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#448

bulldawgtownie

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Posted Aug 24, 2011 @ 3:18 AM

I thought it was because she was under the impression that Rosen's Alphas are governmental flunkies as well, an didn't trust them either, and I'm not sure that I blame her

That's how I saw it too. Yes, Gary and Anna are autistic but the vast majority of the Alpha's we've met are "normal" mentally.
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#449

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Posted Aug 24, 2011 @ 8:30 AM

I'm kind of over Summer Glau

So am I - you know she is going to play a brilliant yet socially awkward and/or loner type character. Maybe that's the only character she can play, like Eliza Dushku always playing a variation of Faith.

Still liking the show. I like Nina's confrontation with Rosen and her voice of doubt in all of this. She's always had doubt but is becoming more upfront about it. She's an example of her character being less typical - shady past, friendships with Rachel & Skylar, committed yet doubting - hee, maybe that is a stock character after all. Still, I like the way it's being played out, she just needs to do something with that Elvira hair!

I like the way bits and pieces of personal lives are being fitted in, they're not yet distracting from the main core group for me, which is what I really want to see.

So did the cabbie get his $800??

Edited by Kolaka, Aug 24, 2011 @ 8:30 AM.

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#450

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Posted Aug 24, 2011 @ 8:55 AM

I like Nina's confrontation with Rosen and her voice of doubt in all of this. She's always had doubt but is becoming more upfront about it.


I like how Nina is becoming the conscience of the show...pushing Rosen to consider his position between the Alphas, the government, and Red Flag. It's especially nice to me because she's been portrayed as not really having much of a conscience before meeting Rosen. He's been a good influence on her, now it's her chance to be a good influence on him.
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