The second episode of the second season started out with a blur—literally. Guest Star C. Thomas Howell is an Alpha who can move ten times faster than the average human, and is super strong. He also is aging at a remarkably fast rate, and shares a striking resemblance to a Johnny Knoxville-Greg House love child.
We see his blurred body moving into a restaurant where he eventually finds his target, and quickly—very quickly—kidnaps him in plain sight. Too bad no one could see it happening, and too bad the episode couldn’t stay focused on him. Instead, we got a “Gary” episode.
Gary Bell (Ryan Cartwright) is the resident autistic Alpha genius who, during this episode, had way too much screen time for my liking. In fact, there were times I thought I was watching a rehashing of Dustin Hoffman’s “Rainman” character, Raymond Babbitt, particularly when he was coming unhinged because someone stole his pudding from the fridge.
Everyone kind of defers to his ridiculous behavior, certain if they react in any other way he’ll turn into the little boy in that episode of “The Twilight Zone” whose family grew to adore him so he wouldn’t cook them in the oven or turn them into a dog. Needless to say, I was annoyed right out of the gate.
Remember last week when Stanton Parish (John Pyper-Ferguson) blew up that train that passed beneath the bridge on which he and his friends—including Rosen’s daughter Dani—were standing? Well, Dr. Rosen (David Strathairn) is busy trying to convince his FBI contact Nathan Clay (Mahershala Ali) that it’s the work of Parish. Of course the FBI doesn’t believe Parish is alive, but Rosen assures Clay he’s real.
We learn that the entire cargo aboard several train cars, which belonged to utility giant Con Edison, was a total loss. They’re not sure why Parish would sabotage a ConEd supply train, but we can rest assured it will eventually become important.
As quickly as this storyline is introduced, we bail from it to those investigating the abduction we saw before the opening credits rolled. Rachel (Azita Ghanizada) leads the team to an abandoned meat plant where the body of the man is found. Miraculously, they are able to lift prints from the dead body, which is how they find out they’re looking for a very fast man named Eli, who doesn’t have a history of violence.
Eli has kidnapped someone else. We learn he’s a doctor that worked at the same clinic as the other guy Eli kidnapped, also a doctor. They were responsible for administering a controversial brain wave experiment on kids. Eli was one of those kids: Finally, some information that lets us know what’s actually going on. Only took ‘em 20 minutes! I know, I know. You can’t show the shark in the opening reel of the film or everyone leaves the theater with their popcorn. Still, it felt like forever learning this info.
Meanwhile, back in the Gary episode, we see him badgering Hicks (Warren Christie) about a text message he happened to read from Dani (Kathleen Munroe). See, earlier in the episode they were knocking boots. Essentially, Gary has Hicks over a barrel, and even when Hicks tells Gary he’ll kill him if he can’t shut his mouth, Gary, in his best “Rain Man” impression, informs him he’ll do nothing of the sort because that would be pre-meditated murder and he’d go to jail. By this point I’m exceedingly tired of Gary. Perhaps I was having a bad day.
Nina (Laura Mennell) has previously used her powers of suggestion on Hicks, and pulls this crap again when he informs her he’s seeing someone else. She doesn’t take this very well and uses her powers to get him to tell her who it is. She storms out of his office, yells at Rachel, and slams the door of the employee break room. I’ll bet she stole Gary’s pudding.
Eli winds up in Dr. Rosen’s office, completely on edge and tweaking like a meth head. He wants answers, and it’s clear he’s more desperate for answers than anything else at this point. Dr. Rosen, in his mature and reassuring ways, lets Eli know he can be trusted and will never do to him what those other doctors had done. He’ll do everything in his power—as quickly as he can—to help Eli.
Eli freaks out when he sees Dani making a phone call. She’s pretending not to know who’s in her dad’s office, even though she and Parish know full well who Eli is. She’s most likely talking to Hicks.
Just as Dr. Rosen is making some headway in convincing Eli he’s one of the good guys, here comes the cavalry—Dr. Rosen’s team—armed to the teeth and ready to take down Eli. Also showing up at the party is Clay’s FBI commandos in full combat gear. If you’re wondering if someone’s going to get shot, well, this is America where we have more guns than people, so take the safe bet.
Eli takes off with Rosen and takes him into a cathedral a few blocks away. The team of Alphas—along with the FBI goons—tracks them down quickly. Eli is frazzled and really just wants his life to end. He just wants it all to slow down.
Dani, who has healing powers with just a touch, takes Eli’s face into her hands and you can see he never wants the feeling to end. Just then, we hear gunfire and Eli’s taken one right between the scapulas; What a bunch of back-shooting cowards!
Back in Rosen’s office, Clay assures Rosen and Harken (Malik Yoba) he’ll find who on his squad pulled the trigger and killed Eli.
Rosen pulls his inner circle of team members into his office and informs them that they’re the circle of trust. That no one else is part of the gig, and these are the only trustworthy faces.
As the episode nears its end, we see Stanton Parish saying goodbye to a very old woman who’s incapacitated in a hospital bed. She is his 31st grandchild he’s seen die. She’s in horrible pain, so Parish does what any good grandfather would do; effectively pulls the plug by suffocating her to death.
Dr. Rosen runs into Nina at a local watering hole, where she not only tells him she’s resigning, but spills the beans about Dani and Hicks. She then proceeds to use her powers on him, telling him to shut his mouth. He pretty much does. After all, she’s got those mad skills.
Rain Man Gary aside, it was a decent enough episode and we learned some real information about brain wave experiments. We also know that Dani is fully playing both ends against the middle. Can’t wait to see how that shakes out!
6/10 Seriable Stars
Stephanie Cable is from Salt Lake City and writes for CableTV.com. She is a huge pop culture geek, runner, and gamer.