Off a strong episode three, I found myself anticipating this week’s episode hoping for back-to-back strong installments. I’m way curious about Kat’s new role on the team, and quite anxious to learn more about her awesome skills.
The new episode opens on two strange events. One, a young girl—an Alpha—forces her dad to stay home through nothing more than her thoughts, even though her mother had just sent him packing. The camera pulls back and we see, through the eyes of the now-grown girl, that it was a retrospective of her early childhood. We also see that it’s Nina.
The other is a disheveled man exiting a bank with a baby in his arms. The alarm went off, which of course drew the local cops. The old boy winds up getting shot by a taser by cop who called him by name, but not before he begs the cop not to hurt the child. What child? Dude dropped a bag of cash—half a million to be accurate—which he took from his own bank.
After the opening credits roll we learn, in a fairly humorous scene, that Gary refers to his “junk” as his “fruit.” Trust me, you need to see this scene for context and why he’s wearing nothing but a towel at the office, but it’s pretty hilarious.
We also finally see Kat (Erin Way) with Dr. Rosen. She’s been busy rebuilding carburetors for some reason. Rosen wants to help her with her memory problem, which she doesn’t see as a problem. He asks her if she wouldn’t even be slightly interested in knowing what her favorite song was. She gave him the same look all teenage girls give 50-something guys when they’re trying to be relevant and relatable. It’s a way of saying “you’re pathetic” without actually saying, “You’re pathetic.”
Oh, by the way, Rachel is still hot-to-trot for new guy John (Steve Byers), and wants a square answer from him about his lack of interest in going out with her. We learn some things about John that give us a little perspective on his life, and his previous life as a deployed soldier.
We finally see Nina again in a proper scene, at the old hangout nightclub the Alphas like to frequent. Hicks and Rachel head to the dank, smoky, strident club and fairly quickly track her down. They want to help her. She’s as hot—and bitchy—as ever, and with her suggestive voice-power gets Rachel to, um, well, to lock lips with her. The scene plays out in a way that can only happen on cable television after the old kids-have-gone-to-bed hour. Steamy, in a guy-fantasy sort of way.
She’s also with a guy at the club who’s pretty much a douche. We learn his name is Tommy (Morgan Kelly) through the flashbacks of the younger Nina throughout the episode. She’s quite addicted to using her powers for all manner of reasons, most of which have to do with soothing her and making her feel better about herself.
She also uses her powers to impress Tommy in all sorts of meaningless ways, like a magician and his parlor tricks; predictable behavior by someone with such a low opinion of herself.
Rosen gives Kat a video camera for her to use as a recording device to help her with her memory problem. Kat is anxious to “audition” and “try out” for the Alphas, and Rosen in obliging her but not in ways that are obvious to her. Basically, she’s already part of the team but hasn’t been told outright, so it makes her feel like she’s not making any headway with Dr. Rosen. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Alphas are busy trying to track down Nina after she disappeared from the nightclub, and stumble upon Tommy’s wife. She doesn’t know where Tommy went, admitted they were having problems but were trying to work them out for the sake of their son. It’s clear she knows nothing of Nina.
They do, however, track Tommy down on a boat in a harbor based on a tip that I can’t spill here because it’s a pretty cool part of the episode. So, I won’t ruin the fun but it’s legit, and the lead that gets them to Tommy is also legit.
In what winds up being a huge twist in the Tommy and Nina story, Nina makes her way into the hospital and takes mind control over Hicks. Armed, dangerous, and under her control, Hicks becomes a killing machine against his own crew.
In what may go down as one of the most gripping and frightening scenes ever recorded in sci-fi television history, what goes down on the hospital roof, with Hicks, Harken, Nina, and Rosen all present, absolutely had me on the edge of my seat as it all played out. I had to force myself to relax and breathe again!
I don’t want to spill too many of the beans here, but this is the pivotal group of scenes in the episode—and perhaps the series to date—and it’s critically important that you watch this closely and take it all in. You’ll know when you can look away. Deep breath, okay?
The episode wraps with Gary doing his primal scream, Kat listening to some awesome music she hopes she’ll be able to remember, and Harken cool, calm, and collected as he and Kat have a little chit-chat about life, the universe, and everything.
Oh, and not to give up on a potentially good thing, John explains to Rachel that it’s been a long time since he’s been with anyone and if she still wants to give it a try then it’ll have to be slow and steady. Wanna guess which speed she chose?
Slow and steady wins the race.
Really great episode that contextualizes and connects Nina’s story into the larger Alphas framework.
8.5/10 Seriable Stars
Stephanie Cable is from Salt Lake City and writes for CableTV.com. She is a huge pop culture geek, runner, and gamer.