Episode Title: "When Push Comes to Shove"
Writer: Adam Levy
Director: Omar Madha
Previously on "Alphas":
Doc Rosen (David Strathairn) gets word from Clay that a bank manager walked off with half a million dollars, convinced that the bag of money was a baby. He suspects Nina is behind it. In the breakroom, Rachel (Azita Ghanizada) asks John to tell her the real reason he won't go out with her. He insists it's because they work together, but she is convinced he's lying. When she calls him on it, he shows her a horrible burn wound he sustained in combat.
Hicks (Warren Christie) and Rachel go out in search of a Nina (Laura Mennell) and find her with her childhood boyfriend, Tommy, at a nightclub. Nina uses her ability to push Rachel into kissing her. She then pushes Hicks to leave the club with Rachel.
Back at the office, Rosen tells Hicks that Tommy was Nina's first boyfriend. In a flashback, we learn that Tommy showed sympathy towards Nina as a child, when she was caught in the middle of her parents' troubled marriage.
Bill and Hicks talk to Tommy's wife, Becky and she tells them that she is glad Tommy left. Elsewhere, Tommy and Nina dine aboard a yacht, where they talk of sailing away together.
At the office, Clay pressures Rosen to get him the files on the Building 7 escapees. Becky returns to the office and tells BIll that she didn't want Tommy to leave. It becomes clear that Nina is pushing everyone around her, including Rosen, to get her way.
In a flashback, we see young Nina come to find her father dead on the floor, after she pushed him not to leave the family. At the dock, adult Nina sees Bill (Malik Yoba) and the team arrest Tommy. Now in custody, Tommy tells Rosen he loves Nina, but soon realizes that he too has been pushed.
Nina shows up at the hospital and pushes Hicks to help her escape. Hicks shoots John and he and Nina escape to the roof. There, Rosen talks her into letting Hicks go. Nina agrees and then gets up on the ledge. She jumps but Hicks is able to save her by shooting a crane hitch free and swinging over the side to grab her.
Now recovering in the hospital, Nina warns Rosen not to trust her but he insists on helping her. Afterwards, Clay warns Rosen about keeping the situation from him. At the office, John asks Rachel out to breakfast and tells her that he needs to take their relationship slow.
This week, the Alpha team took a break from Stanton Parrish and his plans for a New Alpha World Order to focus on bringing Nina back into the fold. In the process, we learned about her backstory and just how she got to be the screwed up Hyper Inductive Alpha she is today.
As Rosen's longest running pet project, you might expect Nina would also be the most interesting. Though a look back at her childhood traumas, which she soothed by listening to the music of Candlebox, was enlightening, Nina isn't nearly as compelling as the team's two youngest members, Gary and Rachel.
However, the episode did establish Nina as the team's most unpredictable and perhaps dangerous member. As she told Rosen, she can't be trusted. Only time will tell if Parrish and his people find a way to use the team's most unstable member to further their agenda.
Meanwhile, Gary found his new digs in a DOD office not quite as nice as the comforts of home and his doting mother. While the rest of the team is stacked with folks who could otherwise function normally in society, Gary remains an enigma. His technopathetic abilities alone would give reason to his eccentric behavior. The fact that he's also autistic adds another interesting layer to his persona.
On that note, Rachel is also coming into her own as one of the team's more interesting personalities. Like Bill with his adrenaline fueled anger management issues, Rachel is justifiably high-strung, as we saw again in this episode. Meanwhile Hicks is more of a pawn for Nina and perhaps Danny than a fully-fleshed out character. Hopefully, that will change in the coming episodes.
Otherwise, "When Push Comes to Shove" was a nice aside into Nina's past. That said, hopefully next week's episode of "Alphas" picks on up the Stanton Parrish storyline, which is way more interesting.