Episode Title: "Gods and Monsters"
Writer: Kira Snyder
Director: Mairzee Almas
Previously on "Alphas":
In D.C., Rosen (David Strathairn) has Nina (Laura Mennell) "push" Senator Burton to have the photosym machines destroyed. After she lets her out of the trance, the Senator walks into the middle of traffic. Nina races out after her and tells the Senator to go home.
Jason Miller, the boy the Alpha Team discovered in the hospital being treated with the photosym, is at a high school dance. When he is rejected by a girl, he uses his ability to control the minds of everyone there. Outside the school, a mob of zombie-like teenagers surrounds the girl Jason asked out.
At the Alpha offices, Rosen examines two of the kids under Jason's control. He realizes that Jason has used his ability to create a hive mind to control those around him. Meanwhile, Dani meets with Stanton Parish (John Pyper-Ferguson) and tells him she is worried about her father. Parish says he thinks he can use a former patient to build a bridge between himself and Rosen.
Rosen arrives at the school and tries to talk Jason into going with him for treatment, but the boy refuses. He then takes control of a police officer and has him hold Rosen at gunpoint. Just then, Stanton Parish arrives and grabs the gun from the officer. He tells Rosen he wants to talk.
The two men argue over the treatment of Jason. Rosen tells Parish he plans to save the boy and Parish offers to help, but Rosen refuses. But when Parish brings up Dani, Rosen is forced to comply.
Nina sees Senator Burton on TV making strange statements to a reporter and becomes concerned. Meanwhile, Parish takes Rosen to Jason's mother who is also under his control and in danger of dying from brain hemorrhaging. Rosen realizes that if they don't stop Jason, all of the kids could die.
Nina tells Rachel (Azita Ghanizada) about the Senator and says she must fix things. But when Rachel calls Rosen, she realizes it's an impostor answering his phone. Parish suggests using Nina to push Jason. At the office, the team calls Rosen again and tries to pinpoint his location through his cellphone. Rosen agrees to work with Parish and tells him he'll be free to go once Jason is safe.
The team finds Jason at a house party. There, he has a change of heart about using his abilities to make people do things they don't want to. However, he gets spooked when he sees a SWAT team outside and makes a run for it. Hicks (Warren Christie) chases him down and manages to hit him with a tranquilizer dart. He's taken away as his mob of teenagers chases after the car.
At the office, Rosen introduces Stanton Parish to the team and tells Nina to try again with Jason. When Gary (Ryan Cartwright) sees Parish, he has an outburst, accusing him of killing Anna. However, Parish says it's Rosen's fault as he's taken into custody.
Locked up below, Parish uses a plastic cup to stab himself in the neck, forcing the guards to attend to him. He then takes them out and escapes. Meanwhile, Jason's teenage mob arrives outside the building. Rosen finds Jason with Parish, who he brought into his "neuro-link." He realizes that Parish is using Jason to control the mob.
Rosen tells Jason to bring him into the link, as well and both men plead their case to Jason. In the end, Rosen convinces Jason to release his followers, but not before seeing a flash of Parish's psyche. When it's over, Parish is gone and the kids are freed.
Back at the office, Hicks tells Rosen that Parish knew the layout of the building and must have some sort of inside knowledge. Just then, Rosen recognizes one of Dani's paintings in Hicks' office from the flash into Parish's psyche.
Finally, Stanton Parish emerged from the shadows to form an unlikely team with Doc Rosen as the two attempt to save the most unpopular kid in school from himself.
Well, maybe "save" isn't the right word here as Parish wanted to use the boy and his "neuro-linking" ability to control a teenage mob, with plans for world domination to ensue shortly thereafter. Luckily, Rosen was able to convince young Jason that he doesn't need to control people's minds in order to make friends.
So what did we learn from "Gods and Monsters"? Well for starters, of all the people Doc Rosen wants to fix, Stanton Parish is probably most in need of a little talk therapy. He's lived through several lifetimes of devastation, war and just plain old feeling like an outsider, much like Jason.. Unfortunately, he's probably too far gone for anyone, especially Rosen, to reason with him. As villains go, Stanton Parish isn't manic, hysterical or really even that evil. But he's got a nasty agenda and he plans on sticking to it.
As for Rosen, he now knows that Dani is the one feeding info to Parish, thanks to his vision of her painting when Jason was backing out of everyone's heads. More seeds of doubt have been planted in Gary's mind courtesy of Parish, who blames Rosen for Anna's death. Rachel's finally forgiven Nina for "pushing" her into a girl-on-girl makeout sesh at a club and Bill is still not talking about Fight Club and it looks like his opponents are getting the better of him.
Storywise, this was one of the better episodes of "Alphas" this season. And that's because it mattered to the larger picture. We learned more about Parish and his methods and also saw Rosen start to play dirty as well by going back on his deal with Parish. Gary's becoming an increasingly loose cannon and now that Rosen knows about the connection between Parish and Dani, things are probably going to get messy. Especially with Hicks in the mix.
Really, what it comes down to is that Rosen's team of superhumans have "special needs" that he can't always accommodate. Thus they're beginning to strike out on their own. As the "Alphaville" leader pointed out in last week's episode, Doc Rosen is just a mere human with no innate understanding of what it's like to be an Alpha (as far as we know). Thus, if Bill feels the need to beat the crap out of someone once a week instead of attending poker night, Rosen might not get it.
For a show about "superheroes," "Alphas" can get repetitive and even boring on occasion. But "Gods and Monsters" was exactly the kind of episode we should be getting every week. The push for accessible, episodic TV is strong these days but it's not always the best fit for the genre. Here we had a well-balanced hour that delivered on story without alienating folks who pop in and out from week to week. I still wish "Alphas" was a much more serialized show, but "Gods and Monsters" was a nice compromise.