Alphas teaches us what happened to Bill Murray's hat in Caddyshack

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Yesterday's episode of Alphas — "Bill and Gary's Excellent Adventure" — explored Bill's reasons for joining up with Dr. Rosen and the former FBI agent's reluctance for signing on with his motley little band. It turns out that one of Bill's adrenaline-fueled (and clavicle-breaking) outbursts have alienated him from the Bureau, and he's therefore consigned to hang with Rosen's farm team.

The episode also contrasted Bill's reservations to cooperate with Gary's dream of being a supercop. Bill's got the muscle and know-how (but none of the zeal) whereas Gary's got the hunger (but is sidelined by his Asperger's). Teaming up Bill and Gary for this episode was an inspired choice, even if they were caught in a generic ransom procedural. It wasn't profound television, but this certainly isn't the Smallville school of superpowered soap operatics.

As it stands, Alphas is proving to be a competent little program with fun moments that rescue it from the summer TV doldrums, such as the scene where Nina admits she used her hypnotic suggestion to steal Bill Murray's famed hat from Caddyshack. If you had the power of suggestion, why wouldn't you steal all sorts of famous crap?


With Nina, we don't need a heavy-handed parable about how power corrupts. She's already abused the heck out of her commanding voice, as she once accidentally used it to drive a boyfriend to suicide.

It's nifty that each of the Alphas views the team a different way. For Nina, Rosen offers redemption. For Gary, the team is aspirational. Bill considered it a punishment but is now warming up to his coworkers. Hicks has been pressganged into being a team player, and Rachel has nowhere else to go. "Ignorant human world that fears them" this show ain't. (Yet, that is — it depends on how far they're going to run with the Red Flag subplot.)


Anyway, Summer Glau guest-stars next week as (someone who appears to be) a vagabond Alpha with Forge-like superpowers. Leave your superstitions in your pocket and let the lady enjoy some stunt casting.