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On the season finale of Alphas, the US government becomes its own worst enemy

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The season finale of Alphas — "Original Sin" — was appropriately whiz-bang. The shadowy mastermind of Red Flag finally got a face, there was a cliffhanger that will change the status quo for next season, and the American government may have alienated its biggest asset. Spoilers on.

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"Original Sin" went for the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach. For the most part, this strategy worked. All in one episode, we learned that Dr. Rosen has an Alpha daughter with empathic abilities, Red Flag is overseen by a biologically immortal Alpha named Stanton Parish (who's been alive since the Civil War), and that Rosen's daughter is in cahoots with Parish.

To cap all these revelations off, it's revealed that Red Flag has been divided. On one hand, there are Anna's Alphas who wish to go public with their abilities. On the other, Parish's bunch, who wish to stay underground and catalyze a civil war between humans and Alphas. To get rid of the dissenters, Parish feeds Rosen's team Anna's meeting spot. Despite Rosen's belated realization that they're playing right into Parish's hands, a snafu-prone military raid goes ahead. Oodles of Alphas kick the bucket, namely Anna.


The government's raid was synchronized with the overarching theme that Rosen's squad doesn't really know what they're doing. The team finds itself in combat with potential comrades — Hicks vs. She-Hicks, Bill vs. Acid Hands, Nina vs. Blond Jock — and the massacre vindicates the fears of those Alphas siding with Parish or still in hiding. But most importantly, the government has alienated their greatest asset: Gary.

Gary's been relegated to telecom duty or comic relief the last few episodes, but "Original Sin" really downplayed his one-liners and demonstrated that he's the most powerful Alpha on Rosen's team. When Anna is shot in the government raid, Gary begins assaulting one of the soldiers in grief. I was bummed to see Anna go — her universal decoding ability made her a dangerous but sympathetic antagonist — but the potential for a pissed-off Gary next season has a ridiculous amount of potential.


How do we know that Gary is Rosen's alpha Alpha? For the episode's cliffhanger, Gary jams the airwaves with Rosen's bean-spilling Congressional testimony. Gary may be too capricious for field work, but his ability to casually spam every electronic screen on (I'm guessing) the Eastern Seaboard puts his Alpha ability in the god tier. It's unclear if Rosen and company will still be in the government's good graces after this leak. Will next episode begin with the gang on the lam and Rosen in Binghamton?

I didn't have a ton of complaints about this episode. Sure, Bill's heart attack subplot went nowhere. Stanton Parish kind of popped up out of the blue, but we have all next season to get acquainted with him. Anna's gang of Alphas were kind of dopey (see: the finger-wind-taster). But the intriguing set-up for Season 2 and consistently strong characterization — particularly Rosen's admission that he was using his daughter to keep his ex-wife high — eclipsed the silliness.

When Alphas first aired several months back, its uneven opening episodes left me questioning whether it would make it past September. Now, I'm excited to see what's next. Kudos to Alphas for transcending its summer diversion trappings.