This review contains spoilers.
10. The Usual Suspects
I love Agatha Christie detective stories, and given the contents of this week’s Alphas, so do the writers of this show. It’s a classic whodunit, where you’re asked to accept that one of the main characters is a traitor – but which one?
I’m not going to tell you which it is, just in case you’ve not yet watched The Usual Suspects, but it’s a neat, if certainly Christie inspired twist, that presents the ultimate resolution of this well woven if predictable narrative.
Instead, I’d like to talk about where the story is ultimately marching us, a progression that’s been in the wind since the earliest Alpha stories. When the team is put under pressure to identify their bad apple, what comes to the surface is the resentment felt in respect of their government handlers, and the ever-present threat represented by Binghampton and the dreaded building seven.
The point at which this turns into a revolution appears to getting much nearer, and the actions of Red Flag are becoming increasingly contradictory. I’ve got a feeling that Red Flag isn’t the threat that’s represented, and that another undisclosed force is distorting our perception of their actions. Will the Alphas join Red Flag, or oppose them?
I’m now entirely convinced that the team is going to go freelance by the end of the season, which will screen next week. But I’m also sure that not all the Alphas we know now will make it to season two, because that’s the nature of this type of show, which needs to have an edge to make it watchable.
Overall, The Usual Suspects was one of the better Alphas episodes this season, although I’m not sure I’d give it the accolade of being the best so far. The problem the show’s creators fail to address is that things are far too formulaic at times, and many of their key narrative pieces are borrowed wholesale from other, better known mutant properties. After ten stories, I’m still waiting for the show to break its story and character shackles, and take me somewhere I’ve not been before.
It’s been a long wait, but I’m just hoping that episode 11 is a turning point for Alphas, where I’m genuinely surprised by what happens and end up looking forward to reviewing season two, and not dreading the continuation.
Read our review of episode 9, Blind Spot, here.