This review contains spoilers.
6. Bill and Gary’s Excellent Adventure
After the low point of Never Let Me Go last week, I was concerned that we’d seen the best of this show early on, but thankfully, it came back stronger with Bill And Gary’s Excellent Adventure.
As the title hints, this story was designed to expand the character profiles of Bill and Gary, and that’s what it manages to do. Although we actually learn more about Bill than Gary, if truth be told.
The story revolves around an abducted girl, who only Gary can find before she’s disposed of by her kidnappers. Most of the show is taken up with this chase, which due to the curiously amusing relationship between Gary and Bill, is actually rather watchable.
Early on, both of them get a motivation to succeed, with Bill wanting a route back into the FBI, and Gary wanting to drive the car. The difference, it’s revealed, is that only one of them really wants their goal, while the other just thought he did.
It all rolls along at a decent pace, and both Ryan Cartwright (Gary) and Malik Yoba (Bill) provide good enough performances to propel this quirky twist on the buddy cop yarn.
So where does it fail to entertain? There’s a painful romantic subplot involving Cameron and Nina, that is underlined by the lack of any natural chemistry between the two of them. It also made me realise that Rachel is terminally stupid – when she comes across the two of them making out, she reveals her presence by speaking in a loud voice, repeatedly. I accept she’s a bit repressed, but acting like she’s eight years old doesn’t make her character any more believable.
I was also disappointed by the lack of David Strathairn in this story, as it’s him I’m really watching Alphas to see. But equally, I accept that the other characters need to be fleshed out, and we’re starting to see that now.
What’s more of an issue is how weak both Nina and Rachel are, both in terms of what they’re contributing to the stories, but also from a character perspective. We’re due a Nina-centric story, and I’m hoping that she’s going to turn out to be more interesting that she’s been so far, because I think Laura Mennell is a good actress who just needs more interesting things to do. Give her a multiple personality disorder, or turn her into a kleptomaniac – in short, anything to make her worth watching.
I’d also like to see the greater story arc, about the facility at Binghampton, coming more into play, and the dark and devious things going on there. If Alphas has a story to tell then it needs to get on with it, and soon.
The coming episode could be promising, as it is something of a Sarah Connor Chronicles reunion, having both Garret Dillahunt and Summer Glau as guest stars.
Read our review of episode 5, Never Let Me Go, here.