Alphas season 2 episode 5: Gaslight

Billy checks out the latest offering from Alphas' second season, which takes its action to a creepy hospital. Here's his review...

This review contains spoilers.

2.5 Gaslight

The synopsis for this story was “An alpha goes insane and her delusions lead her to abduct Rachel”, except that’s not what happens, really. Because it’s a man not a woman, and the term abduction doesn’t really describe the events of the episode.

Gaslight is really about creepy goings on in a hospital where people see things that aren’t real so it makes them do crazy things. It’s a homage to early slasher movies, in an obtuse way.

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I was fine with this for the first five minutes or more, as the tension was cranked up a little, but after a while it became obvious when someone was having a delusion, and by the time the events were explained they’d flogged the mystery entirely to death.

However, more interesting subplots regarding the redemption road of Nina and Cat connecting with the past elevated the episode from being entirely predictable. The Nina elements are the writers’ way of keeping Stanton Parish in the frame, even if he doesn’t actually make an appearance.

But one scene in the show made me unintentionally laugh, and the other was an irritating allusion to how young people are today. 

The funny part was the blackboard scene with Kat. When a TV or film company makes a production like Alphas, they employ lots of very talented people, such as production designers to help them make it look good. The trouble with this is whenever a character is required to draw anything they can’t resist having a professional production artist do the work. So as a result, anyone that draws something in a TV show is a brilliant artist, which you become in this context by seeing someone else draw something once. Dumb.

The annoying bit was the part where Dr Rosen interviews the teenager in the bed. Is it a modern thing that if you’re unsure about a question instead of admitting you don’t know the answer you act like you never heard it or you are paralysed. In the context of the show the lack of reaction made me wondered if he was brain injured by the event that brought him to hospital, but when he asked for chips I realised he was just a teenager being rude.

The return of Anna, who in Gary’s illusion can speak now, was a high point of the episode. The story in which she first appeared, Rosetta, was probably one of the strongest of season one, and the dynamic between her and Gary created one of the first character development offerings of the show. At the end they hint that Gary thinks she does live, even if we’ve not seen any evidence to support this idea, and she was shot in the head previously.

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So does Anna live? Probably not, but it’s an interesting diversion for Gary, who really needs another dimension to his character than his usual knack of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Next week the Alphas go to Alphaville, via Betaborough and Delta City, presumably. But we’re promised the return of Skylar Adams (Summer Glau), which is enough to make me tune in.

Read Billy’s review of last week’s episode, When Push Comes To Shove, here.

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