This week’s episode of Alphas, “Gaslight” was a lot like walking through a fun-house at a carnival: at first, the the confusion is amusing, but after a while, you just want the insanity to stop so you can get out and get back to reality.
Because so much time was spent on mentally torturing the Alphas while they were trapped in their spooky infrasound illusions, “Gaslight” seemed weak in terms of plot. We got a bunch of hospital horror scenes but not much in terms of story progression or character development.
Although I bought into the explanation for their hallucinations, spending so much time on the terror that resulted from those hallucinations actually made me feel like I wasn’t watching Alphas at all. I didn’t mind all the horror-movie theatrics when they were first setting up the scene at the hospital, but I think I would have preferred if our perspective would have been based in an external reality with only occasional glimpses of hallucination while the Alphas were roaming the hospital. The very real threat of Bill, Rachel, or Hicks suddenly and inexplicably acting erratically seems more frightening in the overall context of the show.
That’s probably why Gary’s hallucinations with Anna were so much more intriguing and entertaining than the others. Seeing both Gary’s perspective and the perspectives of ooutsiders who couldn’t see the Anna illusion helped to blur our reality. Suddenly it seemed possible that Gary might be dealing with something else entirely. Gary’s experience was not terrifying and while we understood that it wasn’t healthy for Gary to cling to the illusion of Anna, it seemed plausible that Gary’s hallucination might not be like the others – maybe Anna was real and maybe the rest of the hospital was an illusion.
At Anna’s memorial, Gary took issue with the idea of Anna “living in his heart.” He didn’t understand the figurative meaning of that statement but he eventually found a way to keep Anna’s spirit with him in a capacity that he was intimately familiar with – the internet. Posting as @AnnaLives, he could keep her ideas and personality alive. I just hope it doesn’t lead to too much trouble for him.
Rosen seemed a little strange to me in tonight’s episode. Rather than being a caregiver first and a employer second, he’s been acting like less of a doctor and more of a detective. I’m not sure if I like this change in him. I understand that Rosen believes Stanton Parish is the most dangerous threat to these people, but I don’t want Rosen to lose that overprotective part of his character that saw the Alphas team as a group of his precious patients before seeing them as a force of crime fighters. I was disappointed to see him ask Nina to use her abilities for the investigation so soon after her recent episodes, and I didn’t like the way he used Kat as a guinea pig to test out Nina’s new “pulling” ability. I know he told them they didn’t have to do more than they were comfortable doing, but if this was supposed to be a new course of treatment, I think I would have preferred to see them discuss it in the context of their private sessions rather than in the context of the investigation.
Through Rosen’s experiment with Nina’s ability, Kat was able to unlock one of her lost memories. The return of this memory evoked emotion in Kat, but it was unclear if it was because it was a sad memory, or if she was feeling a sense of loss for knowing this memory was something important and not being able to recall why it was important to her. I have a feeling it is the latter and – if she’s able to remember it – this moment will probably be what gives Kat the personal motivation she needs unlock her mysterious forgotten history.
We got a little bit more of the Stanton Parish conspiracy story tonight. The August Photic Stimulators used to test brain activity in comatose patients, were revealed to be linked to trial medical tests through the Llamrei Foundation. Not much more is known about the Photic Stimulators, but from the conversation that Rosen and Gary had at the end of tonight’s episode, Rosen will most likely be calling in a favor from an old friend, Skylar. I can’t wait to see what clues she’ll help Rosen uncover when she returns to Alphas to take apart one of those mysterious white boxes.