ALPHAS “Catch and Release” Review

ALPHAS (SyFy) "Catch and Release" Episode 7 (1)

ALPHAS “Catch and Release” Season 1, Episode 7 – With all the story-lines in this week’s Alphas, I was impressed by how cohesive the episode was. When we weren’t being given information that would drive the plot, we were treated to cool action sequences or little breaks for humor and character development that all tied in together at the end.

Summer Glau guest starred as the Alpha-of-the-week, Skylar Adams, a woman with an ability to create virtually any technological tool she imagined. From the moment Skylar shouted “run idiots!” at the agents who had been trying to break into her workshop, I had a feeling she couldn’t be all bad. I mean, what kind of villain would tell her pursuers to escape?

As we learned more about her it was unclear if she would turn out to be another one of Red Flag’s operatives or if she was a lone Alpha whose abilities caused her to wind up in a dangerous situation. Having her character exposed in that way kept Skylar in a constant gray area where it was difficult for me to decide if I could trust her. Her scenes in the first half of the episode were tense and even as Nina became comfortable with her, I was skeptical and uncomfortable. When we finally found out about Skylar’s daughter, a second generation Alpha named Zoe, everything clicked and it was clear that Skylar had been acting like a mother desperate to protect her child.

It was frustrating to watch Dr. Rosen try to convince Nina that they had to follow that chain of command when I barely believed he was buying the argument himself. By the time he let his conscience take over and allowed Skylar and Zoe escape, I felt as if a huge breakthrough had been made. He actually seemed happier in the scenes that followed, even if it meant that he had put his own neck on the line.

As all this craziness with Skylar was going on, Gary was confined to the house by his mother after she had learned the truth about the kind of work Gary had been doing with Dr. Rosen. I’m glad this got addressed after the last couple of episodes, because I was beginning to wonder how Gary’s doting mother hadn’t noticed the recent changes in his work schedule. I thought this was a great little side story and I was very interested to see how both Gary and his mother would approach this new phase in Gary’s life.

Ever since his time with Anna in “Rosetta Stone,” Gary has been working to gain respect as an adult and a partner on the Alphas team. Ultimately, Gary stands up to his mother and tells her that he’s happy being a “secret agent,” but he also admits that the only reason he told his mother about the top secret information was because she “made” him tell her everything. It’s a work in progress for him and this is just the beginning of Gary’s struggle for independence.

Bill was also been dealing with issues in his home life. Bill was hesitant to become a father because he was worried about passing on his ability to his children. After talking to Hicks and seeing Skylar and Zoe together, Bill warms up to the idea of having a child that may or may not have an ability like his.

Seeing Zoe made me wonder about the agencies that have an interest in Alphas. If an Alpha isn’t a criminal, do these government agencies have the right to hold Alphas for their abilities alone? Initially, I assumed that these agencies had to respect the constitutional rights of the Alphas but in speaking with Dr. Rosen, Agent Sullivan made a comment about how the Alphas didn’t have a choice. An Alpha like Skylar or her daughter would be brought into their government facilities where they would be paid for their research, but would not have any alternatives.

There seem to be all sorts of rights violations with respect to Alphas that are turned over to the DOD through Agent Clay. I’m curious to find out what sort of loopholes these agencies are exploiting that allow them to essentially hold Alphas hostage because of the potential threat their abilities pose. I mean, couldn’t anyone be a potential threat? Couldn’t the thousands of scientists who have contributed their talents to the development of sensitive technology and weaponry be considered threats as well?

I’ve got a lot of questions and I’m looking forward to getting them answered as the season continues and the Alphas world expands. I loved Skylar’s character in this episode and although she and Zoe are “off the grid” she gave Gary a phone with a direct line to her, so I hope that means it’s not the last that we’ll see of her on Alphas.