Alphas “The Quick and the Dead” Review

Alphas - Season 2

“The Quick and the Dead,” wasted no time reinforcing the idea that our Alphas team had changed dramatically in the time that Rosen had been locked up.

I will probably incur the wrath of the Nina/Hicks shippers out there, but I kind of liked seeing Dani and Hicks together. I know I can’t completely trust her with Hicks, so I didn’t want to like them together, but they have a chemistry that I find charming. Maybe Hicks and Dani seemed more natural because we were spared the awkward flirting and romance that we got when Nina and Hicks were first getting together last season. We jumped right into the middle of Hicks and Dani’s secret relationship and saw that they were already happy and comfortable with one another.

Their relationship is volatile because Hicks and the rest of the Alphas team are only getting half of the truth while Dani and Stanton Parish are privy to the whole picture. Still, the more I saw of Dani talking to Stanton about her relationship, the more comfortable I was with the two of them being together. She wasn’t sent to seduce Hicks for Red Flag, and she wasn’t intentionally spying either. Dani eventually realized that her relationship with Hicks was the real deal and she was willing to take a much riskier path to pursue that possibility with him.

In the process of trying to get Hicks back, Nina revealed that the reason their relationship had fallen apart was because she had used her abilities on him and violated his trust. We don’t find out exactly how she used it, but over the course of the episode we see just how out of control Nina has become.

Throughout season one, Nina teetered just on the edge of darkness. With Rosen out of the picture, she became irritable and irrational. She was unable and unwilling to control her impulses and in a fit of rage, she used her ability on both Hicks and Rosen. It’s not a pretty side of Nina’s personality that we’re seeing now. Of all the Alphas that Rosen worked closely with, we see just how much Nina needs to be in the care of a professional like Rosen who can help her from spiraling out of control.

The Alpha of the week, Eli, suffered from an enlarged suprachiasmatic nucleus which affected his circadian rhythm and accelerated his metabolism to the point that he had super speed. The unfortunate side effects of his condition meant that he was constantly producing ketones (which is why I was confused when Rachel didn’t pick up the scent of ammonia in the air when he blew past her in the office) and that he was experiencing acute accelerated aging.

Before we found out exactly what his ability was, we saw Eli walking across the street while the rain moved in slow motion and the people and cars around him stood frozen in time. Because Alpha abilities aren’t based on supernatural powers, we knew right away that Eli had not caused time to slow down for the rest of the world. Instead, we realize that he’s moving so fast that the world only seems to be moving slower in comparison to him. It was a creative way to introduce us to this Alpha ability and I particularly appreciated that we were given time to figure it out on our own before we saw him moving at super speed.

I was captivated by C. Thomas Howell’s multi-dimensional portrayal of this one-shot character. We were told that Eli was a 22 year old in a 45 year old’s body, but it wasn’t until Eli finally spoke with Rosen that we were able to understand what a 22 year old in a 45 year old body would be like.

Eli was arrogant, impulsive, and impatient. His language, his hair and his clothing belonged to a 20-something, and if not for the face of a 45 year old, there’d be no doubt that this was a 22 year old man. We even saw how his accelerated metabolism affected his speech and breathing. Like most other Alphas, Eli’s “super” ability was not really worth the devastating side effects of his condition.

There was a lot more Stanton Parish development than we had seen previously, and although his reach was felt throughout the episode, Stanton still seems to be a total enigma. Stanton suffocated the last of his 31 elderly grandchildren in her hospital bed, but it was unclear if he did that as an act of mercy or malice.

It was revealed that Stanton owned and operated the Yankee Medical Group clinic that had tested and “treated” Eli with BWE as part of research done for “A.D.D. Treatments.” Rosen suspected alternate motives for those studies, and if Rosen’s hunch was right, that was most likely why someone wanted Eli dead.

After Eli was tragically shot, we saw a fit of rage in Rosen that we haven’t really seen in him before. Rosen seemed to have realized that he was working his way back to being a puppet in the same position that he was in before he came out about the Alpha phenomenon. He and Bill had fought earlier in the episode, but ultimately they both knew that there were only a handful of people they could trust if they really wanted to continue their work. While Rosen might not be as optimistic as he once was, he’s even more determined to find a way to help these Alphas find a productive place in society.