Allegiance “Teamwork” Review (Season 1 Episode 2)

What does it say that after only the second episode, I’m kind of ready for Allegiance to be cancelled? Now that’s a fairly harsh criticism, I know, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Really, as “Teamwork” wore on, I thought of other shows yanked off the air so soon, and couldn’t help but feel that this is a show that deserves to be added to that list. This is a show that is at best, dull, and at worst, terrible.

The biggest problem, by far, is that Alex is a character that’s just not easy to connect to. He’s a super-genius in so many ways, but it’s also clear he has a whole host of psychological issues. I almost want to say he’s got Asperger’s, but the show took his condition to an almost cartoonish extreme with how it was described in the pilot. And because he’s damaged in such a weird, unfamiliar way, it’s impossible to have any real empathy with him; he’s Sheldon Cooper for the spy set.

It doesn’t help that his intelligence makes him a cure-all in the field. Seriously, if he’s able to locate a Georgian national who works for a network security company that easily on his own, why does he even need supporting agents? The show is going out of its way to make Alex seem perfect at his job, and that lack of flaws on the professional side makes it hard to care about the agency plot.

Further, this show fails to deal in much depth or complexity. Unlike the gray areas that The Americans operates in when dealing with similar subject matter, there’s no arguing the fact that the Russians on this show are portrayed as out-and-out villains. From the overbearing score that plays in the SVR headquarters to their willingness to straight-up murder subordinates for failing to follow an order, there’s nothing even slightly redeeming about these characters. It makes it all the more uncomfortable to see Alex’s parents working so hard to deceive him in service of an organization so despicable.

Believe me, I want to compliment something in this hour, but there’s just so little to talk about on the positive. Not when the expository dialogue is so clunky, the character relationships so fragile, and the leaps in logic so enormous. There’s just nothing redeeming about Allegiance at this point, and I can’t imagine it lasting long enough to find itself.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!