I watched Serenity last week while traveling home from a work conference. Historically, everything’s great for the first 2 or even 2.5 days, then by the end of the third day, I’m ready to either cry or punch flowers.
So, there was a need to have a calming stand-by for the train ride home. The worst thing is coming home after all that and being a crankier bitch than usual. My calming selection was Serenity, which I hadn’t watched in about a year and a half.
Over the years, I’ve gotten so used to Summer Glau’s matured face that I didn’t immediately recognize her as River Tam. Then again, I’m old and my eyes are bad.
That’s all a preamble to saying that Summer Glau guest starred in “Alphaville” in a role that didn’t annoy me.
It seems like she gets tossed into these lame roles in a blatant attempt to get the Whedon crowd to watch. Glau is a good actress; she just gets these poorly written roles. So, when her name pops up in a promo, I roll my eyes.
The writers on Alphas have actually given her something to work with and her performance is miles away from anything else she’s done. She plays Skylar, a single Alpha mom on the run with her Alpha daughter who wakes her up in the middle of the night to announce she’s discovered a new prime number. Glau does it all really well, putting in an emotional performance rather than something physical or alien.
That said, I had some problems with this episode.
First off, with a title like “Alphaville” there was an opportunity to have some fun, even if only for a second, with the French film of the same name. (If you haven’t seen it, it’s awesome. There’s a computer with ennui and execution by synchronized swimming.)
Some little in-joke would have been enough. Like maybe the Alphaville leader, Claude, was code named Alpha 60 or something.
But, no. It was just a ville. With Alphas in it.
The biggest problem was with Rosen. His actions didn’t add up at all.
It was pretty clear from the outset that the photostimulator enhanced Alpha abilities. I’m a bit baffled as to why Rosen didn’t come to that conclusion on his own. I did, and I’m just a public school special education teacher and am obviously a lazy person who doesn’t contribute to the economy. However, I’m not part of a teachers’ union – not that I didn’t try to unionize – so I can’t be hunted down like a Replicant just yet.
Then, in the barn. Rosen used the photostimulator to incapacitate Stanton Parrish’s toadie, even though he knew it enhanced Alpha abilities and the particular Alpha he used it on could CREATE FIRE.
Also, there was Rosen’s insistence on holding keeping the machine out of Parrish’s hand even though Parrish already had manufactured thousands of them.
Lastly, I’m suspicious of Rosen hiding the machine from the feds. What is he planning on doing with it?
Rosen is learning that he has few allies. He has Bill, Cameron, Gary, Rachel, and Nina and that’s about it. Every other super human seems to be super pissed at him for that Alpha publicity stunt. And it makes me wonder….
Is Alphas from the point of view of the villain?