Poor Dr. Rosen. He's always getting flak from everybody. He probably practices that hangdog look in the mirror. Last night's Alphas underscored that Dr. Rosen is in a tough position, as pretty much the only person around who doesn't have mutant powers, and someone who's made some questionable choices. He probably doesn't do himself any favors by comparing the Alphas to bees — or at least, if you're going to make those analogies, you probably ought to wear a fully protective beekeeper suit first.
So last night on Alphas, the crew all traveled out to the boonies, to a special secret Alpha refugee camp where a bunch of mutants are living off the grid. And at least one of them, the Sandman lookalike in the clip above, is hiding out because of Dr. Rosen's decision to tell the world that Alphas exist. (And it's really a good sign that we're actually seeing some of the repercussions of that choice, instead of it being swept under the rug.) And pretty much as a direct result of Dr. Rosen's decision to bring his team out there, the whole Alpha community gets burned down by Stanton Parrish's goons, and a little kid is put into danger.
Dr. Rosen is there to see Skylar (Summer Glau) the super-genius techie mutant inventor whom we met in season one. She's hiding out with her little girl Zoe aka Digit, and she's trying to be a perfect mom — even hiding her tattoos using some kind of advanced tech. She feels like she's failing as a mom, because she doesn't know how to deal with her hyperactive supergenius kid — and that's before Rosen and his team show up and start making demands on her. (And in a neat bit of irony, the main discovery about the photovoltaic stimulator's secrets comes not from Skylar, but from Rachel — who could have just taken a closer look at those wires back in the office and saved everyone the trip.)
The whole interaction between Dr. Rosen and Claude, the leader of this little community, is really interesting. Claude basically is a mutant separatist, who believes that mutants need to have their own spaces because ordinary humans like Dr. Rosen will exploit them otherwise. But Dr. Rosen prefers to see it as symbiosis instead of exploitation — like the relationship between bees and humans. (And nobody brings up the fact that humans are using pesticides that might be killing off tons of bees in real life.) It's interesting that this show's version of Professor X in the whole "cooperation versus separatism" debate is a non-mutant — it makes the debates a lot slipperier, because Rosen is a non-mutant trying to speak for mutants — but he's also trying to be a go-between while manipulating both sides a bit.
I'm starting to wonder if Rosen's policy of keeping Clay and the other government people in the dark about everything is backfiring — after all, the only reason those photovoltaic stimulators are a potential threat is because the FDA approved them. Couldn't the government yank them out of hospitals? Rosen works for the government, which is one of the main advantages he has over the bad guys — but instead, he prefers to act like the leader of a small band of renegades.
Oh, and it's not at all clear what the deal is with those stimulators. If they increase people's mutant powers, isn't that a good thing? Why was it being used like a weapon last night, particularly against Scipio? And why aren't all of Stanton Parrish's people using those stimulators non-stop, to turn themselves into super-mutants? Finally, what's the point of using it indiscriminately on people in hospitals?
Also in this episode: Gary hates being in the country, until someone tells him that there are signals in nature. And then he gets sort of New Agey and starts tuning into signals from the Sun and the stars and the trees and stuff. And meanwhile, Rachel goes on two dates with her new guy: one disastrous, one less so.
Oh, and Nina doesn't push anybody at all in last night's episode. There are several moments where you think she's about to, and then she doesn't.