Last night's Alphas started to pull into focus the conflict between Rosen and Stanton Parish over Danielle — they both want to be her dad, and neither of them really has her best interests at heart. It's a fascinating take on the Professor X/Magneto thing the two men have going on, and I'm actually quite sad the show apparently won't be exploring it further. Spoilers ahead...
Last night's episode was mostly great on its own terms, but there were many points at which I felt as though I'd missed an episode — even though I know I hadn't. Last week, Danielle was exposed as Stanton's mole within the Alphas team, and Dr. Rosen tried to help her flee the country instead of getting caught. In the end, after she did get caught, you had this quite powerful scene where she asks to be locked away with a chip in her head, so she won't feel any more remorse or pain. Instead, Dr. Rosen offers her a way to win her freedom and redeem herself.
So this time around, Danielle's quickly whisked off to rejoin Parish, after signing a huge stack of forms — with the hope that she can be a mole and spy on Parish's gang. This happens really quickly, and then she's back with Parish and nobody's heard for her for a few weeks. Parish smells a rat — not least because he told her his plan to wipe out millions of people, and she didn't respond by saying, "That sounds like a great idea!" (One problem I had with this episode? I wasn't clear on whether that conversation had taken place before or after Danielle was found out. If it happened beforehand, then why didn't she mention it to her dad? If it happened afterwards, then when was that? I would have liked to see a whole episode of Danielle realizing that Parish is a baddie, if that's a realization she came to on her own.)
In any case, Danielle is caught in a tough spot. Dr. Rosen has apparently convinced himself that sending her into the lion's den is the best way to keep her safe — because he wants to destroy Parish that badly, or because he believes on some level that she needs redemption. (As various people point out, Rosen could have just pulled strings to get her out of Building 7, especially if she could turn state's evidence.) Meanwhile, Parish seems to want her to validate his ideology of mass murder.
To try and clean up his mess, Rosen sends Cam to be another undercover agent to rescue the first undercover agent that he lost, and uses Nina's mind control to try and protect Cam against the mind-probes that Cam will be exposed to. I hope at some point, Cam starts drooling during a staff meeting in an upcoming episode. Cam manages to get Danielle out — but he's also managed to help Parish steal some super-electricity grenades from a DARPA facility, which Parish can turn into an ultimate weapon and wipe out New York.
Hence the scene above, where Danielle basically sacrifices herself to buy some time, while Gary does his magic and prevents the bomb from being deadly to anyone except her.
It's a good send-off for Danielle — but I'm a little sad that just as this "dueling father figures" storyline is getting interesting, it's over. This was probably going to be the most interesting way to dramatize the differences between Rosen and Parish's approaches to the Alphas and their role in the fate of the world. So it would have been nice to get just one or two more episodes of the two men fighting over who gets to influence Danielle. Instead, her death will probably be a major turning point for Rosen, Parish and Hicks, in classic "women in refrigerators" style.
Still, a pretty decent episode in its own right, and at least now Parish has come out and declared his intention to wipe out a big chunk of humanity.