EPISODE REVIEW: Alphas: "Blind Spot" (Episode 9)

Jim Stiles
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Before I start the actual review of this episode, I would like to note that this episode featured Brent Spiner as a guest star. Brent Spiner (Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation) was, by far, the best actor on TNG, and I would like to see him more often in movies and television.

In this episode, Brent Spiner plays an Alpha without an optic nerve but with the ability to observe his environment via echolocation. Like most of the Alpha abilities shown on this show, this ability is really a fantastic power and not a sci-fi ability. Like previous Alphas episodes, what is interesting is not the pseudoscience fiction explanation of the characters' abilities but the organizations and motivations behind the characters. In this episode, Brent Spiner's character claims to be a part of Red Flag that has renounced violence and terrorism and works to a future where Alphas and regular people can work toward the common good. Brent Spiner's character is a research neonatologist who has discovered a new nutritional technique to increasing the number of babies born with Alpha talent. In this, the fictional idea proposed by this television program is more realistic than the old Marvel comics idea of mutants with advanced abilities being born because nuclear power and gamma radiation. Gamma radiation in the real world either does nothing or it gives one cancer; it does not turn someone into the Incredible Hulk.

It is sometimes said that Margaret Thatcher doubted the existence of the common good. I was unable to find a quote in Wikiquote where she made any statements about the common good. However, if she did not belief in a common good, then she was correct. Human beings have hopes, desires, aspirations, and dreams. Societies have none of these things. What is said by governments and those in power to be in the common good are merely what is good for those in power. That being said, it should also be noted that some of what is good for those in power may also be good for the common mass of humanity.

In this episode, Brent Spiner's character is stalked by another Alpha who had the ability to become virtually invisible. This Alpha was said to be a soldier of fortune that was told to obtain a copy of the Brent Spiner's character's research and kidnap him. Because Brent Spiner's character demonstrated that he could escape any captivity, the soldier of fortune killed him. Out of sense of gratitude to the Alphas team member who inadvertently helped her, the assassin gave her a name that could be the organization or individual who had hired her.

As opposed to television shows like Stargate Universe, to date every episode in Alphas has progressed in the season story arc by at least a small amount. This episode informed the audience about a shadowy organization or person who appears to be working in opposition to Red Flag but whose primary motivation remains unknown.

Will conservatives and libertarians like this episode?

Yes, especially those who like serial action dramas. It is all about the plot, baby.