EPISODE REVIEW: Alphas: "Rosetta" (Episode 4)

Jim Stiles
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This episode involves a terrorist network that intends to explode a gasoline tanker truck at a pharmaceutical company that produces a drug that it believes will either stop or reduce the number of children born with Alpha talents. Like most terrorist organizations, the group, called Red Flag, naively believes that it has the power to stop companies and corporations from undertaking an undesirable action. The underlying motivation for Red Flag is that they believe that being an Alpha is not a curse but a blessing. A similar motivation is also present among members of Deaf culture. Deaf parents have even sought to guarantee that their offspring are deaf. According to Deaf culture, deafness is a state of being, not a disability.

The motivations of the fictional terrorist group Red Flag reflect two dangerous trends in modern Western life: identity politics and authoritarianism. Red Flag supports the dreams and aspirations of Alphas at the exclusion of all others. While the Babylon 5 slang term for non-telepathic individuals, mundane, is not actually used, Red Flag's propaganda practically shouts the idea. While Red Flag does not have any real political power, it is willing to kill, both Alpha and mundane, to prevent free people from engaging in voluntary relationships and performing actions that it deems to be harm to the Alpha identity group. Real life analogs to Red Flag include groups as diverse as Al Qaeda and the Red Army Faction.

During the episode, Gary, the Alpha who has Asperger Syndrome and can read electromagnetic signals, forms a relationship, non-sexual, with the leader of Red Flag. This leads to him slowly learning to be more independent.


Yes, but mostly as warning about terrorism and identity politics.