Stars: David Strathairn, Ryan Cartwright, Warren Christie, Azita Ghanizada, Laura Mennell, Malik Yoba, Alaina Huffman, Peter Wingfield, Melissa Hood
Adam Levy, series created by Zak Penn & Michael Karnow
Leslie Bibman
Syfy, Mondays @ 10 PM
August 15, 2011

It’s good for most shows to break from their internal formulas once in awhile, and on ALPHAS, an episode that involves solving an ordinary – that is, non-Alpha – crime is an agreeable change. On the upside, it’s fun and it lets us take a longer look at how the characters deal with issues besides what it means to be “special.” On the downside, it’s less morally complex than we know ALPHAS can be at its best.

Bill (Malik Yoba) is brooding over his likely ouster from the FBI due to his hitting a fellow agent (we know it was for a good reason, but the Feds don’t). Due to a combination of mistakes on the part of Bill and other Alpha team members, autistic Gary (Ryan Cartwright) winds up under arrest at a police station, where his ability to decipher electronic signals alerts him to the whereabouts of kidnapping victim Lisa Collier (Melissa Hood).

Lisa’s father (Peter Wingfield, always a welcome presence) is extremely wealthy and powerful, and Bill – albeit that he does have a genuine interest in rescuing the endangered young woman as an end in itself – sees this as a way to get back into the Bureau. Bill tellsGarythey are partners, and the two begin doing their own sleuthing. When this backfires, both Bill and Gary wind up under arrest. Rosen (David Strathairn) bails them out, but he is furious with Bill. Bill convinces Rosen that saving Lisa is the right thing to do. The DCIS team swings into action with everyone using their abilities. They discover that Collier’s chief of security Nelson (Alaina Huffman) is in on the kidnapping. Nina (Laura Mennell) “pushes” Nelson, Bill uses his strength to cave in a wall Cameron (Warren Christie) uses his skills to dodge Nelson’s bullets.

The upshot is that Lisa is saved and Bill can return to the FBI. However, Bill decides he’s happier working with the DCIS. Bill’s wife is happy as long as Bill is happy, although she doesn’t know about his abilities as of yet.

In a subplot, Nina is worried that she’s being followed by a police detective because he thinks she killed her ex-boyfriend. Cameron asks Nina what happened and Nina explains that, before she understood her abilities, she told her ex to do her a favor “and go kill yourself.” She feels tremendous guilt. Cameron and Nina bond and start to get romantic, until they are inadvertently interrupted by Rachel (Azita Ghanizada). Nina takes Cameron’s advice, comes clean to the detective and learns that she had nothing to do with her ex’s death; the detective just wanted to ask some questions related to the ex’s finances.

Cartwright is one of the shining lights of ALPHAS; he makes Gary wonderfully consistent and convincingly different without being irritating. It’s a tribute to both his performance and the writing that we can follow Gary’s often unconventional logic. Yoba as Bill has a somewhat more standard character, but he’s always human and believable in the role. However, precisely because Bill isn’t an unreasonable wacko and Gary is within normal boundaries, the pairing of them isn’t outrageous. Their excellent adventure is sometimes amusing and mildly affecting, but it never hits the extremes that would make it hilarious or moving. Then again, there’s something very admirable in ALPHAS’ restraint in not pressing to make moments bigger than they naturally are

It’s a pleasant change of pace to see Bill and Gary dealing with a case that doesn’t directly reflect on either of them, but Bill learning that he’s better off when not pulling maverick stunts is hardly revelatory. The most promising part of “Bill and Gary’s Excellent Adventure” is arguably Bill’s promise to let Gary drive and the consequences of this – there’s something so intense and real and funny when Bill finally starts to give Gary a driving lesson that we wish there were more of the scene.

Also, any episode that gives us the line, via Rosen, “I’m a professional – I can gloat in private” clearly has a lot going for it.

Click on Link: AX’s Exclusive Interview with ALPHAS star Malik Yoba


Click on Link: AX’s review of Alphas – Season 1 – “Rosetta”

Click on Link: AX’s review of Alphas – Season 1 – “Anger Management”

Click on Link: AX’s review of Alphas – Season 1 – “Cause and Effect”
Click on Link: AX’s review of Alphas – Season 1 premiere

Click on Link: AX’s review of WAREHOUSE 13 – Season 3 premiere – “The New Guy”

Click on Link: AX’s review of EUREKA – Season 4 premiere – “Liftoff”

Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Review: ALPHAS – Season 1 – “Bill and Gary’s Excellent Adventure”

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