“Alphas” is ramping up the action for season two, so expect more fireworks from the Syfy series — which has a new showrunner in Bruce Miller (“Eureka”) — as the Alphas unleash their powers in Season 2 on a world that now knows — thanks to Dr. Lee Rosen (David Strathairn) — that there are people among us with special abilities.
“The way the show was run last year is very different than the way it is run this year,” says Azita Ghanizada, who plays Rachel Pirzad, a synesthete, meaning she can enhance her natural abilities. “The episodes are stronger and the first one is going to be very action-y and glitzy. Then the succeeding episodes are very much going to be based on the human drama and the things that make these people not heroes, but human.”
So here are five things we can look for going into season 2:
No. 1: Dr. Rosen has been imprisoned by the government, which considers him dangerous for going public with the news that there are Alphas among us: “He has been there six to eight months, basically under armed guard,” Strathairn says. “The government has said that his mental state is dubious, but it is really that he is a threat, so they are holding him hostage. In order for him to get out of there, something has to happen so the government needs him. And indeed something does happen, and they come to him, and he has to negotiate with them the ground rules going forward.”
Preview the Season Premiere of “Alphas”:
No. 2: Rachel is coming into her own: “Her dependency on Dr. Rosen was also almost another disability,” Ghanizada says, “She needs to not be so co-dependent upon him, just like she needs not to be so co-dependent on other people’s opinions of her abilities. She kind of actually spends the second half of the season challenging Dr. Rosen quite a bit because things go awry and somebody needs to reel in what is happening. In the team dynamic, you see Rachel step up a bit.”
No. 3: Gary, who was on loan to the FBI since the team broke up when Rosen was incarcerated, is now missing: “He’s in a worse place than prison,” says Ryan Cartwright, who plays the autistic Gary Bell. “He’s in Building 7 and he’s pretty much comatose. To control the Alphas who are bad, there’s a lot more moral flexibility that people believe they can take with them, so they put these chips in their heads, which make them completely comatose and devoid of any personality. They’re pretty much like these neutered, brain-dead zombies who just sit around and drool, which is my natural state normally.”
No. 4: There is a new Alpha in town: Erin Way (“Detroit 1-8-7″) joins the cast as Kat. Her power is the ability to learn anything very quickly, but it also has a side effect. She has no long-term memory and can’t remember anything that happened more than six weeks previously. “Gary is intrigued by her, but completely intimidated and just wants her gone, because she doesn’t follow the supposed Alpha code,” Cartwright says. “She’s more rebel than anyone, she’s on the outskirts, and she comes from a bit of a darker background. He thinks she’s unprofessional, and he doesn’t want this cute, little blonde girl grabbing everyone’s attention, because he’s the one that needs care and the one that wants all the attention. So, he just wants her gone. But, maybe he’ll end up liking her, we’ll have to see.”
There will also be guest stars, including Lauren Holly (“NCIS”) and C. Thomas Howell (“Southland”).
No. 5: Parish’s (John Pyper-Ferguson) power is increasing and his game is a lot more than helping Alphas understand their abilities: “Parish is really coming on full force again,” Cartwright says. “He comes back with a vengeance and it gets really heavy. So Parish is up to his old tricks and he proves a lot more menacing and dastardly this time around… He’s quite adamant about pursuing his vendettas to the end. And he just exhausts all the Alpha’s trying it. He finds everyone’s weaknesses and abuses them. He’s the perfect bad buy, especially for Dr. Rosen.”
Tune in for the Season 2 premiere of “Alphas,” airing Monday, July 23 at 10/9c on Syfy.