I actually enjoyed this episode. Last week, I was sure this show was gonna be a bomb...but I enjoyed this one.
Yep, great episode. Better than last week. I like how it open a new storyline with Red Flag (rogue Alphas organizations). Having some alphas working together to wreak havoc or accomplish a mission can provide some interesting storylines and challenges for our alphas.
I liked aspects of the episode. Having a leader who is capable of understanding any language is an interesting idea. It is interesting to see the writers continue with the "gaining independence" theme with Gary that is being used with other characters.
This being said, I was somewhat bemused at how Anna could get anyone else to understand her own language (prior to Gary). How did anyone else get their marching orders on how to implement any plans she may have developed? I suppose there would have to be some other person who served as a Honey Huan (http://www.freebase.com/view/en/honey_huan) between Anna and the rest of Red Flag.
And how sophisticated a piece of software was on that little device that it could translate "scrape, rub, rustle, scrape, plonk" into, "My name is Anna!" I'm not saying it couldn't be done, but I am skeptical that it could be done that quickly, Gary or no Gary.
Further, because of how she would have been handled by her family and society, when would she have had the opportunity to actually learn anything significant? You can't get a Ph.D. watching TV.
Go for Marty...
I enjoyed this ep. Had a nice twist with the fact that Anna was more than they thought.
I wonder if Gary's independent action at the end with the water, is going to change the characters personality for the future. Was the change from something Anna siad, or from the data stream, something tha changed his brain chemistry.
Curious to see how far they take this change in him.
no means no, and so does pepper spraySig by The Carpenter
And there is still the issue of just how was she able to communicate with the other members of Red Flag?
Go for Marty...
I am soooo into this show. This ep was remarkable. I'm thinking there must be some reality involved with the language Anna created that is known to those who work with people with special behaviors. I can easily imagine how those talents might be enhanced in order to be considered an ALPHA. The concept of being misunderstood through childhood and beyond, but persisting in reaching out till making a connection with someone who might understand her I find not that farfetched. Given the numbers involved in the 'movement' described in Gary's email, I'd say there are some incredible and varied skills coming our way.
The chemistry between Gary and Anna and Ryan Cartwright's acting ability make this an outstanding episode that I've rewatched several times!
I think this was the strongest episode thus far.
What I am still at sea about is:
1.) Who first recognized that Anna was an Alpha? How did they do this? While it is an interesting idea to have Anna as an Alpha, she would also be next to impossible to identify as such. I do not believe we have seen any kind of passive Alpha recognition sense which is generally available to all Alphas. Since she would likely not get out much in her day to day routine, Anna being recognized as an Alpha would have been a very low possibility event. And even if Anna were recognized as being an Alpha, there would then the problem of trying to communicate with her.
2.) Who re-programmed that tablet to speak Anna's language in the first place? I'm assuming it would be a "re-programming" as Red Flag seem like too much of a basement/garage organization to have any significant resources. If no one, prior to Gary, could understand Anna (from what we have seen), then what did Red Flag have to do to get a translation tablet to communicate with her? And what an interesting and time consuming process that would have been. There would have to be an inventory of acceptable sounds created from sources which the program would accept (hairbrush, water, massage rollers etc). They would then have to establish an alphabet from these sounds, and give them a corresponding character/sound value and finally create a vocabulary. And then they would have to fix it so that it could do an English to "Anna Speak" translation for the return messages (taking into consideration local dialects and and the like).
Now, were Anna the leader of Red Flag she could direct her minions to do this work for her, however, how would they understand what her directions were in the first place?
3.) As I previously noted, Anna's street smarts seem a bit too extensive. She came across as being far too normal, perhaps a bit too worldly, for someone who had likely spent a lot of time in less than normal circumstances. My assumption is that she would have spent a lot of time in less than mentally stimulating surroundings (sort of like we were set up for when she was first introduced). Yes, there is nothing wrong with her cognitive abilities, but to have her as leader of Red Flag seems a bit preposterous.
4.) How/why did the house get in her name? This just seemed like an unnecessary back-story complication. Who cares if Anna owned the house (outside of the continuing sub-plot of independence)? At some point someone would have had to sign any of the various deeds, insurance papers et al which go with home ownership. It was mentioned that she had no family and no legal guardian or agent who could sign for her was mentioned, so, we can only assume that an accomplice went in her stead. What does this say? It suggests that "Anna" is an alias, because if she used her real name/identification then that would have raised some red flags... the other kind.
5.) And wouldn't there have been some kind of care-giver left in the house by Rosen and company? While we can assume that Red Flag had someone staying with Anna to provide some support (cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc), why wouldn't there be some kind of 24-hour assistance provided for Anna by the DoD, other than visits by Gary and Nina, and a couple of guys with guns out in the driveway?
Go for Marty...
Anna's movements aren't random. One of the (most effective) treatments for the developmentally challenged, especially those with autism, is behavior analysis and that involves daily sessions lasting several hours. It would only be a matter of time before the therapist notices certain meaningful patterns in Anna's behavior.
A therapist, who assumed that Anna was more cognitively capable than what would have been the norm for someone in her condition, might actually try to teach Anna some form of basic "sign" language as a starting point. I assume a recognized form of sign language would be used as that is what the therapist would know. I am assuming that this process would take a long time and would have limited success due to Anna's inability to control a lot of her movements.
I suspect it would be highly unlikely that Anna could teach her language to a therapist due to Anna's limited ability in the direction in her movements. Further, I suspect that it would be extremely difficult to try to understand Anna's language and differentiate what was noise and what had meaning ("Was that a double T or did she just have a finger cramp, again?"). I think teaching someone the basics of "AnnaSpeak" would be necessary to assist in programing the tablet so that it would respond to Anna's communications. If not, just how much longer would this process take?
So, after all that time, Anna would finally be able to talk to the members of Red Flag and they would recognize her as their leader...
I'm not buying it. The timeline is far too truncated. She is far too young and lacking in experience. And this is not just an ageist thing. I just do not see the Anna character being that young for all the time I think would have been needed to communicate with her, and I do not believe Anna would have been able to accumulate enough experience, ability, what-have-you to be able to lead an organization like Red Flag. And where did all of her anger/hate towards non-Alphas come from? I can understand her being angry about her personal situation, but how did that evolve into her leading a group of terrorists and cold blooded killers?
I suspect that she is a valuable part of Red Flag, and perhaps her saying that "Red Flag works for me" was merely a conceit on the part of the character. Anyhoo, I suppose it will be interesting to see what is done with the character in future episodes.
Go for Marty...
it kinda suggests that, at some point in time, she had a keeper that set stuff up for her. that wrote that translation program and bought her the house, etc. she also - given the mental state we saw - potentially had a personal assistant to help her with dressing, etc....unless she was playing dumb to make them trust her.
And I'm still at a loss to explain the lack of care which the DoD gave Anna while she was in their care. One would think that if they went through the trouble of finding out that Anna had no family and was the registered owner of the house, that they would then look to see how her bills/taxes were paid and if she had some kind of domestic worker to assist her, and assuming they found none (because it would was being done by Red Flag), that might have raised a red flag or two. In any event, I believe they should have supplied some kind of care worker.
Go for Marty...
Even with the 'good' government there seems to be a 'they're not human' attitude....in that way they do seem to be mimicking x-men....you have magneto/reg flag, wanting independence and preaching 'we're better than them', you have the government, that seems to kinda tolerate the alphas, as long as they can be ignored and they lock away any that aren't ignorable, and then you have the professor and his team....tolerated as long as they're helpful, but I wonder how they'll be treated if they're no longer of use?
I think it's already known (in a general sense) what will happen to any alphas who aren't on the DoD team, they're off to Alphaville. Rosen pretty much summed it up when he said to Hicks that he (Hicks) should stay with him (Rosen) so he could be protected. That scene reminded me of "Bladerunner", where Decker is told that he's "either cop or he's little people."
What generally happens to the alphas who are incarcerated by the government? I suspect they will be locked away and experimented upon for purposes like: 1.) finding out how these people got the way they did; 2.) finding any ancestral or environmental commonalities; 3.) seeing if these "mutations" could be prevented; 4.) protecting the population from alphas who misuse their abilities (ie. they don't use them for government sanctioned purposes); 5.) seeing if these "mutations could be steered in a way the government could use to their benefit... As it happens I have been watching some "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" and saw the episode "The I in Team" (4th season). This is the one where they unveil the Adam character who is part human, part demon and part robot, the result of government experimentation. I think the writers are planning on going down this road. Hopefully, the writers will come up with something more interesting than the DoD attempting to develop a super-soldier, or some similar cliche line.
I see a number of areas which we may also be developed: 1.) are the alphas a recent event, or have they been around for more than a few decades?; 2.) are they the result of a natural occurrence (environmental or evolutionary) or are they due to something else (extra-terrestrial origin)?; 3.) I figure we will see the unveiling of a rogue element in the DoD who are using the alpha research for their own nefarious ends.
Go for Marty...
yeah, the inevitable government conspiracy angle is....well a cliche i was expecting. are they natural? or are they engineered? is the govt trying to understand something new or keep the lid on past misdeeds? are alphas safe as long as their powers are discreet? or are any of them found rounded up?
i think the only really unique angle was that autism can mask/hide/be a symptom of alphaism. that autistics are more savants than anything else.
the rest are plot lines we've seen before in other shows
Anyway, here's a video with some info on behavior analysis:
The way the pigeons communicated was through what behavior analysts would call mands and tacts.
In terms of how long it would take, ABA therapy for autism takes about 4 to 8 hours per day. That's a lot of time for the therapists to figure out that Anna can communicate. In fact, computers could make things a lot easier. It would not be difficult to make a correspondence between the sounds Anna makes and the alphabet. A computer would be much better at picking up those sounds than humans.
As for Anna's limited dexterity, her fine motor movements seemed quite good. She was able to make very small distinctions between her movements to fool Gary.
Last edited by Giantevilhead; August 15th, 2011 at 02:28 AM.