'Alphas' recap: Murder by Broken Heart

david-strathairn-alphas.jpgPeople are dying horribly, mysteriously, and without apparent cause in a small town in Pennsylvania, and after ruling out small-town life as the deadly factor, Rosen and Rachel figure someone's literally scaring them to death. And the tyrannical high school football coach seems like a prime suspect. But then Gary fingers a high-school bully, only to see him about to become the next victim. It's at this point that Rosen realizes that the toxic levels of stress hormones in the victims are also consistent with withdrawal, and that the victims are addicted to a person. Yeah, I know. As it happens, one death that preceded all these mysterious ones was not that mysterious -- a kid drove his car into a telephone pole.

Originally thought an accident, Cameron figures out it was suicide. That plus a narrative of consistent bullying of the dead kid and the other victims' part in enabling it lead the team to the dead kid's mother. Turns out that she's an Alpha with the power to make people physically dependent on her love, so much so that taking it away kills them. As dumb as that is, it's bad news for Rachel, who in her emotionally fragile state falls under the killer's thrall. Fortunately the team's support and the power of positive thinking make her all better. And the killer Alpha's going to Binghamton, and a guest appearance by Lindsay Wagner as a CDC doctor comes to pretty much nothing at all.