A stock boy gets a text message directing him to a specific rooftop at a specific time, and suddenly everyone around him is saying "Time to kill" and "Pull the trigger." Which he does. After that semi-mysterious opening, we meet Dr. Lee Rosen (David Strathairn), who is in charge of a group of…special people. They include Nina, who has the power to make people do whatever she wants them to; Bill, whose adrenalin gives him super-strength; Gary, who can channel-surf the electromagnetic spectrum and read the signals like a human NORAD; and Rachel, who has super senses. In addition to acting as therapist and doctor to these "Alphas," Rosen also knows a guy from the government who wants him to look into how a federal prisoner was shot while in custody and inside a sealed room.
Of course the shooter was the stock boy and everyone but Bill gets to bring their powers to bear to track him down. It turns out he's got powers of his own: the kind of athleticism and body control that allows him to pitch no-hitters and shoot federal witnesses through air ducts. After they catch him, they figure out that he's been brainwashed. You know, the kind of thing Nina does, only on steroids.
Now that they have the shooter -- whose name is Cameron -- the plan is to use him as bait to catch the guy who was brainwashing him. While they're working on that, Don reveals to Rosen that it looks like they're after someone known as the Ghost, who works with a terrorist organization called Red Flag. Anyway, when the operation goes down, the Ghost pulls a switcheroo and gets away while our heroes (including Cameron) run a merry chase after the bellboy that the Ghost brainwashed into taking his place.
But Rosen and the Alphas think the dead man is the Ghost, until it's almost too late. It turns out the Ghost was trying to draw them out, and he nearly gets away with brainwashing Bill into killing Rosen. But Nina saves the day with her mouth (not by talking Bill out of it, but by kissing him so Rosen can shoot him up with an anti-brainwashing drug). Meanwhile, Cameron makes one of his super-shots and takes out the Ghost. And it looks like Cameron he gets to join the team -- whether he wants to or not. There's still the rest of Red Flag out there somewhere, after all.
A stock boy is busy...you know, stocking...at the grocery store when his phone rings. He tries to answer it, but it's just a weird tone and a text message with an address and the word "Rooftop," along with the time of 6:22. An old woman asks where the ice cream is and adds, "It's time to kill." He's too distracted by that to notice the sinister man in shades who just checked out. Luckily for our stock boy, 6:22 seems to be after he gets off work. On his way out, his boss offers him a replacement shift on Saturday and adds, "Time to kill? Pull the trigger." Obviously our guy is getting a little freaked out, but he still makes his way across what looks like Manhattan to that rooftop -- hearing and seeing the messages "Time to kill" and "Pull the trigger" from everyone he passes and everywhere he looks. Up on the rooftop (click, click, click), he finds a case under a pile of trash. The case, of course, holds a sniper rifle. Looking like he knows how to do it, but not why he's doing it, he preps the weapon, checks his watch, takes aim at a building on the next block, and...pulls the trigger. All seems according to plan, right?
A bearded David Strathairn is doing laps in his pool to the kind of guitar music that usually accompanies people in pools who aren't David Strathairn. He's got a visitor: Callum Keith Rennie from Battlestar Galactica and 24, looking uptight in a G-Man suit and complaining about all the alt-health crap cluttering Lee Rosen's kitchen (for that is the name of Strathairn's character, and much easier to type it is, too). The CKR character, Don, hands Rosen a Department of Defense folder, apparently wanting Lee and his "group" to do something about it. After more complaints about Lee's Speedo and his non-coffee, Don takes his grumpy leave.
Meanwhile, a brunette woman is being pulled over by a Jersey City motorcycle cop. He gives her the fastest ticket ever, but after she asks him to remove his shades, her voice gets all echoey as she tells him to eat the ticket, as well as the carbon. Which he does. For some reason she also asks if he's single, and after seeing his ring, she tells him to have a nice day. Cool, he has to have a nice day now!
According to the onscreen title that suddenly appears, this is "NINA." She has a DoD dossier as well, headed "Alphas Initiative" with "Overseer: Dr. Lee Rosen" and identifying her as a "patient" named Nina Theroux. "Diagnosis: Hyper Induction -- overrides willpower in others." And she's looking for a husband? How hard could it be for her?