Agent Pierce has been a malevolent force for some time now, so the moment when his true colours were shown had to ensure that he was someone to fear. Max’s capture and subsequent treatment were as disgusting and inhumane as you would have come to expect.
The motivations behind Pierce’s determination to hunt down these aliens don't necessarily justify his actions, but when are villains ever really 100% justified in the evil that they take part in? If anything, it only serves to make him even more of a menace to Max and his friends. He has clearly lost all respect for humanity, why would he treat Toplosky the way he did if he had any sympathy, so why would he have any for Max?
During this arc it’s become more and more apparent just how much of an ensemble show this has become. It’s always been one, but Liz was always a protagonist with a massive voice, so when her role is diminished like it is here, it starts to raise questions. Like, is the show starting to lose its voice? Is it just evolving? So far, it doesn’t seem to be an issue for the show’s narrative, more a diversion due to story-telling priority. Besides, why would we care what Liz is writing in her diary when they’re being chased by the FBI?
The alien stuff here does feel a little heavy, but the balancing act between human and inhuman has never been so effective. It raises the question of how vicious mankind can be when pursuing answers. It’s not necessarily a grand statement, I don’t think anyone can believe the world is made up entirely of Agent Pierces, but there’s a declaration here that we may not be as accepting as we think we are. Just because someone’s different doesn’t justify any alienation and bad treatment.
As the first part of a two-parter, The White Room is surprisingly definite, and felt more like the next logical step in the show’s past few episodes.